13.05.15. - C’est aux portes du bassin d’Arcachon, à La Teste-de-Buch, que le groupe immobilier Pichet lance son premier écoquartier. Une opération d’aménagement qui s’étend sur un vaste domaine de 11,5 hectares, baptisée Les Portes du Pyla.
Le groupe a investi le terrain de l’ancien hôpital (Jean-Hameau), comme l’explique Christophe Beaucourt, directeur du programme Bassin d’Arcachon chez Pichet: «quand l’hôpital Jean-Hameau, sur le sud bassin, a changé de site en 2006, notre groupe s’est porté acquéreur du foncier sur la commune de La Teste-de-Buch, un vaste ensemble de 11,5 ha naturellement boisé, et proche d’un forage pétrolier» explique Patrice Pichet, président du groupe.
Le site présente naturellement nombreux atouts pour en faire un écoquartier, le premier du bassin, notamment parce qu’il utilisera une énergie propre (l’eau chaude du forage) et renouvelable. L’opération répond à une charte précise, qui respecte la vingtaine d’engagements qui lui permettront d’obtenir le précieux label d’EcoQuartier au terme du chantier.
Enfin, et c’est la principale caractéristique du projet, un réseau de chaleur sera mis en place. Cofely services (GDF Suez) et Vermillon Rep, producteur d’hydrocarbures qui exploite un gisement pétrolier voisin, proposent d’utiliser la géothermie issue des forages pour couvrir 80% des besoins en eau chaude (sanitaire et chauffage) du futur écoquartier. «Il s’agit d’eau de forage profond (3000 m, à 85°), issue de la séparation du pétrole et de l’eau naturelle qui le contient. Une partie de l’eau sera récupérée pour les logements et réinjectée dans le circuit de forage, sans aucune incidence sur l’environnement. La discussion a été longue avec Cofely, pour aboutir à une solution pérenne. Les partenaires s’engagent à ce qu’il n’y ait pas d’augmentation de la facture énergétique sur 25 ans, ce qui représente en économie de 50% par rapport à un raccordement classique. Pour les périodes d’entretien du circuit de forage, l’alimentation en eau et chauffage du quartier sera assurée par une centrale biogaz.
14.05.15. - Christian Bataille is one of only a few shale gas advocates within the French Socialist Party. Since 1988, he has represented in the National Assembly a Northern district devastated by deindustrialization and high unemployment numbers.
Bataille argues in a new congressional report co-sponsored by his UMP right wing colleague from Strasbourg, André Schneider, that shale gas developments could boost job creation, allow Europe to become less dependent on the Russian gas and ultimately reshuffle foreign diplomacy often driven by energy resources.
The two elected officials draw these conclusions from their trip to the United States where they witnessed what they call an “energy miracle” after the collapse of the economy in 2007 and 2008. “The magnitude of the American economic recovery is spectacular. They even named it the shale gas revolution.”
Christian Bataille and André Schneider know how controversial the issue is in France. French President François Hollande repeatedly said before and since he took office his opposition to shale gas explorations and made clear several times he has no intentions to lift a ban on fracking voted under his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy who is known in favor of shale gas developments… That’s why they do not want to see the report interpreted as partisan and pure politics.
“This report do not express an opinion at all, it’s a picture of what we saw in the United States.”
But Bataille's political career has left no doubt as to where he stands on this very issue.The congressman, one of the strongest allies of Arnaud Montebourg, who tried to rekindle the debate on shale gas on the left when he was serving in the government, does not believe in the green economy and growth replacing fossil fuels. “The forecast of shortage is not going to happen and the economy will produce and use gas for decades to come,” Bataille said.
It’s not a huge surprise to see him criticize Hollande's coalition with the Greens. Here’s his reaction back in April when The Figaro broke the story that François Hollande buried a government sponsored report highlighting an alternative to fracking safer for the environment and its benefits for the French economy. “Research is essential. Arnaud Montebourg reacted positively to our own report but the document was slept away at the highest government level because it irritated the Greens,” Bataille said onLCI, a French cable news channel referring to a 2013 bipartisan congressional report aimed to promote explorations of non-conventional resources on the French soil.
This latest attempt by Christian Bataille and his colleague to keep the shale gas debate alive on both sides of the aisle will not have a significant impact until the next congressional elections right after the presidential contest in 2017 especially if François Hollande is not re-elected.
Christian Bataille n'arrive pas à se faire entendre en France, il fait sa pub à l'étranger. Il vient de sortir un nouvel opus… pas vraiment différent de ses textes précédents. On vous laisse deviner ! Oui, le gaz de schiste c'est l'avenir de la France !
30.04.15. - Vallourec a annoncé le 29 avril 2000 suppressions d'emplois en Europe dont 550 en France, et la cession de son acierie de Saint-Saulve (Nord). Il y a deux mois dans un entretien accordé à L'Usine Nouvelle, Philippe Crouzet, le PDG de l'entreprise parapétrolière expliquait ses difficultés et ses besoins d'adaptation face à la chute brutale des cours du pétrole. En 2014, Vallourec a affiché une perte de 924 millions d’euros, due principalement à une dépréciation d’actifs de plus d’un milliard d’euros au Brésil et en Europe. En réponse, le groupe diminue ses investissements pour 2015. Ces suppressions de postes entrent dans le plan d’économies de 350 millions d’euros sur deux ans prévu par l'entreprise pour encaisser le choc.
