Tagged: Shale gas

EA likely to grant Cuadrilla fracking permit

The Environment Agency (EA) is likely to approve environmental permits for Cuadrilla to frack at a site in Lancashire.

It has announced a second consultation during which the public can comment on the agency’s draft permit.

The Environment Agency has been carrying out a “rigorous assessment” of Cuadrilla’s applications and the comments made by the public during the first consultation. The draft permits set out conditions needed to protect groundwater, surface water and air quality and ensure the safe storage, management and disposal of waste at the proposed site in Plumpton.

Read the full article here http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/11/12/ea-likely-to-grant-cuadrilla-fracking-permit/

Source: Energy Live News

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UK proposes land access rule change to speed up fracking

UK proposes land access rule change to speed up fracking

Copyright: Thinkstock

The Government has proposed new rules regarding rights to land access and raised payments for communities that host fracking sites in a bid to speed up shale exploration.

It suggests that shale oil and gas companies are granted access to land below 300 metres from the surface and they pay a voluntary amount of £20,000 per well to people living above the land.

The payments would be on top of the existing compensation system, under which communities are to be given £100,000 when a test well is fracked – and a further 1% of revenues if shale gas or oil is discovered.

Currently, companies must negotiate rights of access with every landowner living above underground drilling, even though the works take place far beneath the surface – up to 5,000 feet.

DECC has launched a consultation today on its proposals, which comes as a new study by the British Geological Survey (BGS) estimates there are between 2.2 billion and 8.6 billion barrels of shale oil in southern England.

Energy Minister Michael Fallon said Britain needs “more home-grown energy”, adding: “Shale development will bring jobs and business opportunities. We are keen for shale and geothermal exploration to go ahead while protecting residents through the robust regulation that is in place.

Read more here http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/05/23/uk-proposes-land-access-rule-change-to-speed-up-fracking/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uk-proposes-land-access-rule-change-to-speed-up-fracking

Source: Energy Live News

Northern businesses gear up for shale gas

Northern businesses gear up for shale gas

The county which grew up in the cotton and textiles boom of the Industrial Revolution more than two centuries ago is now struggling to keep hold of its workers.

Watch a video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pwMZdJojq0

With a population of more than 1.4 million, Lancashire’s growth rate has “failed to keep pace” with the national average according to the county council, mainly because of some high net migration recorded by some Lancashire authorities.

Though it’s a mixed picture in different parts of Lancashire, with some places swelling while others suffer long-term decline, the county’s challenge is clear.

In the face of this conundrum, some businesses are turning to shale gas as possible saviour for jobs and an economic boost.

Shale gas developers such as Cuadrilla Resources and IGas have high hopes for the huge reserves of gas trapped in the Bowland shale rock, which stretches underground from west to east across the neck of northern England.

Read the full article here http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/04/29/northern-businesses-gear-up-for-shale-gas/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=northern-businesses-gear-up-for-shale-gas

Source: Energy Live News

UK must ‘invest £33bn to start shale gas production

UK must ‘invest £33bn to start shale gas production

Copyright: ELN

An estimated £33 billion needs to be invested to bring UK shale wells into production between 2016 and 2032, says a new report.

That includes up to 4,000 horizontal wells, around £20.5 billion for hydraulic fracturing – the controversial process of extracting shale gas – and more than £4.1 billion for drilling fluid and water waste management, including storage and transportation.

The study, commissioned by the onshore oil and gas industry and part funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), expects shale gas production levels at its peak to be equivalent to heating more than 20 million homes and create more than 6,000 direct site development jobs.

Read the full article here http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/04/24/uk-must-invest-33bn-to-start-shale-gas-production/?utm_source=feedly&utm_reader=feedly&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=uk-must-invest-33bn-to-start-shale-gas-production

Source: Energy Live News

Nuclear News Round Up (14th – 17th Apr 14)

Where does our energy come from?

Where does our energy come from?

We provide a simple guide to help you understand where and how the UK gathers the energy we use.
Men and women shovelling coal
Coal accounted for more than a third of the electricity producted by UK power plants in 2012. Photograph: Fox Photos/Getty Images

How many neanderthals does it take to change a light bulb? None: they didn’t have electricity. As jokes go, it’s appalling. As a prospect for daily existence, life without power is infinitely worse.

Today, UK homeowners expect flick-of-a-switch access to energy. It keeps our houses warm, our fridges cold and our lights illuminated. Yet where does our power come from? How does it reach us? And why is it becoming so expensive?

Consuming energy

People talk about the UK’s “energy mix”, which makes it sound a convoluted affair. In fact, we get our domestic energy from one of two sources: electricity (23% of total energy consumption) and gas (68%).

Most of us use electricity to power things, and gas to heat things (water and heating systems, in the main) – although electric boilers and the like demonstrate that the lines can and do often blur.

The remaining 9% of domestic energy comes mostly from oil and solid fuels such as wood and housecoal. The reduction in coal as a base source of energy marks one of the biggest shifts in the UK power market over recent decades. In 1970, a whopping 39% of household energycame from coal, the dirtiest of all fossil fuels. Today the figure is less than 1%.

Another change is our consumption of energy. According to the latest government figures, UK householders collectively get through around43m tonnes of oil a year. Thanks to better insulation and other energy efficiencies, individual UK homeowners use 12% less energy now than in 1990.

Leo blog on energy bill : Gas flame of boiler

Gas flame of boiler. Photograph: AlamyThe downside is that there are now more homes, meaning energy consumption overall has gone up by 6% in real terms over the same period.

Making energy

Where things start getting more complicated is when we switch to how we get our electricity and gas. For natural gas, it’s easy. The stuff piped into your homes is, bar some sophisticated tampering in the treatment phase, essentially the same as the stuff that comes out of the ground.

