Fracking Farce

Further to my blog that fracking has started in Britain – well, it hasn’t. It seems that the village of Balcombe where people have been very noisily protesting and telling the drilling company to frack off has got it wrong. They are just drilling for oil that is there in the shale deposits. Not ony that, the local parish council knew about the proposals, and since there was already an old rig on the site – ie oil drilling has been there before – they didn’t bother to tell anyone or raise any objections. So, the daughter of Chrissie Hynde and her boyfriend and others glued themselves together in effect to protest about the revival of an old rig – nothing new or radical. Fracking has not started yet.

And maybe it won’t.

Despite the chancellor announcing huge tax breaks for drilling companies and financial incentives for the communities who will be inconvenienced, it seems the plans are unworkable due to the lack of equipment and workers. A survey of the UK’s gas and oil workers found that over half the respondents believed shale oil exploitation was unsustainable. A major recruitment firm said, “Fracking has come along at the worst possible time. The existing oil and gas industry is already maxed out with companies struggling to recruit after more exploration licenses in the North Sea were awarded last year than ever before. The government needs to realise the UK will need equipment, rigs, and qualified staff that are in short supply. The push for shale gas could have consequences for the oil and gas industry as a whole.”

The wonderfully named Department of Energy and Climate Change said “The industry, represented by the UK Onshore Operators Group, believes that there is enough capacity and resources to allow exploration in the UK. BIS [Department for Business] will be working cosely with the onshore industry to ensure any future emerging needs are addressed.”

So, who do you believe, the govermnent or the people who actually recruit staff for the industry? Even if fracking goes ahead, if there is a shortage of men and equipment, they will cost a lot more, as any amateur accountant knows. So there is no way that fracking will produce cheap energy in the UK in the foreseable future.  

Time to build more windmills, it seems, and make it snappy. Or maybe elect Don Quixote to parliament. He couldn’t do much worse than the present lot. But he would be a foreign worker… and that would stir up a whole lot of other hornets.


5 thoughts on “Fracking Farce

  1. I posted a number of articles about fracking disasters in the US. Really problematic. I also met individuals whose lands have been fracked and they are sooo disgusted because the EPA which was helping them was undermined and the individuals who were proponents for helping fight the industry ended up being forced to resign. We have so much shale/natural gas…the greed has been rampant. But NY is fighting it and trying to preserver the Delaware River Valley. 1 in 20 cement casings fail immediately…around the well. And in 30 years, 50 % of the cement casings fail…and the companies have known this…they can’t get around it….so the inevitability is polluted water and methane for the air you will breathe and global warming increasing exponentially because methane is heavier/denser than CO2 emissions and it escapes around fracking sites in the tons. So…don’t allow it in the UK. Once one starts other wells follow…and then they are entrenched. Also, never say never…they will import people, equipment, everything to start it off. Obama has been bought and paid for…and supports fracking…so spread the work. You can read my posts at and


    • Thanks for this. There are huge differences between the states and the uk, mostly in terms of scale. Everything is so much more compact and there are lots of oppostion groups in place, and there is still offshore stuff. What angered me with the recent protest was that it was so mispresented, so undermining any real protests to come.


  2. Pingback: Fracking/ Solar Outbursts & Ancient World – August 12 2013 | Hidden Agendas

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