The world’s oil balance

The USA has increased her output of oil and gas substantially under President Trump, and seems set to expand it further. As a result OPEC wields less power than it used to. The Cartel has had to limit output to try to keep prices up in the face of large increases in US supply. US output has risen from under 9 million barrels a day under Obama to over 12 million under Mr Trump. Oil using industries have been getting a boost from more and cheaper feedstock and energy.

Meanwhile Germany and the continental Europeans are busy making themselves ever more dependent on Russian gas, much to the consternation of the USA pledged to protect them through NATO. At a time when western countries say they  are concerned about Russia’s backing for Iran, her provocative cyber challenges and her special disruptive missions it is an odd idea to make the continent more dependent on Russian goodwill and supplies.

The present tensions in the Gulf over Iran threaten the supplies moving through the Straits which are largely bound for Asia and are not needed in the USA. This leads the US President to seek allies and help when dealing with rights of passage through the Gulf, pointing out that other countries need that open waterway more than the USA herself.

I was interested to see Mr Hunt offering to release the Iranian oil tanker from Gibraltar in return for promises from Iran that the cargo will not be delivered to Syria as that would break EU sanctions. Iran has in response declined any such assurances and demands the release of the tanker without any conditions. It is difficult to see how Gibraltar could ensure the oil did not end up in Syria if they let the tanker go.So far the Captain and senior crew of the tanker have not been charged with any offences. Meanwhile the UK is sending a destroyer to the region a little ahead of schedule to strengthen the UK’s naval presence there. Mr Hunt says he wants to reduce tension with Iran, who dislike the western naval build up.

What is the UK’s national interest in all this? How should the UK make itself secure over energy?

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  1. Richard1
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    We need more urgently than ever to get on with shale gas fracking. It is clear the environmental scares promulgated by the likes of greenpeace are lies and disinformation. CO2 will be reduced as gas has lower carbon emissions than coal or oil, and cheap energy security assured. We do not want to be dependent on Russian gas like Germany and renewables have no hope of providing sufficient energy. Likewise a new generation of small nuclear power stations.

    What an excellent debate organised yesterday by The Sun and Talk Radio between Boris and Hunt. Low budget, modestly but authoritatively chaired by the Sun’s Tom Newton Dunn. I really suggest BBC producers and presenters watch it and learn! No need for one of the BBC’s ‘stars’ prancing around at the front in look-at-me mode, trying to land a gotcha blow on Boris. Good questions from a mixed Audience, including Labour voters, but no spitting Corbynistas or Islamic radicals. A good, sensible & good-humoured discussion in which we found out what the candidates actually thought. Because it wasn’t all about the presenter / broadcaster trying to make a point. A real eye-opener.

    If we can get high quality low budget political discussion like this provided by the market why do we need to pay a poll tax for the tendentious big budget BBC?!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      Indeed and why indeed do we have to pay a TV tax so the BBC can push moronic pro EU/lefty/alarmist drivel & propaganda endlessly at us?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      tendentious, big budget and totally wrong on almost every subject they touch.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        Today the BBC were going on about the moon landings fifty years back. No mention of the fact that they cost a fortune and achieved virtually nothing. No mention really of what we got for all this money – just a few rocks it seems.

        These types now just want even more tax payer money to waste setting up a manned lunar mining factory! So we can mine things for about circa 100,000 times the cost of doing it on Earth and about 100,000 times more dangerously. Sounds like a great business plan. If you can con the tax payer to fund it that is.

        Last night we had an absurd interview with Rod Liddle on Newsnight. The BBC and Newsnight in particular are a sick joke.

        • sm
          Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          LL – have you ever read Robert Heinlein’s novel The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress?

          One of the best SF novels ever, it postulates a lunar community that makes money out of growing grain and – I think – mining, and has a ‘catapult’ system of getting goods to Earth. You might approve of the lunar community’s approach to family life and government, too!

        • Fred H
          Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          Didn’t see it….I’m all debated-out.
          So why was an interview with Liddle absurd? Please outline why not? Him or the presented questions?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:06 am | Permalink

            Emily Maitlis’s line of questioning was totally absurd. Another pathetic attempted hit job this time on Liddle. She was at it yet again last night. She is absurdly pro EU and idiotic attacks on the pro leave chap. One leaver one remainer but the chair is even more of a remainer than the remainer guest.

            The other Newsnight presenters are even dafter and more biased.

        • hefner
          Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          Cost of the Apollo programme (in 1969 $) 20 to 25 bn.
          First, the USA wanted to show they could do better than the Soviets, who 12 years before had had a number of space firsts. It was still the Cold War in case one had forgotten.
          Achievements (in no real order of importance):
          – padded material (now used in cushioned soles of trainers),
          – water filters (used in present homes),
          – development of food formulas, with direct impact on baby milk formulas,
          – more than half of the computer circuit technology was developed for the Moon landing, particular effort in miniaturisation,
          – improvements in satellite/radar dish technology (miniaturisation),
          – development/improvement of medical imaging devices (including in-ear thermometers),
          – development/improvement in fire resistant materials, smoke detectors,
          – cordless power-tools,
          – advances in global and outer space positioning,
          – food-freeze-drying and preservation processes,
          – and certainly some others I cannot think of now.

          Given the present billions of $/£/€/… that we keep on spending on developments/improvements to make killing more efficient, one could think the Apollo programme was money well spent.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

            We would have had all these things anyway and rather quicker had we spent the money on this sort of R&D – rather than pointlessly sending people to the moon at vast expense.

          • David Price
            Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

            There is no basis to claim those things would have been developed at all, let alone quicker. The space programme set priorities for R&D spend that would have been wholely different otherwise – for example, why have baby milk powder in a country with ample milk? And the 1958 Space Act required the widest application be found for any and all developments funded by the program.

            You focus on the dollars and cents involved if you want to, I grew up in that time of the space programme, moon landings, concord and harrier. These were goals and achievements beyond our mundane life, something out of science fiction. They inspired me to an educational path in science and a vocational path in engineering and no doubt had the same effect on many others. All thanks to the American tax payer.

        • MikeP
          Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

          “Achieved virtually nothing” is a massive understatement. Even if you discount the subsequent miniaturisation of microchips and computers, now used in countless commercial & domestic applications, the alloys they invented, the subsequent use of a global network of tracking stations to maintain numerous satellite constellations for defence and communications 24/7, the biggest impact by far was on us, the rest of mankind who didn’t go. It gave us a massive injection of can-do optimism, that nothing is impossible, than man can actually pull off a project of such complexity and risk.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

            All this would have happened anyway and more quickly had they not wasted vast sums of money on pointlessly putting men on the moon. I am not against technology or earth satellites. Sending people up is not economically sensible at all. Sending men to the moon was absurd.

            We can have a can-do optimism by spending money on thing that are sensible. Rather than yes we can waste billions on something pointless.

            Spend the money directly on the things that are sensible and not something daft and then hope for spin offs. This is almost like saying we got many technology spin offs from the World War II so let’s have another war!

          • David Price
            Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

            Sending people up and to other planets is not absurd, it is essential.

            How else are we to escape from the hell of a planet being concreted over by people who sit in dusty rooms counting their money and declaring that building yet another crappy house or apartment block is so much more sensible than pointless scientific and engineering endeavours.

          • Fred H
            Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

            David Price….’Sending people up and to other planets is not absurd, it is essential.
            How else are we to escape from the hell of ‘ —
            at this point I thought you were about write a Corbyn government, or the EU, or Putin declared President of EU.

            I ended it very disappointed.

          • David Price
            Posted July 18, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

            @ Fred H – pick any reason, they are all impositions and restrains. What are the consequences if you cannot escape such people and institutions ..

        • L Jones
          Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          What ”we got for all this money” , LL?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

            OK would you prefer “what value we received for all this vast expenditure” ?

          • hefner
            Posted July 18, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

            Except if LL is an American citizen, he did not have to pay a kopeck to allow the USA to send men to the moon. As his remarks that everything which was developed/improved during this endeavor would have happened anyway, well maybe, but as some recent posts have shown the private sector not whipped by public contracts can be developing rather useless bells and whistles whether in cars or computers. Relying on the ingenuity of people in the private sector is certainly a good thing. However, in a race as there was in the 60s, the US state money (i.e., the American citizens’ money) was essential to this achievement. A bit like for the Internet (as some on this blog continue to deny: ARPANET anyone?).

    • Richard1
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      perhaps I should say in the interest of accuracy that claims about the adverse effects of fracking are exaggerated & not supported by evidence rather than are lies & disinformation – as no doubt the greens promulgating them believe them to be true. to many claims of ‘lies’ these days, i shouldn’t be doing it myself…

    • The Mariner
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Your comments on the BBC are so correct. They relentlessly defend their impartiality when it’s clear to one and all they hold a very pro EU stance always talking down instead of highlighting the positives in Brexit. I find watching the BBC news and political stuff often gives me a low and usually annoyed feeling so I nearly always change channel’s. I give up with them and I’m not on my own.

