MPs on the Scottish Affairs Committee have called for an “ambitious sector deal” for the oil and gas industry. Urgent steps are needed to protect Scotland’s oil and gas industry, the UK government has been told. The Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster said the sector was facing significant challenges. It has published a report calling on the government to agree a deal to secure the future of the industry. The UK government welcomed the report and said it would consider the committee’s recommendations, but it was criticised by an environmental charity.
BBC 4th Feb 2019 read more »
Dr Richard Dixon: MPs have just produced a report about the oil-and-gas industry that could have been written 40 years ago, ignoring the reality of climate change and the need to leave fossil fuels in the ground, writes Dr Richard Dixon. Last autumn I gave evidence to Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee in their inquiry into “the Future of the Oil and Gas Industry”. With me were professors of climate change, energy and engineering for the token climate change session in a process which mostly heard from the oil industry and their mates. The committee published their report yesterday and it is clear that we wasted our time. We were speaking just two days after the publication of a report from the world’s climate scientists on the terrible state the world will be in at 1.5 degrees Celsius of temperature rise, and how much worse things would be at 2C. They did say we have time to stabilise temperatures, but only if we embark on a programme of “rapid, far reaching and unprecedented” change. The committee’s report is desperately disappointing and pretty much the same as any group of MPs would have written about oil and gas any time in the last four decades – there is a bright future for the industry and the government should help them get every last drop of oil and gas out of the North Sea. The report has only the most trivial nod to climate change, yet we know that at least 80 per cent of fossil fuels have to stay in the ground.
Scotsman 4th Feb 2019 read more »
Britain will be thrown into an “energy crisis” unless it loosens the rules for shale oil and gas developers, Ineos has warned. The petrochemicals giant said that the government must allow fracking companies to cause stronger earthquakes or abandon shale gas development altogether. The company, which is controlled by Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire, described regulations that limit tremors caused by frackers as “absurd” and “unworkable”. Hydraulic fracking is a drilling technique that pumps millions of gallons of water, chemicals and sand underground to blast apart gas-bearing rock formations. Ministers say they support shale gas development in Britain, but have also imposed restrictions forcing companies to halt fracking for 18 hours if they cause a tremor measuring more than 0.5 on the Richter scale. Cuadrilla, the only company to frack in Britain to date, was forced to halt work near Blackpool repeatedly last year after exceeding the threshold, but the government has rebuffed its calls for the limits to be raised.
Times 5th Feb 2019 read more »
Telegraph 4th Feb 2019 read more »
Guardian 4th Feb 2019 read more »
FT 4th Feb 2019 read more »
Leader: fracking: the end can’t come soon enough. Less than four months after what was supposed to be a new beginning for fracking in England, when Cuadrilla resumed operations at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire, it appears increasingly unlikely that there is a future for this industry in the UK at all. Minor earthquakes rapidly halted fracking at Preston New Road, and led to a row about whether the legal limit for underground seismic activity, set at 0.5-magnitude after earthquakes in 2011, is unrealistically low. Now Jim Ratcliffe, chairman of petrochemicals firm Ineos and the UK’s richest man, has launched his own attack both on the 0.5 limit and on the planning system that has seen all three of Ineos’s applications to frack rejected by local authorities – although two were later granted on appeal. The government’s refusal to change the law in the industry’s favour, he said, means that it is “shutting down shale by the backdoor”.
Guardian 4th Feb 2019 read more »