It may be hard to imagine, but fracking in the UK will help reduce our carbon footprint and reduce pollution in the world.
The UK imports most of its natural gas in the form of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). This is the only way to effectively transport gas around the world.
Qatar is a major importer of LNG into the UK via a terminal at Milford Haven.
For one vessel to transport one cargo of 262,000 metre cubes, it will burn approximately 5,500 MT of heavy fuel oil, this is both for propulsion and maintaining the cargo at a temperature of -160 degree celsius.
Thus if you multiply this by having to import at least 120 such cargoes a year, this will amount to a massive 660,000 metric tonnes of heavy fuel oil burnt and polluting the atmosphere a year.
However, this is not the full amount of the pollution caused in our imports from Qatar. The gas fields have to be drilled in the Arabian (Persian ) Gulf, therefore platforms are erected, the gas then has to be liquefied ashore and maintained at -160 degree celsius until a vessel loads the cargo at Ras Laffan. This uses a massive amount of power. The amount of flaring all adds to the air pollution.
This being said, natural gas is the cleanest hydrocarbon fuel, producing the lowest levels of carbon emissions.
Fracking has been a huge success in the USA, to such an extent that they are now in the position of exporting LNG around the world, including the UK. In the early days, it had bad press about gas in the domestic water system. This would not be a problem in the UK as we get almost all our domestic water from reservoirs.
On a holiday, we saw the results after fracking.
It amounted to an area the size of a tennis court. A large pipe came out of the ground for a metre and then went underground again. The area was fenced off and cows roamed in the field. It was not a blot on the landscape.
If the UK allowed fracking, millions of tonnes of heavy fuel oil would be saved from polluting the atmosphere, as it could easily be piped into the national grid system, after dilution with nitrogen, and used for domestic use.
The protesters should concentrate their efforts to really make a difference by lobbying to stop countries building new coal-fired and oil-fired power stations.
Natural gas usage in domestic homes will not go away, but we should encourage households to install solar panels.
We should not have to turn valuable green belt into solar farms as we should be growing more food ourselves.
We should build up our renewable energy industries, and create thousands of jobs around the country at the same time.
If you really want to make a difference to our children’s lives then support the fracking industry. It may seem crazy, but by working together and making the industry responsible, we and our children will reap the benefits.