Shale gas comes to London. Not in the way we’d like.

At London Local Energy we think an informed gas consumer will be our best customer.  One way of doing this is explaining as simply as we can where gas comes from today and our alternative.  Naturally, we’d like to hear from anyone else’s alternatives, but we must all start with today’s reality.

Today’s reality, or to be exact from this Saturday, July 8, means that London is going to be using shale gas.  Not our shale gas, shale gas from the US.  The following figures are approximate, depending on both some unknowns and our wish to make it as simple as possible, but if they’re aren’t 100% correct, they remain broadly accurate. Continue reading “Shale gas comes to London. Not in the way we’d like.”

London Local Energy: We Want What You Want. The Lowest Carbon Natural Gas on Earth

Why? Where? How? When? Who?

A press briefing from London Local Energy Limited.

Appendices to each section are on line at

London Local Energy wants to reboot the shale gas debate by stressing the product, not the process. We start by correcting two key errors: Gas development is not surface intensive, and nor is local natural gas best left in the ground to fight carbon emissions and climate change.

We also have an entirely different narrative. We don’t seek to industrialise the countryside. We want to industrialise industrial estates.

LLE’s geologists believe there could be a yet undiscovered oil and gas province under London.  Aligning natural gas production with local demand is inherently sustainable and would make London natural gas the lowest carbon natural gas on earth.

Based on modest projections of meeting 12% of London natural gas demand (1.1 billion cubic metres), we estimate CO2 savings, compared to the current UK natural gas supply mix, of 1 million tonnes of CO2. Savings would be ≈1.7 million tonnes if compared to imports of LNG from Qatar, the USA or via pipeline from Russia. Continue reading “London Local Energy: We Want What You Want. The Lowest Carbon Natural Gas on Earth”

London Local Energy: When

United Kingdom oil and natural gas resources belong to the Crown. They are owned by the many, not the few. The debate whether to use them – or not – must also be made by the many.

The Oil and Gas Authority is charged with Maximising Economic Recovery of the UK’s natural resources. We ask them to open the 15th Onshore Licensing Round as soon as possible.

LLE knows public acceptance has been the key barrier to accessing UK natural gas onshore. We believe accelerating the debate before the license round ensures earlier success after it.

We don’t want public acceptance or acquiescence. We want to create public enthusiasm. We ask for the media and the public to abandon outdated concepts and join us in an informed debate involving the many, not the few.

After a license approval, we anticipate a two to three year process of exploration and analysis to assess if there could be a movement toward a production phase. That would be the appropriate time to have a debate over production.

Annual production of 1 BCM would bring tax revenue to national, city and borough levels of £75 million at current gas prices and taxation levels. That could mean 15,000 solar panel installations or 15,000 home energy insulations per year. Or it could be starting salaries for 3,000 nurses, teachers or police. That’s for the many to decide not us.

Where? The history (so far) of London’s oil and gas resources

Where? The history (so far) of London’s oil and gas resources.

Until recently, producing any oil and gas under London would have been impossible. Thus, exploring for it would have been pointless.

The White Heather Laundry at  what is now Artesian Close London NW10 8RW,  was an extremely successful commercial laundry business that drilled a well for water in 1910.  The modern rotary drill bit was not invented until 1919, and made the fortune of Howard Hughes’s father. In 1910-12 drilling to a depth of 2,500 feet took over 18 months.

From Texas to Alberta to Beverly Hills to Iraq, the search for water often uncovered oil. London has several wells for water over a 1000 feet depth, and LLE geologists have learnt much about London oil and gas prospects from them.

According to contemporary records in the public and private domain, the White Heather Laundry found over 250 feet of oil shows below 1500 feet. That is a very significant amount, and there are many discoveries which produce from 50 feet thick shows -or less.  Equally, there are wells which tried to prove up oil fields from far thinner strata and were unsuccessful. LLE may fail too. But why should we not look?

From the laundry’s perspective, it wasn’t the water they needed, or at least it was too salty, bubbly and oily to be of any us to a laundry. Especially one that held several Royal Warrants.

Continue reading “Where? The history (so far) of London’s oil and gas resources”

London Local Energy: Why?

Why? Where? How? When? Who?

London uses about 9 Billion Cubic Metres of gas a year, 11.8% of a 2016 National total of 76 BCM

  • Less than 5% is used for power generation in London
  • Most use in London is in buildings and homes
  • There is little heavy industry in London, but gas is used in food processing and preparation – brewing, baking, pasteurisation.
  • Gas is used for commercial property, for both older heating and modern HVAC ( Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems
  • There are 3.3 million separate gas meters in London.
  • Based on national figures of 1.6 million central heating systems installed or replaced annually, a new or replacement gas boiler is installed every 40 seconds – in London alone.  LLE is not “locking in” carbon fuels.  Central heating users are.
  • Three million meters are for domestic use for heating and hot water. Nationally, 61% of those meters also use gas for cooking.

