Our digest of last month’s news about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas developments in the UK and around the world, including:
- Refusals of Cuadrilla’s planning applications to frack at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood: reports, reaction, pictures
- Approval of Rathlin Energy’s plan for a second well at West Newton in East Yorkshire
- New estimates for oil in place at the Horse Hill well in Surrey
- IGas prepares to apply for fracking site in Nottinghamshire
- Third Energy withdraws plans to frack in Ryedale; residents unimpressed by Environment Agency consultation
- Government releases full version of redacted fracking report under instruction from Information Commissioner
- Government accused of trying to fast-track fracking without public consent; ministers reject claims
- Public inquiry closes into Europa’s plans for drilling in Surrey Hills
- 80,000 crowd-funded fracking leaflets distributed in a month
- Dudleston coal bed methane appeal upgraded to an inquiry again
- Reclaim the Power day of action
30th June 2015
Don’t fear fracking The Telegraph editorial reflects on the refusal of planning permission at Preston New Road. “Local residents need an incentive to support fracking, which is why we have called for a better compensation scheme to give them a financial stake in the exploration. In the end, however, this is a national resource, just like coal was, and it may well require central Government intervention to decide whether this crucial project should go ahead. We need to become as energy independent as possible, and fracking must be part of the mix.”
Frackers want law change as council blocks drilling plan Following the refusal of Cuadrilla’s fracking applications, The Times reports fracking companies immediately called for a change in the law to limit councils’ ability to block applications.
Fracketeering: how capitalism is power-hosing the last drops of value out of us all Ian Martin, writing in The Guardian, says fracking is the chief inspiration for today’s entrepreneurs. Everything is up for grabs. “The age of the racketeer is over. It’s all about fracketeering now.”
Scots experts ‘turned tide’ against plan for fracking in English village The National reports that Professors David Smythe and Stuart Haszeldine, of Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities respectively strongly advised Lancashire’s councillors not to proceed with planning permission, despite the council’s planning officials saying it should go ahead. The National says their interventions helped “turn the tide”.
If I’m Lib Dem leader, we’ll oppose fracking Tim Farron, writing in politics.co.uk says “I believe we should now support a ban on fracking. The UK should not be pursuing another fossil fuel source, when there is so much potential for renewable generation from tidal and hydro that is still untapped. I would like the party, through the federal policy committee and the conference, to think again about our existing policy on fracking.”
Germany postpones vote on fracking law amid coalition row over details Mail Online reports that Germany has delayed a parliamentary vote on new rules for the disputed technique of fracking for shale gas after parties in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition failed to agree on final details
29th June 2015
Lancashire County Council refuses Cuadrilla’s application to frack at Preston New Road
Updates as they happen on Lancashire County Council’s decision on Cuadrilla’s plan to frack at Preston New Road Click here for the latest
Decision to reject Lancashire fracking plan a sign of public uncertainty, expert says Durham University’s Professor Andy Aplin, Director of the Centre for Research In Earth Energy Systems, says the refusal of applications for fracking in Lancashire indicate there “is public uncertainty about onshore exploration and especially shale gas”.
Britain is wrong to reject fracking application: Kemp John Kemp writing a column for Reuters says “Lancashire County Council’s decision on Monday to reject an application to drill and hydraulic fracture up to four wells at a site in the borough of Fylde on the grounds of “noise” and “visual impact” is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the country’s planning control system.”
Europe must wean itself off Russian Gas. Start in Lancashire Adam Memon, writing on the Centre for Policy Studies website, says “Today’s decision by Lancashire County Council to block shale gas exploration at the Preston New Road site is a terrible mistake. The economic, environmental and geopolitical arguments are overwhelmingly in favour of fracking.”
Greens welcome Lancashire fracking decision Green Party leader Natalie Bennett and MP for Brighton Pavilion Caroline Lucas have welcomed Lancashire County Council’s decision to refuse a planning application for fracking at a site in Little Plumpton. Caroline Lucas said: “This is a fantastic victory for the people of Lancashire, and the campaigners who have fought so hard to increase awareness of the dangers of fracking.” West Sussex County Times report
The prospects for UK shale gas have never looked bleaker Damian Carrington in his blog for The Guardian writes: Cuadrilla are almost certain to appeal Lancashire county council’s decision, but the nascent fracking industry in the UK may never recover from this blow.
