Our digest of last month’s news about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas developments in the UK and around the world, including:
- Leading UK doctors call for an immediate ban on fracking
- Europa abandons Immingham drilling site after finding no oil
- Ministers call on councils and police to prevent protest camps
- Cuadrilla signs agreement with geothermal company for reuse of oil and gas wells
- Task Force on Shale Gas calls for single regulator
- Dart Energy seeks to block public inquiry on Dudleston coal bed methane plans
- Ineos launches consultation on fracking in Scotland
- Latest consultation begins on Cuadrilla’s Fylde fracking plans
- Celtique Energie pulls out of West Sussex planning inquiry
- Rathlin Energy asks for deferral of West Newton planning application
- Third Energy gives details of drilling plans in Ryedale
- Court hears of dangerous contamination next to Barton Moss drilling site
- Campaigners walk out of Chester council’s “sham” shale gas inquiry
- Shale gas a vote loser – says Tim Yeo and Greenpeace poll
- New law takes siting of underground radioactive waste dumps out of local control
31st March 2015
Heavy police presence against at “anti-fracking” protest camp The Grimsby Telegraph reports policing monitor the entrance to Europa’s oil Kiln Lane site near Immingham as lorries take equipment out. At least five campaigners remain at the site.
30th March 2015
Health charity calls for immediate ban on fracking over “serious health risks” Our report
‘Expert’ report on fracking risks was written by activist According to the Times the Medact report that persuaded doctors to oppose fracking was partly written by a campaigner opposing shale gas extraction near his home.
Leading UK medics call for fracking ban Our report
Cuadrilla-backed Lancashire business lobby largely supported by companies outside county Analysis by Greenpeace shows that the North West Energy Task Force, set up to argue the business case for fracking in Lancashire, is largely backed by businesses from outside the county. Of the 343 small and medium sized enterprises (SME) that support the Cuadrilla-funded organisation, less than half, 149, are based in Lancashire, representing 0.3% of VAT registered Lancashire businesses. In Fylde, the district where Cuadrilla hopes to drill for shale gas, just 14 businesses back the task force.
Scunthorpe grannie joins anti-fracking camp The Scunthorpe Telegraph reports that a Scunthorpe grandmother has left her home, job and family to join anti-fracking campaigners at Europa’s oil exploration site at Kiln Lane, near Immingham. Louise Hammond, 52, told the paper: “I could not just sit at home and do nothing, so I joined the protest camp. It’s the first time in my life I have done anything like this.”
29th March 2015
Delay one: fracking consultation postponed until after election The Sunday Herald reports that Scottish Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, is planning to announce the promised public consultation on fracking will not start until November and run until January 2016. The delay has been criticised by the Scottish Greens and Conservatives. Community and environmental groups have welcomed the news, the paper says. The delay means the moratorium on fracking is likely to continue until after the Scottish election in May 2016.
28th March 2015
Celtique Energie responds to Billingshurst anti-fracking campaigners Geoff Davies, chief executive of Celtique Energie, tells the Midhurst and Petworth Observer his company’s site at Billinghurst I looking for conventional oil. “Celtique does not have planning permission to undertake hydraulic fracturing on this well and has committed in writing to West Sussex County Council (WSCC) that it will not be using hydraulic fracturing in this well in the future”, he said. He added that the land lease agreement has a clauses prohibiting shale oil or gas development on the site. Drilling is expected to begin in the next few weeks.
Public meeting called over new fracking lorry plans The Lancashire Evening Post reports that Woodplumpton Parish Council has called a public meeting to assess local opinion on revised traffic plans for Cuadrilla’s proposed fracking site at Roseacre. The meeting is on 15th April at 7pm. The council will respond following the meeting.
27th March 2015
Don’t “gold-plate” human rights when dealing with protest camps – ministers Our report
More than 600 would-be MPs have so far promised to oppose fracking, according to figures from Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. Our report
300+ MPs did not vote on underground waste disposal Our report
A measure to take the siting of underground radioactive waste dumps out of local control came into force today after approval by only 277 of parliament’s 650 MPs. More than 300 MPs did not vote. Our report
Activists protest at Algerian fracking facility The BBC reports local Tuareg community are protesting at the facility, run by Halliburton, at Ain Salah, saying they are concerned about pollution of the groundwater and other environmental damage.