L'Usine Nouvelle - Comment vivez-vous cette période de prix très bas du pétrole ?
Philippe Crouzet - Personne n'a vu venir cette baisse et personne n'aurait pu imaginer sa violence. Il n'y a pas beaucoup de précédents. Nos clients, les pétroliers, revoient leurs plans d'investissements et suspendent certains projets. Nous nous adaptons à leur adaptation !
Dépréciation d'actifs, économie de 350 millions d’euros, baisse d’investissements, 1400 postes supprimés... Vallourec est-il malade ?
Non. Vallourec opère dans un environnement qui change vite. Et nous changeons aussi. Le plan de compétitivité sera mis en place sur deux ans, ce qui est extrêmement rapide. En vérité, nous avons commencé à nous transformer avant même la chute de baril. Dès la fin de la décennie 2000, nos clients pétroliers ont constaté une dégradation de leurs retours sur capitaux employés malgré un prix élevé du baril. Cela est dû au besoin d‘aller chercher des pétroles plus difficiles à trouver et plus complexes à extraire. Ce phénomène a demandé à l’ensemble de la chaine de fournisseurs de se remettre en question.
Aux cotés d’autres industriels, vous faites partie des pères fondateurs du Centre Hydrocarbures Non Conventionnels (CHNC), outil d‘information sur le gaz de schiste en France. Quel est votre but ?
Nous tous, opérateurs français de la filière pétrolière et gazière, nous connaissons très bien le marché des huiles et gaz de schiste. Nous opérons tous en Amérique du Nord comme fournisseurs de premier rang. Nous maîtrisons vraiment les enjeux, les risques, les atouts, les précautions à prendre, les solutions techniques existantes. Or lorsque nous échangeons, nous trouvons incroyable l'écart qui existe entre notre quotidien et certaines composantes du débat français… si tant est qu'il y ait débat. Notre responsabilité d'industriels est d‘agir, si nous considérons que ce qui est dit est inexact ou incomplet. Surtout s’il y a un enjeu pour le pays en matière d'indépendance énergétique et de réduction du déficit de la balance commerciale ! Ce que l’on peut faire de mieux c'est partager notre savoir, notre expertise avec tous ceux qui veulent un débat honnête et équilibré.
Vous pensez vraiment pouvoir peser sur le débat en France ?
La priorité est de bien connaître le sujet sur les plans technique et économique. C'est à dire : est-ce qu'il existe une ressource et est-il économique de l'exploiter? Ce qui est sûr, c'est qu'aujourd’hui, à 50 dollars par baril, c'est moins attractif. Or, C'est précisément à ce moment, où il y a moins d'enjeu, que l’on peut peut-être renouer avec un débat plus calme afin d’évaluer l'intérêt du sujet, les risques à considérer, les précautions à prendre. D'autres pays l’ont fait très bien comme la Grande-Bretagne.
Le gaz et le pétrole de schiste ça coûte cher à extraire, mais ça fait vendre des tuyaux à Vallourec. C'est donc quand cela n'est vraiment plus rentable qu'il faut s'y mettre !!!
"We will be dancing to the joy of cheap oil prices until the wells are drilled dry" in as little as five years, write Robert Weiner and Hannah Coombsyesterday in the Lynchburg News & Advance titled "Fracking's Benefits Will End". The Obama administration announced new fracking regulations to kick in June 24 which require the disclosure of chemicals in the hydraulic fracturing process. "Fracking" is the operation of drilling and injecting liquid beneath the earth's surface, breaking down shale reserves to release gas and oil. Authors Weiner and Coombs say these regulations "appear to curtail environmentally destructive practices while maintaining higher oil production with lower price."
However, they say that the ending regulations "only provide short-term prevention of serious damage." They say that although there is an aim to "bring transparency and safer practices to fracking", the wells will eventually deplete, referencing Chairman of Drillinginfo, Allen Gilmer's research that fracking wells diminish by 60 to 70 percent in the first year, with many reaching low amounts after only five years.
11.04.15. - The White House fracking regulations announced last month appear to curtail environmentally destructive practices while maintaining higher oil production with lower prices. In reality, the regulations, which go into effect June 24, only provide short-term prevention of serious damage. We will be dancing to the joy of cheap oil prices until the wells are drilled dry — which could be as soon as five years — and could be facing earthquakes and drinking polluted ground water until then.
The Obama administration’s rules require disclosing chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, a process of drilling and injecting liquid miles beneath the earth’s surface to break down shale rocks used to extract natural gas and shale oil. Currently fracking fluid contains up to 600 hazardous chemicals. West Virginia reported more than 120 cases of fracking-related water contamination in the last four years alone. Larger fracking states like Texas and Pennsylvania have even more.
