Daily headlines

April 2015 fracking headlines

Our digest of last month’s about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas developments in the UK and around the world, including:

  • Four National Parks suitable for fracking are also among the most popular and biggest tourist earners
  • Sir Nicholas Soames says fracking in Sussex is silly but it should be tried in Lancashire
  • The election frack-free pledge, plus manifestos and candidates
  • Reports from the second public inquiry into Europa’s plans to drill near Leith Hill in Surrey
  • Ineos begins fracking public meetings in central Scotland
  • 1,000 march against fracking in Ryedale
  • Cuadrilla reveals new plans to deal with noise and traffic at proposed Fylde fracking sites
  • But Lancashire County Council delays decision date again
  • Barclays challenged at AGM over investment in Yorkshire fracking
  • Company behind Surrey’s Horse Hill well says the Weald could produce 1bn barrels of oil – then has to clarify
  • Reports from Shale Gas World conference
  • Lord Browne leaves Riverstone and Cuadrilla

30th April 2015

Will fracking be a political turn-off in Lancashire marginals? Our report

David Lenigas promises Horse Hill flow testing in 2015 – campaigners predict opposition Our report

National Parks identified by Durham University as suitable for fracking are among most popular and biggest earners Our report

Campaign group urges Rathlin Energy to abandon plans to drill in Northern Ireland Protect Our North Coast, tells Rathlin’s chair, David Montatgu-Smith, the company is at odds with local communities of Ballinlea where it wants to drill. In July 2012, Mr Montagu-Smith, said “Our ability to function profitably or commercially in Northern Ireland will depend more heavily on one thing than on any other and that is the support of the local communities in which we work.

SNP say candidate who was a fracking cheerleader made u-turn after being won over by environmental evidence The Herald Scotland reports on George Kerevan, standing for the SNP in East Lothian, who previously spoke out strongly in favour of fracking.

End of fracking plans for Somerset? The Somerset Guardian reports that PEDL licence 227, which covers the Midsomer Norton and Radstock area is being handed back to the government. Last year, UK Methane was given another 12 months to drill but the Oil and Gas Authority said the licence would be relinquished.

29th April 2015

“I am not confident traffic management would work” – Inspector at Surrey Hills oil drilling inquiry Our report

Seven-year-old scheme for Surrey exploratory oil well can’t estimate total lorry movements – inquiry hears Our report

Tory Nimby wrong to fob us off with fracking test The Lancashire Telegraph says in an opinion piece that Sir Nicholas Soames has caused outrage in the county after saying fracking would not trouble people in Lancashire but was silly in Sussex

Tory bigwig condemned by Nigel Evans for suggesting Trough of Bowland fracking The Burnley and Pendle Citizen reports that former Ribble Valley MP, Nigel Evans, has condemned Sir Nicholas Soames’ comments. The paper says Mr Evans promised ‘to have a word’ with Sir Nicholas and suggested siting nuclear power stations in Sussex.

Scottish energy minister calls for national fracking debate Shale Energy Insider says Fergus Ewing, speaking on BBC One, calls for a national Scottish debate over the exploration and extraction of shale.

Communities will be alarmed at minister’s fracking comments The Scottish Greens react to comments in the BBC One programme, The War Over Fracking, in which Scottish Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing declines to say whether there will be a permanent ban on fracking if the public reject the technique.

28th April 2015

Leith Hill drill site’s risks to water supply “essentially zero” – inquiry told Our report

Horse Hill oil site operator applies for licence extension Our report

Oil in the Surrey Hills could raise £86m in tax, Europa tells inquiry Our report

Oil company refuses to rule out production from proposed Leith Hill exploration site Our report

“David and Goliath” oil drilling battle in Surrey Hills – public inquiry resumes today Catch up on last week’s evidence with our report

Protesters set up camp outside Warrington over drilling Wire FM reports protesters opposed to exploratory gas drilling have set up camp at Woolston outside Warrington where IGas is test drilling for coal bed methane.  The campaigners say the technique is not safe or sufficiently tested. IGas declined to comment.

