Email of the day
Comment of the Day

December 18 2012

Commentary by David Fuller

Email of the day

On yesterday's shale oil & gas comments:
On reading your comments on the shale oil emails emanating from Switzerland I couldn't help smiling when I read:

"Countries which choose to develop their shale oil and gas resources in the years ahead will improve their economies by stimulating growth and lowering government debt."

If that were true for shale oil then it would also be true for other resources like North Sea Oil & Gas. Unfortunately our politicians view things quite differently which is why the UK is on the point of losing its AAA debt rating despite the benefits of North Sea Oil & Gas. Your statement is, of course, largely correct but it requires sensible governance. Norway is an example of that, the UK & USA are not. Do you think Obama would use a windfall to reduce government debt versus entrenching his socialist agenda? No way in my humble opinion.

David Fuller's view Thanks for your thoughts.

I disagree with your first point, which David Smith happened to cover in detail on Sunday. Unfortunately, the online article cut off the top half of the picture, which has a graph showing North Sea output falling by approximately 70% since 1999, and the article above mentions production being only 51% of its June 2009 level. However, one gets the point because the picture also shows the barrel on its side and only dripping.

More importantly, the UK economy does need an energy boost, as David Smith says, and I see the approval of fracking as a necessary change of policy by the Government, which they should have made three years ago.

I fully agree with the email above on the point of "sensible governance". I think the UK will use some of its fracking production revenue to lower government debt. I hope the US does as well, although that would be a departure from the policy of recent years.

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