While the proposal seeks to bring transparency and safer practices to fracking, it maintains last year’s decision to allow fracking above the Marcellus Shale in the George Washington National Forest — with streams providing drinking water to 260,000 people in the Shenandoah Valley. Robert Bonnie, undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, explained this decision as necessary because “the Forest Service allows fracking all over the country” and they “didn’t want to make a policy decision or change policy related to fracking.” That is complacency at its highest form.
The damage could be irreversible. Only with renewable resources will long-term and permanent solutions solve a snowballing energy crisis. With fracking, the wells will run dry. Allen Gilmer, chairman of Drillinginfo, says traditional fracking wells deplete by 60 to 70 percent in the first year. While a small number of wells have a lifespan of decades, most drop to extreme low levels after only five years. David Hughes, geoscientist and president of Global Sustainability Research, estimates the country will need 6,000 new wells each year, costing $35 billion annually, just to maintain current production levels.
Lower oil prices, profit, and jobs are at the base of fracking support. The administration believes 600,000 fracking jobs will be created by 2020. Gas prices near $2 per gallon are being celebrated by Americans across the nation who remember the $4 prices of a year ago. However, the same number of jobs could be created in eco-friendly solar energy or wind energy, while generating revenue, solidifying fuel independence, and reducing prices through efficiency.
In a period where droughts are devastating the West Coast, 72 trillion gallons of water are needed to operate all fracking wells in the U.S. each year. The process costs $2.4 million per well and has contaminated close to 1,000 wells used for public drinking water. The EPA acknowledges that potential environmental impacts include “contamination of underground sources of drinking water and surface waters resulting from spills, faulty well construction,” and “air pollution resulting from the release of volatile organic compounds.”
Fort Worth, Texas, is one of the highest producing communities for shale fracking. Last year, the Parr family from Decatur, 40 miles away, won a lawsuit against Aruba Petroleum for 22 contaminated wells emitting toxic air pollutants and diesel exhaust. The University of Texas reported more than 60 tremors near fracking sites active since 2008.
The regulations are not stopping fracking where the damage is greatest. Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. and chairman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, spoke out saying, “This rule does absolutely nothing,” He compares the requirements for better well construction and disposal of fluids as “obvious steps” like working steering wheels and brakes in a car.
With no strong regulation of fracking in place and no protection from an approaching disaster of ended supplies and contaminated water, our energy policy remains in free fall. On this issue, Congress is acting like we are in the 1920s, obliviously awaiting another Depression, this time in the form of an energy crisis. Except that this Congress is not prepared for a “New Deal” on energy.
The compromise with leading energy corporations falls short in protecting both the economy and the environment. The nation is desperately overdue for stricter action against fracking while building our alternative clean energy sources.
Ultimately, we will not have a choice.
Weiner was White House spokesman, spokesman for the Government House Operations Committee and senior staff for Reps. John Conyers, Charles Rangel, Ed Koch, Claude Pepper and Sen. Ted Kennedy. Coombs is senior policy analyst for Robert Weiner Associates and Solutions for Change. Florian Prommer assisted in this article. They wrote this commentary for The News & Advance.
27.03.15. - Get ready for the White House to ignore their own science experts again. The Department of Energy commissioned a study by the National Petroleum Council which was meant to help determine our long range energy strategy. Their conclusion? We need to head on up to the Arctic basin and drill baby drill.
The U.S. should immediately begin a push to exploit its enormous trove of oil in the Arctic waters off of Alaska, or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil in the future, an Energy Department advisory council says in a study to be released Friday.
The U.S. has drastically cut imports and transformed itself into the world’s biggest producer of oil and natural gas by tapping huge reserves in shale rock formations. But the government predicts that the shale boom won’t last much beyond the next decade.
In order for the U.S. to keep domestic production high and imports low, oil companies should start probing the Artic now because it takes 10 to 30 years of preparation and drilling to bring oil to market, according to a draft of the study’s executive summary obtained by the Associated Press.
The energy industry experts I speak with regularly have a variety of opinions on this and there are some known unknowns in the mix, as Donald Rumsfeld would say. The total amount of oil available in the large, currently accessible shale formations may only last for a decade, but it might run for a quarter century or more. Estimating deposits is nearly as much an art as a science and estimates are precisely what the name implies. Also, we can’t predict what the next technological advancements will be which might reach deeper or access fuel which is currently not economically viable to extract.
But with all of that said, it’s true… eventually the shale oil will dry up, and when it does we need to be ready to get to work on a large scale in the Arctic. It will take the better part of a decade just to identify the best places to drill, get rigs in place and overcome the unique challenges presented by working in that environment. It will be a growth industry to be sure, and we should make sure that we are positioned to take best advantage of it.
And how much oil are we talking about? It’s one heck of a lot. The Arctic basin is estimated to contain fully one fifth of the remaining oil reserves on the planet and as much as a third of the remaining natural gas. It could meet our needs and keep the United States positioned as a global energy leader for a half century or more.
So will we do it? Of course not. At least not with the current administration in charge. We couldn’t even get these people to approve a pipeline for existing resources. They will continue to insist that we need to abandon our “addiction” to oil and rely on new energy types which haven’t proven themselves viable for wide, sustained usage. But assuming we get a new President and sensible leadership at Energy, we may eventually get started on the project. We’re already seeing dividends from our new energy dominance around the world in terms of not only economic advantage, but security in foreign affairs. It would be a shame to let all that slip away.