Shale gas study to assess impacts The Stoke Sentinel reports that Keele University is contributing to international research on environmental impacts of shale gas and fracking. Contributors will include Professor Peter Styles, as well as experts from Italy, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands. Funding is from the Horizon 2020 programme.

60 join anti-fracking protest before meeting in East Dunbartonshire The Glasgow Evening Times reports on an anti-fracking protest outside INEOS’s public meeting at Bishopbriggs.

Police Special Branch officer “gathered information” at Canterbury fracking meeting The Canterbury Times reports that Kent Police has admitted a detective constable within special branch attended the Canterbury Christ Church University debate on November 19th. In a statement the force said this was to “gather information that could prevent harm being caused to those attending such a meeting or similar future events.”

Under the radar, the party grassroots aren’t as pro-fracking as their leaders would like The New Statesman reports that candidates have realised that the issue of fracking can’t be dodged and being anti-fracking could be a vote-winner.

27th April 2015

“Switch” votes could prove decisive The Belfast Telegraph reports on how fracking is changing politics in the current election in Fermanagh and South Tyrone.

Concerns voiced over Billingshurst drilling plan The Midhurst and Petworth Observer reports on a public meeting about drilling at Broadford Bridge, near Billingshurst in West Sussex

Dame Vivienne Westwood: Fracking is “a crime against humanity” International Business Times reports that Dame Vivienne cradled a bloodstained doll with a missing hand in an election protest against fracking in London. “I’m trying to get across to people, the danger we’re in,” she said. “We have to stop the destruction.”

DECC survey reveals record high strong opposition to fracking DECC’s ongoing survey of attitudes to fracking claims no change in opinion but those strongly opposed is at an all-time high, says Business Green

26th April 2015

Frack in Lancashire, but not in Sussex, says Conservative’s Nicholas Soames Our report

1,000 march in Malton against Ryedale fracking plans Our report Malton and Pickering Mercury report

IGas Energy pays for new life-saving defibrillator The Melton Times reports that the village of Holwell has installed a defibrillator in the phone box in Main Street, falling a grant of £2,000 from the IGas Energy Community Fund.

25th April 2015

Anti-fracking campaigner, Helen Rimmer, nominated for Observer Ethical Awards 2015 The Observer reports that Helen Rimmer, north west campaigner for Friends of the Earth, has worked alongside local communities for oppose fracking for the past four years.

Underground fields “almost impossible to regulate safely” The Bath Chronicle carries a letter says underground shale extraction can’t be regulated. Regulations are nothing more than a public relations placebo, the writer says.

24th April 2015

“It would be difficult to find a more inappropriate site for such a development”, Surrey drilling inquiry told Our report

30% chance of finding oil at Surrey’s Leith Hill drill site + any oil likely to be insignificant, inquiry told Our report

Director deals – IGas Energy plc StockMarketWire.com reports that Andrew Austin, IGas CEO, bought 4,779 shares in the company at a price of 28.25. He now holds 10,980,407 shares.

Inadequate fracking report slammed The Leitrim Observer reports that Michael Colreavy, Sinn Fein’s spokesperson on energy, has called for Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency, to appear before the Transport and Communications Committee following the publishing of their interim report on fracking. He describes the report as “an insult to the committee and to the Minister. There is little or no substantive information regarding the progress of their work investigating what is a very dangerous method of extracting gas.”

Campaign groups protest over fracking companies “behind-the-scenes” EU influence EUReporter says an investigation by Friends of the Earth Europe and Corporate Europe Observatory claim that the promotion and expansion of controversial fracking in Europe has become the “core aim” of an advisory network set up by the European Commission last year. The body was supposed to assess on-going fracking projects and the safety and appropriateness in Europe of different technologies.

23rd April 2015

More delay to decision on Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking applications – announcement and reaction.  Our report

No compelling need for oil site in Surrey Hills, inquiry told. Likely local economic benefits would be insignificant Our report

Oil drilling inquiry hears that Leith Hill site is Surrey’s jewel in the crown and needs highest protection Our report

Bank bosses challenged over plans for hundreds of fracking wells The Yorkshire Post reports how a Barclays shareholder challenged executives at the bank’s AGM in London over plans by Third Energy (97% owned by Barclay’s private equity arm) to drill potentially hundreds of wells in Ryedale. Monica Gripaios asked how this squared with Barclay’s citizenship plan.