Egdon Resources flows more oil from Wressle-1 Egdon Resources says it has flowed more oil from the Wressle-1 well east of Scunthorpe. It described the flow test from the second Penistone Flags as “very positive”.
Cuadrilla, geothermal firm eye renewable heat form oil, gas wells Shale Gas World Uk reports that Geothermal Engineering Ltd has signed an agreement with Cuadrilla Resources to explore the feasibility of producing geothermal renewable heat from used oil and gas wells. Leyland Guardian report
Campaigner hits out at email Fylde engineer, Mike Hill, hit back after he was accused of “offering his services” to the former head of Cuadrilla, the Blackpool Gazette reports. Mr Hill said “I have never applied for a job with Cuadrilla, that’s nonsense.”
China’s Cnooc shelves shale project The FT reports China National Offshore Oil Corp has decided to abandon its shale gas project in Anhui province. The company is cutting spending, particularly in expensive shale projects, following the fall in crude prices over the past year. The company said southern Anhui, where it has drilled since 2011, was not “suitable to development on a large scale”.
26th March 2015
Anti-fracking parliamentary candidate wanted to work for frackers The political blog, Guido Fawkes, prints an email from the Fylde parliamentary candidate, Mike Hill, to Mark Miller, of Cuadrilla. In it, Mr Hill refers to his skills that would be useful to both sides of the fracking debate and also his frustration with people opposed to fracking. Mr Hill said the email was not a job application, was out of context and things had moved on.
Doctors’ leaders across region demand assessment on health risks from fracking The Yorkshire Post reports GP leaders in Yorkshire are recommending an assessment on the potential health risks posed to local people from fracking. Officials at the NHS Scarborough and Ryedale Clinical Commissioning Group say checks should be carried out before exploration for shale gas in Ryedale begins.
Lancashire campaigners’ anger at anti-frack sign thefts The Preston New Road action group, which opposes Cuadrilla’s plans to frack at Little Plumpton, says 13 placards showing opposition to fracking have been stolen, the Lancashire Evening Post reports. Police have confirmed they are investigating. Patricia Davies, of the group, said “We believe there is a group operating in our area apparently determined to intimidate us and stop us from voicing our objections to fracking.
Warrington South hustings The Warrington Guardian’s live report says fracking iss the first topic at the packed hustings. A slight majority of the audience would back a fracking moratorium.
UK MPs from three largest parties support shale gas Shale Energy Insider says environment secretary, Liz Truss, Labour’s shadow energy secretary, Caroline Flint, and the Liberal Democrat energy secretary, Ed Davey all supported the development of UK shale gas.
Regulator call gets lukewarm response The Blackpool Gazette says pro and anti-fracking groups have poured cold water on the call by the Task Force on Shale Gas for an independent regulator on onshore oil and gas. The Preston New Road Action Group (see above) said the report missed the point: it can never be 100% safe, however you redesign the regulatory system.
Impact of natural gas extraction on PAH levels – new study A report in Environmental Science and Technology finds polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are highest close to active wells in the US and exposure for humans was above the Environmental Protection Agency’s acceptable risk level.
25th March 2015
Single regulator would command public confidence, says fracking task force, but residents want a ban Our report
Lord Smith ‘hugely sceptical’ of fracking for shale oil in the UK The Guardian report on Lord Smith saying it is far from clear that the process should be used to extract quantities of oil from downlands in the south-east of England. “The environmental case for shale oil is much more adverse than for shale gas. It’s much more difficult to make the case for shale oil,” he said.
Is there any future for fracking in Britain? Geoffrey Lean in The Telegraph writes that Lord Smith says it is a “big if” as to whether shale gas extraction will take off in Britain
100m barrels of oil under Isle of Wight ‘drill read’, claims company UK Oil and Gas announces it believes there are 100+m barrels of oil available for drilling on and just off the Isle of Wight, On The Wight reports. The company also estimates 197 billion cubic feet of gas could be available. The sites are in the offshore and “onshore transition area” along the south west coast of the Isle of Wight.