Il ne reste plus beaucoup de gaz et de pétrole de schiste aux USA, et bien il faut forer l'Arctique. Simple, non???
Une revue de presse faite par des opposants à la fracturation hydraulique du Karoo (Afrique du Sud)
12.05.15. - The science and technology minister‚ Naledi Pandor‚ has renewed government's commitment to investigating the possibility of shale gas fracking following months of silence on the controversial energy source.
“If indeed viable deposits are found in South Africa‚ shale gas‚ as a relatively lower carbon energy source‚ presents significant transformative potential for the South African economy‚” she said.
The minister announced that a “Strategic Environmental Assessment of Shale Gas Development” would be undertaken‚ taking the country a step closer to exploiting what are believed to be vast reserves of the gas in the Karoo basin area.
The assessment would take two years.
“Not only could the exploitation of deposits of lower carbon shale gas - if found - result in the provision of affordable and safe energy; it is also a potential source of job creation‚ foreign exchange and investment‚ and overall contribute towards South Africa’s energy security‚” the government news agency quoted her saying.
She was backed up by environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa‚ who said: “South Africa‚ like most countries around the globe‚ is mindful of the need to seek alternative energy sources like shale gas."
Pandor said: “We believe that this will assist government to create a framework and guiding principles to inform responsible decision making.
“The Strategic Environmental Assessment will consider both exploration- and production-related activities‚ and impacts of shale gas development‚ including the process of hydraulic fracturing‚ and will include an assessment of all material social‚ economic and biophysical risks and opportunities presented.”
The study area will include regions of the Karoo Basin which currently have exploration rights. Applications are pending in the Northern Cape‚ Eastern Cape and Western Provinces.
Une nouvelle évaluation est demandée par la ministre des sciences et des technologies sud-africaine.
12.05.15. - Cape Town - The Department of Mineral Resources was expected to publish regulations which will govern the exploration process for shale gas in the Karoo, senior Cabinet ministers reported on Tuesday.
At a briefing at Parliament, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa reported that the Mineral Resources Minister would make an announcement on the regulations shortly.
Mineral Resources Deputy Minister Godfrey Oliphant emphasised that the government was "serious about environmental protection", but was also excited "about growth prospects of shale gas" - to be extracted through a process of hydraulic fracturing.
Noting that the existing Mossgas plant had fed on just one trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, he said there was a huge potential for shale gas.
"We should emphasise the exciting growth prospects of this initiative of shale gas in our country... we have examples where this has turned around the economies of certain countries."
It was now anticipated that there could be anything from 18 tcf and 72 tcf, which had exciting possibilities for exploitation in terms of economic growth.
This was an indication that the government has revised its figure of expected shale gas resources considerably from nearly 500 tcf anticipated in previous shale gas briefings.
Pandor said a buffer zone of 25km would surround sensitive sites such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). "Having considered the vital importance of the SKA for our country and the world, the interdepartmental task team has made a decision to ensure that the shale gas initiative must never impact negatively on the SKA."
The government announced at the media briefing - also beamed to Pretoria - a 24 month strategic environmental assessment (SEA) for shale gas development.
Pandor said the SEA would be "a science-based assessment to improve our (government's) understanding of the risks and opportunities of shale gas development. We believe this will assist government to create a framework and guiding principles to inform responsible decision-making".
The SEA would consider both exploration and production related activities and impacts of shale gas development, including the process of hydraulic fracturing, and would include an assessment of all material, social, economic and biophysical risks and opportunities presented.
A project team had been appointed under the guidance of "systems ecologist" Professor Bob Scholes of the University of the Witwatersrand, who is also a research associate at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). His project team would include the CSIR, the South African National Biodiversity Institute and the Council for Geosciences. It would carry out the SEA.
Pandor noted that "people are at the heart of all development". She said: "It is the people of South Africa who will benefit most if it is found that viable deposits of lower carbon shale gas exist - enabling exploitation, extraction and development.
"Equally it is people who will be most affected by potential environmental impacts that may arise as a result of this exploitation if we do not proactively undertake this investigation thoroughly."
Des estimations qui passent de 500 milliards de pieds cubiques à une fourchette comprise entre 18 et 72 milliards. Mais cela ne décourage apparemment pas les autorités sud-africaines. Une décision concernant la fracturation hydraulique est attendue avant la fin du mois de mai.
Pipeline giant Enbridge, Inc., is in a standoff with a Wisconsin zoning committee over the company's plans to vastly increase the amount of tar sands oil pumped through one of its lines.
In an unusual move, the Dane County Zoning and Land Regulation Committee slapped additional insurance requirements on Enbridge before letting it build a new high-capacity pump station along its Line 61.
The Dane County zoning committee is requiring Enbridge to obtain a policy that specifically covers environmental damage surrounding the pump station ––in addition to the company's existing $700 million general liability insurance policy. The insurance requirement is among a number of conditions the committee imposed, including repairs to any damaged roadways, a spill containment basin around the pump station and limits on noise.
