You Drank Your Water – Postcard Campaign by North West Network Against Fracking
The government has said that there will be no fracking until the next EPA study is completed, not until at least 2014. However, the last EPA report was produced by Aberdeen University, which has strong ties to the fossil fuel industry. How do we know that the new study will not be compromised?
The people are not reassured by the government’s promises. The Irish anti-fracking campaign will go on and is getting stronger every day.
Campaigners have produced a postcard that highlights the greatest problem with shale gas extraction – the irreversible pollution to our water. Can Ireland afford to contaminate its most precious resource, the source of our agriculture industry, and the source of all life?
Add your voice to your neighbours’! Call on our elected representatives and civil servants to respect the wishes of the Irish people and ban fracking.
You can download the photo here: http://frackingfreeireland.org/info-to-download/postcards/
Japan Has Won The Race To Extract Gas From Offshore Methane Ice
This is the first successful production of natural gas from off-shore supplies of methane hydrate, a huge untapped energy resource.
Japanese officials report they’ve produced natural gas from underwater methane hydrate, a frozen mix of water and methane known as “burning ice.” Previous experiments have successfully extracted gas from on-shore deposits, but this is the first time we’ve been able to do it with deep sea reserves.
Methane hydrates are made of gas molecules of methane that are trapped in a lattice of water ice. When the ice melts, because of change in temperature or pressure, the gas is released and can ignite to create that fiery ice effect.
The U.S., South Korea and China have also been working to harness the substance as fuel for years. It’s one of the world’s greatest untapped energy resources, found within the permafrost near the Earth’s poles and under much of the sea floor.
Finding alternative fuel sources is especially vital for Japan, a country has to import huge amounts of energy, especially after the Fukushima disaster curtailed the Japanese nuclear program.
A team of Japanese drillers started extracting gas from methane hydrate deposits about 1,000 feet below the seabed off the central coast of Japan on Tuesday, according to The New York Times. They separated the ice and the methane by lowering the pressure in the reserve.
(If you can read Japanese, you can see the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s statement here.)
Trial extraction will continue for about two weeks to determine how much gas can be produced. The drilling technology will hopefully be commercially available in five years.
Tamboran Resources and Enegi Oil apply for Fracking Exploration Licences
Two companies have applied for exploration licences which could lead to the controversial process of fracking.
The initial onshore licences which only allowed for initial studies were granted two years ago and will expire tomorrow. Both companies had to apply for an exploration licence to continue their operations.
Exploration licences involve commitments to drill an exploration well, or wells.
A separate drilling permit is required before drilling is allowed.
In advance of any drilling, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) would have to be conducted and that EIA would include a public consultation phase.
In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is carrying out its own study into fracking and it may be years before commercial drilling is allowed to take place, if at all.
Nevertheless, both companies have expressed satisfaction at the findings of their initial studies of both areas.
Tamboran estimates that 4.4 trillion cubic feet of gas could be under the ground in an area centred on south Fermanagh and north Leitrim, although independent estimates suggest the figure is closer to 3.2 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Enegi Oil says its initial findings suggest there may be between 1.49 trillion cubic feet and 3.86 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.