Policy makers warned on UK shale gas – assume there won’t be any Four energy economists recommend policy makers assume no shale gas will be produced domestically and to plan their gas security strategy accordingly, the Ecologist reports. The paper, published by Warwick Business School, identifies ten caveats for shale gas to ensure it is compatible with required greenhouse gas emission reductions and broad environmental protection. Link to report
24th March 2015
Hundreds of wasted man hours at oil drilling site The Grimsby Telegraph reports police have kept a 24-hour patrol outside Europa’s Kiln Lane site near Immingham since drilling began 13 days ago. The paper says three more people were arrested yesterday.
National Planning Summit: Expert predicts fracking DCOs Planning Resource reports how Angus Walker, partner at law firm Bircham Dyson Bell, told the summit that shale-gas extraction schemes could soon be included on the list of acceptable Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs). This means, under a Development Consent Order, projects would bypass local authorities and be fast-tracked for planning approval by ministers
Immingham ‘fracking’ protesters: Group given a week to leave from roadside The Grimsby Telegraph reports North East Lincolnshire Council official has served an eviction notice to campaigners outside Europa’s Kiln Lane drilling site near Immingham. The group has been given seven days to remove tents and other structures from the grass verge.
23rd March 2015
Europa Oil and Gas announces its Kiln Lane well near Immingham in Lincolnshire will plugged and abandoned after failing to find oil. Statement
Shale oil producers blame export ban for low US crude price The FT reports US shale oil producers are increasingly concerned about the gap between domestic and internationally trade crude prices.
EU fracking costs outweigh benefits, says study Shale Energy Insider reports on a study by New Energy Watch, which concluded the financial and environmental costs of shale extraction in Europe outweigh benefits of a decade of supply.
21st March 2015
Oil industry immediately challenges first federal fracking rules Bloomberg Politics reports on a lawsuit challenging a rule that fracking companies must reveal what chemicals they use, meet well construction standards and safely dispose of contaminated water when operating on federal land
18th March 2015
Dart Energy seeks to block public inquiry into Dudleston coal bed methane plans Our report
Poll: Scots want more wind power Business Green reports on research by Scottish Renewables which shows 71% of Scots surveyed support continued development of wind energy.
Engineering consent for fracking: Chris Smith and the ‘astroturf’ consultancy Paul Mobbs in The Ecologist looks at Edelman’s role in providing the secretariat for the Task Force on Shale Gas.
17th March 2015
INEOS launches consultation to gain support for fracking in Scotland The Guardian reports that the operator on the Grangemouth petrochemicals plan will run an information programme promoting shale gas. The programme will start in April with town hall meetings in 15 towns, including Alloa, Falkirk and Cumbernauld.
Fracking campaigners hit out at ‘pie in sky’ promises The Evening Times reports on reaction to INEOS cash to communities promises for shale gas fracking. Friends of the Earth said INEOS had not signed up to the government’s community benefit scheme. The organisation’s Mary Church, said “INEOS’s pie-in-the-sky claims of huge sums of money for communities will never be delivered.”
£2.5bn fracking windfall offer The Times reports that INEOS will unveil plans today to give £2.5 billion to communities that allow fracking in their area if the Scottish government lifts its moratorium.
INEOS seeks to convince Scots over shale gas The FT reports on “a charm offensive” to convince Scots of the benefits of shale gas fracking. Tom Crotty said the company would seek to “get the public onside” by persuading communities that fracking was safe, first in areas where it had fracking licences and later across central Scotland.
Real Media calls for press to cover Barton Moss contamination story Real Media reports on a near blackout by mainstream media on the recent court case which heard of contamination next to the Barton Moss drilling site, says the Salford Star. As part of Anti-Daily Mail Week, Real Media is calling on the media to cover the issue. Our report of the court case.
