Fracking economic miracle or lunacy

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  • Fracking economic miracle or lunacy
  • robinlaidlaw
    Member

    200 miles East in the Netherlands they’ve got the right idea, yet for some reason over here we’re all running each other over and fighting.

    They aren’t exactly scared of a bit of oil and gas over there, does the name Shell (or Royal Dutch Shell to give it it’s full name) ring any bells?

    munrobiker
    Member

    As a geologist I have no issue with fracking. It is a reliable way of getting hydrocarbons out of the ground cheaply. he concerns about it are mostly nonsense. A lot of people complain about potential earthquakes, however it causes far fewer earthquakes than the coal mining that used to happen in the area, and of water contamination, which only occurs if you depend on water from a well or aquifer which most shale gas rich areas of the UK do not. There are concerns about safety in the US that are valid- there is more potential for “cowboy” companies to set up but the main issue is contamination of aquifers. There are studies which have shown elevated levels of methane in water sourced from wells (water extraction in this manner doesn’t occur. much in the UK) and aquifers, which is dangerous to health and the environment. It occurs as trapped gas underground travels down fractures caused by the drilling process.

    On the other hand, taking off my geology hat and putting on my “give a shit” hat, it’s bad news. The biggest concern is that, really, it’s the wrong source of energy- while it has the potential to produce cheap energy it’s still energy from fossil fuels and we shouldn’t be dependent on them. We just have a government that is tied in with the rich who run these companies, oil and gas and fuel powered cars and coal power stations are the money spinners, electric cars, green power and nuclear are not. For these reasons, I’m out.

    asterix
    Member

    as another Geologist I agree with munrobiker.

    there other alternatives including renewables and nuclear and energy efficiency

    Toasty
    Member

    They aren’t exactly scared of a bit of oil and gas over there, does the name Shell (or Royal Dutch Shell to give it it’s full name) ring any bells?

    Well yes, and why do these companies exist? Is it because of all the chain oil they’re using?

    Or is it because the UK import and absolute stack of it to keep going, gathering oil isn’t the issue, the crazy speed we’re using it is.

    mrmo
    Member

    As an aside, will it actually make energy cheap anyway. Prices are set on global markets, demand is rising, prices will rise. Fracking might let them rise less quickly but i strongly doubt the level of extraction the UK can achieve will actually have any meaningful impact.

    ninfan
    Member

    still energy from fossil fuels and we shouldn’t be dependent on them.

    But we still need backup energy supplies for renewable sources. You can support renewables yet still regard fracking as a valuable part of the overall ‘energy mix’

    we are still building crap houses, we are still wasting huge amounts of energy with a crap transport policy.

    totally agreed.

    munrobiker
    Member

    Ninafan- I am happy to admit current renewable technology isn’t good enough. But we do have nuclear to use as a stop gap and should be piling resources into that, not a last gasp for hydrocarbons.

    mrmonkfinger
    Member

    Question for the oil/gas bods.

    Why use the word “produce”?

    ’cause, its not like the ground actually produces oil or gas. Its just there already. Its being extracted, sure. But not produced. Produced implies new stuff is being made.

    If the ground really did produce oil, we’d all be laughing all the way home to centrally heated tents.

    robinlaidlaw
    Member

    Why use the word “produce”?

    ’cause, its not like the ground actually produces oil or gas. Its just there already. It’s being extracted, sure. But not produced. Produced implies new stuff is being made.

    If the ground really did produce oil, we’d all be laughing all the way home to centrally heated tents.
    Convention I suspect. I guess produce does feel a little like that but extract isn’t quite right either, it implies that you have to pump it out, which is far from true, the pressure of the fluid at the wellhead is anywhere from 3,000 to over 15,000 psi, you have to hold it back.

    trail_rat
    Member

    pro·duce/v. pr??dus, -?dyus; n. ?pr?dus, -yus, ?pro?dus, -dyus/ Show Spelled [v. pruh-doos, -dyoos; n. prod-oos, -yoos, proh-doos, -dyoos] Show IPA verb, pro·duced, pro·duc·ing, noun
    verb (used with object)
    1. to bring into existence; give rise to; cause: to produce steam.
    2. to bring into existence by intellectual or creative ability: to produce a great painting.
    3. to make or manufacture: to produce automobiles for export.
    4. to bring forth; give birth to; bear: to produce a litter of puppies.
    5. to provide, furnish, or supply; yield: a mine producing silver

    gonefishin
    Member

    it implies that you have to pump it out, which is far from true, the pressure of the fluid at the wellhead is anywhere from 3,000 to over 15,000 psi, you have to hold it back.

    Err, not always no. There are plenty of production facilities including a load in the north sea where oil is either pumped out or some other form of artifical lift is used to extract the oil.

    robinlaidlaw
    Member

    Err, not always no. There are plenty of production facilities including a load in the north sea where oil is either pumped out or some other form of artifical lift is used to extract the oil.