The unanimous vote April 14 by the non-partisan committee represents the final obstacle to Enbridge's plans to increase the capacity of the 450-mile Line 61, part of an industry-wide push to repurpose and build thousands of miles of pipelines.
The company has obtained the necessary approvals from the 10 other Wisconsin counties and four Illinois counties where new construction or upgrades are planned. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources approved the plan in 2006.
The committee settled on the $25 million figure based on a consultant's assessment of the potential damage that could be done by a rupture at the pumping station. The consultant advised the committee that the separate pollution insurance policy would help prevent cleanup delays if Enbridge's general liability policy didn't cover the spill.
The Dane County Board of Supervisors will consider an appeal by Enbridge to overrule the zoning committee in June.
Pas d'assurance, pas d'autorisation.
Les autorités locales de Dane ont demandé à Enbridge (l'entreprise qui veut mettre en place le pipeline Keystone) de s'assurer contre les risques de fuite avant de pouvoir statuer sur l'autorisation demandée.
11.05.15. - The Conservative party has vowed to support the shale gas and fracking industry in the UK, especially in the north of England in the wake of the party's election victory last Friday, despite public and political opposition as the party tries to improve the UK energy industry.The Conservatives managed to secure an unexpected overall majority in the general election last week which will allow the party to fully implement its manifesto, which has pledged support to the shale industry to try and boost falling UK production and lower foreign energy dependency.
"We will continue to support the safe development of shale gas, and ensure that local communities share the proceeds through generous community benefit packages," said the Conservatives in their 2015 manifesto. "We will create a Sovereign Wealth Fund for the North of England, so that the shale gas resources of the North are used to invest in the future of the North."
The overall majority won by the Conservatives is significant to the shale gas industry. The party has pledged support in the past but in the former coalition government, members of the Liberal Democrats such as the then UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey were cautious about fracking.
In March, Davey said there was no evidence that fracking in the UK would reduce prices or transform the economy and described himself as a "cautious guy" when it came to fracking, placing himself as neither for or against the idea but recognising the huge importance of gas for energy in the future.
Since the break up of the coalition, Davey has been replaced by Conservative politician Amber Rudd as the new Energy and Climate Change Secretary.
Energy was not a big topic discussed in the general election, but the Conservatives outlined plans to lower the UK's dependency on foreign energy and to save production from the North Sea. Alongside this, the Conservatives look to build their "northern powerhouse" through the shale potential in the region.
Labour did not mention shale gas or fracking in its 2015 manifesto.
"Our tax cuts (between 2010 to 2015) have encouraged record levels of investment in existing North Sea gas, and the birth of a new industry, shale gas, which could create many thousands of jobs," said the party in its 2015 manifesto.
The Conservatives said it would make a "significant expansion" in new nuclear and gas whilst backing "good-value" green energy and pushing for more new investment in UK energy sources, claiming it had a "long term plan to keep the lights on".
In January, British MPs rejected a bid to suspend shale gas fracking in the UK, but agreed that companies need to meet 13 new conditions proposed by an anti-fracking report released by the Environmental Audit Committee before extraction can begin.
The report by the Environmental Audit Committee in January said large scale fracking in the UK is not likely to happen for the next 10 to 15 years and should not be encouraged by the UK government as it is inconsistent with the country's climate change obligations and will struggle to compete with the growing renewable energy sector. The committee, which was appointed by the House of Commons, was made up of a mixture of MPs from the Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Green party.
That report attacked Conservative Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement in 2014 which stated: "The government is taking steps to ensure that the UK leads the way with shale gas regulation."
The report also criticised the government's plans to financially support fracking in the Autumn Statement, including setting up a long term investment fund from tax revenues of shale gas, spending GBP5 million on providing independent evidence to the public about fracking and spending GBP31 million to create sub-surface research test centres.
The report came to the conclusion that a moratorium, or a delay and suspension of law, on the extraction of unconventional gas through fracking was needed to avoid inconsistencies with the UK's climate change obligations and to allow further research to be conducted to understand the environmental risks of fracking.
But it seems, according to the Conservative manifesto, that this advice has not been taken into account.
IGas PLC is currently working on a five-year plan to develop shale gas sites in the North West and East Midlands, alongside major international partners Total, GDF Suez and INEOS. Following the election results on Friday, IGas shares rose by around 16.8%.
The companies involved in the Horse Hill project in Surrey, England, which was subject to a flurry of media attention in April after incorrect claims that there was over 100.0 billion barrels of oil in place, was also thought to need fracking to get the most oil out of the site.
UK Oil and gas Investments PLC, which originally announced the oil in place of 158.0 million barrels per square mile of oil in place over a 653 feet aggregate net pay section, has repeatedly denied the 100.0 billion figure and said more work is needed to define the amount of oil at the site, but has also denied that fracking would be necessary.
The other companies involved in the Horse Hill project are Doreimus PLC, Stellar Resources PLC, Solo Oil PLC, Alba Mineral Resources PLC and Evocutis PLC.
Non-listed Cuadrilla is a company that has spearheaded fracking in the UK over the last couple of years, pushing to get regulatory approval for fracking in Lancashire. The Lancashire County Council has rejected the company's plans to conduct seismic work in the area but is still debating whether or not to give permission to Cuadrilla to frack two sites in the county.
