Tuesday, 14 June 2016

The Real Danger of Shale Gas - Fugitive Emissions

The Real Danger of Shale Gas - Fugitive Emissions - Intro

To many the thought of shale gas or fracking is unpleasant, after all shattering the earth to release gas seems drastic, and  many are upset at the thought of the "go anywhere" mineral rights that allow fracking companies grab resources.

There is also the question of are continued use of fossil fuels, and their contribution to global warming. Burning the gas (methane) releases CO2, which has been proven to raise global temperatures.

It is all rather ugly.

But these observations pale in comparison to the real risks generated from production of methane in this way, and that is  Fugitive Emissions.

The Real Danger of Shale Gas - Fugitive Emissions - What are Fugitive Emissions?

Fugitive Emissions are when methane that has been released from the rocks in which it has been trapped for millions of years, leak out in to the atmosphere, instead of be collected up for use as energy.

The main aim if fracking is to extract as much shale gas a s possible from the ground, but inevitably large quantities will escape, migrating to the surface.

The Real Danger of Shale Gas - Fugitive Emissions - Why is this  Problem?

Methane has 72 times the global warming potential of CO2, per unit is holds in 72 time more heat than CO2.

In the UK Shale Gas Extraction / Fracking is still very small scale, but in the US where it is a large concern very high volumes of methane leak in to the atmosphere. Recent studies indicate 30 - 60% of methane from human sources comes from Shale Gas Exploration in the US alone.

Imagine the impacts if the rest of the world were to begin extraction at the same level. . . 

"The Aliso leak (US Fracking Well) spewed enough methane into the atmosphere to equal the greenhouse gases emitted by more than 440,000 cars in a year."

It is impacts like this that lead many experts to believe that shale gas is worse than coal when it comes to global warming. 

The Real Danger of Shale Gas - Fugitive Emissions - Future of UK Fracking

Even before we burn shale gas in a power station or to cook our pasta, it has already done a great deal of damage.

A report has been written by the climate change quango in the UK (CCC), which likely contains these doubts, yet the Conservative Government have  purposefully delayed its release, until after the issue of the first fracking license in the UK. . . .

The current conservative government seems to take its environmental responsibilities very lightly, and unless they come under significant pressure from the public the fracking industry in the UK will likely continue to grow.

Methane from Meat Production