N.Y. Officially Bans Fracking With Release of Seven-Year Study Bloomberg reports that New York has official banned hydraulic fracturing. The state, following through on a decision Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo made in December, released its formal study of the drilling practice Monday after almost seven years of study. The report, which drew the same conclusions as a shorter version released Dec. 17, said studies on fracking’s effects on water, air and soil are inconsistent, incomplete and raise too many red flags.
UKOG to acquire 20% stake in Horse Hill neighbour Proactive Investors reports David Lenigas’s UK Oil & Gas has struck a deal with Egdon Resources to acquire a 20% stake in the Holmwood project in the Weald basin in the south east of England. Reports by London South East, Directors Talk and Business Insider
28th June 2015
Groups publish rival legal opinion on council legal advice on Preston New Road fracking application Our report
More criticism of council advice on Preston New Road fracking plan Our report
Fracking: Energy Secretary’s advisor received £5,000 election donation from company set to benefit from controversial technique The Independent reports MP Paul Maynard, PPS to Amber Rudd, received the money from Addison Projects, part of an engineering company in Lancashire which has said it wants to play an active role in supporting fracking. Greenpeace Energy Desk report
Government hits back at claims it is trying to “fast-track” fracking in north The Warrington Guardian says the government responded to concerns about fracking raised by Warrington Green Party Member, Sarah Hayes. The Department of Energy and Climate Change insists it wants communities to play a key role in helping to safely develop the shale industry.
27th June 2015
Residents release legal opinion contradicting council advice on fracking scheme Our report
Council blocks residents from presenting “valid reasons” for refusing Preston New Road fracking application Our report
26th June 2015
Environmental charities rally support in advance of Monday’s fracking vote Our report
Government accused of double standards on fracking and wind Fracking Week in Westminster
Chester Zoo and farmer refuse request for seismic surveys on land The Chester Standard reports that Chester Zoo and Huw Rolands at Grange Farm in Mickle Trafford have refused permission to Tesla Exploration International Ltd to carry out seismic testing on behalf of IGas.
25th June 2015
Reports from Day 3 of Lancashire County Council committee meeting on Cuadrilla’s fracking applications
Fracking will get go-ahead even if Lancashire refuses, legal advice suggests The Telegraph reports on legal advice to Lancashire County Councillors on whether it should approve or refuse Cuadrilla’s application for Preston New Road. If councillors refuse consent for Cuadrilla’s proposed Preston New Road site there is a “high risk that a costs penalty will be imposed upon the council” at appeal, according to the advice by David Manley QC, the paper says.
Earthquake spike pushes Oklahoma to consider tighter fracking regulations The Guardian reports Oklahoma experienced 35 earthquakes of 3.0 or above from 17-24 June. Matt Skinner, a spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which regulates oil and gas drilling, told Reuters. “There’s been a huge increase. That’s a game changer.” But the paper says it is unclear what action the state will take.
Villages hold picnic with Lancashire anti-fracking community The West Sussex County Times reports residents from Billingshurst, Pulborough and West Chiltington gathered in solidarity with anti-fracking communities in Lancashire on the day councillors considered Cuadrilla’s applications. Wearing anti-fracking colours of yellow and black, with plenty of banners, locals joined Keep Billingshurst Frack Free for a picnic on the green, next to the Blacksmith’s Arms, near the Adversane Lane junction, the paper says.
Fracking health complaints received little follow-up from the Department of Health StateImpact reports newly released documents from the Pennsylvania Department of Health on fracking-related health complaints reveal a lack of follow-through and inaccurate record-keeping. Telephone logs spanning 2011-15 include 87 separate complaints from residents and workers about skin rashes, respiratory problems and nose bleeds. But notes by agency workers show little information was collected from patients and in at least one case important details were inaccurate.