In 2014, UK petroleum production fell 2.3% year on year to 43.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent from 44.5 million tonnes in 2013. UK petroleum production has continuously fallen for years, falling from 69.0 million tonnes in 2010 as the North Sea sees investments dwindle.
The Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition had attempted to quell reduced investment and issues in the North Sea by pledging four measures that would offer GBP1.3 billion of support to the UK oil and gas industry, primarily in the UK North Sea which would lead to production being boosted by 15% before the end of 2020.
Earlier in May prior to the election, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change claimed the fall in UK energy production in 2014 was the smallest in 12 years, but also said UK net import dependency from other countries fell by around 8%, whilst the UK's dependency on fossil fuels had reached a "record low".
Après la victoire des conservateurs anglais, y aura-t-il des conséquences sur la mise en place de nouveaux puits non-conventionnels???
18.05.15. - Le pétrole, tout comme le gaz et le charbon, est qualifié d’énergie « fossile » : il est stocké dans le sous-sol sous forme d’hydrocarbures issus de la fossilisation de matière organique. De la matière organique continue aujourd’hui à se créer et à se sédimenter dans la nature, produisant in fine des hydrocarbures. D’un point de vue purement géologique, le pétrole est donc bien « renouvelable ».
Cette affirmation se limite toutefois à l’échelle géologique. En considérant que les ressources de pétrole brut « en place » dans le sous-sol sont 10 à 25 fois plus importantes que celles techniquement recouvrables(1) (estimées à 5 000 ou 6 000 milliards de barils), elles atteindraient entre 50 000 et 150 000 milliards de barils(2). La quasi-totalité de ces ressources s’est formée au cours des 500 derniers millions d’années. Il serait donc possible d’en déduire que la nature créerait approximativement entre 100 000 et 300 000 barils par an de pétrole.
Or, la consommation mondiale de pétrole brut(3) atteint 91,3 millions de barils par jour en 2013, soit l’équivalent de plus de 1 000 barils par seconde. Cela signifie que nous consommerions a priori en moins de 5 minutes ce que la nature produit en un an.
Cet ordre de grandeur reste imprécis du fait des incertitudes sur les ressources réellement en place mais il traduit bien le fait suivant : les hydrocarbures se renouvellent à l’échelle géologique mais ne sont pas des énergies renouvelables au sens courant, c’est-à-dire renouvelées au rythme de notre consommation.
(1) Indépendamment des coûts d’extraction.
(2) Estimations du géologue d’IFPEN Roland Vially
(3) En y incluant les liquides de gaz naturel.
Quelques chiffres qui remettent les idées en place…
la consommation mondiale: 1000 barils par seconde!!!!!
Sachant que Vermilion déclare produire 9000 barils par jour, cette production correspond à ce qui est consommé mondialement pendant 9 secondes.
28.04.15. - On Monday, the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill that calls for regulation over the fracking industry for the first time. But the bill doesn’t go far enough in protecting the state’s environment from fracking, environmental groups say, and it also severely limits local and regional control over the controversial practice.
HB 1205, which has a Senate version scheduled for a hearing on Tuesday, would allow fracking to continue in the state after a study into the controversial process is completed and the the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) finishes its final rule-making. The bill does not regulate or require public disclosure of chemicals used in fracking wells that are low pressure or use less than 100,000 gallons of fluid, or in fracking-like extraction techniques such as acidization, which dissolves rather than fractures rock.
The section of the bill that lays out the “ban on fracking bans” language states that “to avoid unnecessary duplication, a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of the state may not adopt or establish programs to accomplish the purposes of this section.”
The bill, which passed 82-34 mostly along party lines, is the latest in a string of state-level legislation that purport to regulate the oil and gas industry but actually make it harder for cities and municipalities to take independent action on fracking.
Lawmakers in Oklahoma and Texas recently passed legislation effectively banning local control over the oil and gas industry. Authorities and industry leaders in these states are worried that more municipalities might follow the lead of towns like Denton, Texas in instituting a ban on fracking within city limits.
“There’s definitely an attempt to quash local governments from supporting banning,” Jennifer Hecker, director of natural resource policy at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida (CSF), told ThinkProgress. According to Hecker, the bills are an effort to ameliorate public concern over fracking while offering little more than “false assurances.”
Hecker said that there are aspects of fracking that local governments should be able to take an active role in regulating and that the state doesn’t review or assess, such as light pollution, noise pollution, land use, water use, and private property rights.
“The state always complains about the federal government intervening in these types of matters,” she said. “Here they are proposing to do the same thing to local government.”
Hecker said that CSF supported passing fracking legislation this session, but was always concerned that the state would end up with a weak bill. Now the group’s concern is that this unsatisfactory legislation will pass, and that its passage will make it much harder to pass any environmentally-minded fracking legislation in the future. CSF is not opposed to all oil and gas drilling in the state, but is concerned that the impacts of fracking on the region’s unique geology have not been vetted to the necessary extent. Hecker said that many local communities are deciding that the risks associated with fracking may not be worth the benefits in a state so reliant on tourism and outdoors activities.
