Fuel for Thought
“The Arguments About Shale Oil and Gas Must Be Over” – Frackmaster Speaks Out
Nov 17 2014
Commenting in advance of a UK debate in the House of Lords on the Economic Affairs Select Committee’s report on “The Economic Impact on UK Energy Policy of Shale Gas and Oil,” Chris Faulkner, CEO of Breitling Energy Corporation (USA) and known in the media as the ‘Frack Master’, said: “The Select Committee has made some valid points and recommendations, and most appear to be in agreement that shale oil and gas in the UK will bring massive benefits to the country, following the success seen in the US.
“It is difficult to overstate the benefits that are flowing from shale in the US. We have gone from being an importer of up to 56 billion cubic feet of natural gas each year to the possibility, now, of energy independence being within reach.
“The UK Government is also mindful of its own energy security, although the threats to gas supplied to Europe from Russia seem to have diminished for the time being, and the energy mix, with the question of whether the lights will go out this winter a possibility considering the fall in the safety margin. There has also been the EU deal on the carbon emissions reductions by 2040 and now the call, only last week, from the UN to eliminate fossil fuels completely by 2100 if we are to avoid excesses in global warming.
“Yet, despite universal acceptance of the likely benefits of shale, the unquestionable success in the US, the over-reliance on imported gas supplies, the reducing electricity generating capacity and the need to move to lower-carbon generating, there are still some voices of dissent.
“Shale oil and gas is not a panacea, but it is a good interim step to reduce the UK’s reliance on coal and gas imports for electricity generation. It will enable gas prices to be stabilised and carbon emissions to be reduced while new energy technologies are developed.
“The UK needs to accelerate its move down the path to shale oil and gas exploration. Wells have to be drilled so we can see what is actually down there and whether it can be brought up in quantity.”
Studies conducted in 2012 and 2013 by HIS, a Colorado-based information and data services firm, found that the economic benefits from the fracking boom in the US include the following, and the same would be expected to occur proportionately in the UK as the industry grew: Growing US oil and gas industry jobs by 40% from 2007–2012, compared with a 1% increase in the rest of the private sector during the same period; Supporting 2.1 million jobs in 2012, growing to 2.5 million in 2015, 3.0 million in 2020, and 3.9 million in 2035; Of the jobs indirectly related to fracking, adding 515,000 manufacturing jobs by 2025.; Petrochemicals employment alone will increase from 53,000 in 2013 to 149,000 in 2015 and almost 319,000 in 2025; Manufacturing will enjoy a cost advantage over foreign competitors of 5–25% due to reduced energy costs; Increasing government revenues (federal, state, local) by $1.6 trillion from 2012 to 2025; Reducing the US trade deficit by $180 billion by 2022; Spending $216 billion on infrastructure from 2012 to 2025, and Adding to personal per capita wealth by $1,200 in 2012 and $3,500 in 2025, mainly through energy savings and income increases.
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