24th June 2015
Reports from Day 2 of Lancashire County Council meeting to decide Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking application
As Lancashire councils prepare to decide on Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road application, Edinburgh geology professor calls for fracking ban while government—funded research is done on risks Our report
Losses widen at Gatwick gusher oil driller UKOG The Telegraph says UK Oil and Gas is bullish about the potential of its Horse Hill prospect despite mounting losses. The company said it made pre-tax net losses of £383,000 for the six months ending March 31st 2015, compared with 290,000 in the same period a year earlier. But the company said it had about £8m to fund operations, focused on the Horse Hill well in Surrey. London South East report
New report estimates enough natural gas is leaking to negate climate benefits The Guardian reports on research commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund on leaks from natural gas and oil production on federal and tribal land in the US. It estimated 64bn cubic feet of natural gas was released to air in 2013, amounting to about $360m of lost gas. The leaks are said to be equivalent to the greenhouse gases produced by 5.6m cars.
Anti-fracking campaigners unimpressed by Environment Agency meeting The Malton and Pickering Mercury reports that members of Frack Free Ryedale were unimpressed by the answers they received at a consultation on Third Energy’s for a permit to frack at its KM8 well site in Kirby Misperton. The EA failed to reassure residents about the plans, the group said. The EA says the meeting was designed to inform people about how to get involved in a public consultation, running until 10th July.
23rd June 2015
Cuadrilla fracking decision: what objectors said about the Preston New Road plans Our report
Cuadrilla fracking decision: what supporters said about the Preston New Road plans Our report
Cuadrilla’s fracking decision: what council officers said about Preston New Road plans Our report
Cuadrilla fracking decision : day 1 in pictures Our report
Protest held at council offices Q Radio Network reports that large crowd of anti-fracking campaigners held a protest outside Coleraine council offices. It preceded a workshop attended by members of the Protect Our North Coast campaign group and Rathlin Energy, the company which is seeking planning permission to drill a second exploratory borehole on the Ballinlea Road outside Ballycastle. Belfast Telegraph report
22nd June 2015
Lancashire County Council accused of bias against opponents of Cuadrilla’s fracking applications Our report
New report on fracking risks and letter from New York officials sent to Lancashire County Councillors Our report
Unite joins Lancashire anti-fracking demonstration and urges councillors to block Cuadrilla’s applications Our report
Police rest days cancelled for anti-fracking demonstrations The Blackpool Gazette reports police have cancelled officers’ rest days because anti-fracking protesters are expected to gather in Preston tomorrow as Lancashire County Council considers Cuadrilla’s applications to frack at Preston New Road.
Anti-fracking report cited by Andy Burnham was based on “scare stories” The Telegraph says a report on fracking used by Andy Burnham to justify calls for a ban was produced by a veteran green campaigner opposed to the technique. CHEM Trust’s paper, which calls for a moratorium, was written by its executive director, Michael Warhurst, who worked for Friends of the Earth for 10 years until last summer, the paper says.
Shale industry could become overburdened by debt – Bloomberg Shale Energy Insider reports on analysis by Bloomberg which shows that nearly half of drillers are spending at least 10% of revenue to finance interest payments. The total industry debt rose to $235b at the end of the first quarter of 2015, a 16% increase on last year, despite falls in total revenue.
19th June 2015
SNP must end the moratorium on fracking Kenny Farquharson, writing in The Times, argues for fracking in Scotland.
18th June 2015
Government ordered to release full report on impacts of fracking on rural economies Our report
Horse Hill well – new estimate puts oil at 9.2bn barrels Our report
Fracking: We could be next, says MP The Lancaster Guardian reports on a letter by Cat Smith, MP for Lancaster and Morecombe, co-signed by more than 1,000 people, urging Lancashire County Council to refuse plans for fracking at Preston New Road. “If it goes ahead at Preston New Road, there’s no reason why it can’t go ahead in Lancaster and Morecambe”, she said. The pro-fracking MP for Morecombe and Lunesdale, David Morris, said “It [fracking] is not going to cause any environmental damage”.