  2. Mark B
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    We really need to show some joined up thinking. We first need to find ways to reduce our energy consumption without damaging the economy. We also need to diversify both energy types and where we purchase our energy from. The UK has large deposits of energy reserves both in shale gas and coal, and the use of small modular nuclear reactors must be considered.

    We also need to address the other end and that is consumption. Again this comes down to population and, as always if you import more people they will consume more.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Societies have always had their slave classes to do the drudgery. With slavery abolished in the UK, we have to resort to the next best thing – a plentiful supply of cheap labour, willing to do the horrid jobs, on wages that UK people can’t raise a family on, after paying all the tax and housing costs.

    • agricola
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      If by “small modular nuclear reactors” you mean adapted submarine power plants why not. I have asked the question of those who should know but get no answers.

    • Timaction
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      …………..the real key is to get rid of political correctness and return to a sensible value system. A meritocracy and respect for English people. It won’t happen under the legacies who still want mass migration and left wing pc nonsense.

    • Al
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      The other issue is to improve storage and retention of energy, reducing waste at periods of low consumption to allow energy to be returned to the grid at times of peak use. While battery capacity at that level is expensive, a number of methods of storing this via mechanical energy have been created. Very few are in use in the UK.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        Storing electricity is every inefficient and very expensive. You waste 30%-50% of the energy in doing so plus the batteries or other storage methods are very, very expensive and do not store much energy either. Perhaps cheapest is pumping water back up a reservoir but very wasteful and needs a big reservoir, a dam, high power pumping, pipes.

        Far better in general to generate power as it is needed from gas, coal, nuclear or similar. As Solar and Wind electricity are not on demand (so their energy is worth far less – a concept the BBC seem unable to grasp).

        • Stred
          Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Yet the Climate Change Committee recommend 15000 wind turbines and only a few nukes and lots of gas with CCS and for hydrogen.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

            Plonkers driven by religion rather than the laws of physics and engineering. Or a desire for more government subsidies to keep crony industries in the luxury they have become used to?

        • Al
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

          As I mentioned, batteries are inefficient and expensive.

          However Dual lake systems or pump storage systems added to hydroelectric power schemes are surprisingly efficient (ignoring hype figures claiming 85%+, the 30-year-old Dinorwic scheme is confirmed at 75%).

          The initial cost is high, but running and maintenance costs – particularly when they are linked to existing schemes and using that infrastructure for power generation – are low compared to batteries.

          Using US figures, burning gas to generate electricity costs approximately $1000/kW. Pumped Hydro costs $152/MWh to $2o0/MWh (Lazard’s Cost of Storage report). As there are periods when more electricity is generated than needed due to minimum generation levels, as is happening this summer according to the National Grid, it makes sense to store the power rather than waste $1,000 an hour.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      According to the IEA,indigenous gas production in Europe(inc Norway but exc Russia) is projected to fall by 48Bcm to just 202Bcm by 2024(and halve by c2035);the collapse in output by the Netherlands due to depletion is a major factor here.Gas imports are expected to rise by c50Bcm pa by 2025.

      Iran,in addition to it’s oil,has large reserves of gas in a field shared with Qatar;whilst Qatar is a significant exporter in LNG form,Iran produces mainly for it’s domestic consumption although there are plans to develop an export pipeline with the Russians and Chinese to Pakistan and then possibility India.

      Evo Morales,President of Bolivia,was on an official visit to Moscow last week signing a few deals-gas(they have amongst the largest reserves in Latin America) with Gazprom,nuclear(the world’s highest altitude nuclear reactor is being built for them by the Russians) and lithium(Bolivia is estimated to have 50%-70% of the world’s reserves-Russia will be joining China and Germany with extraction rights).Landlocked Bolivia is also at the heart of what is described as the “the Panama Canal of the 21st century”-the proposed Bi-oceanic railway corridor that will link the Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

      Morales loathes-absolutely loathes-the USA and it’s acolytes and loves Russia for standing up to the USA.Too many of the people we don’t like/who don’t like us control a very large slice of the world’s key resources.

    • Alan Joyce
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr. Redwood,

      @Mark B
      Rolls Royce is very keen on SMR’s and has an informative website that sets out its case. Research into SMR’s is well-advanced in many large industrial economies and it looks as though they are all trying to be first to get these off the ground. It would appear they have great export potential which might be handy for the UK in a post-Brexit future and as power generation moves away from fossil fuels. It seems that RR is waiting for a government decision. Let’s hope it’s not another case of a ‘UK first’ ending up being produced by another country? I reproduce below a paragraph from RR’s website.

      ‘A UK SMR programme represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for UK nuclear companies to design, manufacture, build and operate next generation reactors to meet our energy challenge. A powerful partnership between UK Government and industry will enable the rapid development and deployment of a fleet of SMR Power Plants across the UK. This will deliver growth across the whole country and return the UK to the top-table of the global nuclear industry with world-leading technology, intellectual property and capability to deliver nuclear projects on time and on budget. Rolls-Royce is prepared to invest in this programme, if matched by Government support.’

      It is impossible for ‘ordinary people’ to know if humans are responsible for increased CO2 and climate change but, whatever you think, the powers that be have decided the use of fossil fuels must be phased out. The UK has to have a mixed method of power generation so as to ensure security and sufficiency of supply. Fossil fuels should be phased out over a period of time as and when they can reliably be replaced by alternatives but without impacting our economic fortunes.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    The two primary UK interests are freedom of navigation in international waters and pursuit of the potential of UK fracking.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      To ensure free movement of shipping you need Warships to police the seas. You may remember the Cameron Clegg access fatally wounded our ability to be serious.
      We have on average of 6 ships for worldwide deployment.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        – and how many in dock being ‘fixed’? All very well paying £billions for a possibly useful aircraft carrier, but the sort of threats the Iranians can use will not be stopped by aircraft at the end of their flight range. We seem to have abandoned old fashioned cheap naval ‘gunboats’.

        • Daniel James
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          The standard formula for warships is one third on deployment, one third in refit or maintenance and the final third in training or preparations for deployment. We have 19 frigates and destroyers so 6 being available is a reasonable assumption.

  4. formula57
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Energy security alongside food security should be top priorities but have not been, energy being hampered by Miliband’s Climate Change Act.

    I do not have answers to your questions but wonder why enforcing Evil Empire sanctions is more important (for one tanker of Syria-bound oil) than relations with Iran.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      “hampered by Miliband’s Climate Change Act” rather more than hampered alas. The act is insane plus we have the total lunacy coming from the Committee on Climate Change and Lord Debden. When the members are not flying round the world first class that is.

      An act that all but a tiny handful of MPs voted for (from all the parties). Showing very clearly what an appalling bunch of scientifically illiterate, virtue signalling, green religion dopes we have elected in the main.

    • Wessexboy
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Surely ignoring the sanction would rank as appeasement? This evil empire would simply see it as our weakness.

  5. Dominic
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Obama’s failure to topple Assad in Syria has left Merkel and the EU with no choice but to up their dependency on Russian gas. It also elevates the UK’s dependency on such supplies though at least the UK does self-supply around 45% of our gas need with 9% coming from LNG

    We must start looking westwards to US LNG. Ireland intends to build a LNG import facility to import US LNG. The UK should be looking to do the same as at present a hefty remainder of our gas comes from various European suppliers including Russia

    Energy supplies can be a very effective political tool. At least with US LNG supplies the supply will be effected by private companies driven by commercial considerations rather than political opportunism

    • James Bertram
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Besides developing UK oil and gas our biggest opportunity would seem to be with West Africa. Niger and Nigeria are two examples. Greater diplomatic efforts, help with better governance, anti-corruption measures and security, re-engagement of Shell and BP, and increased financial backing by banks and investors would all help. It has not gone unnoticed that China is making the greatest efforts to develop these supplies – so shouldn’t we too?

    • NormansWisdom
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Could you please explain why the failure to topple Assad left the EU no choice other than to import more Russian gas?

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

        A pipeline was proposed to take Qatari gas to Europe via Syria and across the Med;Assad turned it down.Funnily enough,the civil was broke out shortly after.

    • Martin
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      The UK already has one of the largest LNG terminals in Europe – at South Hook, Milford Haven. It has been operational since April 2010 and can meet 20 per cent of the UK’s demand for natural gas

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        20% if the ships keep supplying it that is!

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget that LNG requires large amounts of energy to reduce its temperature enough to turn it from gas to liquid. It also requires large amounts of energy to raise its temperature to convert it back again. It also needs much energy to ship it from its point of embarcation to point of discharge.

      Fracking for natural gas in the UK would be much cheaper and more efficient.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Mockbegger, quite right. We couldn’t afford to run our heating system on LNG and had to change it for oil.

    • Julian Flood
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      LNG is not a good option. Cooling the gas uses energy. Transporting it uses energy. As it is transported some is allowed to boil off to keep the rest cold.

