Breakingviews

UK gas bounty will be tricky to exploit

April 20, 2012

Geologists think the UK may hold 1,000 trillion cubic feet of shale gas - good for decades of self-sufficiency. But high extraction costs mean much of it may stay buried unless prices move sharply higher. That makes UK shale more of an insurance policy than a game-changer.

Frackers ignore German beer angst at their peril

May 24, 2013

Germany’s brewers want to make fracking verboten. In the U.S., the gas drilling technique’s economic benefits trump environmental concerns. Whether it’s the British countryside or German lager, threats to cultural touchstones will hold back a similar boom in Europe.

Oops, the IEA has noticed the glut of natural gas

November 5, 2009

Real life in the energy business has an impressive record of bringing acute disappointment to the pessimists. We’re always about to run out, but somehow we never do. Now the latest World Energy Outlook, leaked to the FT a week early, delivers fresh embarrassment their way.

Shale energy deficit will hit Europe hard

December 17, 2013

American companies have a big advantage over European counterparts: abundant, cheap gas. Fracking is more difficult in Europe and requires a step-change in public perception. Cheaper energy could provide the old continent with the fillip it needs. But it’s a pipedream.