Ineos aims to “sell” fracking to Cumbernauld The Cumbernauld News reports on a meeting tonight and another next Wednesday at which Ineos executives aim to convince local residents that fracking is safe. Glasgow Evening Times report

Anti-fracking student appeals conviction The Lancaster Guardian reports that the president of Lancaster University Students Union is due to appear in court to fight a conviction relating to anti-fracking protests in Manchester. Laura Clayson and co-defendant Sarah McGowan will ask a judge on 1st May at Manchester Crown Court to re-open their case after being found guilty of obstructing a police officer at the Barton Moss fracking site.

Half of US fracking firms will disappear in 2015, Weatherford executive Shale Energy Insider says up to half of the 41 independent fracking firms operating in the US will go out of business by the end of 2015, due to oil company’s cuts in capital expenditure, according to Rob Fulks, marketing director of Weatherford International.

Oklahoma deemed earthquake country as manmade tremors increase Reuters reports that US government geologists now recognise 17 regions of Oklahoma as having elevated and increased earthquake frequency induced by the injection of waste water from oil and gas wells.

22nd April 2015

Second public inquiry opens into Europa Oil and Gas application to drill at Bury Hill Wood in the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Preview report

Day 1 Morning evidence: David and Goliath battle as residents take on oil company

Day 1 Afternoon evidence: Restoration of Leith Hill oil drilling site would take 25 years

Cost of policing fracking protesters at oil drilling site too expensive to calculate The Grimsby Telegraph reports Humberside Police has decided the cost of policing protests at an oil drilling site near Immingham is too expensive to calculate. The police statement follows at Freedom of Information request by the paper.

21st April 2015

Quarter of general election candidates sign frack-free pledge Our report and fracking election update

Occupation at Doe Green site Campaigners report an occupation at IGas’s Doe Green coal bed methane production site in Cheshire. Video

Arrests made after protest at “fracking” site at Penketh The Warrington Guardian reports one woman and three men were arrested after chaining themselves to a security fence at IGas’s Doe Green site in Cheshire. They say fracking is used at the site, which has produced coal bed methane for several years. IGas denied any of the wells in use have been fracked.

Wilton-based Sabic signs US shale gas deal The BBC reports that a Teesside chemical firm, Sabic, has signed a deal to import US shale gas, in a move it says will safeguard up to 900 jobs. The site is used to crack ethane, a bi-product of methane, into smaller molecules to produce raw materials used in plastics.

Egdon Resources seeking further UK shale partners Shale Energy Insider reports that Egdon, the UK’s third largest shale gas exploration licence holder, is seeking partners of the stature of its existing partner, Total. But it will wait until the outcome of the 14th licencing round, due to be announced in late summer, before it has serious discussions.

Oklahoma recognises role of drilling in earthquakes The New York Times reports that Oklahoma’s government launched a website of evidence that earthquakes in the state were caused largely by underground disposal of waste fluid from oil and gas wells.

20th April 2015

Final day to contribute to fracking leaflet Jojo Mehta, the woman who put MPs legal notice of potential risks of fracking, is raising money for a leaflet about what fracking looks like in production. She says the leaflet is intended for door-door distribution in areas where fracking could have a direct impact. The project is being crowdfunded. Link to details

Fund-raising for election anti-fracking ads Greenpeace plans to place anti-fracking adverts in newspapers in marginal seats where there are applications to frack.

Fracking call: chamber boss warns that Lancashire could miss on millions The Lancashire Evening Post report on comments by Babs Murphy, CEO of North West Lancs Chamber of Commerce, following the report by Peel Gas & Oil on the potential earnings from a shale gas supply hub in north-west England. “A decision on fracking on the Fylde Coast has been delayed further and further and all this could lead to Lancashire missing out on billions of pounds of investment”, she said.