A handful of local Florida governments have passed resolutions supporting fracking bans, but they’ve all been in counties lacking in oil and gas reserves. Hecker said counties with heavy reserves, such as Collier and Lee counties, have discussed supporting bans but are waiting to see what the state will do first.
Rep. Ray Rodrigues, the Republican sponsor of the bill, said the legislation “sets up a stronger regulatory framework than is currently in place and ensures our environment is well-protected.” He also said that the state could deny permits based on violations or issue them with certain conditions. Currently the DEP has no authority to issue or prohibit fracking permits. The bill also increases the daily fine for fracking without a permit from $10,000 to $25,000.
The bill also puts a moratorium on fracking with more than 100,000 gallons of fluid until a state-sponsored study on the impact fracking operations have on ground and surface water is completed by June 30, 2016. The legislation also requires well operators and owners to disclose chemicals used during the process to the DEP and FracFocus, a national registry. However, environmental groups have concerns about the timeliness of the disclosures as well as about another bill that would allow companies to skirt the rules by claiming trade secrets. On Monday, House members delayed voting on a companion bill, HB 1209, that would allow for exemptions in disclosing the chemicals used in fracking. They are expected to take up the bill again Tuesday.
“This bill does an end-run around that basic concept of democracy, which is enshrined in the constitution,” David Cullen, lobbyist for Sierra Club Florida, said about the disclosure bill. “The whole point of having open-government statutes is so the people of the state can know what their government is doing and so that they can act as a check on that government when it does the wrong thing.”
Le gouvernement de Floride vote un projet de loi régulant la pratique de la fracturation hydraulique. Ce projet de loi a surtout pour objectif d'interdire aux villes d'interdire localement l'utilisation de la fracturation hydraulique.
23.04.15. - WASHINGTON – The oil and gas industry is moving to address environmental concerns linked to hydraulic fracturing that have led New York state and other jurisdictions to ban the drilling method, experts told a House committee Thursday.
"While drilling bans may not be the solution in the long run, they surely do reflect a need for governments at the federal, state and local level to take aggressive action to protect the environment and the economy," Elgie Holstein, senior director for strategic planning at the Environmental Defense Fund, told members of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
Denton, Texas has joined New York state in banning hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Christi Craddick, the state's chief regulator of the oil and gas industry, told lawmakers the ban is based on "misinformation."
"We have very vibrant rules in place," said Craddick, head of the Railroad Commission of Texas, of the state's efforts to make fracking safe. She said the industry claims a $15.7 billion piece of the state's economy and provides 2.2 million direct and indirect jobs.
Last week, the Texas state House approved legislation that would override Denton's fracking ban, although the city would retain the right to regulate setbacks for oil and gas operations, and other local issues, such as traffic and noise levels.
Simon Lomax, representing Energy in Depth, a program operated by the Independent Petroleum Producers of America, presented a report at Thursday's hearing that criticizes New York's ban. Lomax said the research studies used to justify the ban were funded largely by drilling opponents such as the Park Foundation, based in Ithaca.
New York is the only state with a significant reserve of untapped natural gas that has banned fracking.
Earlier this week, Oklahoma officials said injecting wastewater from fracking into the ground to dispose of it may have caused earthquakes around the state. Craddick said her agency is looking at that as a possible cause of recent earthquakes in her state. Texas regulators don't believe that the fracking technique itself causes earthquakes.
"Where that water comes from and how it is managed during storage, transportation, treatment and disposal are issues of legitimate state and local concern," said Holstein, of the Environmental Defense Fund, at Thursday's hearing.
Pennsylvania already bans deep underground injections of wastewater from fracking and transports it to Ohio for disposal.
The Environmental Defense Fund has not taken a position on fracking bans. Instead, it's working with regulators and the oil and gas industry in places like Colorado to formulate regulations protecting the environment.[…]
les pétroliers en appellent à l'instance fédérale pour ne plus avoir à faire face aux nombreuses interdictions locales de fracturer
07.05.15. - The Texas Senate on Monday approved the so-called “Denton Fracking Bill,” a proposed new law that prevents cities from exerting any local control over the energy industry.
The law is a response to a successful referendum in Denton, Texas, which banned the fracking industry from operating inside the progressive college town, located about 40 miles northwest of Dallas. Denton’s fracking ban was inspired by concerns for air and water quality, but also the fear that the industry may have caused a recent, dramatic, increase in earthquakes — a link confirmed both by local Texas scientists and a federal study by the U.S. Geological Survey that suggested fracking can activate dormant fault lines.
House Bill 40 awaits Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature. A public supporter of the oil and gas industry, Abbott will almost certainly make the bill a law.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Troy Fraser, called the bill a “carefully crafted compromise” between the interests of energy and cities, but environmental advocates scoffed at the notion.
“The oil and gas industry got the better of everyone,” said Andrew Dobbs, program director for Texas Campaign for the Environment, in a telephone interview with MintPress News.
The bill contains exceptions that are meant to maintain local control over issues like noise and light pollution, but Dobbs called those protections toothless.
“If you pay attention, you’ll see those exceptions are only allowed if ‘commercially reasonable,'” he said.
The definition of “commercially reasonable” is intentionally broad.
