Fracking begins near our ancestral holiday resort, Blackpool, and far too close to the Scottish border*


*Original report August 19th 2017

Why the UK’s geology means fracking will never come to Scotland and should never have been allowed in England because it’s 55 000 000 years too late!

Despite support for fracking falling to an all-time low of 17%, the UK government is pushing ahead and overriding the objections of local communities and local authorities. The health risks are well known but UK politicians insist standards will be higher in the UK than they have been in the US where we’ve seen several disasters. See, for example:

‘How 10 Years of Fracking Has Been a Disaster for Our Water, Land and Climate’

However, there is another issue rarely addressed and that is the general unsuitability of the UK’s geology compared to that of parts of the USA. A quite extended and complex piece from Oil and Gas People yesterday is summarised here. The link to the full piece is below.

I think these two extracts sum up the differences:

  1. The most successful US shale areas, such as the Marcellus, Barnett, Haynesville and Bakken, all lie at depths and temperatures that mean they are ready to expel their oil and gas when fracked. The basins in which these occur are primarily in relatively stable, undeformed areas away from the edges of active tectonic plates, which geologists refer to as “intracratonic” basins. They are characterised by continuous layers of rock with only gentle dips and few fractures or major faults. This all aids subsurface imaging, gas/oil detection and the directional drilling needed for shale exploration.
  2. A cursory look at the geological map of the UK shows a very different proposition. The whole land mass has been significantly uplifted by a chain of geological events that started some 55m years ago with the upward rise of a plume of magma under Iceland. This helped break the tectonic plate in two, pushing Greenland and North America in one direction and the eastern segment containing the British Isles in the other, forming the Atlantic Ocean in between…. In short, even where a shale source in the UK may have high organic content and thick and favourable mineralogy, the complex structure of the basins will be detrimental to ultimate recovery….As a result, the opportunity has been overhyped and reserve estimates remain unknown.

So, with hesitation, as non-geologist, I think what the report is saying is that the UK’s geology is too fractured, folded and complex for easy access to large economically viable deposits and that the rock itself often does not have a sufficiently high organic content there to be extracted.

Even considering UK basins said to hold large deposits such as in Lancashire and West Lothian, these rock formations were deformed, not for the first time, 290 million years ago making their structures even more complex and fractured. The report concludes that for UK shale oil extraction, it’s 55 million years too late!


2 thoughts on “Fracking begins near our ancestral holiday resort, Blackpool, and far too close to the Scottish border*

  1. gavin October 15, 2018 / 12:44 pm

    I’m not sure how many rigs per square mile fracking requires. Or how much water will be available from rivers/reservoirs etc(the process requires quite a lot, I think).

    But the main thing is—-I have scoured the press for negative comments from Murdo Fraser and his band of greetin’-faced anti-turbine letter writers, and found not a one.
    The “industrialization” of England’s rural landscape by fracking, appears to matter little to North Britons most vocal “whiner-in-chief”.

    As an aside—my computer doesn’t like me printing “murdo”. It would like me to change it. Perhaps it thinks it should be Mungo out of Mary, Mungo and Midge.
    If so, then the computer is correct. Mungo would probably have opinions more sensible and mature than the Unelectable One.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Robert Graham October 15, 2018 / 1:54 pm

    Let me see if i am getting this right , most of the population dont want this fracking to happen and yet today it has started , Silly me thought the people employ politicians to do the peoples bidding , and how exactly are the police involved in assisting the drilling company to carry out a process that the people dont want , I do believe something has went wrong in this democratic process , it is upside down , inside out , back to front it dosnt fit the normal perception of how things are meant to work ,
    The quotation “when the government fear the people we have democracy , conversely when the people fear the government we have Tyranny , i will leave it up to the reader to draw their own conclusion of what is actually happening in britain today
    I think the term we the people are being pissed on ,even if a lot are being fooled into believing its raining ,fits perfectly .

    Wakey Wakey folks .

    Liked by 1 person

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