Is oil and gas drilling coming to an end?

The end is nigh

A council in Colorado, US, recently voted to stop all surface drilling within the city and its limits. The case against surface drilling was the health and safety of the residents. Does this tell the whole story? Not really. The council has still approved fracking under the nearby lake as a necessary compromise under the current laws. Therefore, although politicians seem to be moving towards acting against the drilling rights of oil and gas companies, their reach is limited.

In Dorking, UK, 100,000+ signatures were gathered in February of this year demanding the Environment Agent refuse oil exploration in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Surrey Hills. The group responsible for the petition also projected an anti-drilling message on a local church. The claim is that mining waste will pollute local water. Consultation on the draft environmental permit is still in discussion. However, this is to approve details of the planned mining, as actual approval for the drilling itself was given in 2015 and deemed to be safe.

In Nova Scotia there has been a delay called by the government in accepting offshore oil and gas bids. They say the delay is temporary – but there are caveats that suggest that they are undertaking more investigations and there is only some confidence that the bids will be opened later this year. Part of the review is to consider the Oceans Protection Plan and how the drilling will impact on this. Yet, the Canadian Business Minister promises this is a delay only until the fall, as worries about jobs surfaced.

The Church of Ireland has ended its investment in the excavation of all fossil fuels a few weeks ago. The Church of Scotland is being criticised for not undertaking the same divestment of assets sooner. However, the Church of Scotland has endeavoured to engage in a dialogue with oil and gas companies to try to encourage them to prevent a “climate catastrophe” (Reverend Jenny Adams). The Catholic organisations in Scotland, which have a combined investment of £6.1 billion, have now committed to withdraw investments.
Do these moves to suppress the work of oil and gas companies suggest a changing tide in opinion to continued exploration?

Or is it as prosperous as ever?

Yet, elsewhere the news is more positive. United Oil and Gas has been awarded drilling licences that could see access to as much as 16 million barrels of oil off the coast of Ireland. They were awarded the blocks because they showed potential for optimising the location of future development wells.

Predator Oil and Gas have made moves to show how oil and gas operations in Trinidad and Ireland can serve to improve the carbon footprint of the countries. The work in Trinidad is particularly impressive. The country has a large concentration of ammonia production. Predator Oil and Gas plan to use this pollutant in the oil extraction process. The use of ammonia in oil exploration will significantly improve the countries CO2 amounts. This suggests that drilling for oil and gas can become a positive for a local environment.

The biggest boost for oil and gas drilling comes from the Trump effect. He has plans to expand oil and gas drilling to almost all areas of the coastal US. He is proposing opening 14 coastal states to the industry. Democrats are protesting the plan, citing several disasters with huge environmental impacts, including Deepwater Horizon. However, Trump has never proven himself easily swayed in his jobs first for America rally cry.

Potential takeaways

This news on drilling and not drilling has always raged in the industry. There is always going to be conflicts between local people and local environment and the need to find new supplies of energy. Even where politicians and leaders of organisations seem to support a challenge to the oil and gas industry, there is dissent or compromise. The big decisions made by the most powerful people will always be to support the economic prosperity of the many and therefore support the drilling for oil and gas.

As these discussions continue throughout the industry accurately collected data is still a number one priority for businesses and that is why Ex~I Flow Measurement developed our flow measurement computer to accurately measure flow and produce easy to access data. To speak to us about how we can help you, call +44 (0)1243 554920 or contact us here.