Plans to frack UK’s first horizontal shale gas well submitted

by BBC, May 21, 2018

The well has been drilled through the Lower Bowland shale at a depth of approximately 2,700m (8,860 ft) below ground and extends laterally 800m (2,620 ft).

Francis Egan, chief executive officer of Cuadrilla, said the government’s recent announcement underlined the “national importance of shale gas”.

“We are now very close to demonstrating that Lancashire shale gas can be commercially developed in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.”

The firm said drilling on a second horizontal shale gas exploration well at the site is due to be complete soon when it will lodge a second fracking application.

It said it expects to start fracking both wells later this year.

See also: South Africa to speed up shale gas exploration applications

Changes in the Rate of Sea Level Rise

by Willis Eschenbach, May 22, 2018 in WUWT

There’s been some discussion of the rate of sea level rise lately, so I thought I’d take a look at some underlying data.

I started with a 2016 paper by the modern master of failed serial doomcasting, James Hansen. It has the frightening title of Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2°C global warming could be dangerous… yikes! Be very afraid!

In Figure 29 of that paper, Hansen claims to show that sea level rise has been accelerating, from 0.6 mm/year from 1900 to 1930, to 1.4 mm/year from 1930 to 1992, and 2.6 mm/year from 1993 to 2015.


The gypsum gravity chute: A phytoplankton-elevator to the ocean floor


Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, May 22, 2018 in ScienceDaily

When marine algae die, they usually float in slow motion to the ocean’s depths. However, during an expedition with the research icebreaker Polarstern to the Arctic in the spring of 2015, scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) discovered a phenomenon that significantly accelerate this transport: tiny gypsum crystals, which form during the freezing of salt in the porous spaces of Arctic sea ice, weigh down the phytoplankton like heavy ballast, pulling them to the bottom within a matter of hours. The effect is like an express elevator for the carbon they contain. “This mechanism was previously completely unknown,” says marine bio-geologist Dr Jutta Wollenburg … (…)

No Long-term Warming in a 300-Year Temperature Reconstruction for the Tibetan Plateau

by Li M. et al., 2017 in CO2Science/Int.J.Biometeorology

In discussing the characteristics of their three-century temperature proxy, the authors report the existence of two prominent decadal-scale cold periods (1801-1833 and 1961-2003) and two prominent decadal-scale warm periods (1730-1800 and 1928-1960). They also note that “fifteen extreme cold years (< -1.5σ) were identified and most occurred within 1-2 years after major volcanic eruptions,” contrasting with the finding that the two decadal-scale warm periods both occurred during “gaps in volcanic activities.”

Perhaps the most significant observation made by the authors, however, is that “none of the extreme warm years [< 1.5σ] or decades occurred in the most recent 30 years,” which fact runs counter to anthropogenic global warming claims that temperatures of the past few decades have been the warmest of the past thousand years (…)


by GWPF, May 17, 2018

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)


    See also here

US gas lobby chief: A lot of LNG can come to Europe through Poland

by Pavol Szalai, May 21, 2018 in Euractiv

There is a strong possibility that Poland will build a floating Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Gdańsk, according to Fred H. Hutchison, who says “a lot of gas” can come to Central European markets this way.

Fred H. Hutchison is president and CEO of LNG Allies, an industry association working to expedite and maximise US exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG). In Bratislava, Hutchinson gave a speech at the Energy Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce.

Imports of natural gas from Russia have increased over the years and represented 34% of EU’s supply in 2016 according to ACER. Given the cheap price of Russian gas, do you see a window of opportunity for Amercian LNG on the European market?


Does global climate change require a global solution?

by Andy May, May 19, 2018 in WUWT

Al Gore wrote in the Huffington Post (August 28, 2014) that the need for “bold action” to curtail “old dirty sources of energy … is obvious and urgent.” The proper scientific response to an assertion like that is why? How can I test this idea? Science is not a belief, it is a method of testing ideas. We use an idea to make predictions and then we gather data to see if the predictions are correct. If the predictions are accurate, the idea survives. If any of the predictions fail, the idea is disproven, and it must be modified or simply rejected.

Evaluating active pressure management of induced earthquakes

by Seismological Society of America, May 17, 2018 in ScienceDaily

The experiments conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researcher Kayla Kroll and her colleagues were prompted by a recent spike in induced earthquake activity related to oil and gas production in the U.S. and Canada. The rise in induced earthquakes has some scientists proposing changes in injection or production processes to reduce the fluid pressures that destabilize faults in these regions.

In their simulations, Kroll and colleagues “found that active management was most advantageous for wells that were closest to a fault. This scenario is most successful at reducing the total number of seismic events and also the maximum magnitude of those events,” Kroll said. In their simulations, a “close well” was one to four meters away from a fault (…)

U.S. Coal Industry Growth

by Andy May, May 17, 2018 in WUWT

U.S. coal production declined from 2011 through 2016 as it was displaced in U.S. power plants by cheaper and cleaner natural gas. Some of the reduction was also due to the Obama Clean Power Plan regulations. However, the shale gas revolution in the U.S. has not spread to other countries, perhaps due to the “fracking” scare, so worldwide use of coal increased rapidly until 2013. From 2000 until 2013 global coal use increased at a rate of over 4% per year. This led to an increase in U.S. coal exports (see Figure 1) because the U.S. is a low-cost producer of high quality coal. Coal consumption worldwide has flattened and is expected to stay flat through 2040, according to ExxonMobil’s 2018 Energy Outlook as well as the EIA. Currently coal provides 25% of the global energy supply and this is projected to decrease to 20% by 2040 according to ExxonMobil.

Figure 2. U.S. coal export terminal construction locations blocked by environmentalist lobbying. Source: The Wall Street Journal.

La géologie, une science plus que passionnante … et diverse