Shale gas & untraditional fuel
Fracking firms plan to drill up to 68 shale gas wells in England in the next five years, after being handed new rights to explore across an estimated 4,500 square miles of land. At least 14 of the new drilling sites – in parts of Yorkshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire – are expected to be fracked under the plans, as ministers attempt to “get shale gas moving”.
At the height of the U.S. energy boom, Texas landowner John Baen received about $100,000 a month in royalty payments from companies producing oil and natural gas on his property. Now the checks are much smaller, and when he opens his mailbox each day, he’s afraid he’ll find yet another bankruptcy notice. So far, four of the producers sending him checks have caved in to rising debts as oil prices slumped, seeking court protection from their creditors. (altro…)
An unprecedented environmental protest movement in a remote part of Algeria has disrupted the country’s multibillion-dollar shale programme and is making political waves across the north African nation and the wider region. Since the start of January, thousands of protesters have turned up daily in the rural town of Ain Salah, in the heart of the Sahara, to take part in increasingly raucous rallies against a $70bn hydraulic fracturing project they say will pollute the groundwater and disturb the environment. (altro…)
L’Opec si è autoproclamata vincitrice nella sfida con lo shale oil americano. O almeno così sembra a giudicare dalle sue nuove stime, che ora incorporano una frenata delle estrazioni di petrolio dei concorrenti tanto brusca da far risalire la richiesta del suo greggio addirittura sopra il tetto produttivo di 30 milioni di barili al giorno nella seconda metà dell’anno. Le previsioni sono ovviamente di parte. E a bilanciarle ci sono gli scenari ribassisti sempre più foschi dipinti da molti autorevoli analisti, come Ed Morse, global head of commodity research di Citigroup, che in un rapporto diffuso ieri prospetta la possibilità di un crollo del Wti addirittura a 20 dollari «per un certo periodo», prima di avviare una ripresa più solidanel corso dal secondo trimestre. (altro…)
Algeria’s state energy company Sonatrach will press ahead with plans to develop shale gas reserves and refuses to yield to protests by local communities and environmental groups, its interim chief executive officer said. Algeria, Africa’s largest natural gas producer, will need 55 billion cubic meters of gas in 2025 compared with 35 billion cubic meters this year, Sonatrach Interim CEO Said Sahnoun said Sunday, according to state-run Algeria Press Service. (altro…)
This northern Colorado city vaulted onto the front lines of the battle over oil and gas drilling two years ago, when residents voted to ban hydraulic fracturing from their grassy open spaces and a snow-fed reservoir where anglers catch smallmouth bass. But these days, Longmont has become a cautionary tale of what can happen when cities decide to confront the oil and gas industry. In an aggressive response to a wave of citizen-led drilling bans, state officials, energy companies and industry groups are taking Longmont and other municipalities to court, forcing local governments into what critics say are expensive, long-shot efforts to defend the measures. (altro…)
Labour will seek to tighten the regulations governing the extraction of shale gas on Monday as the UK opposition party hardens its stance over the contentious technology. The extraction of shale gas through hydraulic fracturing of rock, or “fracking”, will be discussed by MPs as part of legislation to reform trespass laws, which can stand in the way of exploration. A number of Liberal Democrat MPs and a handful of Tories are also expected to voice concerns about the industry, amid hardening environmental opposition. (altro…)
Petrochemicals giant Ineos has unveiled plans to invest up to $1bn (£640m) in drilling hundreds of wells to explore for shale gas across northern England and Scotland. The company said it had applied for numerous exploration blocks in an ongoing licensing round run by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and, if successful, it would become “the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry”.
The oil company had hoped that by taking only written questions from the residents, it could keep a lid on their emotions. But it was only seconds after the chief executive of Great Western Oil & Gas began the Q&A with the people of Windsor, Colorado, that the lid blew off. Before Rich Frommer could read out the first submission, Connie Reifschneider rose from her fold-up chair to interrupt him. “I’m shaking because I’m angry,” she said. (altro…)
This winter Jim Ratcliffe, the British billionaire founder of Ineos, the chemicals group, is trying to spark a local shale gas revolution. He has offered to share 6% of future revenues with communities or landowners if they work with Ineos to develop the energy source — far more than anything offered in the UK before. “This will be a game changer,” he argues, explaining that he copied the idea of a 6% pledge from America, where similar handouts have helped start a dramatic expansion of shale gas extraction since 2010. (altro…)