Heartwood backs fracking to reduce UK oil imports

Oil pumpsIn the wake of anti-fracking protests across London, Heartwood Investment Management has declared the controversial technology is "here to stay". The 25-year-old investment management firm, which has over £2 billion (€2.5 billion) under management, seeks to focus on the capacity of fracking to reduce the need for oil imports. On Monday, anti-fracking protestors caused disruption at several UK locations, including blockading the doors at the main entrance of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). Activists also staged demonstrations at the new campus of Swansea University in Wales, causing traffic problems during rush hour. The action has been linked to "Reclaim the Power", an anti-fracking camp near Blackpool, organised by campaigners "No Dash for Gas" to run between August 14 and 20. Heartwood, part of the Handelsbanken Group, focuses its comments on the US fracking industry, but acknowledges that technology "will continue to have dramatic effects globally". The firm notes that fracking produces liquids which, when modified, can also be used in refineries, leading to some displacement of crude oil and reducing the need for oil imports. It says: "The US imported 7.17 million barrels a day of crude in May, a 26% drop from the same month in 2008. "Imports accounted for 22% of US oil consumption, the lowest level since 1970, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) has reported. All the indications are that this trend will persist as the nation's output should climb to 9.28 million barrels a day next year, the highest since 1972." Heartwood says these developments are driving down energy input costs and boosting US manufacturing, particularly in chemicals. It says: "The US consumer has been benefiting from falling energy costs, with a direct impact on disposable income. Inflation too has been affected, it's very much a virtuous circle." ©2014 funds europe

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