Friday, May 18, 2018

GWPF Newsletter: UK Government Unveils Support Package For Shale Gas Development

GWPF Welcomes Govt Announcement, But More Speed is Required

In this newsletter:

1) UK Announces Extra Measures To Support Shale Gas Development
Reuters, 17 May 2018
2) UK Government Unveils Support Package For Shale Gas Development
Energy Voice, 17 March 2018

3) GWPF: New UK Government Support for Shale Gas Exploration is Welcome but More Speed is Required
Global Warming Policy Forum, 17 May 2018
4) Reminder: GWPF Calls On Government To Speed Up UK Shale Development
Global Warming Policy Forum, 16 March 2018
5) U.S. Shale Oil Production Rises At Record-Breaking Rate
Oil Price, 15 May 2018
6) Europe Awakens for LNG to Rival China as Own Gas Runs Out
Bloomberg, 14 May 2018
7) Germany's Coal Commission Prioritises Jobs & Economic Stability Over Climate Protection
Clean Energy Wire, 17 May 2018 
8) Bill Gray: Flaws In Applying Greenhouse Warming To Climate Variability
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 15 May 2018

Full details:

1) UK Announces Extra Measures To Support Shale Gas Development
Reuters, 17 May 2018

LONDON, May 17 (Reuters) - The British government announced measures on Thursday to speed up planning applications to support development of the shale gas industry.

Weaning Britain off imports is one of the driving forces behind government support for hydraulic fracturing, which involves extracting gas obtained from rocks broken up or fractured at high pressure with water and chemicals.

Recent decisions on shale exploration remain "disappointedly slow", the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy, Greg Clark, said in a written statement to Parliament.

Therefore, the government said it would introduce measures to streamline and improve the regulation process for shale gas planning applications so decisions are made more quickly.

It will also launch a consultation on whether exploration wells will be allowed to be drilled without the need for a planning application.

The government will also launch a new 1.6 million pound ($2.2 million) shale support fund over the next two years to build capacity and expertise in local authorities dealing with shale planning applications and set up a shale environmental regulator.

Shale gas developers IGas and Cuadrilla welcomed the measures, particularly those to speed up the planning process.

Full story

2) UK Government Unveils Support Package For Shale Gas Development
Energy Voice, 17 March 2018

The UK Government today unveiled a new package of support measures for shale gas developments, including the creation of a £1.6million fund. 

The move, announced as part of the government’s modern industrial strategy, was praised by trade unions and natural resource developers, but condemned by environmentalists.

The Scottish Government imposed an “effective ban” on fracking last year, having placed a moratorium on the extraction technique in 2015.

The UK Government vowed to “streamline and improve” the regulation process for shale applications.

A shale environmental regulator and a planning brokerage service will be established to focus on the planning process.

And the shale support fund will have £1.6million at its disposal over the next 2 years to build capacity and capability in local authorities dealing with shale applications.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said:

“British shale gas has the potential to help lower bills and increase the security of the UK’s energy supply while creating high quality jobs in a cutting-edge sector.

“This package of measures delivers on our manifesto promise to support shale and it will ensure exploration happens in the most environmentally responsible way while making it easier for companies and local communities to work together.

GMB national office Stuart Fegan said: “We welcome the written ministerial statement which confirmed the Government’s commitment to exploring the potential of shale gas.”

“Shale gas production should be permitted, alongside the development of the UK’s renewable and nuclear capacity, benefiting the security of our energy, the economy and the environment.”

“If, as it looks likely, shale exploration is going to happen, GMB will work with the industry and apply pressure to ensure the Industry is as safe as possible.”

Ken Cronin, chief executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas, said: “This country needs a diverse supply of energy which protects and secures UK jobs and UK taxes.

“Imported gas currently costs over £13 million a day – money that is not generating jobs or tax revenues in this country.

“To achieve greater homegrown energy production, Britain also needs a policy framework and a planning and permitting system that allows industries like ours to be able to get decisions within timescales that work for all concerned including the local communities we work in.

“Today’s announcement goes some way to ensuring that our energy security is protected and the benefits we have already seen flowing into communities become much more widespread.”

Full story

3) New UK Government Support for Shale Gas Exploration is Welcome but More Speed is Required
Global Warming Policy Forum, 17 May 2018

The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) today welcomed the UK government’s announcement of encouragement for shale gas exploration, but called for immediate and rapid progress rather than prolonged and needless consultation.