17th June 2015
Don’t turn back on fracking, Chancellor tells MPs Our report
Fracking could secure energy supply with little risk to health, claims Royal Society The Times Scotland reports on conclusions of a study by the Royal Society of Edinburgh that fracking offers Scotland the chance of a secure energy supply no more harmful to the environment that conventional gas production.
Report warns public must be given their say on fracking The Herald Scotland reflects another conclusion that the Scottish public must be given a genuine opportunity to influence the decision-making process on fracking and other unconventional gas developments.
New House of Commons committee chairs Neil Parish (Conservative, Tiverton and Honiton) is voted chair of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. Huw Irranca-Davies (Labour, Ogmore) is elected chair of the Environmental Audit Committee and Angus Brendan MacNeil (SNP, Na h-Eileanan an Iar) becomes chair of the Energy and Climate Change Committee. Other members of the committees will be nominated in coming weeks.
Fracking: Johnstone urges ban and demand reduction Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MP for Lothian, calls on the Scottish government to turn its temporary moratorium into a permanent ban on fracking, following a report by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Ryedale Area Committee: More evidence is needed about impact of fracking The Malton Mercury reports on a meeting of North Yorkshire County Council’s Ryedale area committee at which a 1,000 signature against fracking was handed in. Councillors decided more evidence on the impact of fracking in the area was needed before any planning decisions were made.
Thousands to lobby MPs on climate change Energy Voice reports thousands of people, including anti-fracking campaigners, are set to converge on Parliament to urge their MPs to back strong action on climate change.
16th June 2015
The disappearing Telegraph article on fracking regulation revealed Read the article in our report
We are disappointed but the fight is far from over The Lancashire Evening Post reports on reaction to planners’ recommendation to approve Cuadrilla’s fracking plans at Preston New Road Patricia Davies, of Preston New Road Action Group, says “We know when we put the facts before the council they will see how damaging the application is. People do not want this. We are hoping the council will take this on board.
Locals will be guinea pigs for the rest of UK Ben Webster, writing in The Times, looks at the implications of the recommendation to approve fracking at Preston New Road.
Lancashire Council’s fracking decision “very good news”, says EUA Utility Week reports that the recommendation to approve Cuadrilla’s application at Preston New Road is very good news for the industry says the Energy and Utilities Alliance. EUA chief executive Mike Foster says the decision will allow the fracking firm to “actually assess whether there is a commercial industry potential” for shale in the UK.
Fracking? Let’s think again The Lib Dem leadership candidate, Tim Farron, writing in Huffington Post, says his party was wrong to support fracking. Mr Farron, who voted for a moratorium on fracking, wants the LibDems to debate whether it should support a ban on fracking. Shale gas will only have a future in the UK if we abandon, or significantly scale back, our climate targets – and that’s something that I hope every Liberal Democrat would oppose.
Gaza and anti-fracking protests cost Manchester Police half a million pounds in overtime The Manchester Evening News reports police spent £200,000 in overtime on the four-month anti-fracking protest at Barton Moss in Salford. The entire operation cost GMP £1.7m and the Home Office has not contributed to the costs.
Warrington Green Party warns residents “Fracking poses a risk to drinking water” The Warrington Guardian reports on a warning by Sarah Hayes, the Green Party candidate for Warrington North at the election, that fracking poses risks to water, earthquakes, air quality and children’s health.
92-year-old woman arrested in Denton protest NBCDFW.com reports that a 92-year-old great grandmother and her 664-year-old son were the latest people to be arrested in anti-fracking protests in Denton, Texas. Violet Palmer, who is blind, had placed a rocking chair next to her son, Theron, who had chained himself to the gate of the Vantage Drill site. Denton’s voters approved a ban on fracking but this has been overturned by state legislators.
Industry, state back to court in Denton fracking ban The Star-Telegram reports the Texas Oil and Gas Association and the state’s General Land Office are asking a court to throw out Denton’s ban on fracking and the moratorium it used to stop drilling.
