The founder of the UK’s first hydraulic fracturing company has warned that UK hydraulic fracturing operations are impossible on any meaningful scale and will not help the energy price crisis.
Chris Cornelius, the geologist who founded Quadrilla Resources, which drilled the UK’s first modern hydraulic fracturing well in Lancashire, told The Guardian he believes the government support for her It’s just a “political gesture”.
“I don’t think there is any chance of hydraulic fracturing in the UK in the near term.”
He said that when Cuadrilla worked here, he discovered that the UK’s geology was unsuitable for large-scale fracking. ‘No sane investors’ would take The risk of embarking on big projects is here, He said. “It’s a very difficult geology, compared to North America [where fracking is a major industry]. “
Unlike gas-bearing shale deposits in the United States, the UK shale resource is “severely flawed and fragmented”, making it very difficult to exploit on any scale.
Liz Truss, Prime Minister, made it clear that she supports hydraulic fracturing and his will Lifting the moratorium in effect since 2019, although it remains to be seen where and how the sites will be licensed. She said she hopes to see gas from the fracking sites as soon as six months from now.
But Cornelius said it “won’t happen.” Truss’ decision to give the green light to fracking “will have no effect” on UK power supplyHe told the Guardian in an interview. “She makes good soundtracks but I can’t see anything going on,” he said.
In the long term, he said it was possible to have a few local operations, but they would be small and could not make a meaningful contribution to the UK’s energy needs. “They will never be so widespread, because capital costs It is a huge issue.
Cornelius and his former colleague, Mark Linder, who handled public affairs for Cuadrilla in his early days, said in the Guardian today that the UK has been over-regulated, having “specialized the energy sector with regulations that impede standard operations in agriculture and other industries”. But Cornelius said this was not likely to change and that the shredding mills would not be given the “social licence” to operate.
Quadrilla, founded in 2007, was the first company to use Modern hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technology in UK On dense shale rock, first at a site in Lancashire in 2011 and continuing through 2018. Shale shale, which contains small pockets of methane, is blasted with a mixture of sand, water and chemicals to create fissures through which gas can escape, suctioned from the Surface.
However, Quadrilla soon ran into problems, including Failure to report damage to an exploration wellAs public awareness of hydraulic fracturing grew, protests began at potential locations and locations. In 2018, a 1.5-magnitude earthquake occurred near Blackpool Caused cessation of crushing. In February this year, the company said its two wells – the only two to be horizontally drilled and hydraulically fracked in the UK – would be “blocked and abandoned”, according to the Instructions from the organizer.
Cornelius resigned from Quadrilla in 2014 after that Lord Brown, the former head of the oil company BP, took over the presidency. Brown left in 2015. The company declined the opportunity to comment on Cornelius’ opinions.
Quadrilla has spent “hundreds of millions of pounds,” according to its chief executive, Francis Egan, in its efforts to start fracking. However, the company did not produce any gas for sale.
Egan welcomed Announcing this month that the freeze will be liftedHowever, the company has not yet said whether it will open any wells.
Cornelius, an academic geologist, remains a staunch advocate of hydraulic fracturing — “it has been used safely all over the world, all over the United States, without problems” — and of shale gas, but he said the UK’s geology and populous nature made the British countryside It is impossible to create a commercially viable fracking business here.
Cornelius said promoting Truss for hydraulic fracturing was “a political decision in the first place – they should be seen as doing something”. “It makes no economic sense. I don’t think sane people put money into this.”
He added, “This is a sad situation. It is a disappointment. 10 years ago there was an opportunity to look into this [fracking] Logically, but this opportunity is now missed. It was worth looking at back then, but it’s not practical now.”
Cornelius and Linder, writing in the Guardian today, called for investment in key technologies they say are more likely to produce energy than fracking, including geothermal energy and tidal power.
Cornelius, who in 2014 also tried to start fracking under the Irish Sea with a project known as Nebula, which never got started, is involved in a geothermal consortium called Triassic Power, which is evaluating the potential for using underground hot water in some of the kingdom’s geological formations. United as an energy source. He has no commercial interest in tidal power.