LONDON: UK energy company Cuadrilla said Friday it has extracted a small but “encouraging” amount of shale gas for the first time since resuming fracking in Britain less than three weeks ago.
The 11-year-old private firm has borne the brunt of protests for trying to test whether fracking – a process in which water and chemicals are used to blast apart rock formations – can unlock natural gas deposits in the UK.
The method has transformed the global energy market but is only developing slowly in Europe. Cuadrilla released a 12-second clip showing a bright yellow flame light up inside one of the chimney-like structures that stand over a web of pipes drilled deep into the ground.
The gas flare was Cuadrilla’s evidence that fracking at the site was possible. The company said the question now was whether the entire process was commercially viable.
“The volumes of gas returning to surface at this stage are small,” Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said in a statement.
“However it provides early encouragement that the Bowland Shale can provide a significant source of natural gas to heat Lancashire and UK homes and offices and reduce our ever growing reliance on expensive foreign imports.”
Cuadrilla produced small amounts of shale gas at the same site in 2011.
It was then forced to halt operations because two small earthquakes were soon registered
in the northwestern part of England where its operations are based.
It resumed work on October 15 after adopting more stringent safety and regulatory measures that environmentalists said were still insufficient.
The company has since been forced to briefly halt drilling on three occasions because minor tremors began being detected deep underground.
Cuadrilla stressed at the time that none of them could either be felt or cause physical damage on the surface.
“This Preston New Road site is being monitored to an unprecedented level,” Egan said in Friday’s statement.
“If we are able to fully test these wells, without compromising on safety, we have the potential to make a major difference to UK energy supply, security and economic prosperity.”
The company said on its website that its tests from 2011 suggest that it can produce 6.5 billion cubic feet (185 million cubic metres) of gas from the Bowland Shale well over 30 years.
Fin. Minister briefs PM about talks with IMF
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar, who is accompanying the Prime Minister Imran Khan during his official visit to Malaysia, on Tuesday briefed the prime minister about the visit, meetings, and progress till now with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation in Pakistan.
The finance minister informed the prime minister that efforts were being made to settle bilateral affairs with the IMF in such a way which would have positive results on the economy and which could not put a burden on the people, a press release issued by the PM Media wing here said.
He said that progress on meetings held so far with the Fund was encouraging, however, the final decision regarding the bailout package would be made keeping in view people’s interests and vision of the government.
Asad Umar told the prime minister that the IMF programme had no immediate pressure on Pakistan’s economy, adding that understanding Pakistan’s priorities by the IMF delegation was an encouraging step.
Dams: CJP pinning hopes on Overseas Pakistanis
ISLAMABAD: CJP on Tuesday said that Overseas Pakistanis should play a role in the construction of dams in Pakistan.
Expatriates should come forward for resolution of problems of Pakistan besides provision of funds for construction of water reservoirs, he stated while talking to a private news channel.
Construction of dams was imperative for addressing future demands of water in the country, he said. CJP Saqib Nisar said that Mohmand Dam could have been started earlier than the other dams.
Commenting on the justice system, he said that we have a single system in Pakistan for the dispensation of justice.
“While dealing with the cases, we don’t have two systems of justice here, ” he added. He said that Overseas Pakistanis had great attachment and love for their country.
Pinning the hopes of Pakistanis living abroad, he said that they could play a vital role in steering the country out of the present challenges. We are fully capable to resolve the national issues, he stated.
To another question, he said, “We don’t have a selected system of justice in Pakistan.” Giving a message to the people, he said that everyone should have love and respect for Pakistan.
1m Pakistanis benefitted from US grants: CG
PESHAWAR: More than one million Pakistanis in remote and underserved areas have already benefitted from over 200 US government grants designed to improve the economic and social conditions in those communities.
Representatives from Pakistani organizations working in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province gathered in Peshawar to hear about new funding opportunities through a video message by the US Consul General in Peshawar Jonathan Shrier.
In the video message, US Consul General in Peshawar Jonathan Shrier said “This program helps the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa address local problems by implementing community-based solutions that will have both immediate and long-lasting impact. ”These grants were given through the Ambassador’s Fund Grant Program, a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) initiative.
The Ambassador’s Fund focuses on high-impact, quickly-implemented community programs. The grants specifically seek to promote culture & arts, improve disaster preparedness, develop small-scale energy solutions, encourage social entrepreneurship, and empower vulnerable populations.
Private sector organizations, non-governmental organizations, and non-government academic research and training institutions – including those led by women are encouraged to apply, he added.