Fracking London Stockbroker-Belt Looms as U.K. Hunts to Frac for Oil

Boris Johnson Open to Fracking Beneath London to Keep Lights On by Brian Swint, July 2, 2013, Bloomberg
London Mayor Boris Johnson said he’s open to fracking for gas under the U.K. capital to meet the city’s demand for energy. The headroom between energy supply and demand will drop to just 2 percent in two years, which will force some industries not to operate at peak times, Johnson said in a letter published in the Times newspaper today. “If reserves of shale can be exploited in London we should leave no stone unturned, or unfracked, in the cause of keeping the lights on,” Johnson wrote. “It’s time for maximum boldness in energy supply.” The U.K. government said June 27 that shale-gas fields in northern England are potentially big enough to meet demand for 47 years. The countryside south of Britain’s biggest city may hold 700 million barrels of recoverable shale oil, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Fracking London Stockbroker-Belt Looms as U.K. Hunts Oil: Energy by Nidaa Bakhsh, July 1, 2013, Bloomberg The rolling country south of London is called the stockbroker belt for the residents who pay 50 percent above the U.K. average to live in pristine villages. The advent of shale oil under their lawns may shatter the idyll. … Cuadrilla has previously fracked in the northwestern county of Lancashire, where two years ago it caused earth tremors that led to an 18-month moratorium on the practice. … Celtique Energie Ltd., backed by U.S. private-equity firm Avista Capital Partners LP, is among companies seeking to pump shale oil in a geological area that’s similar to France’s Paris Basin, where fuel reserves have been found. They’re attracted by U.K. government plans to give tax breaks to stimulate a shale industry that can buoy domestic supply as North Sea output dwindles and imports rise. Celtique plans to drill a well next year at Fernhurst in West Sussex, where the average house price tops 471,300 pounds ($722,000), property website Zoopla shows. …

“The reason why we’re excited by this position is it has multiple objectives for both conventional and unconventional” drilling, Chief Executive Officer Geoff Davies said in an interview in London. “It’s a new geological idea.” [much of Alberta is “carpet bombed” by both conventional and unconventional drilling] …

“I have grave concerns about our water supplies,” said Anne Hall, a former county councilor in Balcombe in West Sussex, where driller Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. plans an exploratory well and “No fracking” signs are widespread. “The possible impact on surrounding towns and villages would be catastrophic.” The concern is echoed in other villages in southeastern England, where house prices averaged 208,479 pounds in March, compared with a national average of 138,150 pounds across nine counties excluding London, according to the Land Registry. …

Cuadrilla, chaired by former BP CEO John Browne, and Celtique reject suggestions that drilling in the Weald will be disruptive. The noise will be quieter than bird song, according to London-based Celtique. Cuadrilla’s site, no bigger than a soccer pitch, will be screened by woodland, the Lichfield, England-based company said. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to: FrackingCanada How the West was Lost

FrackingCanada Fracking Calgary

FrackingCanada The Regulator’s Conclusion

FrackingCanada The Science is Deafening Industry’s Gas Migration ]

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