Labour’s anti-fracking stance will boost emissions, claims UKOOG
30 Jul 2019
UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG) chief executive Ken Cronin has accused the Labour Party of ‘wanting it both ways’ with its call for a ban on fracking and opposition to offshore emissions.
“Labour seems to want it both ways – no shale gas but no offshoring of emissions. But these are mutually exclusive propositions,” warned Cronin.
Ahead of leader Jermey Corbyn’s speech to anti-fracking activists in Blackpool today, the Labour Party recently issued a warning that that “offshoring our emissions isn’t just bad for the climate, it’s bad for UK industry”.
UKOOG responded by stating that the UK currently imports 50% of its gas requirments, with increasing quantities gas arriving from tankers from Russia, US, Peru and other countries. It said such imports had double the production, processing and transport emissions of UK shale gas.
In the absence of increased domestic supply, said the organisation, UK dependency on imported sources could reach 86% by 2050.
Said Cronin: “Labour’s denial of the facts about homegrown UK production will only lead to us relying more and more on higher emission imports from Qatar and Russia.
“Leading independent climate change experts are clear- we will need natural gas well beyond 2050 to deliver Net Zero. Labour should be supporting the UK gas industry to create UK jobs as we work towards meeting our emissions targets.”
However the claims regarding gas imports were disputed by Steve Mason of climate change solutions company Environmental Smart. He said that, even with the Bacton pipeline for European imports under maintenance, the figure seemed implausible.
"Since March, Norway has reduced its overall gas shipments by about 16 percent for pipeline maintenance, cutting flows into the U.K.’s key Easington terminal by more than 80 percent," stated Mason.
"Meanwhile, the main U.K. export route, the Interconnector pipeline between England and Belgium, closed for repairs last weekend until May 1, cutting off a key transit route for flows into mainland Europe."
He referenced a statement by Alun Davies, director of Europe power and gas at IHS Markit who commented that April appeared to be a record high month for the import of LNG into the UK and added that the Interconnector with the being offline, the U.K. market had no way of sending gas back to the continent via pipeline.
Remarked Mason: "I am questioning ...their seeking to forward their case based on temporary maintenance measures that will ensure we have natural gas supplies from lower emission sources for decades."