Thursday 27 February 2014

Is Exxon's CEO a NIMBY?

Can you guess who is the latest star of the anti-fracking movement? No, it's not someone glued to something up at Barton Moss, but Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon. According to the Wall Street Journal, Tillerson has joined a lawsuit trying to prevent fracking in his local area. This would be something of a surprise, seeing as Exxon subsidiary XTO Energy is a major player in the US shale industry.

As you'd expect, the anti-fracking twittersphere has been set alight once more with this news. After all, if Exxon's CEO won't put up with fracking in his back yard, why should the rest of us?

However, is Mr Tillerson really against fracking? As so often seems to be the case, it pays to dig a little deeper. It seems that Mr Tillerson's opposition is not to shale gas extraction in his area, but to the construction of a large water tower next to his ranch. Moreover, while the water company involved has supplied water to fracking companies in the past, it has not done so since 2009: the primary use for the water tower is to supply residential demand.

Thursday 6 February 2014

Cuadrilla's new sites on the Fylde

The hot news this week is that Cuadrilla have announced two new drilling sites in Lancashire. Thus far, the drilling done by Cuadrilla, IGas, Viking and others has been exploratory, with the intention of taking core samples and well logs.

This represents the first time that company has announced plans to actually conduct hydraulic stimulations (i.e., "fracking") in shales since 2011, when Cuadrilla induced small earthquakes at their first Lancashire site.

This story has been all over the news, and there's not a lot I can add at this moment. The purpose of this blog is simply to draw attention to a rather neat little feature that Cuadrilla have created - interactive viewers that enable you to see what the site will look like before, during and after production. You can see these panoramics for Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road. I've done similar posts, using google street view to look at drilling sites in the US - both in Fort Worth and Los Angeles. Clearly the PR guys at Cuadrilla have been getting their ideas from FrackLand!

Perhaps the only thing missing from the Cuadrilla panoramics is the tent city for the protestors surrounding the site.