      If only we had some sort of natural gas resource that could be easily plumbed into the gas grid, it would solve so many problems.


      • Ian Wragg
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        The boil off of LNG tankers is used as fuel. It doesn’t take a lot of energy to liquify it.
        Like the ICE it is one of the most efficient way of storing energy.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      We already have at least two LNG import facilities -Milford Haven and Isle of Grain;the first significant shipment of US LNG to the UK was in July 2017.

      • Mark
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Actually there are two LNG terminals at Milford Haven. The South Hook site is to the West of the town on the site of the former Esso refinery, and Dragon is to the East of it. They are commercially separate.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    How should the UK make itself secure over energy?

    We should get fracking and increase storage facilities for gas and oil. We should not be wasting money on very expensive intermittent wind and solar (other than in the rather few special cases where they can be cost effective without subsidies or energy market distortions). Importing bio-fuel to burn at Drax is total insanity (in engineering and even C02 terms). Done so politicians can make bogus claims about how much electricity comes from “low carbon sources” this is just a pathetic lie.

    So we are to get Alan Turing on the £50 note. Good to see a Mathematician/Engineer on one I suppose, not of course that that is the real reason his has been chosen. Meanwhile how is the 50p Brexit coin getting on? This appalling government’s priorities are very clear indeed, just from these money choices.

    Rod Liddle, on Newnight last night, was promoting his new book:- The Great Betrayal. Emily Maitlis demonstrated all the usual moronic BBC biases with her “your a racist” line of attack (with selective totally out of context quotes from his writing). She even needed some “people’s vote” (not penguins this time) chap on too to assist her attempted hatched job. Yet Emily is far from the worst of the newsnight pro EU, PC, climate alarmist lefty dopes on Newsnight. Indeed she is probably one of the better dire, lefty, unscientific, logic lacking, EUphile, PC dopes they have as Newsnight presenters.

    A Cambridge linguist it seems.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

      Sensible nuclear too, so not Hinkley C design. Another huge mistake by the appalling Theresa.

      • Mark
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        Indeed we need a proven design that we stick to for multiple orders so that costs fall under the learning curve effect. That was how the French did it in the 1970s in response to the oil price crisis of the day. Korea has been building nuclear stations for half the cost of Hinkley Point which makes them competitive without subsidies. Part of the key is in eliminating unnecessary levels of regulation that have simply been written by anti nuclear people to jack the cost. Sitting in the middle of a tectonic plate we do not need to protect against a Japanese style earthquake.

      • Ian!
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        Gordon Brown sold the UK’s nuclear independence on the pretense we would no longer need it.

        Now we are paying 10 times as much to foreign governments to get back to square one.

        • hefner
          Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          The ‘Dash to Gas’ and the concomitant slow-down of UK nuclear activities happened in the 80s and 90s. If anything Gordon Brown somewhat revived the nuclear industry in 2008.

      • Julian Flood
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        I think the description of a May decision as appalling is tautologous.


        • Fred H
          Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          Oh…Julian we (I) don’t need to have to look up meanings of words I’ve never come across. I am impressed , not, with your vocabulary, but to discover you state any May decision is automatically appalling, is something I think we have covered quite a lot.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Russia now has by far the largest share of the world nuclear power plant market.They also maintain that nuclear power is key to the development of the Arctic,both powerful nuclear powered icebreakers to develop shipping on the North East passage and floating nuclear plants to power the coastal infrastructure-the first such floater is presently on it’s way to the remote NE Siberian port of Pevek,starting operations in August.

        Mr Putin also issued an edict last year that only Russian-flagged vessels may use the Northern Sea Route(which is a Russian waterway,not an international seaway)where energy products(oil,LNG,coal) are concerned- apart from partners already contracted-the Chinese and South Koreans.

    • eeyore
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Norway is awash in energy. We are already linked by a 1.4GW cable. Surely this is where our energy future lies.

      • Mark
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Norway’s energy bounty is in oil and gas supply. Its potential for hydro electricity has been largely exploited already, with mainly only more costly sites yet to be developed. It needs the great majority of that resource for itself, and there is only limited capacity to balance renewables across Europe, most of which is already taken. The economics of the Norway connection look bad from the point of view of UK billpayers, who will be heavily subsidising exports of surplus wind, and competing in a bidding war with Germany for supply when the wind isn’t blowing.

      • Fred H
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        except the Russians are developing submarine craft to sever all types of undersea cables/ pipes….

        • Stred
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

          Like the cables for the 15000 offshore turbines that Gummer and Co are keen on. And the interconnectors to buy French nuclear that they will not have soon or French wind generation that they won’t have when we are without too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      “Amber Rudd urges new Tory leader to put more women in the Cabinet”

      While I am all in favour of more women in Cabinet on merit. There is alas so few female MPs with any working compass or cabinet ability. Then again there are not many men either and most of the good ones are on the back benches thanks to the appalling Theresa.

      I would have thought that the performance of May, Rudd, Morgan, Soubry, Perry, Greening, Sandbach and the likes was enough to put anyone off more women until we find some sensible ones.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        L/L hear, hear.

    • Alison
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      @Lifelogic, please, there is nothing wrong with being a linguist. Indeed, I find it very helpful, as I get to see, hear, read what the others are doing.
      I strongly agree with @Mark B, we must consume less. Also good for cleaner air.

      On fracking, there are multiple problems: the data, and studies, show that fracking causes a large increase in damaging seismic activity. For example, a 5.7 magnitude quake in Oklahoma. I read in 2016 that the state of Oklahoma had a record 3,309 earthquakes of at least 2.5 magnitude in 2015. Massively up from pre-fracking times.
      The chemicals used in the process are seriously damaging to health. Just Google fracking endocrine disrupting or simply fracking and health. I’ve seen the effects first hand. The costs of extracting the oil or gas are greater than the benefit.
      Go solar, reduce or remove the VAT on the panels. Go hydro.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink

        Nothing wrong with being a linguist I agree, but I do not want them to design aircraft I fly on, the energy systems I use or the bridges I cross. I would prefer engineers, mathematicians & physicists please.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 17, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          My wife studies languages as it happens. I certainly do not want her designing aircraft!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      The dire Chancellor Philip Hammond who has done so much harm to the economy with his project fear, refusal to prepare for no deal and insanely high, complex and irrational tax code:-

      “The new government, the new prime minister will have a majority of two or three in parliament and I’ll be one of them … so a lot of power rests in parliament going forward. If the new government tries to drive the UK over a cliff edge called ‘no-deal’ Brexit then I will do everything I can to stop that happening.”

      What an appalling man. Let us hope there is nothing this revolting traitor to Brexit and the country can do. He needs to be deselected. He is not a Conservative, he like May is a pro EU, tax to death, anti-democratic socialist.

  7. Javelin
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Boris just destroyed the Conservative Party by not committing to reduce immigration. There will be no bounce back for the party. I was predicting the Brexit Party would wither but it appears that will not happen.

    Populist voters always say immigration wasn’t an issue but on the comments sections that I study and track it is the number one issue. Let me quote two facts. Two years before Brexit over 50% of jobs went to immigrants. Two years after Brexit 90% of jobs went to Brits. It’s a staggering statistic from the Telegraph.

    Every British parent wants the best for their children and the young want the best for themselves and that fact shows it’s impossible to become a majority party anymore without heavy reductions in immigration.

    That one sentence was a critical mistake.

    • Javelin
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

      I will summarise what Boris just said was “**** the voters, prioritise taxation.”

      It’s not a message that has a hope to win an election.

      • agricola
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

        If by prioritising taxation he meant reducing it to allow individuals and industry to create more wealth then I for one would be all for it. Government is the greatest drag on the enterprise of the British people.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

        Boris said “What I want to see with immigration is control. “I’m not going to get into numbers with you.”

        Nothing really wrong with that statement at this stage as I see it.

        Jeremy Hunt called for looser immigration rules for doctors and nurses – this so as to under cut wages in this sector (and so we do not have to train our own and can pinch other countries much needed output). Unfortunately many we do import are not up to the same standard (some are not even qualified at all ). The statistic on this are very clear, very many deaths & errors are the net result.

        • Nicholas Murphy
          Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          Some time ago I found a listing of the top nursing schools in the world. I was so unsurprised to find that the Anglosphere dominated it. Only Sweden, among the EU nations, managed to get into the top twenty. The other outlier was Singapore. But I will wager that looser rules for nurses, applied by Johnson and his globalist like, will not result in higher nursing standards in the NHS.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

        6 Derby councillors defected to the Brexit Party. Standby for more to come.

      • L Jones
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        It’s true that immigration looms large in people’s concerns for our country. Not because we ‘hate foreigners’ (as Andy would accuse us – an insult to those of us with mixed race families) but because we are all aware that our infrastructure simply cannot adequately support the numbers of incomers. We’ve been ‘promised’ well over 5,000 new houses in our area, with no mention of how our already struggling hospital will cope.

