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  1. Meridian

Southern 'oil bonanza' could be hard to extract

A geological expert has said that even if there is an 'oil bonanza' in the south, then the reserves could be difficult to extract.

Professor Andrew Aplin, from Durham University has identified three problems that he thinks could affect the exploitation of reserves identified in the Weald area, which spans Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and Surrey.

He said:

The interesting question is how much of the oil that has been identified might be recoverable. A careful look at the data in the report suggests that much of the oil in the shales is tightly bound to the rock and therefore difficult or impossible to produce. If there is any free, and therefore potentially producible, oil in the shales, there are two further problems. Much of the shale sequence in the Weald is clay-rich, which US experience suggests is difficult to fracture effectively.

Also, the chemistry of the oil in much of the area is likely to be quite heavy and thus will not flow easily; in contrast, the shale oil which is being currently produced from areas such as the Eagle Ford in the USA is much lighter and thus flows more easily. This relates to the temperature to which the shales have been buried in the geological past."

– Professor Andrew Aplin, Durham University


  1. Meridian

Map shows site of possible shale oil and gas reserves

This map shows possible location of shale oil and gas Credit: BGS

The British Geological Survey (BGS) in association with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has completed an estimate for the amount of shale oil and shale gas in the Weald Basin in south-east England.

The range of shale oil in place is estimated to be between 2.20 and 8.57 billion barrels (bbl) or 293 and 1,143 million tonnes, but the central estimate for the resource is 4.4 billion bbl or 591 million tonnes.

  1. National

GMB: Fracking 'compensation' a knee-jerk move

The case for fracking is yet to be proven on environmental or economic grounds, the national officer of the GMB union has said, reacting to reports on the forthcoming British Geological Survey, which is expected to reveal huge oil reserves across Southern England.

Fracking needs to be subject to an honest, rational debate that focuses on a plan for energy, including gas in the UK.

The expected announcement on compensation is yet another knee jerk move by a government that has lost any credibility on energy policy.

– Gary Smith, GMB national secretary for energy
  1. National

Report to reveal 'huge oil reserves in Southern England'

A report published later today from the British Geological Survey is expected to reveal huge reserves oil reserves across Southern England, the BBC reports.

The study covers areas across Sussex, Surrey and Kent, is said to say there are several billion barrels of oil in shale rocks, that could be drilled through the controversial fracking process.

The Times is reporting that the government will offer money to areas outlined in a bid to stave off criticism amid growing concerns over the safety of the procedure.

  1. National

Fracking regions 'to receive £800K to stave off critics'

Communities affected by controversial "fracking" will be offered huge sums of money in a bid to win hearts and minds, according to reports.

The Prime David Cameron is an avid supporter of hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, but some communities are up in arms. Credit: Press Association

Communities in potential hacking sites, due to be identified in the British Geological Survey later today, will be offered an average of £800,000 in additional compensation efforts, the Times reports.

Mr Cameron will make the announcement as the survey is published, later today.


Boris on our 'pathetic apology' for an energy policy

"It is a good 20 years since I last drove all the way to Scotland, and in the interim something unbelievable has been done - in our name - to our green, pleasant and precious countryside.

"I mean the windmills, the turbines - whatever they are called. I mean the things that look like some hideous Venusian invasion, marching over the moors and destroying the dales; the colossal seaside toys plonked erratically across our ancient landscape; the endless parade of waving white-armed old lunatics, gesticulating feebly at each other across the fields and the glens.

"They seemed to be everywhere, and I asked myself, when were we consulted? Was there a referendum? Did someone ever warn the British people that these moaning seagull slicers were going to be erected on some of the most sensational scenery that God ever called into being?

– Mayor of London, Boris Johnson

We must get fracking, says Boris

Wind farms are a "disease" which have blighted Britain's countryside and the country should embrace nuclear power and fracking to meet its energy needs, Boris Johnson has said.

The London Mayor accused the energy companies of "ruthlessly exploiting" a shortage of supply as he insisted the UK must stop "pussy-footing around" and start exploiting shale gas reserves.

The senior Tory said turning to a new generation of nuclear plants and fracking would cut energy bills and boost the economy.

Writing in The Sun on Sunday he said he was shocked by the number of wind turbines he saw on a recent drive to Scotland.

Police arrest anti-fracking activists at Cuadrilla PR HQ

The PR firm representing the energy company Cuadrilla said six people have been arrested after anti-fracking protesters superglued themselves to Bell Pottinger's headquarters.

Police used an oscillator to cut a hole in a plastic pipe, to un-glue their hands that were super-glued to each other in an anti-fracking demonstration.

A City of London Police officer uses a liquid to un-glue a group of anti fracking demonstrators. Credit: John Stillwell /PA Wire

Anti-fracking protesters superglued to Cuadrilla PR HQ

Anti-fracking protesters have blockaded the headquarters of energy company Cuadrilla while others have superglued themselves to a PR company used by the firm.

The action at Cuadrilla in Lichfield, Staffordshire, and at PR firm Bell Pottinger in central London comes on the first of two days of "mass civil disobedience" which campaigners have pledged to carry out to highlight their stance against fracking.

Anti-fracking demonstrators sit with their hands super-glued to each at the offices of Bell Pottinger in High Holborn. Credit: John Stillwell /PA Wire
Anti-fracking demonstrators sit with their hands super-glued Credit: John Stillwell /PA Wire
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