    That’s true, I simplified a bit. They don’t usually start out that way though, and sometimes the artificial list is used not because it won’t flow on it’s own, but because it won’t flow fast enough which can cause all sorts of other potential problems.

    gordimhor
    Member

    It still seems a bit strange to take gas out of the ground which may damage your drinking water supply and uses large amounts of water in areas where hosepipe bans are not unusual. The gas ‘produced’ not being sufficient to bring lower energy prices but maybe enough to give us security of supply for a century. Not addressing the real problems ..dependence on limited fossil fuels.

    gordimhor
    Member

    Nice pic toasty Is that a giant hardtail ?:-D

    mt
    Member

    who cares? How many of us will alter our wasteful behavior for the benefit of the planet. We are all involved in the mess at some level but are really doing any thing about? are we bollocks and you are reading this you are as guilty of this wasted planet as anyone. I no one to follow me so its selfishly of no consequence to me what happens as long I gain todays benefits of world resources, those with kid should be cioncerned enough to do something.
    Whenever I visit the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales, it always suprises me how many large families there are looking around. Perhaps they are all very optomistic for the future, good for them.

    on 2nd pint of Pure North so apologies for the poor spelling and anything else that offends.

    munrobiker
    Member

    damage your drinking water supply and uses large amounts of water in areas where hosepipe bans are not unusual

    It will only damage your water supply if you use a well, which in the UK is exceptionally rare. And hosepipe bans are a one in ten year event- it’s a very rare thing. They won’t be taking it straight from the fresh water supply anyway.

    As an aside, will it actually make energy cheap anyway

    prices have tumbled in the US and IIRC they have gone from a net importer to a net exporter of fuel. So they might be less inclined to interfere in middle eastern regimes/wage war for cheap oil.

    OCB
    Member

    It’s just more smoke. The ‘technology will save us, just give us a bit more time’ argument isn’t sticking now, there is no more time, we’re out. The last time this had any real credibility was maybe the 50’s, but that’s it now pretty much (short of that fusion reactor experiment actually working, then scaling up to commercial production).

    The way to deal with every single question of limited resources issue is simple, obvious and entirely unworkable. Limit the population now, and reduce it over time to considerable less than it is now. There’ll be enough of everything for everyone, for ages that way.

    In between times, making better use of resources / energy would be a start.

    We’ll go extinct anyway in due course, everything does …

    😀

    Not enough of it and too dear to get out of the ground

    But as Oliver Letwins and Ozzy’s school chums will have bet the herediatary farm on it it’ll be piddling a gnats farts worth of gas from a well head near you soon.

    Comparisons with the USA fail to take into account one fact: we’re not in the USA, different rocks and everything

    Somthing like 80% of the south east’s water comes from aquifers. Cuddriller or quad driller or what ever there called are drilling through it at the mo. Is that not abit of a silly thing to be doing??
    All info may or may not be true, I’m no expert!

    gordimhor
    Member

    According to the argus
    Dr Jim Marshall, of Water UK, said: “The water companies’ main concern is the process could cause contamination by allowing gases such as methane into drinking water

    rogerthecat
    Member

    Well this is an interesting twist!
    It’s from the Torygraph so will have the inevitable spin in the tail.

    “Under new laws, Government ministers, rather than local authorities, could have the final say on more “nationally significant infrastructure” projects, including onshore gas extraction.

    Proposals in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill would would exempt shale gas plans from some local planning procedures and consultations.

    The laws are aimed at stopping local blockages in the planning system to fast-track infrastructure and boost economic growth.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/energy/gas/9744917/Local-councils-to-be-stripped-of-right-to-decide-on-fracking.html

    asterix
    Member

    that’s also been tried for nuclear power stations and waste repositories, and wind farms but it hasnt worked; instead there has been various embarrassing (for the Govt of the day) failures and u-turns

    Premier Icon brassneck
    Subscriber

    however it causes far fewer earthquakes

    Whilst I bow to your greater knowledge, this bit doesn’t fill me with delight 🙂

    rogerthecat
    Member

    gordimhor – Member

    According to the argus
    Dr Jim Marshall, of Water UK, said: “The water companies’ main concern is the process could cause contamination by allowing gases such as methane into drinking water

    Cool, all services delivered by Severn Trent, off to cancel our British Gas contract.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    I am sceptical. CMD said it would not disfigure the countryside. I have seen pictures it does not look good.

    In an interesting parallel with the wind farm picture someone posted on the previous page in response to your comment, this is what commercial scale fracking looks like. Each pad will have an average of around 5000 HGV truck visits, and produce millions of litres of contaminated water which in the UK will need to be processed on site or transported away for processing. Controversial stuff!

    gordimhor
    Member

    Thanks bigjim I haven’t mastered the art of posting images from my mobile

    Premier Icon sweaman2
    Subscriber

    bigjim – Where is that image from? I’m not sure but I don’t think those are horizontal wells. The pads look a little close together for that to be the case. Those look (to me) to be older vertical wells.

    As is often the case with emotive topics I suspect the footprint is going to be somewhere in the middle between nothing and huge.

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