        What’s the good of having a lifeboat if it’s sinking under the weight of those saved? It won’t be a lifeboat much longer.

        You’re right, Javelin. This is a vote loser and no mistake.

        • Andy
          Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

          It is perfectly possible to build new infrastructure. The reason we haven’t is because you keep electing Tory governments who prioritise giving tax breaks to multi-millionaires rather than building new schools and hospitals.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

            Top earners now pay more than ever before in income tax and the priority has been increasing the point at which people start to pay income tax.
            I would have thought you would have been in favour of both these things Andy.

          • Fred H
            Posted July 17, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

            edward2… If the priority has been (is that a month or two, or quite a few years/ governments?) to increase the point at which ‘low earners’ start paying income tax, then even after cattle prodding by the LibDeaths, it has been hopeless. Maybe lessons in the income tax allowances and tax brackets are needed? Increasing the basic allowance for all, automatically reduces tax paid for all -even the higher paid. It is this point I take issue with the stupid ‘promise?’ made by Boris to reduce tax paid for the comfortably off. To return to ‘her’ speech, this will do nothing for the ‘barely managing’ in our society.
            I can still hear the possible Tory voting forms dropping in the waste bin.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 17, 2019 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

            It hasn’t been “hopeless”
            All earners pay income tax so if you increase the starting point then higher earners gain a bit too but lower earners gain more in their spending powers.
            But income tax is progressive ith higher rate bands, so higher earners pay even more in percentage terms as their earnings rise.
            Lowering the top percentage rates has led to higher revenues from higher earners.
            That us what you want fred, surely?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 18, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

            We are already strangling the wealth creating sector by over taxing it. Increasing tax rates further will not raise more but less. It will push people abroad, they will not bother to work or find other ways to save tax.

      • Simeon
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

        Ah, but Javelin, there isn’t going to be an election, at least not until Brexit is done and dusted. Johnson said so. As and when there is an election, everyone will be so enraptured by King Boris that the plebiscite will simply be a rubber stamping exercise of his supreme authority, derived from his magical charisma and staggering intellect. And his luxurious mane.

        He could grow a Victorian beard, adopt a German accent and channel the ghost of Highgate cemetery, and still the proles would gratefully and gleefully make their cross by the Boris party candidate’s name. The plebs will be happy as the proverbial pigs, just so long as they can endorse the great man. Higher taxes, controlled mass immigration and lashings of ‘green crap’ will be an honour for his loyal and adoring subjects to endure, consoled as they will be with fairy cakes bearing the likeness of their chosen one.

    • agricola
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Uncontrolled immigration is an issue. In house training of those we need is a very big issue that would ultimately control immigration by not importing what you already have. Within the Telegraphs figures I do not detect a solution to the vast shortage of doctors and nurses. Investigation might discover that the 90% are delivering pizzas.

    • Nigl
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Sound decision by Boris. Why would he commit to something he is not certain to achieve because he knows he will be ‘beaten’ with it, ie bruised by the Boris bus saga.

      He has said that he favours a points based system, that indirectly makes clear he wants a ‘tap’ that he can turn on and off.

      As for JRs question I agree with other correspondents, politicians need to grow a pair and push fracking, no coal please, dirty, had its day and carbon capture financially unviable, yes protect supply lines so reverse disgraceful squeeze on ships for the navy, more solar voltaics, price coming down all the time, more investment in wave energy, we have some of the biggest tides and finally, and again the government lacks cojones, all new build homes must be ultra energy efficient, battery storage, solar panels, heat pumps, more efficient insulation etc. Make the building monopolies shave their margins.

    • Shirley
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      If you are referring to the Sun/Talk Radio debate, then you are adding 2 + 2 and making 5! Boris said he would introduce a points based immigration system. The fact that he didn’t say he would reduce immigration means he didn’t mention it. That’s all! If he doesn’t reduce immigration, I can foresee the Brexit Party winning the next GE, so Boris knows the danger.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Of course legal control over immigration into the UK was and is an issue; not the top issue for everybody, but also not just for those who voted to leave the EU. No doubt there were those who objected strongly to open door immigration from the rest of the EU, but were duped into thinking that it was unavoidable because continuation of the present unimpeded trade with those countries was vital for our economy. I am not surprised that Boris Johnson should be still going along with that Tory line, just as I am not surprised that William Hague is still trying to stop us leaving the EU.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      He said he wouldn’t be drawn into a numbers game. Given the ‘side of a bus’ debacle and the scrapping of the 10s of thousands commitment, he is probably right to learn from past events, but he could have said more about his intentions in this regard.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Just suppose Boris does become PM…and would Mrs M allow that? Is it in the plan..the script?
      He is said to believe that he can get a “ better deal” from Brussels. My foot!!
      Maybe he thinks the leadership is in the bag and he can now begin to unravel his promises? A bit premature?
      More of the same old, same old disgraceful pantomime.
      How do we drain our swamp? No more Liblabcon voting!

  8. Everhopeful
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    How bizarre that the obvious answer is unthinkable.
    Reopen the coal mines! 300 years of energy security.
    Which other country would not use the incredible resource the UK has under its soil?
    I very much doubt if coal is as damaging as every other form of pollution encouraged by the government.
    Never mind 5G, car fumes, intensive farming, fracking quakes, continued ripping up of the countryside, the noise pollution that is positively encouraged…nope …coal is the villain.
    So let us all freeze to death in our totalitarian nightmare.

    • agricola
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      Yes coal has much to offer. Lets have an honest appraisal of what has been done in Chennai to control emissions from burning coal. Encourage our own engineers and scientists to ckme up with viable solutions.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile the coal is just being burned elsewhere, emiting just the same C02 etc. or indeed often worse in China, Germany …. Plus whole industries are exported.

    • RAF
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Reopen the coal mines! 300 years of energy security.

      In the current climate (pun intended) opening coal mines is all but impossible. The people driving the climate ‘Extinction Life Event’ protests would literally try and bring the whole country to a halt and on current reaction the authorities would do nothing to stop the protesters achieving their aim.
      However, here is an excellent opportunity for British innovation to produce processes to make the use of coal much cleaner and defeat the opponents of coal use with science and argument backed by verifiable proof. Investment in the R&D would be needed but the rewards in energy security and in worldwide earnings could be immense.

      On another tack, while the Government, of any hue, will back the need to reduce the carbon footprint of the country as a whole those same governments continue to import hundreds of thousands of people each year whose carbon footprint in their homelands is small but is greatly increased the moment they set foot here. It’s madness on every level, not just carbon footprint issues, but appears to be a policy that must be adhered to, no matter the consequences

    • L Jones
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      If Germany can do it, why can’t we?

    • Leaver
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      That’s easy to answer. We don’t use British coal because Polish coal is much cheaper.

    • Mark
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      I think that modern technology may be able to improve the economics, but it is still hard to compete against large open cast mines that supply the bulk of the world’s coal today.

    • Timaction
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      …….rising population via mass immigration is the problem the legacies won’t deal with!

      • Dennis
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        Timaction – correct!

    • Ian!
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Carbon capture at power generating plants should cost less than all the wind farms.

      Not forgetting all the wonderful electric and hybrid VW Group cars are created by their own(VW’s) coal burning power stations.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Carbon capture is a pipe dream.

      • Stred
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        As recommended by the Climate Change Committee for gas to hydrogen and gas reserve generation. They think it is going to be cheap. Snort.

    • DaveK
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      You also seem to suggest that fracking is a villain. The quakes to which you refer also took place during coal mining and are of the strength of a van going past. Much like the 1000th of a degree change in Global Average Temperature, if we had not invented devices to measure these things, we would be non the wiser. Nearly all the myths about fracking are complete fear factor rubbish. It has been suggested we have 200 years worth beneath the UK which obviously the eco brigade want us to keep in the ground whilst, like the council in Cornwall, want to reduce us all to the glorious days of Poldark where they lord it around on expensive transport and us peasants have to live within 5 miles of work due to having to walk there.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        My point…govt is prepared to pollute in just about every way except coal.

  9. agricola
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    First a suggestion on the tanker to ensure it does not become a continuing issue anchored permanently off Gibraltar. The sanctions it breaks are EU ones, therefore offer the oil at market value to any EU country that can use it. Pay the Iranians for it and send the tanker on it’s way. The only loser would be Syria which was the reason for halting it in the first place.

    Our national interest is served by stopping Syria getting the oil, but not in stealing it. Make it clear to our EU partners that it is up to them to halt subsequent tankers. Their moral political decisions cannot for ever ride on the back of the USA or UK.

    As to our energy security, we know the answer. Fracking, fracking, and more fracking. The ignorant nimby and vociferous Luddites cannot be allowed to stand in the way of UK energy security. By all means listen to genuine concerns, but after that use the law to push them back in their boxes. Long term, give maximum support to developing Fusion Energy.

