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Don’t bet on fracking just yet

Supporters of Fracking can take cold comfort from North Yorkshire’s approval of Third Energy’s plans to frack their KM8 well near Kirby Misperton, according to David Powell at New Economics Foundation:

“The beleaguered fracking industry has spent five years watching lengthy slumps in both international gas prices and public support for the technology – these trends aren’t about to turn around quickly. And while shares in one publicly listed fracking company, iGas, rose on the news from North Yorkshire, they have still plummeted overall over the last year.”

Pointing to the differences between the wide open plains of the USA and the densely populated UK, Powell shares The Consciousness of Sheep’s view that the economics of UK shale gas simply do not stand up to scrutiny.  Moreover, the organised movement against fracking in the UK will add £billions to the cost of every well:

“The plains of America will always have one thing the UK will never have: hardly anyone lives there. Fracking in Blighty is about doing it in people’s faces; every single fracking application is likely to remain a case-by-case battle in the court of public opinion.”

Any sober examination of the current state of the world’s energy businesses shows that they are in crisis.  Today would be a really dumb time to think about investing in a simple conventional gas project.  It is the very worst time to be embarking on the complexities of fracking.

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