Oil and gas production chart

Oil and gas production in the UK. Source: DECC and Oil & Gas UKElectricity is a different ballgame altogether. Short of tapping an electric storm, natural electricity is difficult to come by. We need to generate it, which is where the “mix” comes in. Interestingly, the main options – coal, gas, and nuclear – have not changed much over the last four decades.Coal tops the list, much to the continued chagrin of environmentalists. In 2012, it accounted for over a third (36.3%) of the electricity produced by UK power plants. It’s not all plain sailing for coal, though. Coal-fired power stations face tough EU reduction targets on sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter emissions. Failure to hit the target deadline, which is next year, is expected to see more than 6 gigawatts of coal capacity forced to close.Gas (26.8%) and nuclear (19.8%) feed the bulk of the UK’s remaining power stations (although a number run off gas and coal combined). Again, the goalposts could move. If a rush for unconventional “shale” gas materialises, then expect more electricity to be gas-generated in the coming years.As for nuclear, all bar one of the UK’s 16 nuclear power stations are set for retirement over the next decade. Replacing the country’s ageing nuclear stock is hugely costly and politically contentious, as debate around the proposed £16bn Hinckley Point nuclear power station reveals.Renewables such as solar, hydro and wind continue to valiantly struggle at the bottom of the list. That said, clean electricity’s contribution to UK power generation is growing fast, reaching 14.8% last year, up from 11.3% in 2012 and 9.4% in 2011. Even so, the figure will have to jump to 30% by 2020 if the UK is to meet its renewable obligations under EU law, according to the government’s own projections. Likewise, renewable heating will need to increase to 12%, up from around 2% today.

Sourcing energy

The majority of our electric power carries a “made in Britain” sticker, bar a fraction that we import from France and The Netherlands (4%). But the story of the fuel stocks burned (or “fissioned”, in the case of nuclear) in our power stations is a very different matter.

Take coal: over the last six decades, the number of coalmines in the UK has decreased by 97% leading to an “all time low” domestic production figure of 17m tonnes in 2012. That saw the UK importing an additional 45m tonnes – the bulk of which (89%) is steam coal, used mainly by electricity generators.

Wind turbines in Ockholm, north Germany, 4/12/13

Wind turbines. Photograph: Maja Hitij/CorbisThe UK does better off for gas, although production in the North Sea is in general decline [see Oil & Gas UK graph]. Even so, the UK managed to produce just over 32m tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) last year. With national gas demand running at 67 mtoe, however, the UK has a sizeable import requirement.As for nuclear, the UK has been self-sufficient in conversion, enrichment, fuel fabrication, reprocessing and waste treatment from the outset. Again, with no domestic uranium reserves, the country is dependent on overseas supply.Within the energy mix, renewables are unique in being fully sourced and produced locally.The UK boasts a number of large-scale renewable facilities, such as commercial wind farms and hydroelectric schemes. Plans for the country’s first commercial tidal project are also underway. Yet much of the UK’s clean energy capacity is ultra-local, coming in the form of household photovoltaic panels, micro-wind turbines, biomass boilers and the like.

Pricing energy

After a substantial period of relative decline, the price of gas and electricity has begun to creep up over the last decade or so. And the pace appears to be accelerating. Between 2010 and 2013, UK energy prices shot up 37%, eight times the rate of earnings. The average annual electricity bill for UK homeowners came in at £776 last year, up by £57 on 2012.

So why the spike? According to a UK parliamentary report, much of the blame lies with increases in wholesale costs. Exacerbating the trend upward are higher operating, network and environmental costs. The UK’s major energy providers, known as “the big six”, are quick to join the government in pointing the finger at the rising cost of wholesale prices, particularly in the case of imports.

But are these six powerful companies also responsible? Consumer rights’ group Which? has long argued that the UK’s large energy providers employ “practices that unfairly increase costs” as well as over-complicating pricing structures and switching policies. Last month’s announcement of a review into of the UK energy market by Ofgem, the sector’s regulator, suggests the concerns of consumer groups are being heard.

But the prospects for reducing household energy bills in the short-term look slim. The UK has little influence over wholesale prices and seemingly little immediate intention to reduce imports. “In the medium to long term the pressures on price all appear to be upwards,” the report authors conclude.

Their advice to homeowners is equally blunt: “The only way for most consumers to reduce the impact of increased unit costs, and even to reduce their bills, is through energy-efficiency improvements.”

Source: Guardian

UK looks into skills needed for shale gas sector

UK looks into skills needed for shale gas sector

UK looks into skills needed for shale gas sector

A study to find out what skills the UK shale gas industry will need in the coming years was launched by a trade group today.

The UK Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG) is partnering with consultancy giant EY to also assess the supply chain and look into the materials and equipment needed to build and operate fracking sites.

This includes requirements such as water treatment facilities, transport and rigs. It will also look at the type of jobs that could be created, both directly in engineering, geology associated technical services, IT, construction and transport as well as indirectly.

The study, which is partly funded by the Department of Business Skills & Innovation (BIS), will be used to assess what can be supplied by British businesses.

The announcement forms part of the Government’s push to accelerate shale gas development in the UK. This morning it also said local councils would get incentives for approving fracking projects.

Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: “The Government is encouraging safe exploration for shale gas to go ahead as quickly as possible… We want to ensure that the UK is ready to grow its supply chain and develop the necessary skills so that local communities benefit from jobs and investment.

Read more here http://www.energylivenews.com/2014/01/13/uk-looks-into-skills-needed-for-shale-gas-sector/

Source: Energy Live News