  10. Turboterrier
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Sir John.
    Scrap the Climate Change Act. Start fracking for gas. Remove all subsidies and constraint payments from the generators for being paid when the grid is overloaded or when the wind and sun is non existant. The monies saved invest in nuclear fusion whoever cracks that puzzle will control the energy market.. Invest in infrastructure and get rid of all these quangos riding on the crest of a wave formed by climate change. The uk are not stupid people we have had it stuffed down our necks for years and the critical mass know the real score, sadly not our elected politicians.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Too true Turbo. Great post.

  11. acorn
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Shale UK conference report 2014 (from DRILL OR DROP? website)

    To recover 15 percent of shale gas from the Upper Bowland Basin in Lancashire would need 33,000 wells on 5,500 pads, an industry conference heard today.

    The estimate by Andy Aplin, Professor of Unconventional Petroleum Development at Durham University, is based on research published last year into production levels from 8,000 wells in the Barnett shale gas field in the United States.

    Professor Aplin, a former adviser to BP, told the Shale UK conference in London the density of production in the Upper Bowland Basin would need to be one pad of six wells per 2 km square. 15 percent of recovery, he said, was 40 trillion cubic feet or 13 years’ of UK gas use.

    To be independent of gas imports, Professor Aplin said, Britain would need to drill 1,000 wells a year nationwide from 150 pads. He contrasted this with the average of 19 onshore wells drilled in the UK each year between 1902 and 2013 and the 50-150 UK wells drilled annually offshore.

    Another speaker, Lord Oxburgh, former chairman of Shell, explained why the drilling density would need to be so high. He said US experience showed that production from shale gas wells declined very rapidly. The flow rates of the majority of American shale wells halved in the first 12 months. 84% of wells became uneconomic within three years.

    • Mark
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      As the production would be spread over 50 years or more, we can divide most of your numbers accordingly to give the impact at any one time.

      We already have nearly 8,000 onshore wind turbines despoiling our landscape far more damagingly than wellpads do. Between them they will only produce as much energy over their lives as the Wytch Farm field with its handful of unintrusive wellpads next to multi millionaire paradise Sandbanks.

      The Barnett shale is not a good proxy for the Bowland shale which has a much thicker payzone, allowing the same wellpads to be used to extract gas from different depths.

  12. AlmostDead
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    We should stay out of it. We have enough problems ourselves.

  13. Fed up with the bull
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    We must Frack, baby, Frack. We really are shooting ourselves in the foot with our refusal to frack and to open our coal mines giving many jobs in areas where they are much needed. Spend the money on fracking and small nuclear installations instead of wasting it on wind farms and solar farms. This country could see an economic turn around but instead we rely on intermittent and expensive energy which is putting our manufacturing industries at risk of closure. We really must get real. As some in the oil industry have stated, we already frack every day so what’s the problem? Once again government officials are listening to the NGO’s and not to common sense.

  14. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    “What is the UK’s national interest in all this? How should the UK make itself secure over energy?” …. Leading questions.
    The answer is certainly not more windmills.
    The real answer is to set our scientists free of the climate change dogma so that they can really innovate and create solutions – Stop channeling so much money into trying to prove the impossible regarding climate change, and use it to motivate companies and our scientific community to develop new ideas.
    They are out there if we dare to really look.

  15. Roy Grainger
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Fracking: it not only reduces our dependence on Middle-East gas & oil but would also reduce our CO2 emissions by replacing higher-carbon sources (as it did in USA). Win/Win. However, the green lobby will ignore this evidence-based policy option endorsed by scientific experts and continue to put their faith in a poor little 16-year-old schoolgirl who has seen visions.

  16. Anthony
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Nuclear power
    Get on with it

    • Julian Flood
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

      Seven words of commonsense. It’ll never catch on.


  17. Shieldsman
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Do we really want to forego natural gas for heating and cooking. Are we going to allow our politically correct MP’s to bully us into all the expense of changing over.
    The carbon neutral electricity that we do not have is at least three times as expensive.
    Time to demand that Governments serve the voter not their own feel good policies.
    Smart meters have the ulterior purpose of regulating a households use of energy by variable hourly price tariffs.
    I refuse to have one.
    When the Paris agreement is dead and most of the World continues to use fossil fuels, why should the UK and its Citizens be disadvantaged on politicians whims.
    I am not going to engage in arguments over anthropogenic carbon dioxide and heat retention, when the heat input from the Sun is known to be variable. Research continues, the science is not settled.

  18. Alex
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    It seems Hunt seems to regard himself as PM despite being about to lose the vote. He has managed to involve Britain in a conflict that has no upside for anybody via an act of piracy that has no justification at all. Boris should slap him down as soon as possible.

  19. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The reinforcements for our forces in the Gulf are inadequate. The motivation for Iran to seize a British merchant ship is strong, which means that every British merchant ship going through the Straits of Hormuz needs to be accompanied. You, Sir John, should be asking just how many operations the Royal Navy is engaged in today – and then push for more of it to head east.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      We only have on average 6 warships (Frigates and Destroyers) available at any given time.
      Thank Cameron and Clegg for that.

  20. Ian Wilson
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    We need a government to support fracking instead of throttling it. Richard1, Mark B and Lifelogic are spot on here, as is the support for small modular reactors for which the government appears to have dropped support.

    It is frustrating that our energy policy is such a mess with needlessly high costs to households and businesses. Owen Paterson gave a superb speech on energy to the Global Warming Policy Foundation a couple of years ago, Dieter Helms made very sensible proposals, all totally ignored by our Energy Minister who prefers to listen to a schoolgirl and the rabble blocking roads proclaiming climate emergency.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      “our Energy Minister who prefers to listen to a schoolgirl and the rabble blocking roads proclaiming climate emergency.”

      Claire Perry read Geography at Oxford (like May) can we have some decent numerate Engineers or Physicists please. I would not want to fly on an aircraft part designed by people like Perry or May – the same applies to our energy system.

      • Al
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        ” I would not want to fly on an aircraft part designed by people like Perry or May – the same applies to our energy system.”

        I find myself reminded of the tech joke about which managers would fly on a plane designed by their team. The one manager who continued sitting comfortably stated “If my team designed it, it would never get off the ground. “

  21. Caterpillar
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Sorrowful today to read the story of Huntingdonshire District Council allegedly targeting around 27 pensioners who have scrimped to save over many years so have gone over the 16k limit.

    Destroying people’s lives in old age for not consuming whilst simultaneously trying to send out a sustainability message is not just nasty it is inconsistent. The partially ZIRP induced 4% savings ratio with inadequate net capital formation another example of inconsistencies that are present (UK tax structure needs fundamental change).

    UK historically industrialised and diverged from other economies based on (i) cheaper energy (coal), (ii) more expensive labour, (iii) investment, (iv) time for education (based on productivity from the others). Now UK is pursuing expensive energy, imported cheap labour, consumption, dumbing down. Hmmmm?

    If anti CO2 policies are pursued then Carbon Fee and Dividend should be used on leaving the EU Emissions Trading Scheme – Fee and Dividend has even garnered cross party support in USA. The so-called climate emergency should be largely tackled by innovation not enervation – as Lomborg consistently shows more world lives can be improved in more direct ways than the current costly climate route.

  22. heretofore
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Oil like any other liquid substance will flow until it finds its own level

    Russia will pump gas and that’s ok because the Germans will export cars

    The US president Trump is a buffoon tolerated only because of the position he holds he is not going to find it easy to get allies now, not even Israel or Saudi, few are going to stick their heads above the parapet.

    Mr Hunt was wrong in giving orders to arrest the tanker, the Captain has not been charged with anything because there is nothing in law to charge him with- instead Britain should be charged with piracy and Mr Hunt placed in the dock. Now Britain has the added headache of having to safely dispose of it, to release it, and how to do this without losing face. To get this ship with hundreds of thousands of tonnes of crude oil out of Gibraltar waters safely in case something terrible should happen and pollute the whole place.

    UK could change tack and deal with Iran one to one for trade now that we are leaving the EU- energy supplies secured

  23. A.Sedgwick
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Trump’s “there is no free lunch” approach to NATO is right. It is in danger of becoming a sham. Turkey, the unfied Germany and of course France with its hokey cokey membership make it unstable with the help of the wily Putin.

    Again Trump has delivered on making USA great by promoting fracking even further, pity our snow flake dopes and the SNP prefer the prospect of blackouts.

    A quote of the C20 by Sheik Yamani – the stone age didn’t end for the lack of stone and the oil age will end long before the world runs out of oil – remains true but not for this century. Freddie Laker at the same time said – the world will never run out of oil, it’s everywhere – fracking is further evidence of this.

  24. Iain Moore
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    I believe we have something called Green energy , or so I have been told, that will cover all our needs , in fact I saw an MP the other day wax lyrical about green steel, though how you make steel without coal/carbon was not explained. Nevertheless our political class have mandated that we will live in a carbon free country by 2050, so it must be possible , isn’t it? I can only presume it is, after all they wouldn’t have allowed their shock troops of Extinction Rabble mess up our lives if it wasn’t, for I feel pretty sure I wouldn’t be allowed to park a boat in the Stand if the police hadn’t got tacit approval from the establishment to allow me to do it.

