shale gas

Wake-up call: production of Dutch small gas fields headed for collapse

gas production in the Dutch part of the North Sea (photo Wintershall)

Partly as a result of policy neglect, production from small gas fields in the Netherlands has dramatically declined in recent years, a fact that so far seems to have escaped public notice, writes Jilles van den Beukel. Dutch gas is effectively being replaced by Russian gas, he notes. According to Van den Beukel, this is not in the best interest of the Netherlands or of the EU, neither from a financial nor from an environmental point of view. He … [Read more...]

U.S. energy under Trump

Washington waits for the inauguration

Today’s presidential inauguration will trigger the biggest policy and regulatory shift for the US energy industry in at least ten years, writes Geoffrey Styles, Managing Director of independent US-based consultancy GSW Strategy Group. That’s how long it has been since energy policy was set by a Republican president and Congress. Donald Trump is a different kind of Republican, though, and his goal does not seem to be a return to scarcity and high … [Read more...]

Groningen gas production and earthquakes: safety at all cost?

Gas production in the Dutch province of Groningen

Production from the giant Groningen gas field in the Netherlands has been cut drastically after increasingly heavy earthquakes began to affect the region. Some would like to see Dutch gas production stop altogether, but according to geophysicist (ex-Shell) Jilles van den Beukel Groningen gas could still play a valuable role in North West European energy supply. In the short term it offers a better compromise from a financial, environmental and … [Read more...]

Donald Trump’s carbon-obsessed energy policy and the planetary nightmare to come 

Rex Tillerson and Vladimir Putin

Despite apparent contradictions, the main thrust of Donald Trump’s energy policy approach is very clear, writes author and energy expert Michael Klare: he aims to abolish all regulations that stand in the way of unrestrained fossil fuel extraction. Even if this spells doom for segments of the fossil fuel industry that will get hurt by low prices – not to mention the planet. Courtesy Tomdispatch.com. … [Read more...]

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...]

Fracking: ‘Gang plank to climate chaos’ or ‘necessary part of decarbonisation’?

Ineos video: Leading the UK shale gas revolution

Fracking is a threat to the climate and the environment in the UK, says Professor Peter Strachan of Robert Gordon University. No, the climate benefits of domestically produced shale gas outweigh the risks, argues Stephen Tindale, co-founder of consultancy Climate Answers. The two men held a fascinating debate at the Houses of Parliament in London on 29 November hosted by the All-Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas. Ruth Hayhurst of … [Read more...]

US energy Independence Day dawns

Barry Worthington

The most significant US energy policy update in a decade, the Energy Policy Modernization Act 2016, will be introduced into the new Congress in January 2017. With provisions for accelerated permitting for oil and gas drilling, construction of export LNG terminals, as well as energy efficiency standards and grid-integration of renewables, the outlook for US energy security is bright, according to Barry Worthington, Executive Director of the US … [Read more...]