Foreign firms cash in on fracking boom in the UK: Most companies licensed to drill using technique are not British-owned
And? You mean that foreigners are willing to risk their capital, use their expertise, to produce lovely gas that we can then consume?
This is a problem now, is it?
The shale gas energy boom which critics say will scar the countryside could line the pockets of foreign firms rather than boosting the British economy.
Most of the companies licensed to drill for the fuel using the controversial technique known as fracking are not UK-owned, it can be revealed.
So, where does the incredibly frightening forecast come from then?
David Cameron wants to see Britain at the heart of the ‘shale gas revolution’. But analysis of Department of Energy and Climate Change data by Greenpeace indicates that six out of ten licences are held by companies with a foreign firm as their only or main investor.
Barry Gardiner, Labour’s special envoy for Climate Change warned that shale gas will be much harder to exploit in Britain than in the US.
He said: ‘In an age of international contracts, inevitably you are looking at multi-national concerns being involved.
‘It is never the case that the benefits are going to end up back in the domestic country unless there is a state monopoly. But the concern is that the ultimate beneficiaries will end up being elsewhere.
‘We are in a very different situation than the US, we are a much more densely populated country and it will be very problematic to drill for shale gas here.’
A combination of the Labour Party and Greenpeace. So that would be why it’s an insane complaint then.
The technical assertion is itself wrong. The Bowland shale, for example, is many, many times thicker than most of the US shales. This makes it easier to drill, not more difficult. From one well pad you can get more gas for longer. For you drill the same horizontal distances as the Americans do, that’s fine. But then when you’ve done one layer of it then you can do it all over again another layer down. And it is the drilling that costs a chunk of the money: fracking is about 50% of the total cost. So, if you can refrack the same well many times at different layers then your exploitation of the gas will cost you less than if you can only frack a well once.
Yes, it is more complex than this but it is indeed true that this applies.
And then of course there’s the entire stupidity of the economic claim that they are making. The value to us of fracking is that we get to use the gas that has been fracked. Gas isn’t easy to transport, we don’t have a pipeline network to export it, we don’t have the LNG terminals necessary either (we do indeed have LNG terminals but they are for imports, not exports. A very different thing: to export you must be able to compress the gas. To import you need to decompress it: entirely different installations). So what gets dug up will be used by us, here. Hurrah!
Then there’s the tax that will be levied on it. Who drills makes no difference to that. The UK has a lot of North Sea experience on how to make damn sure that said tax is paid. British Gas, for example, pays 75% of all its (North Sea) gas drilling profits to the Treasury.
So we get cheap energy and lots of tax cash. Hurrah!
Against which some Johnny Foreigner will get some profits from the use of his capital. Woes. That’s their complaint and it’s a damn fucking stupid one too. On that ground BP should only ever drill in the UK and Shell only ever here and in Holland.
And just to ram this home “the benefits are going to end up back in the domestic country unless there is a state monopoly”
That really is socialism of a very national kind, isn’t it? Still, there are certain parts of the Labour Party (and of Greenpeace) that never really did get over the economic attractions of fascism.