Potential shale gas exploitation in N.E. Wales.

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    Firstly, A big thanks to Wrexham.com for the recent article on the meeting about potential fracking plans in the Wrexham and N.E. Wales area.

    I`m an ex North Sea drill crew worker and spent about 8 years in the industry from the age of 19. Having spent much of my upbringing living in various places around the world and then joining the Merchant navy after leaving school followed by my time in the offshore oil and gas industry, I was desperate to settle down and therefore quit the industry and associated travelling.

    But about three years ago, I heard of a new technique to extract onshore oil, gas and coal bed methane that was about to hit the shores of UK from America and got quite excited at the prospect of a well paid job nearer to home that I had plenty of experience in.

    So I proceeded to carry out some research on the subject along with where the likely areas of future drilling may be taking place. I came to learn of licensed blocks stretching from as far South as Shrewsbury, through Wrexham and up to Chester. These blocks also continue along the North Wales coast and up to Blackpool. I was getting more and more excited by the day.

    BUT, during my research the words `Highly controversial ` kept popping up, so I felt compelled to dig deeper. Although i`ve never been involved in any frack jobs, I have an advantage over the general public on drilling procedures, the equipment used and the many problems and risks that are associated with the oil and gas extraction industry, not to mention the pollution and contamination issues that are an increasing problem.

    So it was not too difficult for me to realise why fracking is so controversial and that I did not want to have anything to do with that industry. I have since become hugely aware of many, many other issues and the wake of destruction left in the path of the ruthless and destructive extractive industry and now an active campaigner/activist with very strong opposing views on not just fracking itself, but the WHOLE hydrocarbon extraction and production industry.

    I hereby invite members of this forum to get properly informed. DO NOT rely on information provided by the fracking companies or their promises of jobs. While these companies boast of shale gas being a cleaner energy source than coal by way of emissions, what is not mentioned is that CO2 levels may decline as a result of shale gas exploitation, but CH4 (methane) emissions will increase due to leakage that is inherent with the industry. Increased hydrocarbon exploitation activity equals increased methane emissions. What many don`t realise is that in the short term, methane is 100 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than CO2. So while you might here countries like USA boasting that their emissions are down as a consequence of shale gas being used to burn in power stations that once burned coal, in fact their climate changing emissions are up because more methane is escaping into the atmosphere.

    The Arctic ice melt is at a new and VERY worrying record level due to man made global warming. This in turn is reducing the area that has in the past, reflected the suns rays thus keeping our planet at a suitable temperature. But as the ice caps retreat, even more methane is being released due to the thawing of the tundra. Renowned climate scientists and global government leaders are in urgent talks about this very serious issue but fail to admit this. I suppose they KNOW that many people would point blame at gov leaders for allowing climate changing industries to thrive without adequate regulations in place, if any at all.

    Aside from climate issues, there are water usage and contamination issues, not just here and now, but long after these drilled wells have been plugged and abandoned. There is and never will be a 100% guarantee that a well can be permanently plugged (sealed) for good. Well integrity is a well known problem in the industry. Earthquakes as have occurred in the shale gas drilling project in Lancashire are another big problem. Even if quakes can be controlled during fracking operations and be kept below a certain magnitude, nobody can see into the future or indeed below the ground. As vast areas are fracked, the possibilities of future unforeseen large scale earthquakes is increased. Even in areas of very little past seismic activity, the frackers could be unwittingly `loading up` stresses and faults or even creating new ones.

    So if anyone wants to carry on this discussion, please do. I have a number of Facebook pages, one of which is N.E.Wales Anti-Fracking Action Network
    if anyone wants to get better acquainted with fracking before posting on here.

    All I know is that my past drill crew experience and recent 3 years researching shale gas, coal bed methane and deep sea drilling, has led me to strongly oppose any future plans to exploit shale gas in or around the Wrexham area.



    Fracking Hell: The Untold Story

    Fracking Hell: The Untold Story – YouTube



    I hope this is stopped, renewable energy – Wind, solar, tidal should be invested in. The future needs to be considered not any short teem benefits that may exist.



    That`s a great reply for a mad man lol. That`s another part to my campaigning. We must do our best to get properly informed about the dangers surrounding shale gas exploitation while at the same time promote cleaner, safer, cheaper and sustainable energy sources.
    It`s a very complex issue though. As with most energy sources, there are the down sides. Many are against onshore wind farms due to the visual impact or because these farms do not actually produce enough electricity. But I feel that given the choice, those who object would much prefer a few wind turbines than a nuclear power station or drilling rigs right next door to them. Wind farms alone are not the answer to our energy problems, as you say, combined with solar, wave and tide along with making our homes more energy efficient and better insulated, not to mention cutting back on all the energy that is wasted between the power stations and the consumer due to voltage loss along the power lines, each and every one of us has a duty in reducing energy demand. Local councils can also play a big part in reducing demand. Street lighting, heating of schools and hospitals etc set too high for example. The list is endless as to how we can reduce our energy demands and surely this is the direction we should be heading in instead of adding to the demands and going along with the current trends set by Government and the energy giants. Drill down and burn it up like there is no tomorrow. Centrica, who own BP (which is back in profit despite the ongoing destruction caused by the Gulf disaster) , makes £1.9 million per day. And as everyone is also aware, energy suppliers have put the bills up recently forcing even MORE people into fuel poverty. All the more reason to oppose fracking and shale gas exploitation. These frackers will not bring the prices back down again, they will just increase their profits to produce new ways for future generations to be trapped within their machinations. (if that`s the right word and in the right context, i never know how to properly use that word but wish it never existed.)
    So while we need to oppose these gold digging, profit making thugs who don`t give a shit about anything or anyone else but making money, we also have to promote other ways of saving and producing energy.



    “We’re in a giant car heading towards a brick wall and everyone’s arguing over where they’re going to sit”

    Global Warming- Science – The New York Times

    While we`re arguing about where we`re going to sit, this giant car is in grave danger of spiralling out of control. We need to STOP, get out and take stock of the situation. We need to stop only thinking about what the powers that be want us to think. The economy will be pointless on a dead planet. We MUST think about the future and the well-being of the future generations and the integrity of the life support systems need to support life for centuries to come instead of thinking about how we can make a quick buck here and now. There are other ways to produce long term jobs for many that benefit all. The elite few are getting richer while the majority masses are getting poorer. This has to stop. Sheeple need to start taking their life into their own hands and become people. We need to transform our local communities from production lines (like supermarkets) and become self governing, self sufficient and sustainable to protect our integrity, well being and our future generations.



    The Gov can break their own laws but I`m not allowed to install a wood burning stove to cut my energy bills because I live in a `smoke free` zone. What a load of bollocks.
    Coal resurgence threatens climate change targets | Environment | The Guardian



    Unearthed: The Fracking Facade
    Unearthed: The Fracking Facade – YouTube



    Whoa Luke – I can see this is an issue that hits home.

    Unfortunately as with most things the likelihood will be fracking only becomes an issue (or an inconvenience) to people if it lands in their backyard.

    Energy shouldn’t be something we’re ignorant about though – maybe a bit more engagement and education in the subject would help people save some money too :)



    I was just re reading this thread. Locally we were talking about shale gas and the problems of fracking back in March 2012 but it has taken until now to reach the radar of the national news. Planning authorities hold a powerful hand as each company will need a licence before they start working, unfortunately many have already been issued.



    The Government are now going to allow Councils to keep 100% of business rates raised from fracking , they are so desperate for an alternative power source! Councils are also desperate for finance , potentially an explosive mix!

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