    • Mark
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Trouble is that is what the media encourage us to think. There is very little investigative reporting that would show up the problems they are assuming away. Less still now that Booker is no longer with us.

  25. Norman
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    What about the Leviathan and Tamar Gas fields (Eastern Mediterranean)? Israel estimates its seabed contains around 75 trillion cubic feet of gas and 6.6 billion barrels of oil – deep sea pipeline underway up through Cyprus, to Europe. Huge geo-political significance, vis a vis Russia, Iran and the West. Much re-alignment going on, re Turkey, Saudi, UAE etc.

  26. Noneoftheabove
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    If you burn ANY Hydrocarbon in Oxygen you get Carbon Dioxide, end of!!!!
    Reopen the coal fields and improve chimney scrubbers.
    Just think, more fuel security, more jobs, fewer energy imports.
    And for those who will scream about the climate, I refer you to my opening sentence.
    We’ll need vastly more energy to charge all those electric cars so please, let’s just get on with our coal and shale gas.

  27. Nigel
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Re yesterday’s post, the smart meter has just switched to Welsh. As a former Welsh Secretary, Sir John, can you help?

  28. A different Simon
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    You need to delve a bit deeper John .

    The U.S. do not actually produce 12mmbbl of oil .

    They produce 12mmbbl of hydrocarbon “liquids” , not all oil .

    Almost all of the new liquids production (light-tight-oil a.k.a. L.T.O. from the Bakken , Eagle Ford , Permian Basin) is “gas condensate” .

    This new production contains very little in the way of long chain hydrocarbons so cannot be used to produce much of the money spinning middle distillates ; gasoline and diesel .

    In order for almost all refineries around the world to use it , it has to be blended with imported heavy oil .

    The U.S. imports 8 million barrels of heavy oil per DAY .
    It exports 1 million barrels of gas condensate because it cannot be use domestically .

    Unlike OPEC which co-ordinates production to maintain a fair price which ensures long term stability , it is impossible to co-ordinate production of the many small U.S. producers who have to pump , even at a full cycle financial loss , just to service debt interest payments .

    The U.S. is already producing 1 million barrels per day more gas condensate than it can produce . The tank farms as Cushing Oklahoma are too full for W.T.I. prices to recover .

    Increasing production of U.S. gas condensate will only make the problems small producers are facing worse .

    • Mark
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Middle distillate synthesis processes for light hydrocarbons have been around for a long time. The can be highly tuned to producing jet fuel or diesel or petrol. A big advantage is that they are naturally effectively zero sulphur.

  29. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    This country seems to have gone completely mad.
    Facts: Fracking is perfectly safe. Compared with coal mining and the primitive mining, which gives us the stuff our mobile phones are made out of, it is exemplary. How do I know? I have close contacts in the oil industry.
    Facts: This climate Change obsession – now with boats! – is blurring the facts.
    Renewables, as I write this, account for only 17.38% of our production. Solar? way down at 9.1% (on a sunny day). Wind – not there at 1.5%.
    Nuclear is producing 16.1%. CCGT (aka gas) produces over half (53.5%).
    If we get rid of gas (no Russia/no fracking/ lots of pollutant shipping costs), the computer screens fade and die. If we get rid of nuclear, same difference.
    Nobody seems interested in facts though – hey – let’s get out and have fun in the streets!
    With boats and be on Telly!

  30. gyges
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    But isn’t all oil denominated in dollars and so this shores up the dollar? It isn’t as simple as who produces what where but whether or not the oil produced is sold using US dollars and hence giving value – a world subsidy – to the US dollar.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink


      “But isn’t all oil denominated in dollars and so this shores up the dollar?”

      Exactly. The reason why Iraq was attacked and destroyed (with our help) was that Saddam wanted to trade their oil in euros.

  31. Turboterrier
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The majority of the electorate have little or no idea on how societies function especially regarding energy and this has allowed the Church of Renewable Energy and Climate Change to rise and establish itself to the position of controlling government policy. China and India will just sit back burning coal and watch the rest of the world destroy itself as it prices itself f out of the market.

  32. Chris S
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I’m posting this from a Spanish ski resort in the highest region of the Pyrenees.

    Criss-crossing the Franco-Spanish border over the last few days from Biarritz on the coast to the highest mountain passes, we have passed just one hydro electric dam holding back the water to create a beautiful lake but in the clear blue skies there hasn’t been a single ugly solar panel or a wind turbine anywhere in sight.

    As for our own energy needs, it’s obvious :

    The only sustainable, reliable power source for the future is Nuclear. Yes, we should be ignoring the doom merchants and start fracking where it’s possible, but that produces more fossil fuel which we are told is creating global warming so if the climate change zeolots are right, it cannot be more than an interim solution.

    Wind and solar are unreliable especially in winter when our energy needs are greatest and that means stand-by gas, coal or nuclear generators. All three are too expensive to be sitting idle waiting to be brought on line when they are needed.

    But why are we wasting billions on EDF’s untried and very expensive new technology at Hinkley Point ? we led the world with nuclear power but our politicians took fright and let France make all the running. As a result, France has 58 Nuclear stations, all but two of which were mass produced to just two designs. Their electricity is plentiful and cheap.

    The simple answer for the UK has to be to take the best of the existing French and UK reactor designs, update them and build 20 or more identical zero emission reactors on three or four UK sites. The resulting economies of scale would save billions and create a home-grown industry that could sell and build identical systems around the world.

    You never know, we might even be able to power all the electric cars the government is pushing us towards with indecent haste.

    • Stred
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      We could borrow using bonds to build nuclear at half the cost. EDF has passed on rates at much higher cost. £50 bn over the supply period.

  33. mickc
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    The UK has no national interest in a conflict with Iran. It has every interest in supporting the Iranian moderates by supporting the Obama deal and thereby ensuring goodwill towards the UK when the current Iranian government is ousted.
    Iran has a large and wealthy middle class which is a great market for the UK.

  34. Gareth Warren
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I have watched the US appear to almost magically increase their oil supplies through fracking, the only consolation for comitted peak oilers as myself was that the cost of the oil was much higher.

    And despite increasing technology that is a safe bet for the trend of future oil supplies, I also note the US oil patch has been spectaculary unprofitable. We can definitely say future oil supplies will be more expensive since Saudi, Russian and other future projects are all so expensive – we ran out of cheaper oil.

    The UK’s position in this should be to seek oil security by reducing its usage reasonably over time.

    Electricity generation too should be mainly supplied by nuclear source as a base load so we do not need massive amounts of gas, coal should be used too in a limited way since its by products are needed by industry.

    The real benefit to reducing our resource usage would be reducing immigration, it would also force countries we harvest by immigration to develop.

    On Iran, we have no particular reasaon to thank Israel, I can think of their support of the Stern gang. However, Israel is the most advanced society in the middle east and a very good trading partner with a great people.

    I believe we should take Iran’s threats seriously, we should stand with Israel and the US and not seek to undermine the sanctions. The fate of the tanker is difficult, if the source of the oil is landbased then it needs to be resolved before it solidifies. If Iran refuse to comply then it should be sold on the open market, the money returned to Iran.

    • A different Simon
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Yes ,

      Peak Oil was correct ; production of cheap oil has peaked .

      The world has moved along the cost curve as far as oil production is concerned .

      Light-tight-oil (from hybrid interbedded shale/sandstone formations) released by hydraulic fracturing , ultra-deep water etc have much higher capex requirements .

      Did you know that most of the U.S.’s new hydrocarbon liquids production is not actually oil but gas condensate ?

      It lacks sufficient long chain hydrocarbons to produce diesel or decent gasoline and has to be blended with imported heavy oil before the refineries can take it .

      Expect production to peak before 2025 once the core area’s of the Eagle Ford , Bakken and Permian basin are drilled out (at rock bottom market prices) .

      It could have been decently profitable for U.S. onshore producers had they been able to co-ordinate themselves like OPEC to avoid the mindless over-production forced upon them by the need to service debt interest payments .

      Take a look at .

  35. Dominic
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Farage telling it as it is in the EU Parliament. What a pity most Tory MPs won’t stand up and go on the offensive against creeping Marxism.

    When the BBC ‘s Pointless exhibits a seemingly insignificant photo of a smiling Lenin holding a cat as though he was a conventional politician rather than a mass murderer then you start to realise what we’re up against.

    The Tory party’s stepped back from the fight and therefore democrats have no choice but to align ourselves with a political party that is prepared to confront the poison of Marxist totalitarianism

    Johnson’s embrace of ‘progressive liberalism’ (code for State intervention in all areas of life) and total intervention creates an appropriate environment that plays into the hands of such social engineering poison

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, it is worth putting this into google:

    [Hunt and Johnson: the backstop is dead and can’t be in any EU deal]

    to see how widely that message has been disseminated; and moreover it is reported that yesterday Stephen Barclay told Michel Barnier FIVE TIMES that the deal negotiated by Theresa May is dead:

    and yet the woman who has been nominated as President of the EU Commission flatly refuses to contemplate any change at all to that withdrawal agreement:

    So what should we do? Cave into EU intransigence, as so many our disloyal and craven senior politicians want us to do, or make it clear to the world that the EU has left us with no choice but to walk away without a withdrawal agreement?