The UK government has today announced measures that honour in part its manifesto promise to remove needless obstacles to shale gas exploration [1].

The Government is offering to

1. Streamline the planning process for shale gas
2. Set up a Shale Environmental Regulator, and a Planning Brokerage Service to support the process
3. Allocate £1.6m to support local authorities handling shale gas planning applications
4. Consult on whether early stage shale gas exploration should be classed as “permitted development” not requiring planning consent
5. Consult on the criteria for bringing shale gas development within the scheme for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP)

The GWPF believes that these are all very positive steps, and show that government has listened to common sense advice from many sources, including the GWPF itself [2] to permit prompt examination of this potentially vital energy source.

But the GWPF cautioned that prolonged consultation on allowing early stage exploration to be taken out of the planning system, and on shale’s status as NSIP was needless and introduced the possibility of unhelpful delay.

Dr Benny Peiser, director of GWPF, said: “Government is beginning to do the right things for shale gas in the UK, but it needs to move much faster. There are clear signs throughout Europe and in the UK that the renewables experiment is failing, while domestic gas production is declining rapidly and a nuclear rebuild is just too far off to be relevant. The UK needs cheap and clean energy right now, and shale gas has the clear potential to deliver both these things in short order. The economic and environmental benefits will be substantial as the US shale revolution has shown."

Notes for Editors
[2] For GWPF’s submission to the previous phase of consultation, see

4) Reminder: GWPF Calls On Government To Speed Up UK Shale Development
Global Warming Policy Forum, 16 March 2018

London, 16 March: In light of the crisis in British-Russian relations, the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) is calling on the Government to get its act together and speed up the development of UK shale gas.

In a submission to the shale gas inquiry by the UK Parliament’s Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee, the GWPF is urging the Government to deliver speedily upon its manifesto commitment to change planning law for shale applications:

“The length of time it has been taking for shale gas extraction to get planning approval demonstrates that the system is utterly failing. An approach is needed that can bring about swift but considered planning decisions, and that also provides the necessary reassurances for local communities that the environment is protected and disruption minimised.”

The submission emphasises the need for Britain to develop its shale resources to avoid becoming almost wholly reliant on foreign imports for its gas supply in the near future. Recent winter shortages have forced Britain to import emergency gas supplies from Russia. Moreover, Russia also provided about half of the coal used in UK last year. This growing energy dependence is a wholly unsustainable situation given Russia’s recent destructive and destabilising behaviour.

An important first step will be to change the law to class ‘non-fracking’ drilling as permitted development. This was an explicit manifesto commitment, and it would stop activists from delaying even preliminary stages of onshore oil and gas exploration.

The failure to deliver thus far has meant lost jobs, lower growth and missed opportunities for many people right across the country. But with the necessarily political will, the situation can rapidly change. There is no time to waste.

GWPF submission to the UK’s Fracking Planning Inquiry

5) U.S. Shale Oil Production Rises At Record-Breaking Rate
Oil Price, 15 May 2018
Irina Slav

Shale oil production in the United States will rise by a record-breaking 144,000 bpd from May to June, hitting 7.178 million bpd, the Energy Information administration estimated in its latest Drilling Productivity Report.

Hardly surprisingly, the Permian will lead the way with a 78,000-bpd increase in production, from 3.199 million bpd this month to 3.277 million bpd in June. The Permian will be followed by Eagle Ford, where average daily oil production will rise by 33,000 bpd from 1.354 million bpd to 1.387 million bpd.

The only shale play that will not register an increase in oil production will be Haynesville, where gas production, however, will grow by 201 million cu ft daily—the third-highest monthly gas production increase in the shale patch. The highest will be in Appalachia, where gas production will rise by 373 million cu ft between May and June.

But the record-breaking increase in production is not without problems, especially in the Permian. Production there is rising so fast, the transport infrastructure cannot keep up with it, and bottlenecks are beginning to emerge.

According to analysts, the current pipeline capacity in the Permian will be exceeded by the middle of the year, which means new ones need to be built urgently. There are already proposals for new capacity of a total 2.4 million bpd and strong interest from producers, who are concerned about the discount their oil would have to trade to other shale crudes because of the transport constraints.

Full post

6) Europe Awakens for LNG to Rival China as Own Gas Runs Out
Bloomberg, 14 May 2018

Europe is starting to steal some of the limelight from China’s booming liquefied natural gas demand as imports pick up after several lackluster years.