Grass-to-gas plant could be UK’s answer to fracking, says Ecotricity The Guardian reports on plans for Ecotricity’s anaerobic digestion plant in Gloucestershire that could heat 6,000 homes. It is the first to feed gas directly into the grid and is fed solely on grass. Ecotricity’s Dale Vince said this could be the answer to powering the country and fighting climate change at the same time.

Lightning causes Karnes County shale explosion Shale Energy Insider reports that lightning has been blamed for an explosion at a shale water transport depot in Karnes County, Texas on Friday.

Ed Davey decision on LetterOne North Sea gas fields acquisition The Energy Secretary will revoke Dea UK’s North Sea petroleum licences unless LetterOne arranges for a further change of control of the Dea UK gas fields. Under the terms of the licenses held by Dea UK, the two companies now have three months to effect a further change of control. However, the Secretary of State has offered to extend this period to six months and he awaits LetterOne’s response to this offer.

Data on every oil and gas site worldwide Energy Voice has a graphic based on data collected by the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, which maps all known oil and gas deposits.

17th April 2015

More testing needed to determine Horse Hill oil – Magellan Our report

Deadline of comments on Cuadrilla’s planning applications for Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood in Fylde, Lancashire

Anti-fracking campaigners clash with energy bosses The Glasgow Evening Times reports that campaigners clashed with Ineos at the first public meeting over its plans to frack part of East Dunbartonshire. Claims by the Grangemouth company that they took safety and environmental regulations very seriously were met with loud bursts of laughter from campaigners, who labelled the plans “a mad misadventure to make money” at a packed meeting in Denny high school, the paper said. Report by Herald Scotland

Lancashire residents tell fracking firm to steer clear of their village The Lancashire Evening Post reports people in Woodplumpton near Preston have sent a “steer clear” message to Cuadrilla after a meeting in the village school. “There was no doubt about the strength of feeling,” said parish council chairman Cllr Paul Entwistle. “The whole community was against the proposal to bring lorries through here.”

Shepway candidates divided over fracking pledge The Folkestone Herald reports four of Shepway’s parliamentary candidates have signed a “frack free” promise but three have yet to respond.

Pro-fracking company asked to carry out safety study The Irish Times reports that CDM Smith, the lead company employed by the Irish government to carry out a study on fracking, is a pro-fracking company involved in shale gas extraction in the US and Poland.

Kimberley traditional owners reject fracking as part of oil production deal The Guardian reports that traditional owners in Western Australia have vetoed fracking in an agreement to allow Buru Energy to start commercial production onshore in the Fitzroy Valley.

Preston businessman, Lee Petts, of Remsol, demands apology from Fylde parliamentary candidate, Mike Hill, for comments made in 2013 Press release  Mike Hill has issued this letter to people in Fylde

Fracking: what is the British government trying to hide? John Ashton, writing for Responding To Climate Change (RTCC), reviews the Public Health England and Medact reports on risks of fracking to human health.

16th April 2015

Only 20% trust government to regulate shale gas – new research Our report

Shale gas hub could provide £30bn for north Our report and Manchester Evening News report

A shale gas wealth fund for northern England, but what about the south? Oil Voice asks whether there should be an onshore wealth fund for the south.

David Lenigas: Wild West hero or just a gunslinger who shoots from the lip The Times runs a whole page on the background and corporate behaviour of UKOG’s chairman following the company’s clarification on estimated oil volumes in the Weald. The paper also has a comment by Alistair Osborne: Gatwick gusher more of a trickle

Anti-fracking protest as Ineos heads to town The Kirkintilloch Herald reports on a protest planned for April 27th outside an Ineos shale gas presentation at Bishopbriggs Academy

98% of BP investors vote for climate resolution The Independent reports that at BP’s annual shareholders meeting in London 98% voted for more transparent reporting about the company’s impact on climate change.

Shale wells are turning into cash gushers Bloomberg reports that the profitability of some US shale wells at current prices will almost double as cost cutting and technology turns them into cash gushers, despite the oil price crash.