Quicksilver Resources files for chapter 2 bankruptcy protection The Wall Street Journal reports that the Texas oil and gas company has filed for bankruptcy protection after failing to find a buyer amid falling oil prices.
Reactivated fault lines in Oklahoma could cause major quake – study Reuters says research for the American Geophysical Union finds 300 million year old fault lines that have recently been reactivated could lead to a devastating quake.
Parent power bid to block fracking The Blackpool Gazette reports that parents of children at Weeton St Michael’s School have launched a petition to try to halt plans for fracking a mile away at Little Plumpton in Lancashire. The parents say they have not been given enough information and want planners reject the scheme over what they say are safety fear.
New energy firm first in Scotland to develop alternative to fracking The Herald Scotland reports on the Edinburgh company, Town Rock Energy, which wants to use water in disused mines to create a new energy source. The water, which has flooded into disused mine shafts, has been heated to an average of 17C, sometimes higher.
How the fracking industry and their PR machine have infiltrated the academic community A study commissioned by Talk Fracking, looks at the relationships between scientists, academics, policymakers and industry. The group says the study undermines the foundations of four reports which the government and industry have relied on to support their case for shale gas exploitation.
16th March 2015
Shale gas supply companies could generate £1.35b in taxes, industry claims Our report
Decision delayed on Rathlin’s West Newton-B drilling application Our report
Campaigners turn up the heat in “fracking” debate The Swansea Evening Post reports that a 2,000-name anti-fracking petition has been handed in to Neath Port Talbot Council in advance of a planning meeting on 17th March to decide on an application for shale gas and coal bed methane exploration at Pontryhdyfen.
The argument for divesting from fossil fuels is becoming overwhelming Alan Rusbridger in The Guardian launches the paper’s climate change campaign. The paper has a petition asking the Gates Foundation and Wellcome Trust to commit to divesting from the top 200 fossil fuels within five years. The Wellcome Trust has a portfolio of £180bn+ and the Gates Foundation has an endowment of $43.5bn
Shell pulls back from shale in South Africa Reuters reports is withdrawing from shale projects in South Africa because of lower energy prices and delays in obtaining an exploration licence for the onshore Karoo Basin.
Oxford University postpones decision on divestment The BBC reports former students occupied an Oxford University building in protest at the university’s failure to decide about divesting funds from fossil fuels. An announcement had been expected today but the university says it needs more time to consider the issues involved.
UNFCC backs divestment movement The UN body responsible for climate change policy has supported the growing divestment movement. It says the motives of divestment campaigns are commensurate with its hopes for a strong climate deal at the international meeting in Paris in December, ENDS reports.
Prices fall to six year low for US oil The New York Times reports that oil prices fell to six-year lows on Monday in the face of concerns that a glut in the United States was outpacing already-brimming storage facilities.
15th March 2015
Revealed: Energy giant plans to love bomb Scotland into accepting shale The Herald reports A major new charm offensive is due to be launched this week by the £37 billion petrochemical giant, INEOS, to win Scotland round to fracking – but the public relations campaign has already run into fierce flak before even getting off the ground. Environmentalists and politicians have attacked the forthcoming campaign involving London-based public relations companies as “PR spin” and “slick marketing” designed to divide Scottish communities.
Protesters say Bolton targeted for fracking The Bolton News reports Anti-fracking campaigners gather in central Bolton to warn against the use of fracking in the region. A petition against fracking received nearly 500 signatures.
14th March 2015
First US shale gas-based ethane shipments seen in Europe by end Q2 Platts reports comments by INEOS that the first shipment of shale gas-based ethane will arrive in Europe from the US by the end of second quarter 2015. The ethane will be received in Rafnes, Norway.
US shale industry shows remarkable resilience The FT reports US crude oil production has remained stable, despite price falls. If crude stays at its present level of about $45 per barrel, then it seems likely that production will start falling later this year. But Wood Mackenzie, a consultancy, is forecasting that US oil production will grow this year and next, if there is a rebound in prices to about $60 per barrel.