The dominant issue for London is how to replace gas used in heat. The main alternative to central heating is from heat pumps, but that technology is not only expensive but requires digging up an area the size of a large garden, gardens that most Londoners don’t have. Nationally, 99% of homes that have a natural gas supply use it for heat.

Ofgem figures from 2017 demonstrate that  for Q1 2017  only 663 customers disconnected from the gas network to use renewable heat.

Continue reading “London Local Energy: Why?”

Who are London Local Energy?

Nick Grealy – CEO and Above Ground Issues

Gas, power and carbon markets experience since 1991, active in shale gas since 2008. Specialises in public acceptance issues, frequent contributor to media debate on natural gas in UK and globally.

Graham Dean – Technical Manager and HSE Manager

Founding chair of UK Onshore Operator Group. Engineer and Petrophysicist with a long career in the oil and gas upstream working in Business Development, Strategic Planning, Petroleum Engineering and Petrophysics.

Mark Lappin – Business Development

Over 30 years of E&P experience across the oil and gas business cycle from early exploration through to abandonment, Has worked for ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillips, as well as integrated energy providers such as Centrica, and has also managed a small onshore Operator, Dart Energy Europe. Originally a geologist, Mark has had technical, management and executive roles.

Dr. Peter Turner – Geological Advisor.
Reader in Earth Sciences and Head of Petroleum Geoscience Unit at University of Birmingham, before commercial career on conventional exploration projects in UKCS, North Africa, Middle East, South America. and China. Co-founder of Cuadrilla Resources Ltd, expert on sedimentology, geochemistry, structural geology, seismic and wire-line log interpretation and contributed to resource/reserve calculations of a number of hydrocarbon reservoirs

Geraint Lloyd – Drilling operations – E&P Corporate Strategy

A British geophysicist and experienced specialist in unlocking new onshore oil and gas plays. Technical and engineering chief of several Canadian / US start-ups with multi TCF discoveries. Drilled and fracked 25 shale exploration wells in New York, Kentucky, West Virginia and Quebec before US shale plays were truly fashionable. Onshore UK experience includes successful 32 block application in 14th Onshore Round for GDF-Suez as head of onshore geology & engineering.

London Local Energy: How?


Sometimes only a picture will do.  This from our friends at Continental Resources is used with permission.  It’s a billboard in Oklahoma

London Local Energy does not use the F word.  No one uses F words to describe the natural gas that 3 million Londoners use for heat and hot water – except sometimes when the bill arrives.  We are obsessed with the product, not the process. The three revolutions of the past ten years ( the others being hydraulic fracturing and sub-surface imaging) are simply a case of yesterday’s breakthroughs rapidly becoming the mainstream. Over 70% of US gas and 65% of oil is produced using the above method. As long as people consume natural gas, we think we should offer the lowest carbon and highest public revenue alternative.

Some say that because the UK has no landowner rights to hydrocarbons its a barrier to development.  LLE’s view is the public ownership of oil and gas resources is both equitable and promotes efficient – and minimal – development above ground. It’s also our view that the disposition of the resources of the many should be a question for the many, not the few.

Long, horizontally drilled laterals are the ideal solution for London.  The UK, unlike the US, has very large blocks that have one owner.  The UK industry can  use the latest technology to access most of the below ground with minimal surface impact.  Among other concerns,  London property is famously expensive. We share the bounty of below ground with all 65 million UK residents – if they allow us.

Continue reading “London Local Energy: How?”

We love all energy sources. Except one

Let’s make this clear. This isn’t a choice between renewables and natural gas. LLE are as Green as anyone else. We live in London, love our air, our water and our children just like you. We want what you want.

We think the energy transition includes renewables, efficiency, smart meters, nuclear – and natural gas, especially in heat.

We don’t like coal. Not in the UK, not in the US, not in Germany, not in Poland, not in China, not in India – not anywhere.  Using the gas under our feet releases gas for sale to people not as fortunate as we are.

We’re already lucky enough to be citizens of the greatest city on earth. Our own natural gas resources make us luckier still.

This isn’t a competition between energy sources. Renewables, efficiency and natural gas; It’s a recipe. Not a menu.  We have to eat the whole thing.

Different strokes for different folks.  100% renewables where that works. Efficiency is great but we’re going to hit the floor at some point. You don’t go on a low-carb diet by starving to death.

Zero Carbon Electricity by 2030? Sounds good to us.  We want  to have 40% lower carbon heat TODAY!

LLE’s Million Ton CO2 Challenge

London Local Energy’s launch in June after the UK General Election will include a detailed breakdown demonstrating how using London’s natural gas resources would cut one million tons of CO2  – or more.

People, Planet, Profit.  That’s good for everyone.

We Want What You Want

About Us

London Local Energy Limited

152/160 City Road

London EC1V 2NX

Company Registration 10762057