    • heretofore
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Denis- we were never guaranteed a WA or a FTA, we voted to leave, and that’s it

  37. Martin
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    The Government has been too timid in promoting the benefits of fracking and no doubt has been constrained by Ed Miliband’s Climate Change Act, put together by Baroness Worthington, at one time a member of Friends of the Earth. In the political vacuum it has not been helped by the BBC which has promoted environmentalists against fracking. The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, is, as it happens, ex-BBC management.
    The incoming prime minister needs to appoint a politician who can take control of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; who can explain to the public the benefits of fracking and who can face down the environmentalists in that department.
    ‘Rules designed to halt fracking operations if they trigger minor earthquakes could be relaxed as the shale industry begins to expand, the UK energy minister, Claire Perry, has said.’ At present fracking has to stop should minor tremors exceed 0.5 on the Richter scale. [The Guardian 9-10-2018]. However rules have yet to be relaxed.
    ‘It is estimated that the UK has 25 trillion cubic feet of shale gas, one of the richest shale gas deposits in the world. There is an estimated £70 billion worth of shale gas in South Wales alone. Fracking could provide a boom in cheap energy at a time when the North Sea oil reserves are drying up.’
    [ web site]
    But The Welsh Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and numerous councils across northern England have imposed bans on planning applications for exploration and drilling licenses.

  38. Richard Giles
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Wind power output fluctuates very little if collected from many points distributed over a large enough area. Furthermore long distance electricity transport is quite cheap now, as is wind power. I remember reading that Europe would be in a very good position to take advantage of these two facts.

    • Julian Flood
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      Wind power fluctuates over all distances and all scales. The idea hat you can rely on it is a dream.

      When a big high pressure area sits over Europe the large enough area becomes continental in size. The costs of transporting electricity over that sort of distance is immense.

      And if everyone has to produce enough surplus wind power for a continent, how many turbines will we need per square mile?

      Green nightmare.


    • Mark
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      The trouble is it turns out that the distances involved are very large, which greatly increases the costs of the transmission lines needed for balancing and the quantities of capacity required in areas remote from big centres of demand with large amounts of curtailment required as well. Wind is highly correlated across the whole of Europe except for the Mediterranean and Black Sea fringes. Even then you are left with occasional periods of several days where you would really need complete backup.

  39. Anonymous
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink


  40. Mark
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I just read through the Westminster Hall debate on the BBC. Helen Jones, introducing the debate announced that she proposed there should be no discussion of BBC bias, despite that being the key petition topic. Very few MPs addressed that subject, and they were mainly ex BBC employees pretending that everything is wonderful. I guess that too many were afraid of a hard interview or being excluded altogether by the BBC if they commented. We are entitled to MPs who do not cower when faced with the BBC.

  41. PeterMiller
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Simple answer: Fracking. England, unlike the rest of the UK and Europe is unusually blessed with oil and gas shapes. Ignore Gazprom and Greenpeace empty propaganda and get on with it.

  42. margaret
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    We are always interested in oil supplies.It is the motivator behind comfortable survival. No mention I see of France’s pipelines and abundance of fuel supplies.

  43. ukretired123
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Off topic
    Today marks 50 year anniversary of the incredible lunar landing – “Man on the Moon!”
    Showing that out of a lot of hard and good intent weapons of war can be turned to agents of progress, just like the computer as finally after nearly a century (!) Alan Turing is immortalised in the new £50 banknote.
    Before Bletchley Park was reopened 20 years ago many thought that the programmable computer was an American invention, not British due to the Official Secrets Act 70 years on.

  44. Ian!
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    A little of subject. All the usual subjects are having their say in the MSM about a no deal.

    To date there has never been a deal anywhere that permits the UK to become a sovereign self governing country.

    Do these people who want a deal actually know what the deal is on offer.

    Even the 2 would be leaders seem to imply that it is only the ‘backstop’ that is the problem. Have they not read what is known about the WA?

    Or is needing a deal just code for the UK remaining as state ruled by a foreign power.

  45. David B
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink


  46. forthurst
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    The economic blockades instituted by the US have a habit of benefiting the US economically and damaging her ‘allies’. Economic blockades are warfare and we are not at war with Iran or Syria. The oil transportation from Iran to Syria has been ongoing for several years so it is not clear why it should suddenly become an issue. If Hunt wants to reduce tension with Iran, he should release the oil tanker and cease sabre rattling in the Gulf region.

    This escalation in tension with Iran has been deliberately initiated by Trump by unilaterally revoking an international agreement, the JCPOA, to which we are a signatory. This agreement was objected to by Trump’s paymasters who wanted to facilitate the expropriation of more Syrian territory which is presently been prevented by Iran and its allies.

    We have no legitimate interest in any of this other than to avoid hostility towards foreign nations with which we have no legitimate dispute, particularly those which can easily interdict our shipping, and wars which inevitably release a flood of refugees pressing on our doorstep and not that of the US.

    The Tory party needs to promote a foreign Secretary who is not Trump’s poodle by inclination.

  47. NickC
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Jr, I would ask in turn why we (the UK, the West) appear to side with Sunnis rather than Shias?

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Saudi arms purchases for one thing-look at how big a customer SA is compared to any other we have.

    • Norman
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      How can you side with a regime that states its avowed intent to destroy you or your allies, whether Sunni or Shia – especially those who have ‘form’.
      Also, have you forgotten the Holocaust? And Britain’s shameful post-WW2 reneging on Balfour? Thankfully, America found grace to fulfill the honour (refer Genesis 12:1-3 ). Trump is one of the few politicians in the world who will answer such a question openly – no wonder some hate him so much. He may be an enigma, but he’s certainly a man for this moment in history. But there, you knew all this Nick, didn’t you 🙂

  48. Jumeirah
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    “How should the UK make itself secure…….” We can’t unless we make the decision to completely leave the EU without ‘let or hindrance”, Pre-conditions or conditions thereby regaining our Sovereignty and then AND THEN we can decide what’s in our National interest. Unless and until we do our National interests remain those controlled by and dictated to us by a foreign Parliament whose Senior Delegate admonished Brexit MEP for not standing when he said that respect should be shown when a Country’s anthem is playing. THERE YOU HAVE IT and there’s nothing clearer than that.

  49. Mark
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    We should be cautious about becoming reliant on supply of electricity via large amounts of interconnectors. Northern Ireland is about to make itself largely dependent on Eire when the wind isn’t blowing via the massive North South line. More connections to France look increasingly risky given their plans to replace nuclear by wind farms, as well leaving London and the South heavily dependent to keep the lights on. The connectors to Norway are a back door subsidy to new wind farms that would face curtailed output without the ability to export at prices heavily subsidised by billpayers. The ability of Norway to provide backup from its hydro resources is already dominated by its own needs and existing arrangements with Germany and Sweden.

  50. BR
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    The government has ducked this for decades.

    We need to move towards nuclear and not the dangerous types, there are working Thorium reactors around the world and large projects to develop the technology to the scale needed.

    Before someone rabbits on about Thorium not being a fissile material – yes, we know – it can be made fissile and it produces no radioactive waste which means no disposal problem.

    Check Wikipedia for a list of the other benefits.

    This is where energy funding should go. Government science funding should be able to advance these technologies and invest in these projects. Britain can be a leader in this and we don’t want to be in hock to private companies.

    No more oil probably means no more Gulf wars.

    • Mark
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      There is not likely to be a commercial Thorium based power station for at least a decade and probably two.

      • Al
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        I wonder how advanced the technology would be if the money the government had pumped into green energy had been put into developing one.

        Instead we had the three-decade shutdown on Thorium reactor development and the UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory recently deeming it an immature technology so not worth investing in. (I suspect that translates to “let someone else pay for it”.)

  51. Andy
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    How do we make ourselves secure over energy?

    Renewables. No nasty foreign power will stop the Sun from shining, the wind from blowing or the tides from ebbing and flowing.

    These things can produce all of our energy needs. They are clean, green, secure and – after installation are inexpensive to run. The fuel itself is basically free.

    I really do not understand the reluctance of the Tory government to embrace this stuff. It genuinely is a no brainer. But then we can not expect much from people who think Brexit makes sense.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Did you study any science at all at school, Andy?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Germany is still burning coal to produce power. All the fault of Brexit I suppose. UK’s reduction of CO2 is the best in the EU – as usual we follow the rules but the rest of the EU don’t bother.

      • Cliff. Wokingham
        Posted July 16, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        No he hasn’t yet, but next year he will when he starts big school.