From Sussex to Spain, crossing borders to fight fracking Kathryn McWhirter, of No Fracking in Balcombe Society, writes a guest blog for Greenpeace, about a campaign to stop fracking in a Spanish village.

15th April 2015

IGas’s Andrew Austin tells Shale World conference Ellesmere Port well is model for the future Our report

UK Oil and Gas Investments, the company that claimed last week it had discovered 100bn barrels of oil in the Weald, announced this morning it doesn’t actually know how much oil there is. Our report  Column in Brighton Argus

Report says Fylde fracking won’t hit house prices but campaigners criticise research methods and findings Our report

Our fracking election round-up: Party manifestos, campaign candidates, Balcombe parish contest, quote of the day

Cuadrilla Resources appoints Roy Franklin OBE is its new chairman He has been a board member since 2012. He worked for BP for 18 years and spent four years with Clyde Petroleum and eight with Paladin Resources.

Green groups accuse EU shale gas panel of fracking lobby takeover The Guardian reports that environmentalists boycott EU expert group on the environmental risks posed by fracking, alleging conflict of interest over appointment of shale executives. The panel is led by five chairmen: two from Cuadrilla and ConocoPhillips, two from pro-shale ministries in the UK and Poland and a director of IFP Energies Nouvelles, who advises the Shale Gas Europe lobby group. Fewer than 10 environmentalists were welcomed to the last meeting in February, compared with 70 attendees, largely from the industry, the Guardian reports.

Fracking slurs The Order Order political blog reports suggestions by Mike Hill, an Independent election candidate for Fylde, that he is being slurred by supporters of the Green Party. Mike Hill has issued this letter to people in Fylde.

14th April 2015

Conservative Manifesto supports shale gas development “We will continue to support the safe development of shale gas, and ensure that local communities share the proceeds through generous community benefit packages. We will create a Sovereign Wealth Fund for the North of England, so that the shale gas resources of the North are used to invest in the future of the North”. Link to Conservative Party manifesto

Oil prices rise on expected drip in US shale output Reuters reports on a rise in Brent crude prices to $58.33 a barrel on expectations that US shale output will record its first monthly decline in over four years. The US Energy Information Administration expects US shale production to fall by 45,000 barrels to 4.98m barrels per day in May, from April.

Warning of more Shropshire gas drilling bids to come The Shropshire Star reports comments by Chris Hesketh, of Frack Free Dudleston, warning Shropshire residents that more coal med methane applications may soon be submitted in the region.

Cuadrilla Resources Holdings appoints Robin Joseph Alexander Duggan to its board. He has been a partnership member in Riverstone Europe, a Cuadrilla shareholder, since 2007. It also ends the appointment of Lord Browne (see 13th April).

13th April 2015

Labour promises “robust regulatory regime” The Labour Manifesto, out today, has one sentence on onshore gas. It says: “For onshore unconventional oil and gas, we will establish a robust environmental and regulatory regime before extraction can take place”.

UK Oil and Gas Investments share price falls as it seals Markswell Wood license deal for more Weald Basin oil fields after Horse Hill discovery near Gatwick City Am reports UK Oil and Gas Investments has acquired 40% of an onshore licence on the West Sussex-Hampshire border in the Weald Basin from Magellan Petroleum. The licence includes the Markswell Wood well. Shares rose 300+% after UKOG announced its oil discovery at Horse Hill. But fell to 2.07p this morning. UKOG announcement

Ex-BP chief John Browne quits Riverstone board Sky News reports Lord Browne will resign his directorship of Riverstone, his only role on the board of a UK public company on Tuesday. He has also relinquished his chairmanship of Cuadrilla Resources, Sky says. Lord Browne is to become executive chairman of L1 Energy, the $10bn venture established by Mikhail Fridman and German Khan.

Scrap fossil fuel subsidies now and bring in carbon tax, says World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim tells the Guardian about his five-point plan for low-carbon growth, including removal of incentives to exploit oil, gas and coal.

Greenpeace targets Danish fracking site TheLocal.DK reports that 20 Greenpeace activists scaled the drill at the site of Denmark’s first shale gas exploration site at Dybvad in north Jutland. Four climbed to the top of the drill, while others stayed on the ground with anti-fracking banners. The site is operated by Total. Local opposition is said to be strong.

