I've played this game with you before but it's time for another go. Here's an aerial image of the Beverly Hills area of LA. Can you spot 50 oil wells?
Spot them? Thought not? How about if I zoom in a little?
If you've got sharp eyes, you might just be able to spot them now, but maybe not. Just in case, I'll zoom in one more time:
You should be able to see them now - nestled in behind the Beverly Center Shopping Mall. If you're still not sure, check out google maps here. As we did for the Forth Worth Airport wells, let's go to street view and see what we can see (again, I recommend that you go to google maps and do this for yourself):
On the occasion of this image, there is a drilling rig on site (the frame tower you can see). These are temporary structures present only while the well is drilled. As for anything else, all you can see is the wall shielding the pipes and tanks from view, the whole site dominated completely by the shopping mall.
Approx. 50 wells have been drilled from this pad, which is targeting a tight oil reservoir (much like at Balcombe, as I'm sure we're all aware). All have been hydraulically stimulated (i.e. fracked). It's right that we discuss the potential surface impacts of shale gas development in the UK. But we should always bear in mind what can be done to ensure that the impact is minimised.
This website provides some neat examples of other drilling pads discretely dotted around downtown LA. According to this site (I've not been able to find verify this anywhere), the Beverly Center pad produces 500,000 barrels of oil a year. At a price of approx. $100/barrel, that's worth $50,000,000 dollars per year. As per the wells at Fort Worth Airport, I struggle to think of any other economic activity where you can get as much 'buck' for as little footprint.