The British Geological Survey was asked to estimate how much gas is trapped in rocks beneath Lancashire and Yorkshire. It said there could be 1,300 trillion cubic feet at one site alone, but it is unclear how much could be extracted.
Why only this area?
The exploitation of shale gas and oil revolutionised the energy industry in the US, although there are questions over whether the same thing can be repeated in the UK. Analysts say the shale geology of the UK is complex and the costs of drilling are likely to be much higher than in North America. Exploration in Poland was abandoned when costed.
The government is panicking as the risks of power blackouts have increased because excess capacity has reduced considerably since privatisation and no planned replacement for ageing power plants [most over 50 years old] has existed since the state owned CEGB was privatised.
So What is it?
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside.
To the site
It takes 1-8 million gallons of water to complete each fracturing job.
Up to 600 chemicals are used in fracking fluid, including known carcinogens and toxins such as… lead, uranium, mercury, ethylene glycol, radium, methanol, hydrochloric acid & formaldehyde
500,000 Active gas wells in the USA X 8 million Gallons of water per fracking X 18 Times a well can be fracked = 72 trillion gallons of water and 360 billion gallons of chemicals needed to run current gas wells in USA.
During this process, methane gas and toxic chemicals leach out from the system and contaminate nearby groundwater. Methane concentrations are 17 x higher in drinking-water wells near fracturing sites than in normal wells.
Only 30-50% of the fracturing fluid is recovered, the rest of the toxic fluid is left in the ground and is not biodegradable.
So as much as 70% of the waste fluid could be left in open air pits to evaporate, releasing harmful volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere, creating contaminated air, acid rain, and ground level ozone. In the end, hydraulic fracking produces approximately 300,000 barrels of natural gas a day, but at the price of numerous environmental, safety, and health hazards.
Critics also argue that the process of fracking can cause earth tremors and
pollute water supplies, and that shale gas wells could blight the countryside
and affect house prices.
I look to those who have access to ALL the facts before making up my mind – it will take a lot to persuade me that this technology is NOT harmful to the environment! How do the total costs compare to the nuclear option?