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Drilling in public places

In the UK, removed restrictions on the production of shale gas
UK authorities lifted a ban on the production of shale gas in the country. For the development of shale gas is now open for almost half of its territory, including several large cities and even national parks. Among the arguments in favor of this decision the ministers called energy security against the backdrop of strained relations with Russia, the creation of new jobs and economic growth.
The UK government has decided to lift the ban on the production of shale gas in the country. On Monday, in the first six years of the tender licenses onshore oil and gas the UK government announced the opening of about half of the country for companies who intend to develop shale gas, according to The Guardian. Competition can attract considerable attention from energy companies that are interested in exploring British shale reserves, especially in the north-west Boulend field in the central belt of Scotland and in the Weald in the southeast.
In particular, the list of open for oil shale mining towns and surrounding areas have been made to London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield, writes The Telegraph.
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Arguing the need for this type of fuel, energy minister Matthew Hancock in an interview on BBC radio, said: "A large number of British homes across the country use gas, and surely someone is preparing breakfast on a gas stove at the time, as I say." Local and stable power supply, according to him, a great value, although the design and should be approached with caution.
Together with an understanding of the need to ensure protection of the environment Britain says "yes" to the development of oil shale mining and learning opportunities, which has the country. "
British officials expect that shale gas could become a serious tool for the energy system of the country. "Since 80% of our gas heating provides, and stocks in the North Sea are reduced, unconventional gas sources can be an important part of our energy future structure", - quotes the opinion of the "shadow" British Energy Minister laborer Tom Gritreksa BBC. However Gritreks, as well as Hancock, added that there are valid concerns environmental issues that must be resolved before production begins. The problem is that the territory in which the government has allowed to develop unconventional gas type.
According to Matthew Hancock may be allowed shale gas even in national parks because for decades they were already developing oil and conventional gas. According to the map shown in the tender, mining is allowed in 10 of the 13 national parks of England and Wales.
However, under the new rules issued by the UK government, licenses for shale gas by hydraulic fracturing (frekinga) in a picturesque area may be granted only in exceptional circumstances. According to the minister, the rules of the tender become more stringent than ever before. In addition, the company applying for freking in reserves, will be subject to additional obligations. For example, to start its activity energy companies will be required to obtain several documents: resolution for design work, a license from the Environment Agency and the assumption by the management on health, safety and labor protection.
National Fund (Organization for the Protection of historical monuments, attractions and scenic spots) expressed cautious approval of what is happening. 40% of the land, which controls the National Fund are in the national parks, the fund owns large tracts of land in other "areas of outstanding natural beauty."
"We welcome the new guidance for the development of projects that make clear that applications for mining in these areas should be rejected, unless it is a question of exceptional circumstances", - said the deputy director of the National Fund for External Relations Richard Hebditch. "We hope that the new rules reflect a much more cautious approach than before, and that with this approach we can avoid the risk of becoming the most unique parts of the country to places where commercially produce oil and gas," - he added.
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Development of deposits in national parks will be permitted only in the proof of the fact of production in the public interest. Additional authority was vested with the Minister for Community Affairs Eric Pickles UK, which now has the right to authorize or prohibit the development of the project, if it does not meet the requirements of the government. In general, the government hopes that the strict rules of admission mining in national parks can help soothe some frekinga opponents, who fear that the environment will be damaged.
But environmental activists are still not adequately rigid. For example, the British branch of Greenpeace negatively assessed the fact that the "exceptional circumstances" may determine the local communities.
"In fact, as far as we can tell, this statement makes it easier for developers access to production resources in national parks - because now the opinion of the Minister for Communities automatically outweighs the opinion of local authorities, who can not agree on the project," - said in a statement Greenpeace .
Environmentalists argue that freking can cause groundwater contamination and the occurrence of aftershocks since this method is to introduce into the well under high pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals that breaks formation and releases there are oil or gas. Industry representatives rejected the criticism, saying that the process is safe to do. Hancock also said that it would be irresponsible not to explore the possibilities offered by the shale.
"Shale gas production in the UK may increase our energy security, create new jobs and economic growth, - said Hancock. - We must act carefully, minimizing risks, in order to understand what part of our huge reserves can be extracted and become a new source of energy in the country. "
According to the minister, requesting some compensation seems reasonable to him. And although in some places there are opponents of the project as a whole population of the country supports the idea of ​​the need to strengthen energy security.
However, at the request of the BBC correspondent called community which refers to the extraction of shale gas is positive, Hancock quickly could not answer.
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Willingness to develop shale gas, even in national parks can talk about the concerns of its European energy security due to the deterioration of relations with Russia. Earlier, the British authorities have reacted nervously to attempts to "Gazprom" to expand its influence in the gas market of Great Britain. In particular, the Russian monopolist is not allowed to buy gas trader Centrica.
Evidence of extreme interest to increase its own production of the resource may be the intention of the Minister of Energy to reduce the time allotted to the ministries of applications, from the current 15 months to six. "Secret holding the 14th license auction after MPs went on vacation, shows how politically poisonous became freking" - said Greenpeace activist in the UK Simon Clydesdale. According to him, for the imposition of slate members of the Cabinet may have to pay a heavy political price in the general election next year.
However, Great Britain did not immediately able to achieve energy sufficiency. Before the start of the full drilling will take some time, says research director at the British Geological Survey Energy Robert Getliff. "In the first stage you study all the data obtained, - he explains. - After that, you will probably want to drill one or two wells to obtain samples of shale gas and see exactly its properties, as well as to understand where to drill to get as much gas, and where - to extract oil. "
It also indicates that not all the wells can be effective. According Getliffa under the UK is up to 2 thousand. Trillion cubic meters of gas, but the way to extract all this gas is not. "If you look at what is happening in the US, you will see that there are thousands of wells drilled more, but they get no more than 5% of the gas - the expert added. - And in the UK is much higher population density, in addition, a lot of gas is located in a very beautiful place. All this makes it difficult for its production. "

July 29, 2014