America’s fracking boom is producing so much natural gas that the energy industry plans to start exporting enough of it to heat nearly 2 million British homes.
A $15 billion deal to export vast volumes of natural gas from the United States by tanker ship to the U.K. was struck between energy companies Cheniere and Centrica. It will help keep the British warm, but it adds a new layer of controversy to disputes over fracking in the U.S.
Under the deal, Centrica will pay £10bn over 20 years for 89bn cubic feet of gas annually — enough to heat 1.8m homes — from Cheniere, one of the first US companies to receive clearance from the federal government to export shale gas in the form of LNG (liquefied natural gas). The first deliveries, by tanker, are expected in 2018.
The announcement of the deal comes at a crucial time, as Britain’s gas reserves have been severely depleted by the unseasonable cold snap, which has increased demand. Last week, it emerged that there were only two days’ worth of gas left in storage.
British Prime Minister David Cameron is jolly pleased to join in on wanton plunder and pollution of American land. “I warmly welcome this commercial agreement,” he said.
Americans living near fracked lands and forced to buy their water in bottles certainly hope that your people enjoy that warmth, Mr. Prime Minister.