Peaceful protests against shale gas in Algeria CNBC reports thousands of Algerians plans to drill for shale gas in the south of the country. 1,000+ demonstrated in Ouargla, 466 miles south of Algiers, and 1,000 more took part in a separate protest in Salah, 785 miles south.
12th March 2015
Campaigners had to pinch themselves over Celtique Energie’s announcement on drilling appeals Our report
Arresting behaviour: smiling rambler turns warrior of justice New Internationalist describes Paul Mobbs’ arrest on 5th March 2015.
We shall not be moved – despite heavy police presence at site of ‘fracking’ protesters The Grimsby Telegraph reports on policing of protests outside Europa’s test drilling site off Stallingborough Road, Immingham. The paper says the protests, the first direct actions in north east Lincolnshire for decades, stopped traffic for nearly four hours after a 20-year-old refused to come down off a lorry. He was later arrested.
David Lenigas’s UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG) announces it has completed previously announced acquisition of PEDL 126 containing the Markwells Wood discovery This gives UKOG 60% of the licence, which will increase to 100% on completion of an agreement to acquire Magellan Petroleum’s 40% stake. Details
Has the ‘greenest ever’ government lived up to its promise? The Guardian reviews the coalition’s performance
11th March 2015
Celtique Energie drops appeal against refusal at Wisborough Green-Kirdford and announces no appeal on Fernhurst decision Our report
Rathlin Energy blamed for bangs, smells and traffic – results of consultation on West Newton-B proposals Our report
Planning inspectorate listens to local people on Dudleston drilling appeal Our report
Government dismisses call for independent oversight on shale industry Our report
Greenpeace appeals to transparency watchdog over censored fracking report The organisation is calling on ministers to publish a full version of redacted report on the impacts of shale on the rural economy, before the meeting that decides Cuadrilla’s planning applications for fracking in the Fylde area of Lancashire. Details
UK shale gas deal is ‘good news’ for Teesside workforce, says INEOS The Gazette reports on the implications of the INEOS deal with IGas (see 10/3/15) on Teeside. An INEOS spokesperson tells the paper “Teesside will benefit. It’s good news; the bigger INEOS becomes in shale, the better for its other sites.
10th March 2015
Third Energy planning 100s of wells in Ryedale, say campaigners Our report
‘Nothing will get done if fracking regulators check every second thing’ – Francis Egan tells MPs Our report
INEOS increases shale interests under agreement with IGas Our report
Fracking: communities may miss out on cash payments and licences likely to be delayed The Telegraph reports that Ineos has not agreed to a government-backed industry pledge to pay local communities £100,000 upfront for every site fracked during exploration – or to a separate pledge to pay £20,000 for every horizontal well. The paper says the announcement of licences awarded under the 14th round are now likely to be delayed until after the May general election.
New community protection camp established at Europa’s Kiln Lane site, at Mauxhall Farm, Immingham, nr Grimsby DN41 8TH Grimsby Evening Telegraph report
Mark Carney defends Bank of England over climate change study
Climate change is one of the biggest risks facing the insurance industry, the governor of the Bank of England has said after Lord Lawson dismissed a study on global warming as “green claptrap”, the Guardian reports.
9th March 2015
We don’t have dreams, only nightmares, anti-fracking campaigner tells climate march Our report
Environmental movement blocks fracking in Algeria’s remote south The FT reports an unprecedented environmental protest movement in a remote part of Algeria has disrupted the country’s multi-billion dollar shale oil programme and is making political waves across north Africa.
8th March 2015
Fires finally dwindling days after Illinois oil train derailment NBC news says firefighters were still working to put out the last of a series of fires which started when a train loaded with crude oil derailed south of Galena in Illinois on 5th March.
Lord Browne bounces back into oil The Observer reports on Lord Browne’s role in L1 Energy’s plans to expand in North America and the far east.
OPEC chief says cartel is hurting US shale producers The Wall Street Journal reports Abdalla Salem el-Badri, secretary general of OPEC, says the cartel’s decision to continue pumping crude oil, in the face of falling prices, is hurting the US shale oil industry.
