Monday, 10 December 2012

Shale Gas Reserve: 6,000 Feet Across

Andrew Rawnsley has written a hack-job piece on shale gas for the Observer. Once he gets through his spitting spite at calling people "frack-heads" and so on, he eventually takes on his only substantive point, which is that profitable extraction of shale gas reserves in Britain is not yet certain...
"...there have been some 50 experimental wells across Europe to date. None – not a single one – appears to have flowed at a rate that would make them commercially viable...

"...The explanation is geology. Shales in Europe are generally thinner and deeper, and therefore much more expensive to tap, than those that have been successfully exploited in the United States. And Britain looks likely to be one of the less promising prospects in Europe because its shales are typically among the thinnest."
Now consider this table released by the UK government's own Department of Energy and Climate Change and attend to the comparative values for thickness...

Yes - the shale gas reserves in the north of England are 6,000 feet across compared to the few hundred or so for some of the more profitable reserves in the U.S. - that is to say, they are literally an order of magnitude thicker than the U.S. reserves and yet Rawnsley does not mention this.

Because, presumably, he is rather more interested in "journalism" than facts. The UK media is full of people like this, and unfortunately it is no better (it may even be worse) here in Taiwan.

Via Nick Grealy.

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