It’s Difficult to Reimagine Natural Gas Without Nick Grealy

penneast pipeline - Tom Shepstone ReportsTom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.


Our friend, Nick Grealy, a guest blogger here and passionate proselytizer for natural gas around the world has passed away. He sought to “reimagine gas.”

He had recently announced he was confident he’d make it a few more months but then, shortly thereafter, I noticed the tweets had stopped and knew it couldn’t be good. I searched the internet and found an excellent piece by Ruth Marcus at her Drill Or Drop? blog confirming my fears. She captured something special about Nick, you didn’t have to agree with him to respect his passion and his wit. He and I agreed on most things gas and I loved reposting his pieces coming at the issue from a very different perspective than my own, yet ending up in the same place.

We had very different views on pretty much everything else but I gave him two different tours of the gas fields of Northeastern Pennsylvania. While I had followed his No Hot Air blog (a/k/a Reimagine Gas) long before, I came to know his affinity for common facts, the common man and common sense. I took him to the Williams Barbecue three years ago and he loved every minute of it. I had, on a earlier visit, given him a tour of Dimock and he was enthralled with the real story and what he saw that was so different than the myth heard on the other side of the Atlantic. That was Nick Grealy and, with permission, I’m sharing below the Ruth Marcus post acknowledging his contributions.

Nick Grealy in Dimock, Pennsylvania

Nick Grealy in Dimock, Pennsylvania on a tour Bill desRosiers and I gave him when working with Energy In Depth.

Tributes paid to shale gas commentator, Nick Grealy, who died yesterday

Nick Grealy, the pro-fracking commentator and journalist, died yesterday aged 64. He had been diagnosed last year with brain, lung and pancreatic cancers.

Mr Grealy ran the No Hot Air website and tweeted under @ReImagineGas.

He argued on his website:

“I’ve been talking about shale gas for over eight years. It’s low carbon, cheap and proven: What are we waiting for.”

His final tweet was from hospital last Thursday when he commented on an article predicting a boom in UK shale gas.

A would-be shale gas operator, Nick Grealy applied for three exploration licences in 2014 in London through the company, London Local Energy. He was unsuccessful, but continued making the case for shale gas exploration under the capital.

He leaves his wife and two children.

Nick Grealy

The site of a 1911 oil discovery in Willesden. Nick Grealy said last year: “We think it is morally indefensible to refuse to even explore for oil and gas resources under London.“ Photo: R Sones, via Wikimedia Commons

“Passionate proselytiser”

Graham Dean, of Reach Coal Seam Gas, often shared conference platforms with Nick Grealy. He said:

“He was a passionate proselytiser for shale gas and was one of the earliest to see the potential for shale gas in this country.”

The industry organization, UK Onshore Oil and Gas, said this morning:

“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Nick Grealy.

“He was a force to be reckoned with, throwing himself into his work with energy and enthusiasm, even as he battled illness. Many of you will know him for his presence online, as Nick as an ardent supporter of the UK’s shale gas industry throughout his life, and one of the first to see its potential.

“We will always remember Nick for his sharp wit and passion, and at this sad time send our condolences to his wife and two children”.

Paul Mobbs, of Mobss’ Environmental Investigations and Research, said:

“He was one of the few knowledgeable pro-frackers willing to have a stand-up argument in public. Now pro-frackers will only “debate” on their own PR-media-managed terms.”

Helen Robertson, managing editor of Petroleum Economist, said:

“Whether you agreed with @ReImagineGas or not, he certainly got people’s attention and passionately believed in his cause.”

Regular speaker and commentator

Nick Grealy was born in Ireland and grew up in New York, where his father was a TV reporter for Irish Television.

During his time at university in New York, he went to France and became a life-long Francophile. He met his wife, a nurse, while working as a gas trader for the NHS. They lived in Kingston-upon-Thames.

During his life he had had a serious car accident which left him with a metal plate in his head.  He also had a heart condition and had survived prostate cancer.

Nick Grealy was a regular speaker at conferences about UK shale gas and once remarked that the only money being made was by event organisers. He gave a presentation recently at the Petroleum Society of Great Britain Prospex 2017 exhibition and conference in London.

He often contributed to comments and pieces on Drill Or Drop. He was always generous with his time and challenging in his criticism.

Ruth ended her post with three examples of Nick’s work from her site:

Let me add three superb pieces from Nick Grealy I was fortunate enough to be able to republish here at NaturalGasNOW:

And, finally, let me end with Nick’s own poignant words, which he offered after his terminal illness diagnosis last year as he reflected on transitions in the energy field and his own:

The transition is coming and coming sooner than thought. Sadly, from my own petty tragedies, I can confidently predict that I won’t be around to say anything except “I told you so” from the grave. I will be somewhat reflective over the coming months or even weeks.  I’ve been the worst sort of pain in the ass over the past ten years here: I’ve also mostly been right. Why stop the habit of a lifetime now?

Well said, my good friend! It will difficult to reimagine gas without you!

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5 thoughts on “It’s Difficult to Reimagine Natural Gas Without Nick Grealy

  1. The loss of a rational and clear thinking individual is always a great loss. All will miss him and his perspective.

  2. Too many friends of going to their grave without realizing the fight they are fighting will be victorious. Nick like most of us who wants simple honesty and hard truth to be the trumpet of reason will surely be missed. I enjoyed his blogs and his comments and will miss him like so many. To his family my condolences, to extended family I say fight on in the memory of Nick peace and God’s love

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