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France reaffirms opposition to shale gas exploration
Cécile Barbière, Euractiv
French Environment Minister Philippe Martin reiterated his government’s strong opposition to the exploitation of shale gas, despite a parliamentary report advocating more flexibility towards unconventional gas.
The French government says it will not issue the permits for shale gas exploitation requested by the US company Hess Oil, Martin, the energy and ecology minister, announced on 28 November.
Hess oil brought the the seven permits from the company Toreador, which had secured them in 2010. The oil covered by the permits is located in the Parisian basin. The permits were never clearly cancelled after the government set a law in 2011 prohibiting hydraulic fracturing…
(2 December 2013)
Fracking bonanza eludes wastewater recycling investors
David Wethe and Peter Ward, Bloomberg via Fuelfix
After two years searching for a blockbuster investment in oil field water management, fund manager Judson Hill is still holding on to his money.
Hill’s NGP Energy Capital Management saw potential in what looked like a hot growth area in energy: treating and recycling the 21 billion barrels of wastewater flowing annually from U.S. oil and natural gas wells — particularly from shale.
Instead, it found the market “too fragmented and too frothy,” said Hill, a managing director at the private equity firm in Texas whose latest fund has invested $3.6 billion. “It’s not as though we look back and say, ’Wow, half the ones we passed on were just home runs.’ They weren’t.”…
(26 November 2013)
Lord Browne: fracking will not reduce UK gas prices
Damian Carrington, The Guardian
Fracking is not going to reduce gas prices in the UK, according to the chairman of the UK’s leading shale gas company.
The statement by Lord Browne, one of the most powerful energy figures in Britain, contradicts claims by David Cameron and George Osborne that shale gas exploration could help curb soaring energy bills.
Browne added to the government’s ongoing troubles over energy policy by labelling nuclear power as "very, very expensive indeed" and describing the fact that more state subsidies are given to oil and gas than to renewable energy as "like running both the heating and the air conditioning at the same time".
The former chief executive of BP, who now holds a senior government position as lead non-executive director, told an audience at the London School of Economics that climate change was "existentially important", but that without gas the transition to a zero-carbon energy system would never happen…
(29 November 2013)
Midnight Sabotage with Transylvania’s Anti-Fracking Activists
Jim Wickens, Vice.com
“Do you think they’re about to have sex?” one of the group whispers. I’m in Transylvania, crouched in the bushes with a bunch of activists in balaclavas, taking turns to speculate on why a car has crept to a halt close to where we are hiding. “No, it must be the cops, you can see the light from the mobile phone,” another one says. Time to move on.
It has been over an hour since the group started trashing equipment owned by the gas exploration company Prospectiuni, playing an edgy game of cat and mouse as we struggle to stay one step ahead of the security teams and police vehicles that are now sweeping the hilltops looking for us. Another light tears round the bend on the road and the shout goes through the team to hide. I throw myself down; stretched out once again in the cool, damp grass of a Transylvanian meadow. It’s going to be a long night…
(26 November 2013)
Banks Reluctant to Lend in Shale Plays as Evidence Mounts on Harm to Property Values Near Fracking
Sharon Kelly, DeSmogBlog
Over the past several years, the fossil-fuel industry has been highly adept at publicizing the economic upshots of fracking: royalty checks, decreased prices for oil and gas, profits for investors. But the industry is far less eager to discuss the…