“If any particular operation feels like they cannot fully exploit their resources and do whatever they want, then the restriction isn’t commercially reasonable. It’s a smokescreen,” said Dobbs, who then added:
“This is not just about fracking. It’s not just about Denton. It’s not even just about drilling. Every aspect of the energy industry is covered by this. We’re talking about production, processing, transport, disposal, everything is on the table, in every community of the state.”
Dobbs warned that the bill would deepen the state’s dependence on fossil fuels at a time when diversification and divestment are crucial to human survival.
He concluded: “It reinforces Texas’ dependence on an industry that has to change dramatically or go away if we’re going to have much of an environment left to worry about over the next decades and centuries.”
Residents of Denton, Texas, hold a campaign sign outside city hall, in Denton, Texas. Texas moved to ban its own cities from imposing prohibitions on hydraulic fracturing and other potentially environmentally harmful oil and natural gas drilling activities within their boundaries _ a major victory for industry groups and top conservatives who have decried rampant local “overregulation.”
Le Texas est à la pointe du bataille juridique: les villes ont elles le droit d'interdire la fracturation hydraulique. Un des représentants républicains pro-fracking propose un projet de loi retirant aux élus locaux la possibilité de voter des lois anti-fracking.
17.05.15. - US cities that want to ban fracking are clashing with oil-friendly state governments trying to stop municipal policy makers from outlawing shale energy production.
While the US and Saudi Arabia vie for dominance in the global oil market, the fracking battles highlight American shale’s vulnerability to domestic political barriers that are inconceivable in Riyadh.
On Monday, Greg Abbott, the governor of Texas, is expected to sign into law a bill that denies cities the right to impose fracking bans, which he compares dismissively to prohibitions on plastic bags. The bill gives cities the authority to engage in “commercially reasonable” regulation of above-ground activity such as traffic and lighting, but no authority over drilling and fracking.
Lawmakers in other states are also looking for ways to prevent or deter assertions of local control, as the oil industry warns that bans choke the economy and create an unmanageable patchwork of rules.
Anti-ban moves are sparking outrage among residents, who are worried about earthquakes and pollution linked to shale oil and gas extraction and say that cities’ rights to self-determination are being threatened.
Conflict over local control has flared in Oklahoma, Colorado, Pennsylvania and New York.
The Texas bill was sparked by a vote that rocked the US’s biggest crude-producing state in November last year when the residents of Denton, a university town close to Dallas, chose to ban fracking because of health and safety worries.
Chris Watts, Denton’s mayor, opposes the anti-ban legislation and says he is concerned about the industry being allowed to dispose of wastewater in underground wells that some blame on earthquakes.
“It erodes some of the city’s ability to control certain types of industrial and high-risk activity,” he says. “When you’re in an urban environment do there need to be different rules that apply than when you’re in a rural environment? I think there do.”
The US shale industry is highly fragmented with a legion of companies developing resources that are spread diffusely across private property, creating ample potential for conflict between residents, mineral rights owners and different levels of government.
Barry Rabe, a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan, says that the US is still in the early stages of discovering and managing the upsides and downsides of shale energy — from jobs bonanzas to seismic activity.
“What you’re beginning to see are localities pushing about as far as they can to control what happens in their boundaries, but then rubbing up against the fact that many state constitutions give state governments control of land use decisions for energy,” he says.
Karen Moreau, an executive director at the American Petroleum Institute, the main oil lobby group, says that the industry needs state governments to impose consistency. “If Town A bans fracking and Town B approves it, it’s just not possible to efficiently and economically develop the resource,” she says.
[…] In Oklahoma, some residents have called for fracking to be banned in towns including Stillwater and Norman after a spate of earthquakes that scientists blame on the disposal of shale wastewater. State legislators have responded by pushing a bill to prohibit city bans.
Senator Brian Bingman, its Republican sponsor, says: “Asking five or ten city councillors or commissioners to ban the drilling — I’m not sure that’s speaking for all the people of the community.”
In Colorado, the state oil and gas association has led a fight against fracking bans in the courts. A task force set up last year to broker a compromise between industry and local residents failed to reach agreement on the biggest issues.
[…] New York is almost the opposite of Texas. Fracking has been banned by the Democratic state government, but officials in a few towns that want the economic benefits of the industry have raised the far-fetched possibility of seceding to join Pennsylvania if they don’t get their way.
Aux Etats-Unis aucune loi fédérale n'a interdit l'exploration et l'exploitation des hydrocarbures non conventionnels. En revanche des centaines de communautés locales (villes, communautés de communes, comtés, voire même des états [NewYork, Vermont] ont interdit l'usage de la fracturation hydraulique. Les partisans de ces énergies extrêmes passent à l'attaque et voudraient réduire la capacité des communautés locales à intervenir sur les risques environnementaux.
EDF et Engie, ex-GDF-Suez, les plus gros producteurs et fournisseurs d’énergie en France, sont aussi devenus les principaux maîtres d’œuvre des économies de chauffage dans les bâtiments. Peut-on vendre tout et son contraire dans un contrat ? Pour la première fois, des acteurs de la commande publique s’inquiètent des effets de ce double jeu. Lire la suite…..