The column today. Shale gas, well, we don’t know whether it will work, whether it will maker a profit. All very difficult.
And you know how we work these things out? We go and do them and find out whether they do work or make a profit.
Then there is the huge hole at the heart of the frack-heads’ dream. No one even knows yet how much shale gas can be profitably extracted. Estimates of the exploitable reserves vary wildly. In fact, no one can be sure whether it will be viable to get any of it at all out of the ground. Firms are only going to invest in shale gas if they will make some money out of it.
No you tosspot. Firms will invest money if they think that they might make money out of it. It is called risk capital for a reason you know?
We don’t need to get all the ducks lined up in a row before we try it: that’s not the way market economic systems work. We allow a few nutters to go off and risk their money doing it and see how they do.
And God Alone knows where this came from:
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.
Maximum thickness of the Marcellus ranges from 270 m (890 ft) in New Jersey, to 12 m (40 ft) in Canada. In West Virginia, the Marcellus Formation is as much as 60 m (200 ft) thick. In extreme eastern Pennsylvania, it is 240 m (790 ft) thick, thinning to the west, becoming only 15 m (49 ft) thick along the Ohio River, and only a few feet in Licking County, Ohio.
Generally between 120m and 620m. The formation thickens northeastwards along the axis of the Central Lancashire High, from about 22m in the Roddlesworth Borehole (SD62SE/6), 68m thick in the Holme Chapel Borehole (SD82NE/68), and 102m in the Boulsworth Borehole (SD93SW/14). The underlying Trawden Limestone Group shows a thinning in the same direction (Evans and Kirby, 1999), suggesting the thickening of the Bowland Shale Formation reflects available accommodation space. In the Craven Reef Belt the Bowland Shale Formation is perhaps 30m to 200m thick (see Arthurton et al., 1988, figure 22). In south Cumbria, the Roosecote Borehole (see above) proved the formation to be 130m thick (see Johnson et al., 2001; Rose and Dunham, 1977). On the Isle of Man, the Bowland Shale Formation might be at least 186m thick.
The Bowland is one of the thicker, not thinner, shale formations found.
I really would suggest that Mr. Rawnsley track down and beat up whichever greenie fed him that lie.