Time to give the chop to fracking: Fraxit now!

First US shale gas arrives at Ineos plant in Scotland September 2016

On Tuesday the US Environmental Protection Agency released a definitive study concluding that hydraulic fracturing can impact drinking water at each stage in the shale gas production process. Do we really want to see 16,000 or more shale gas wells drilled in the British countryside carrying the same and other risks, ask professors Peter Strachan and Alex Russell?  They assess the case for fracking in the UK against six "stress tests" and conclude … [Read more...]

The delusion of cheap, safe shale gas extraction

LNG ship (photo Ineos)

The UK’s Communities Secretary Sajid Javid recently approved plans for fracking at Cuadrilla's Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton in Lancashire in what the BBC has called a “landmark decision”. For the first time, after many years of regulatory struggle and public debate, fracking may really start in the UK. Professors Alex Russell and Peter Strachan argue that the plans if they go ahead will result in environmental and economic disaster.  … [Read more...]

The economic and moral bankruptcy of UK energy policy

fracking protest (photo Beth Granter)

With its choice for Hinkley Point C - a £100 billion boondoggle – its enthusiastic support for expensive and environmentally harmful fracking, and its relentless attack on renewable energy, the UK government’s energy policy is both morally and economically bankrupt, write Peter Strachan, Professor of Energy Policy at the Robert Gordon University, and Alex Russell, Professor and Chair of the Oil Industry Finance Committee. Westminster must … [Read more...]

Eiffel Towers in the North Sea – Shell’s decommissioning plans another Brent Spar PR disaster?

Brent Alpha jacket leaving Fife in 1976 photo Shell-slider

Shell is preparing to start the decommissioning of its four gigantic oil platforms in the famous Brent field in the Scottish part of the North Sea – a huge undertaking. Unfortunately, write Professor Alex Russell of the Oil Industry Finance Association and Professor Peter Strachan of Robert Gordon University, the company plans to dismantle only the topsides of the platforms. It wants to leave the Eiffel-tower sized legs, including 64 giant … [Read more...]

UK government must save North Sea oil and gas sector

BP rescue and search helicopter stationed in North Sea (photo Bryan Burke 2008)

The UK government is abandoning the North Sea oil and gas sector to its fate, despite the fact that there is still enough oil and gas in place in the region to generate the same amount of revenue that has been reaped up to now, argue Alex Russell and Peter Strachan of Robert Gordon University. They advocate that full control of energy and oil within the Scottish section should go to the Scottish government, so that at least this part can be … [Read more...]

The Hinkley Point C boondoggle: a dangerous waste of money

Hinkley Point C artist's impression

The UK Government’s pursuit of a new nuclear plant at Hinkley Point C represents not just a colossal waste of money, but could also be real danger to the UK’s national security, write Professors Alex Russell and Peter Strachan of Robert Gordon University. “Let us hope that the Prime Minister and Chancellor's actions do not lead to the radicalisation of unemployed steel workers who are now being joined by unemployed renewable industry personnel.” … [Read more...]

The UK Government’s delusional energy policy – and what it means for Scotland

UK Prime Minister David Cameron meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping; China wants to invest in UK nuclear (photo: Number 10)

The Conservative government in the UK has slashed support for renewables and is going all-out for shale gas and nuclear power. This is setting them on a collision course with devolved administrations in the UK, Scotland most of all, warn Peter Strachan and Alex Russell of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen and Geraint Ellis of Queen’s University in Belfast. It won’t go over too well at the Paris climate summit either. … [Read more...]