SEE, IF YOU’RE NOT SERIOUS ABOUT FRACKING, YOU’RE NOT SERIOUS ABOUT INDEPENDENCE: Fracking Fails in Scotland.
England may be tentatively embracing shale drilling once again, but Scotland is taking a more wary approach. Earlier this summer Britain drilled the vertical shaft of its first shale well since 2011, when the country issued a moratorium on fracking following a series of small magnitude earthquakes. This week, Scotland energy minister Paul Wheelhouse announced that his country would extend its own moratorium on fracking indefinitely.
Wheelhouse pointed to an overwhelming negative response from the public, when asked for comment about fracking.
But that’s not the only problem:
But the biggest problem for Scottish shale is geologic in nature: there just isn’t that much oil or gas to frack. According to the British Geological Survey, Scotland contains just 80 trillion cubic feet of shale gas, a far cry from the 622 trillion cubic feet here in the United States. The upside just isn’t there.
Add Scotland to the long list of countries where exporting the American shale experience has been unsuccessful. The U.S. energy revolution has been churning for nearly a decade, and yet commercial production elsewhere has been scant, despite the fact that vast reserves of shale gas and tight oil can be found around the world. The longer shale continues to be a uniquely American experience, the more we can appreciate just how many variables had to go just right to get it off the ground.