11th April 2015

Oil strike chief says fracking would DOUBLE the bonanza found under South East England – but vows his firm won’t do it The Mail on Sunday reports fracking could be used to exploit vast oil reserves under SE England, despite pledges by UKOG that it will not use the technique. David Lenigas, UKOG chairman, said he had no intention of fracking in the region. But other oil groups, with licences for other parts of the Weald, could dramatically increase output by fracking.

Gatwick oil find sparks climate action calls The BBC says campaigners are gearing up to fight any plans to extract oil in Surrey after UKOG revealed its well at Horse Hill indicated there could be up to 100bn barrels of oil in the Weald. People in the area are apprehensive of another Balcombe-style climate camp, the BBC reports.

10th April 2015

Anti-fracking camp in Cheshire celebrates first anniversary The Guardian reports on a year at the Upton Protection Camp outside IGas Energy’s proposed coal bed methane site in Cheshire. The camp marks the anniversary with a BBQ, picnic and singalong, as well as a progress report on the campaign.

Why there’s no way an oil boom will happen next to Gatwick Airport Business Insider reports that the Horse Hill well could be a boom for UKOG, but the vast majority of those 100 billion barrels, if they’re there, are almost certain to stay in the ground.

Green MEP raises fracking concerns over Horse Hill oil discovery The Surrey Mirror reports that Keith Taylor has questioned whether oil at Horse Hill can be extracted without fracking. He calls for a debate on climate change and keeping fossil fuels in the ground.

Fracking moratorium branded a ‘political fix’ as campaigners call for transparency Scottish Conservative energy spokesman, Murdo Fraser, tells the Herald that he suspects Ineos, the firm which has licences for shale gas exploration across 700 square miles of land in central Scotland, was offered private reassurances that it will likely be able to begin fracking once a moratorium ends.

Energy minister accepts £18,000 from board member of climate sceptic group Greenpeace Energy Desk reports Matthew Hancock, the energy and climate change minister, has accepted £18,000 from Neil Record, one of the founders of Nigel Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation.

9th April 2015

158m barrels per square mile or up to 100bn barrels across the Weald – latest announcement from Horse Hill oil discovery Our report Reaction 

Welcome to Horse Hill – are there 100bn barrels of oil under this field? The Guardian goes to the Horse Hill well to find out if UKOG will be able to extract oil from its wellsite.

Shale gas exploration needs ‘robust’ rules says Notts County Council The Retford Times reports on a Notts County Council response to a scoping request from IGas for future plans to carry out shale gas exploration at Springs Road, near Misson. The response, which includes the views of 40, organisations, sets out what the council says are safeguards to the local environment if an application is eventually submitted.

What you need to know about UK Oil and Gas Investments Greenpeace Energy Desk reports on the company behind the Horse Hill oil discovery. It says the company’s statements are a little vague, it employs three people, has a turnover of £7,000 and the chairman has made bold claims before

8th April 2015

Lancashire County Council delays confirming refusal of Cuadrilla’s shale monitoring plans at Grange Road, Singleton Our report

Royal Dutch Shell to buy BG Group in £47bn deal The BBC and others report that Shell is to buy the oil and gas exploration firm, BG Group. The deal could be one of the biggest of 2015 and could produce a company with a value of more than £200bn. BG shares opened up 42% on the London Stock Exchange to 1,293.5p. BG is the UK largest energy company, created in 1997 when British Gas demerged into BG Group (exploration and production) and Centrica (retail).

Environmental Defence Fund sparks mistrust and admiration with its methane research Inside Climate News reports on the EDF study on methane leaks from oil and gas plants. It interviewed 40 scientists, activists, academics and industry representatives who denied the industry was manipulating EDF’s results. But eight out of 15 methane researchers expressed concerns about the transparency and quality of the work.