7th March 2015
Fears over fracking water pollution Anne Kilday, writing to the Yorkshire Advertiser, says if fracking is allowed in Lancashire she is afraid her water will be polluted. Big companies have their money to talk for them, she says, but local people are not heard.
Climate change protest The Daily Mail reports more than 5,000 people gathered outside parliament in London calling for tougher action on climate change. The organisers said 20,000 people had joined a march to the rally.
IGas won’t stop in Wrexham after agreement to devolve powers on fracking to Wales The Daily Post reports IGas hopes to work with the Welsh Government on gas extraction.
6th March 2015
Arrested anti-fracking campaigner explains why ministers are guilty of misconduct Our report
Anti-frackers walk out of Chester council meeting claiming engagement process was a “sham” The Chester Chronicle reports anti-fracking campaigners walked out of a shale gas inquiry held by Cheshire West and Chester Council. More details coming soon.
Fracking: MP right to say Greenpeace is being alarmist Mike Harrison, writing to The Spalding Guardian, says until extensive fracking takes place no one can say what the effects on the environment, if any, will be. UK regulations have been designed to ensure exploitation of shale gas in the UK does not give rise to issues seen in other countries, he says.
Unbiased reporting needed over fracking Stuart Davies, writing to The Burnley Express, says fracking has too many safety issues to make the technique viable, unless we don’t care how it affects people. He hopes the paper will not compromise unbiased reporting.
Fracking conspiracy theory Guido Fawkes reports that Bob Dennet, a Green Party candidate standing in Fylde, says the government wants to deposit nuclear waste in bore holes.
Shale gas in doubt in UK’s low-carbon transition Academics from Warwick Business School and University College London have published an opinion piece based on research funded by the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC) advising policymakers that, because of continuing economic, social and environmental uncertainties, the UK’s gas strategy should be developed on the assumption that there will be no domestically produced shale gas.
5th March 2015
Don’t be rude about public attitudes to fracking, geologists’ conference advised Our report
Shale gas is a vote loser – post-election period is critical, Tim Yeo tells conference Our report
Ineos sets out fracking plans for Scotland Our report
Nuisance earthquakes predictable if “small amounts” of frack fluid leak into faults, conference hears Our report
Government announces opening of bidding for money for locall authorities dealing with shale applications Our report
Consultation opens on changes to planning laws for groundwater monitoring boreholes Our report
Fracking ‘spin’ is beating science – Weir Gp chief Shale Energy Insider reports that Keith Cochrane, ceo of Weir Group, which supplies pumping equipment for fracking, says spinners are beating the scientists in the debate about fracking. He is concerned Scotland’s moratorium may mean the country will miss opportunities to develop a shale industry. Scottish Daily Record report
UK government bans Scottish fracking The Journal reports that the UK government has agreed to a ban on fracking in Scotland until powers are devolved to Holyrood.
Carl Sargeant AM tries to end fracking ban confusion BBC says Mr Sargeant has told the Welsh Assembly’s environment committee that his ability to stop councils from backing fracking applications amounts to a moratorium. He said some politicians had confused fracking with exploratory drilling.
Bid to make Vale of Glamorgan a frack-free zone fails Wales Online reports legal officers at Vale of Glamorgan council said a Plaid Cymru frack free motion could not be debated.
Fracking not a viable option for energy generation Construction News reports that a panel at the Ecobuild conference rejected fracking as part of a sustainable future. One panellist, Louise Ellison, of the property developer, Hammerson, said fracking couldn’t be a viable policy on a local level and was “absolutely not part of a long-term, low-carbon future”.
How a bust-up with a rock star made me realise Merseyside’s not for shale Marc Waddington, writing in the Liverpool Echo, explains how he changed his mind over fracking
Could Infrastructure Act be bad news for climate? Cat Turner of Friends of the Earth reports in Isle of Mann Today on the implications of the Infrastructure Act.
Government support for mineral planning authorities Government invites local authorities to bid for a total of £1.2m to help them handle planning applications for extracting oil or shale from gas.
