Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 31st 2014 Contents JULY 2014 • WEEK FIVE www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
ENERGY | BG9
The British High Commission in Port of Spain is seeking a dynamic and highly profes-
sional individual for the position of R
UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) is the UK's trade and
inward investment agency.
The successful candidate will report directly to the High Commissioner, taking responsi-
bility for the delivery of stretching strategic and operational targets across UKTI's
The jobholder will have the opportunity to lead high-profile
commercial campaigns and develop creative and innovative approaches to promoting
and supporting British businesses. S/he will need to be a highly experienced and con-
fident self starter with proven skills and experience in trade promotion and development.
The work requires resilience and prioritisation skills. Experience in leading and motivat-
ing a busy team, providing support and mentoring, will be critical.
The jobholder will need solid strategic skills, and an ability to focus on outcomes that
deliver the greatest value. S/he will need good political awareness and understanding of
how the wider political and economic context affects the commercial agenda. Excellent
interpersonal and networking skills are also essential; plus a willingness to represent the
United Kingdom in public.
Completed applications must be submitted
Applications received after that date will not be considered.
The British High Commission is an Equal Opportunities Employer; and has a
policy on bullying, harassment and discrimination.
Director, Trade and Investment, Caribbean Region
and Trinidad & Tobago
BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION PORT OF SPAIN
The UK began the bidding process for the
next set of onshore oil and gas exploration
licenses, including shale that is considered a
cheaper and more secure energy source.
The Department of Energy and Climate
Change set out the details, which include plan-
ning guidance for areas of outstanding natural
beauty, national parks and world heritage sites.
About half the UK will be open for bids.
"Shale gas in Britain has the potential to
provide us with greater energy security, jobs
and growth," new Business and Energy Minister
Matt Hancock said in an e-mailed statement.
"We must act carefully, minimising risks, to
explore how much of our large resource can
be recovered to give the U.K. a new home-
grown source of energy."
The government is offering tax breaks to
drillers, and has pledged to ease planning rules,
to allow companies to begin shale extraction
faster. An area in northern England known as
the Bowland basin may hold 1,300 trillion
cubic feet of gas, enough to supply the country
for almost half a century, if just 10 per cent
is extracted. Home-grown supplies cut
dependence on imports amid declining reserves
of oil and gas in the North Sea.
The UK is competing with Poland to lead
development of the resource in Europe and
replicate a shale boom in the US that made
it the world s largest producer of oil and gas.
IGas Energy Plc and Cuadrilla Resources Ltd
are leading efforts in UK exploration following
the lifting of a moratorium at the end of 2012.
Against the prospect of lower energy prices,
ministers must consider the unpopularity of
shale extraction. Hydraulic fracturing, which
pumps water, sand and chemicals at high pres-
sure to release fuel trapped in underground
shale rock, may cause water shortages in parts
of the country and cause house prices to drop,
according to a report this month by Scientists
for Global Responsibility and the Chartered
Institute of Environmental Health.
Opponents are concerned that the drilling
technique known as fracking may also cause
water contamination, an increase in heavy
goods vehicles along narrow lanes and an
industrialisation of the English countryside.
Last year, protesters in the village of Balcombe,
south of London, halted exploration work by
Cuadrilla. Last week, a planning application
by Celtique Energie Ltd. was rejected by local
authorities because of objections by the com-
"The Government has fired the starting gun
on a reckless race for shale that could see
fracking rigs go up across the British coun-
tryside, including in sensitive areas such as
those covering major aquifers," Louise
Hutchins, a Greenpeace energy campaigner,
said in a statement.
Move over ExxonMobil, Chevron and
ConocoPhillips---there s a new "Big
Three" in US energy production. And
they re not companies.
In a new update to its drilling pro-
ductivity report from last week, the
Energy Information Agency said North
Dakota s Bakken and Texas Permian
Basin and Eagle Ford Shale are quietly
generating more than a million barrels
of oil per day each--comprising at least
a third of total US daily oil production.
Shale oil drilling generated the equiv-
alent of nearly 90 per cent of the US s
total energy needs in 2013, according
to EIA figures.
Mark Perry, an economist at the Uni-
versity of Michigan and a scholar at
the American Enterprise Institute,
crunched the EIA s numbers even fur-
ther. His analysis suggests the output
of the combined three oil fields is actu-
ally exceeding four million bpd, which
would make them the world s fifth
largest oil producer by volume.
"In all of human history, there have
only been ten oil fields in the world
that have ever reached the one million
barrel per day milestone," the economist
wrote in a recent blog post. "Three of
those ten are now active in the US--
thanks to the advanced drilling tech-
niques that started accessing oceans of
shale oil in Texas and North Dakota
about five years ago."
Naturally, the impetus behind the
new Big Three is the relentless shale
revolution that has sent the world s
largest economy churning out more
than eight million barrels per day. In
April, North Dakota also became a
member of the one million bpd club
as output soared by 2.5 per cent from
Yet of the major US oil producing
regions, the Permian Basin is the most
unlikely cog in the machinery of the
shale revolution. With little fanfare, it
has assumed a more prominent role in
the booming crude sector. The nearly
100-year old West Texas oil hub boasts
546 drilling rigs, more than 1/3 of the
total onshore machines in the US. Four
decades ago, the field s production was
thought to have peaked around two
million barrels a day.
Gradually, drilling flourished anew
as technology evolved and fracking sent
domestic production on a tear. New
techniques to tap fossil fuels in the
basin were pioneered by companies like
Occidental Petroleum---the biggest of
the Permian oil producers---which uses
a carbon dioxide-based process to
extend the life of shale wells, which
tend to deplete at rates far quicker than
Some of the unconventional drilling
technology now being used in the Per-
mian has its roots in North Dakota,
explained Stephen Trammel, a director
at IHS Energy.
"As horizontal drilling started to prove
itself in Bakken and the shale gas plays,
people started to apply that to the Per-
mian zones," Trammel said. "It s a mix
of unconventional and conventional,
and the best part is that [wells] had
already been drilled."
The average recovery factor of a typ-
ical well is 34 percent, Trammel said.
"That tells you 2/3 of the oil is still in
the ground," he said, adding that tech-
nological advances have helped boost
Permian drilling is contributing to
the U.S. energy independence story---
and revitalised the local economy.
"Midland in the 2000s was the home
of jackrabbits and tumbleweed, and
now you can find a job in two seconds
and the Motel 6 goes for $300 a night,"
CNBC's Javier E David.
UK opens bidding for new round
of shale gas exploration
Elite oil fields redefine
meaning of crude's 'Big Three'
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