Dallas Energy CEO Chris “Frack Master” Faulkner Is More Talker than Fracker Dallas Observer reports on Chris Faulkner’s background that it says contains remarkably little drilling for natural gas and a remarkable amount of legal trouble. Also, a company called “Porn Toys Corp.” The paper says his success is thanks, in large part to a web hosting company, founded two decades ago.

Darlington parliamentary candidates go head to head on fracking The Northern Echo reports on candidates’ views on fracking at a hustings in Darlington, organised by Friends of the Earth

Jojo Mehta, the woman who put MPs legal notice of potential risks of fracking, is raising money for a leaflet about what fracking looks like in production. She says the leaflet is intended for door-door distribution in areas where fracking could have a direct impact. The project is being crowdfunded. Link to details

Shell’s BG purchase could be catalyst needed for US shale deals Reuters reports that Shell’s agreement to buy BG Group may be the signal needed for other takeovers, particularly in the US shale sector.

Anti-frackers in Upton invite community to first birthday party The Chester Chronicle reports that campaigners are marking the first year of a camp outside IGas’s Upton site with a party on Saturday 11th April at 2pm onwards.

Oil company drops $1bn lawsuit over San Benito fracking ban California County News reports that Citadel Exploration has withdrawn its legal action over Measure J, which banned fracking in San Benito County. The company had argued the ban was unconstitutional because only the state had the authority to regulate oil and gas drilling. But the company gave notice it was withdrawing the suit and gave no reason.

7th April 2015

Lancashire villagers on Cuadrilla lorry route gather tonight to fight fracking plans Our report

Shale accessible without fracking, says hidden government report Shale Energy Insider reports that a buried French government report found that the country’s shale gas reserves could be extracted without the use of hydraulic fracturing. The paper, commissioned in 2013, was completed in 2014. The French government has insisted shale gas could not be extracted because of possible environmental damage from fracking.

The arrival of man-made earthquakes The New Yorker reports links between government, science and the oil and gas industry in investigating earthquakes in Oklahoma.

The link between fracking and Oklahoma’s quakes keeps getting stronger Mother Jones, the US investigative website, reports on growing peer-reviewed research is growing to link increasing earthquakes in Oklahoma to reinjection of wastewater into disposal wells. This year the state had an average of two quakes per day of magnitude 3.0 or more. Despite this the Oklahoma Geological Survey is that they are natural events.

6th April 2015

Worried parents hand over fracking petition The Blackpool Gazette reports on a petition handed into Lancashire County Council by parents from Weeton St Michael’s primary school. See also our report on 3rd April

Lancashire village’s fightback against fracking lorry plans The Lancashire Evening Post reports that Broughton residents have launched a fight against plans by Cuadrilla to run 25 HGVs a day through the village crossroads to its site at Roseacre Wood. Broughton residents have labelled it a “ludicrous ideas” and are meeting tonight to discuss the matter.

4th April 2015

Cuadrilla plans solid acoustic barriers up to 14m to reduce noise at Fylde fracking sites Our report

3rd April 2015

Parents threaten to remove children from school near proposed Cuadrilla fracking site Our report

2nd April 2015

Government rejects MPs call for fracking ban Our report

Fracking breaches “hidden from public” The FT reports that oil and gas companies in 33 US states can avoid heightened public scrutiny because data about violations of safety and pollution rules are effectively hidden from residents. Research by the Natural Resources Defence Council, found only Colorado, Pennsylvania and West Virginia make data on violations easily accessible to the public. In Pennsylvania alone, the NRDC found 68 companies were responsible for 3,978 violations of safety and pollution rules from 2009-2013.

About 70 homes damaged in Albanian gas explosion The German TV station t-online.de/tv reports on a blow-out at a well in Marinza which sent fountains of gas and mud shooting into the air. Global Times report

1st April 2015

German government approves fracking bill Detsche Welle reports German cabinet has decided to allow shale gas fracking in Germany, but only under strict regulation. Fracking would be banned in sensitive areas and at depths above 3,000 metres.

Survey suggests local fracking support is a vote loser Our report

Cuadrilla chief says fracking will happen eventually Insider Media Ltd reports that Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, told a conference in Lancashire that fracking would take place in Lancashire but at a slower rate than he hoped.

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