Consultation on changes to permitted development rights The government launches a consultation on proposals to amend Part 22 of the Town and Country Planning Order 1995 to allow drilling of boreholes for groundwater monitoring in relation to petroleum exploration. The consultation ends on 16th April 2015.
4th March 2015
‘Suitable drilling sites and complex geology will constrain UK shale gas’ shaleuk conference told Our report
UK won’t see US-style shale gas production, shaleuk conference told + morning headlines Our report
National Park report backs gas company’s plans for Ryedale An independent report conducted for the North York Moors National Park Authority supports plans for gas production and new well site in Ryedale, according to the Gazette Herald. The report was commissioned following the announcement of plans by Third Energy for natural gas production and reinjection of fluid at an existing borehole at its Ebberston Moor South site. The plans also include a possible second well.
So, why did the Met Police come sniffing round our banner-making workshop? A Friends of the Earth blog describes how two police officers visited volunteer banner-making activities for Saturday’s climate march.
Did the fracking industry torpedo EPA’s national study of fracking Greenpeace says documents released as part of its investigation show the EPA was forced to rely on shale companies for data, funding and access to fracking sites for its study of fracking impacts. The shale industry constrained the study, limiting what could be studied and when, Greenpeace says.
University fracking research projects slammed for involving vested interest Commonspace reports criticism of UCL for involving Haliburton in an EU-funded fracking research project. UCL told CommonSpace that its project with Halliburton was not yet underway and therefore it could not comment on the specifics, but refused to be drawn on whether Halliburton was an appropriate partner for a project of this kind.
Scientists think it’s no coincidence earthquakes spike after an oil company starts fracking Business Insider reports on a paper in Science which suggests we need to detect much smaller induced earthquakes to better predict against larger ones.
Are the experts prepared? Ryedale district and North Yorkshire County Councillor Janet Sanderson, writing in the Gazette Herald, explains why she did not vote for a blanket ban on fracking in a recent meeting
3rd March 2015
Lancs MP objects to lorry route The Lancashire Evening Post reports that Ben Wallace, MP for Wyre and Preston North, has objected to Cuadrilla’s revised route to take lorries to its proposed fracking site at Roseacre Wood. The route would take vehicles from the A6 through Broughton, Wood Plumpton and Wharles. Mr Wallace said there was congestion in Broughton and the route include a narrow bridge and minor roads.
Our fight to stop fracking The Yorkshire Post reports on the campaign by a group of mainly pensioners in East Yorkshire against plans by Rathlin Energy to test its well at Crawberry Hill. The paper says despite bad weather, the group has been meeting outside the site. East Riding of Yorkshire Council spent £75,000 on the eviction of a roadside camp at Crawberry Hill.
Cuadrilla boss believes major projects can “drive Lancashire’s economy” The Lancashire Evening Post reports comments by Francis Egan that a number of major infrastructure projects could be a catalyst for Lancashire’s economy. He believes a multi-million pound shale gas industry could create thousands of jobs in the county and wider region. Cuadrilla has sponsored the Be Inspired Business Awards in Lancashire for the second year.
Fracking activist gets review of refusal to prosecute PCs BBC Manchester reports that Miles Davies has been granted a judicial review into the refusal of a judge to prosecute two police officers for obstruction. Mr Davies alleged the officers aided and abetted the obstruction of the highway during an anti-fracking protest in Salford. A district judge refused to issue summonses against them but Sir Brian Leveson and Mr Justice Walker in the High Court in Leeds ruled that the application for summonses must be heard afresh.
Wisconsin sand mining is big business, but health effects questioned WISN ABC reports that 100 new sand quarries have opened in the past four years in Wisconsin to supply the fracking industry. The industry has created jobs. But some residents say the noise from the quarries and trucks, which arrive 24-hours a day, seven-days-a-week, are ruining the quality of their lives. Particulates from the quarries are also damaging air quality.
National methane baseline survey results The British Geological Survey publishes summary results of groundwater methane samples taken in January 2015.
Past winners’: Anne Power The Observer ethical awards profiles the anti-fracking campaigner, Anne Power, who won the award for local hero last year. “Winning the award has helped bring information about fracking and its dangers to many more people”, she said.
