The heat surrounding the debate, protesting and exploration for Shale Gas in the UK is on the rise. On the 10th January last year, I posted a blog predicted that shale gas would revolutionise the world and that the UK and it’s European partners needed to act quickly or they world be left behind as the US and other countries who embrace the technology surge forward. This week it became clear that that prediction is coming true. Regardless of the debate and your feeling around fracking it’s going to happen. The US is already benefiting from cheap oil and gas and very soon will become the world’s largest producer ahead of Russia and Saudi Arabia. Now that’s equivalent to a oil tanker doing a hand-break turn!
This week oil giant Total announced they will be investing in the UK shale gas industry. On top of this, Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a business rates windfall to councils that approve shale gas projects, recognising that if the UK is to remain competitive on the global stage an investment in fracking is required. Another reason why the UK government can not ignore shale gas is because they will not meet their CO2 emission commitments if they don’t. Nuclear energy is too expensive and controversial and green energy is not where it needs to be to meet demand. Battles will be fought with environmentalists but I fear they will be as effective as a peashooter, the shale gas revolution is here to stay. Current shale reserves (and more are expected to be found) will sustain the UK for at least 50 years.
What does this mean for green energy. The government should take some of the windfall from Shale gas and use it to invest in a greener future. Failure to do so will be very shortsighted indeed.
The Financial Times has extensive coverage on the Shale Gas revolution.
France’s Total to invest $50m in UK shale gas exploration
By Guy Chazan
France’s Total will become the first oil major to invest in Britain’s fledgling shale sector when it announces plans on Monday to spend about $50m on gas exploration in the East Midlands.
Total will pay $1.6m to acquire a 40 per cent stake in two exploration licences in the Gainsborough Trough, a geological basin in Lincolnshire, east England, thought to be rich in gas.
The deal will be seen as a big vote of confidence in the UK’s shale sector, which is being heavily promoted by a government keen to replicate the success of the US shale boom on British soil… Read more on the FT website