UKOOG's Cronin criticises ‘flawed’ Manchester shale claims
16 Jan 2018
UK Onshore Oil and Gas chief executive Ken Cronin has taken issue with a University of Manchester report on the sustainability of shale gas claiming the findings are “flawed”.
The Manchester research asserted that shale gas ranked low in a list of options for electricity.
Its authors added that shale would need a 329-fold reduction in environmental impacts and 16 times higher employment potential to become the most sustainable option, concluding: “The results also suggest that a future electricity mix (2030) would be more sustainable with a lower rather than a higher share of shale gas.”
Environment Agency statistics show that onshore oil and gas is one of the best performing sectors in the UK when it comes to environmental performance
Ken Cronin, chief executive, UKOOG
The claims have drawn criticism from Cronin, whose organisation represents onshore oil and gas companies and has been a leading supporter of shale gas exploration in the UK.
“Firstly, it concentrates on electricity and ignores the 21 million homes that use gas for heating and the 500,000 jobs that are sustained using gas as a feedstock,” said Cronin.
“Second, it assumes that electricity from LNG will cost less than shale gas, which is at odds with how the UK’s gas market works and shows a lack of understanding on the part of the authors.”
He said the authors also provided no data on the additional network and intermittency costs of options such as wind and solar or for its underlying economic assumptions.
“When considering environmental aspects alone, the report shows that shale gas is more sustainable than solar. And published Environment Agency statistics show that onshore oil and gas is one of the best performing sectors in the UK when it comes to environmental performance.”