Utility Week

Utility Week 19th September

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4 | 19th - 25th September 2014 | UtILItY WeeK National media Shale pollution blamed on faulty drilling A new study suggests the contamination of drinking water by shale gas is due to faulty wells and not hydraulic fracturing. Researchers in the US analysed the gas content in 130 water wells in Pennsylvania and Texas. They were able to trace the methane found in the water to problems with the casing or lining of wells drilled to extract the gas. The scientists believe most of the problems they have identified can be resolved with better enforcement of existing regulations. BBC, 15 September Green Deal is a 'disappointing failure' The government's flagship Green Deal energy efficiency scheme has been a "disappointing failure", with flawed plan- ning and poor implementation leaving consumers frustrated and confused, a committee of MPs concluded on Monday. Homeowners should be offered new incentives such as discounts on stamp duty or council tax in return for carrying out work to improve the energy efficiency of their homes, the Energy and Climate Change select committee recommends. The Telegraph, 15 September Hurricane hails Shetland well test Hurricane Energy, the company exploring for oil in the west of Shetland, said flow tests at its Lancaster prospect suggested the potential for production rates of up to 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day from a single well in its licence area. The announcement was seized upon Fergus Ewing, SNP energy minister, who with just three days before the Scottish independent vote said the results highlighted "the wealth remaining under Scotland's seas". Hurricane is targeting fractured basement reservoirs in granite formations lying below sandstones that have previ- ously dominated North Sea exploration, arguing that these geological structures could provide a further wave of opportu- nities for commercial discoveries. Shares in the recently floated company rose by more than 10 per cent on Monday following publication of the analysis on the output from a test well drilled earlier this year, before losing ground to trade steady at 41p. Financial Times, 16 September T he Thames Tideway Tun- nel could face two legal challenges, despite being granted a development consent order (DCO) by the government. The environment and com- munities secretaries awarded the supersewer a DCO last week, but the project faces opposi- tion from Hammersmith & Fulham Council, and Southwark Council. The local authorities are taking legal advice and have until 24 October to file their challenges. Hammersmith & Fulham Council opposes plans for a tunnelling site to be situated by Carnwath Road because it would cause "years of misery" and "24/7 noise, dust and air pollu- tion" for residents. Meanwhile, Southwark Coun- cil opposes plans for a construc- tion site at Chamber's Wharf. Leader of Southwark Council, Peter John, said awarding the DCO was "a ludicrous and evil decision" and added: "We will continue to fight this decision and look at all our options including a Judicial Review." Thames Tideway Tunnel declined to comment. The £4.2 billion supersewer aims to prevent overflows from London's combined sewers into the River Thames during periods of very wet weather. Failing to tackle the overflows could leave the UK facing European fines of up to £100 million a year. Former water regulator Sir Ian Byatt accused the govern- ment of "closing its eyes" to cheaper alternatives. He told Utility Week: "The spills need to be reduced, no doubt about that, but this is a very slow and expensive way of doing it." To help pay for it, Thames Water said customer bills would increase by about £80 a year. Andy Mitchell, chief execu- tive of Thames Tideway Tunnel, said: "This is a huge project but it's a huge problem, and we can now get on with tackling it." MB Tideway Tunnel could still face legal challenges "We really sympathised with the people affected by the bursts, it must have been awful" United Utilities managing director Steve Fraser on the recently completed upgrade of Huyton's water mains, which in 2011 caused a plume of water to shoot 40ft into the air, flooding streets and homes Seven days... $96.65/ barrel Brent crude fell to its lowest level since June 2012 on 15 September ➟

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