Europe and China will be comparable in significance as importing regions in the coming years, Cheniere Energy Inc. said, citing data from Wood Mackenzie Ltd. That follows “absolutely phenomenal” growth in China last year, Andrew Walker, vice president for strategy at the company that pioneered the transformation of the U.S. shale boom into global exports, said in Amsterdam.

China’s LNG consumption leapt 42 percent last year to almost match European imports, which climbed 20 percent. Whereas the Asian nation needs the fuel mostly to replace dirtier coal, Europe needs it to offset rapidly declining domestic production.

The re-emergence of Europe as an LNG market has caught the eye of the coming wave of U.S. fuel producers. Venture Global LNG, Inc., which is developing export terminals in Louisiana, sees Europe as “one of the biggest surprises,” it said at the Flame conference in Amsterdam.

Europe’s location may give it an edge over generally higher-priced markets in Asia when it comes to attracting the increasing volumes produced in the Atlantic. North America and Russia were seen providing most of the new supply from 2025 to 2030, according to a poll at Flame.

Demand growth in China and South Korea, the second and third biggest LNG importers, will cool during the rest of this year after continued expansion through April, according to Cedigaz, a Paris-based industry research group. With less appetite also from Japan, the biggest buyer, northern Europe will step in to balance the markets, Cedigaz’s secretary general Geoffroy Hureau said at Flame....

While the usage rate of LNG terminals in Europe was just 23 percent last year, things are looking up, according to Arturo Gallego Diaz, head of LNG trading and operations at Centrica Plc.

“There are more and more people looking at northwest Europe as an opportunity to deliver volumes that are produced in the Atlantic basin,” he said.

Declining production in the North Sea and the Dutch Groningen field as well as the closing of coal plants in Europe have a “big impact on LNG production” and are “a very big demand surprise,” Venture Global LNG Chief Commercial Officer Tom Earl said at Flame. The company recently signed a supply contract with Portugal’s Galp Energia SGPS SA.

Full story

7) Germany's Coal Commission Prioritises Jobs & Economic Stability Over Climate Protection
Clean Energy Wire, 17 May 2018 

The upcoming commission tasked with the management of Germany’s coal exit will prioritise jobs and economic stability over climate protection, a strategy paper seen by the Clean Energy Wire suggests.

“Federal government policy aims to create full employment and comparable living standards in all of Germany,” the paper’s first sentence reads, underlining the commission’s strategic priority of ensuring local economies weather the phase-out of both coal mining and coal-fired power production. The document acknowledges Germany’s pledge to become “largely greenhouse gas-neutral” by 2050 and confirms the government’s 2030 target of reducing emission by 55 percent compared to 1990. But it says climate action must be “harmonised” with economic development and social considerations.

First reported on by Spiegel Online, the paper says growth and employment in affected regions must be supported by a fund to minimise the impact of the coal exit and other structural changes associated with the country’s Climate Action Plan. It says a first report on the economic perspectives of lignite mining regions will be compiled by October and the final recommendations ready by the end of 2018. The task force, formally called the Special Commission on Growth, Structural Economic Change and Employment, will also come up with a plan to come as close as possible to Germany’s 2020 target, ahead of this year’s COP24 in Poland in December, the paper says.

In response to a report by newspaper Handelsblatt that the commission’s timetable would be delayed, economy and energy minister Peter Altmaier said on Twitter: “if they asked me beforehand they would produce fewer false reports.” The strategy paper says the commission will set a final date for the end of coal-fired power production but does not suggest any interim measures, such as the immediate shutdown of old coal plants called for by the Green Party and environmental NGOs. It says that for Germany to reach its 2030 climate target, carbon emissions from coal-fired power production will have to fall by 60 percent compared to 1990.

8) Bill Gray: Flaws In Applying Greenhouse Warming To Climate Variability
Global Warming Policy Foundation, 15 May 2018

The climatologist Bill Gray passed away in 2016. One of the world’s leading experts on tropical hurricanes and the initiator of seasonal hurricane forecasts he was also a prominent critic of mainstream views on climate change, arguing that natural processes play a much more important role than is generally acknowledged.

Before he died, Professor Gray asked colleagues to help collate this final summary of his ideas. GWPF is republishing his paper today as a tribute and a permanent record of his view that the climate debate will not be over until nature’s contribution is understood.

Full paper: Flaws in applying greenhouse warming to climate variability (pdf) 

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at

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