    • eeyore
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Andy expostulates that he does not understand something, and draws the conclusion that those who do understand it must be stupid not to share his ignorance.

      David MacKay’s “Sustainable Energy”will supply him with the facts and figures that inform others who comment on these matters.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Andy your post is ridiculous and you need to go away and study the facts. I have had face to face meetings with the ex director of the national grid and professors with knowledge of energy systems and they all say the same thing. We cannot run our grid on renewables and we cannot turn off all our fossil furl poert stations. They are our lifeline. Go back to school and stop playing truant.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

      After c. $2tr in subsidies, ‘renewables’ account for 3% of global energy production. About the same as 20 years ago. Wind and solar are less than 1%. Unless there is a dramatic breakthrough in battery technology – meaning a completely new technology – which would enable eg solar energy to be stored, there is no possibility of renewables coming close to replacing hydrocarbons.

    • Mark
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      What happens on a cold winter evening when there is no sun and the tide has just turned (all the major tidal sites are synchronized to be at either high or low tide within a short period)?

      Lights out on your fairy tale.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Andy…I wondered when the usual barb would be thrown in. Well done, you managed to go right to the end.

    • Stred
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      The government under May, Gove, Clarke and Gummer and his chums are going for wind and solar. They must be as daft as your type of Conservative.

  52. Iain Gill
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    a lot of our domestic gas is being imported on pipelines from Russia too I thought?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Mostly it is shipped in from the Middle East.

  53. Yorkie
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    …”Germany and the continental Europeans are busy making themselves ever more dependent on Russian gas…”
    These nations are defaulting to type. Germanic-Russian-Slavic, central and East European axis. Anti-American as the focus of Anti-English with an old spite of their peoples’ deserting their countries or being thrown out and going over to the Super English in the New World and making good. Plus a resentment of the invasion as they see it of anglo-phonic impregnation of their national languages. ‘Vikend’ in Slavonic cultures, ‘Weekend’ in Germany and France. It annoys them. Vhy?????

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Russia is Germany’s natural partner-France was an arranged(if not forced!)marriage after WWII.

      There are something like 4000 German firms registered to trade in Russia,a number c10x greater than the next largest.German investment in Russia this year looks set to hit a ten year high…despite the sanctions.

      • Stred
        Posted July 17, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Germany has committed to not using coal and will need to import much more gas. Russian is cheaper.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink


      “Plus a resentment of the invasion as they see it of anglo-phonic impregnation of their national languages. ‘Vikend’ in Slavonic cultures, ‘Weekend’ in Germany and France. It annoys them. Vhy?????”

      Really? So what about our own use of German? Here are just a few:


      You are aware that English is a Germanic language so much so that many linguists maintain it is not even a separate language but just another Germanic dialect.

      So ‘Vhy’ should it annoy them? They wouldn’t do it if that were so would they?

  54. Edwardm
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    The first priority is that we need to be as self sufficient as possible in energy, and in the case of electricity to generate it reliably and at low cost. That may not be possible, so we therefore want to import energy from friendly and reliable nations.

    A pre-condition is that we have a clear out from cabinet and decision making (and the political class in general), of idealists, those with a warped sense of geo-politics, and those who refuse to consider objective evidence.

    We then need to build British designed nuclear power stations to cost effective designs like we used to – and they can be sited at existing old nuclear sites – and over which we have total control.
    We can also frack for hydrocarbons. We should also stop burning wood, largely imported but causing large areas of forest to be cut down.
    It would be nice to be able to extend pumped storage schemes, but there are limited sites in the UK for that.

    Globally the UK interest is that other friendly trading partners should in turn not be held to ransom by countries such as Iran. So we share the general interest that bad regimes are kept in their box, which means having an effective and large enough navy so we can show a presence and act where necessary.

  55. Andy
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    My MP – the wonderful and learned Dominic Grieve – has described Brexiteers as having been ‘Talibanised’. It’s a good description. As it becomes more and more obvious that your project is ill thought through and has failed the only option is to become more extreme.

    Remember when you all wanted to be like Norway? Not now. Now you want the Venezuela model – no arrangements with the EU at all. Bonkers really.

    Meanwhile your American chum, Mr Trump, shows his true colours by picking on women of colour. At least brown and black are natural skin colours. Mr Trump himself is a strange shade of orange.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      You and Grieve are being silly.
      The Taliban are a dreadful bunch of terrorists who have committed murder and torture.
      They kill gay people and treat women like dirt.
      To compare that group to those of us in our democracy here in the the UK who simply wish to leave the EU is completely ridiculous.
      And hugely insulting.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      What does ‘Talibanised’ even mean Andy? How come Grieve can insult 17.4m people who voted in a free vote 71.8% turnout with his word slur and this is acceptable to you?

      “The Taliban is a brutal, fundamentalist religious group that held power over most of Afghanistan during the late 1990s. The word Taliban comes from tālib, “student” in Arabic, as the group was started by Pakistani religious school students in the mid-1990s.”

      Brexiteers aren’t brutal, they are not a religious group and they’ve not held power in Afghanistan? You always insult that Brexiteers are all old none student types so ‘students’ doesn’t fit either.

      The BBC says “The Taliban enforce their own austere version of Sharia, or Islamic law, once in power. In both countries, they introduced or supported Islamic punishments – such as public executions of convicted murderers and adulterers and amputations of those found guilty of theft. Men were required to grow beards and women had to wear the all-covering burka. The Taliban banned television, music and cinema and disapproved of girls aged 10 and over from going to school.”

      This is nothing to do with Brexit and Brexiteers and Grieve is out of order.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      What Planet are you on, Andy?
      The only people who wanted to be like Norway were closet Remainers who were frightened of leaving the Single Market.

      My commiserations about your MP.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Can your posts get any more attention seeking or ridiculous Andy?

    • Richard1
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      Norway could have been a compromise option, although not a good or long term one, but the EU has blocked it by insisting on the Irish backstop, which includes the customs union. Norway + CU = non-voting membership of the EU.

    • Kenter
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      Try getting off it.

    • margaret howard
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink


      And his wife has a very shaky grip on the English language.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Oh ha ha – leftie social justice warrior Andy lives in a prosperous non-diverse achingly middle-class Home Counties constituency with a Tory MP – I’M AMAZED !!!! See you in London with your Climate Emergency chums Andy, now the private schools have broken up ?

    • agricola
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      It would seem that Grieve has the capacity to spread his own contagion and we are the beneficiaries. As the Queen Bee of dishonest politics and the epitome of arrogant self promotion DG takes a lot of beating. That you are a proud acolyte earns you few brownie points, only an understanding of your affliction. Enjoy this second hand moment of fame but prepare yourself for disallusionment.

    • Fred H
      Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      to describe Grieve as wonderful and learned sounds like you are on your knees facing your cult leader. He is an absolute disgrace.

  56. Stred
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Do the Syrians have a refinery? Why not deliver the oil to the French refinery on the Med and give the captain a cheque for the Iranians?

    • Mark
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Yes, at Homs.

  57. steve
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink


    “What is the UK’s national interest in all this? ”

    Well JR, firstly I don’t think we should be doing the EU’s bidding.

    Secondly the issues are more complex than we in the west might appreciate. The Iranians could well be trying to acquire nuclear weapon capability, but then they would say why should just one nation in the middle east be allowed to have the bomb.

    I think we should keep out of it, but if the Iranian leader calls us cowards again, we should give him something to mull over.

  58. LukeM
    Posted July 16, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Nigel Farage is again today calling for the EU to open talks with UK for a FTA. But don’t know why he’s so bothered because it will be nothing to do with him post 31st Oct.

    • Dominic
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      Farage is an important political player in UK politics. Without him and the threat he posed Cameron would never have offered the British electorate a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU

      Suffice to say, without Farage we’d now be facing the prospect of an ever deepening relationship with an EU that’s become determined to expand its powers, its control and its spread.

      Tory Eurosceptic MPs did their best but it was Farage who was the game changer. He should be awarded a Knighthood for saving this nation from calamity

    • Pablo
      Posted July 17, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Agreed-With only three more EU parliamentry session days remaining in September and then three in October which hardly count I’d say that Farages time as an MEP is up, and with Mrs Von der Leyon not taking office until 1st November I don’t know who Boris thinks he might be negotiating with so again think we can safely say that 31st Oct is the end date

  59. BillM
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    If only Government, any government, abandoned the eco-world of rip-offs and concentrated on OUR own sources of energy, we could match the USA with cheap electricity production.
    Africas peoples would not be so backward if they had access to electricity 24/7. There’s little of no electricity down there but plenty of coal (and some oil) – IF they were allowed to mine it and build power stations, et al.
    It seems as the vacuous carbon emissions limit is a problem that has stifled development in the under-developed world.
    It is time we pulled out of it to help both ourselves and those poor Africans.

  60. ferdinand
    Posted July 17, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    How can we secure our energy ? Simple by burning fossil fuels with the latest clean burn technology.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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