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UK fracking firm produces first shale gas

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LONDON: UK energy company Cuadrilla said Friday it has extracted a small but “encouraging” amount of shale gas for the first time since resuming fracking in Britain less than three weeks ago.
The 11-year-old private firm has borne the brunt of protests for trying to test whether fracking – a process in which water and chemicals are used to blast apart rock formations – can  unlock natural gas deposits in the UK.
The method has transformed the global energy market but is only developing slowly in Europe. Cuadrilla released a 12-second clip showing a bright yellow flame light up inside one of the chimney-like structures that stand over a web of pipes drilled deep into the ground.
The gas flare was Cuadrilla’s evidence that fracking at the site was possible. The company said the question now was whether the entire process was commercially viable.
“The volumes of gas returning to surface at this stage are small,” Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said in a statement.
“However it provides early encouragement that the Bowland Shale can provide a significant source of natural gas to heat Lancashire and UK homes and offices and reduce our ever growing reliance on expensive foreign imports.”
Cuadrilla produced small amounts of shale gas at the same site in 2011.
It was then forced to halt operations because two small earthquakes were soon registered
in the northwestern part of England where its operations are based.
It resumed work on October 15 after adopting more stringent safety and regulatory measures that environmentalists said were still insufficient.
The company has since been forced to briefly halt drilling on three occasions because minor tremors began being detected deep underground.
Cuadrilla stressed at the time that none of them could either be felt or cause physical damage on the surface.
“This Preston New Road site is being monitored to an unprecedented level,” Egan said in Friday’s statement.
“If we are able to fully test these wells, without compromising on safety, we have the potential to make a major difference to UK energy supply, security and economic prosperity.”
The company said on its website that its tests from 2011 suggest that it can produce 6.5 billion cubic feet (185 million cubic metres) of gas from the Bowland Shale well over 30 years.

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Economy

Contain population: SC

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ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court today directed the government, civil society, and religious scholars to take steps to tackle the country’s burgeoning population growth rate.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar and comprising Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Ijazul Ahsan, announced the verdict on the case.
The apex court had taken suo motu notice of the explosive increase in the country’s population back in July last year. The court termed the increase in the population is an explosion and said there is a need to launch a nationwide campaign to tackle the issue.
In the judgment, the Chief Justice observed that the increasing population is a question mark on the future generations and the entire nation needs to be united in tackling population growth.

 

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Economy

Geo-Tagging technology for plantation launched

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KARACHI: Sindh Governor Imran Ismail today while launching the “CO2 Smart Executive Club” at NED University of Engineering and Technology, termed it as welcome move in order to have an oxygen-friendly environment.
“There are multiple issues pertinent to climate change and global warming; and it is a unique initiative, very well designed to show the effects of plantation in real time,” he explained.
He put emphasis upon the Clean and Green Pakistan initiative of the present government to reduce the adverse climate change effects on multiple fronts in the country.
He said that the subject matter and the themes covered were of prime significance and also very close to the endeavors of the government. The generation and sharing of knowledge on this count is definitely going to improve prospects of the country.
“I feel that it is the true responsibility of a University to engage itself in civil society with the intention of social and economic service,” the Governor said.
Earlier, the Governor was informed that Geo-tagging technology would be ensured to keep a watch on the saplings planted under “The carbon dioxide smart Executive club.”
The smart executive club is working on devising a method under Geo-tagging technology to estimate proportion of oxygen and carbon dioxide in different areas of the city and to act accordingly by planting more saplings in carbon dioxide condensed areas to ensure oxygen friendly environment.

 

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Economy

Danish delegation visits Faisalabad

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School teacher suspended

FAISALABAD: Under the development initiative of Punjab government, the waste water treatment plant project costing Rs.15 billion would be completed with the cooperation and financial assistance of Denmark to utilize 150 MGD waste water of Maddoana drain for irrigation purposes.
In this connection, a delegation of Denmark visited Faisalabad and held a meeting with Deputy Commissioner (DC) Sardar Saifullah Dogar.
A delegation headed by Deputy Head of Mission Bente Schiller included Director RDC Ulrik Netterstrom, Investment Director Danida Business Finance Rina Stender Sapru. MD WASA Faqir Muhammad Chaudhry and other officers were also present.
Deputy Commissioner welcomed the Danish delegation and said the Punjab government was taking a keen interest in the provision of potable water to the people. In this connection, the government had set its priorities besides allocating sufficient funds, he said and added that cooperation of Denmark was appreciable which would help in early completion of project.
He said that this project would further cement the bilateral relations between the two counties.
Bente Schiller said that Denmark government through Danida Business Finance was conducting a feasibility study prior to financing a large scale waste water treatment plant with the newest Danish technology.
She hoped that project would enhance the living conditions for the population in and around Faisalabad as pollution through waste water was a major health concern.

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