Commissioners say proposed gas drilling regulations too restrictive Marcellus.com reports that commissioners in Allegany County believe regulations being considered in the US state of Maryland Maryland would result in a virtual ban on fracking.
Fracking with your health and your home The Huffington Post carries a blog by Michael Green, executive director of the US Centre for Environmental Health. He says the centre is concerned about the risks from chemicals used in fracking, particularly on communities near fracking operations. It is surprising how few rights land owners often when conflicts arise around fracking.
Would a Labour or Tory government be better for the environment The Guardian reports on how shale gas exploration will be a key decision during the planning of the fifth carbon budget, due to start in December 2015. Jim Watson, of the UK Energy Research Centre, says there’s no clear difference between Labour and the Conservatives on fracking. “I just detect a more cautious approach from Labour”, he said.
Egdon Resources in further Wressle-1 flow test results Energy Voice reports comments by Egdon Resources that it has recorded further encouraging flow test results from Wressle-1 oil and gas discovery. The Penistone test produced gas at restricted flow rates of up to 1.7million cubic feet of gas per day (mmcfd) with associated oil of up to 12 barrels of oil per day (bopd). A spokesman said gas flow rates were constrained by the equipment and flaring limits imposed by the environmental permit.
State shuts 12 oil company wells that pumped waste into aquifers San Francisco Chronicle reports regulators have ordered oil companies to shut 12 more wells that injected oil-field wastewater into drinkable aquifers beneath California’s Central Valley.
2nd March 2015
House prices a fracking issue The Lancashire Evening Post carries a letter which says residents living near proposed fracking sites in the county are no longer able to move house. It says houses are not selling because when potential buyers see how close the fracking sites are they look somewhere else. It calls for the Valuation Agency to study the impact of fracking on property values and sales and urges the government to pay compensation for homes with 750m of proposed sites.
Let’s say no to fracking forever Blackburn councillor, Salim Mulla, tells the Lancashire Telegraph constituents should lobby their ward councillors against supporting fracking. “Let’s leave our beautiful countryside as it is”, he says.
Demand MPs listen to the people over fracking Mrs J Smith tells the Burnley Express the government is not doing the north west any favours by giving us the fracking industry. “Lancastrians should write to their MP and write to their councillors and demand they listen to the people. It is not too late to save the county from destruction”, she writes.
First came the frackers, then came the earthquakes The Telegraph reports that the oil boom in small-town Oklahoma has meant anti-extraction campaigners have struggled for a toe hold, despite tremors and cracked concrete floors. 126 earthquakes have hit the state already this year.
Shale gas industry faces strong opposition from Western Australian farming communities ABC’s World Today reports on growing public opposition to fracking in Western Australia. A number of farming communities are determined to stop the shale gas industry, it reports.
40 police officers injured during anti-fracking protest in Algeria Sputnik news reports the protests, at In-Salah, were against plans by the Algerian oil company, Sonatrach, to carry out exploratory fracking. Two police officers reportedly had serious injuries. The town’s chief, a police truck and a dormitory were set on fire.
Green candidate wants council to reject fracking The Berwick Advertiser reports the launch, by the Green Party’s election candidate Rachael Roberts, of a petition calling on Northumberland County Council to refuse all fracking applications.
Frackers’ case Tony Trewavas of Scientific Alliance Scotland, writes to the Scotsman in favour of fracking. He says opposition to unconventional gas arises from the “imagined believe that humankind can survive without fossil fuels or nuclear energy”. He adds: “It can’t”. He said the country needs “governments that lead and are not cowed by a loud but uninformed minority”.
1st March 2015
Fracking raised in Commons by Isle MP The South Yorkshire Times reports that the Conservative MP, Andrew Percy (Isle of Axholme), raised his concerns about fracking in the constituency during the Commons debate on the Infrastructure Bill.
Fracking opponents feel police pressure in some drilling hotspots US National Public Radio reports on partnerships between police and industry to monitor anti-fracking activists in the north America.
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