Fracking operator faces record $8.9m fine for alleged water contamination PennLive.com reports that Pennsylvania regulators plan to levy a record fine against the shale gas operator, Range Resources, which reportedly failed to correct a well that leaked methane into nearby water supplies
15th June 2015
Breaking: Lancashire County Council planners recommend permission be approved for Cuadrilla to frack at Preston New Road but recommend refusal for Roseacre Wood on traffic grounds. Our report
What Lancashire planners said about Cuadrilla’s application to frack at Roseacre Wood Our report
What Lancashire planners said about Cuadrilla’s application to frack at Preston New Road Our report
Cuadrilla reaction to recommendations Our report
Reaction from Friends of the Earth and Lee Petts, of waste company Remsol Our report
Government defends the end of bespoke environmental permits for some oil and gas operations but fail to stem objections Our report
Government reduced to lies, misinformation and bullying to spin fast-track fracking Paul Mobbs, writing in the Ecologist, analyses a press release from the Department of Energy and Climate Change, issued on 14th June, which claimed newspapers were misreporting regulation of shale extraction. He says the release is “a distorted version of the facts, designed to manipulate the reality of what is taking place”.
Fracking for shale – tentative steps The Economist looks at the reasons why Britain has only used high volume hydraulic fracturing on one well, despite government support for shale gas extraction. Part of the reason, it says, is geography. Much of the gas is under densely populated areas, valuable agricultural land and heavily protected national parks. Public opposition to fracking is also easily mobilised.
Which MPs have spoken out against fracking? Greenpeace identifies seven MPs to keep an eye on: Conservative Jason McCartney, Green Caroline Lucas, Labour’s Cat Smith, Lib Dem Mark Williams, Plaid Cymru’s Liz Saville Roberts, the SNP’s Stuart McDonald and Sinn Fein’s Paul Maskey
12th June 2015
Government trying to fast-track fracking without public consent The Independent reports that the government is trying to do away with the need for public consultation on environmental permits before testing drilling goes ahead. See also our report from 8th June
Cuadrilla could get green light for fracking in Lancashire The Telegraph reports Cuadrilla is now “quietly confident of getting the go-ahead for fracking from planning officers on Monday (15/6/15). A positive recommendation from officials on Monday would set the stage for a showdown with protesters the week after, when councillors are due to vote on the plans, the paper says.
Prospectors and protesters await crucial UK fracking decision The FT reports Cuadrilla has cited rural Pennsylvania – the home of America’s fracking revolution – as a model for Lancashire where it hopes to get the go-ahead to frack up to eight wells. Francis Egan, the company’s chief executive, said he understood the worries of anti-fracking campaigners. But he attacked what he called the scare stories and urban myths about earth tremors and pollution. A report by planning officers on Monday (15/6/15) will recommend either refusal or approval of applications at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road. Councillors will decide the applications at the end of the month.
Fylde anti-fracking groups hail EU frack vote The Blackpool Gazette reports claims by anti-fracking campaigners that the “wind of change” is blowing against shale gas after a vote for a moratorium on fracking in the European Parliament. A spokesman for the Preston New Road Action Group said the EU vote was “historic” and showed members had fears over the risks and negative consequences of fracking for climate change, environment and health.
11th June 2015
Third Energy withdraws application to frack in Ryedale, N Yorkshire Our report
Final arguments in public inquiry into Europa Oil’s plans to drill in the Surrey Hills near Dorking. Our report
Farmer panel to liaise on fracking The Blackpool Gazette reports that shale gas supporters have set up an agricultural panel, which they say is designed to show Fylde coast farmers how to work with the industry, should it go ahead. The Cuadrilla-funded North West Energy Task Force has formed the group, made up of four Lancashire farmers and GrowHow, a nitrogen fertiliser producer. The Lancashire Evening Post covered the story on 13th June.
Lenigas ready for ‘serious work’ at Horse Hill after £6mln cash-call Proactive Investors reports that an Unapologetic UK Oil & Gas (LON:UKOG) chairman David Lenigas says it is now time for serious work to be done in the Weald basin, following Wednesday’s £6m cash-call. UKOG confirmed, in an afterhours stock market statement, that it has arranged the placing of 266m new shares priced at 2.25p.
Shell could withdraw from Ukraine shale project Shale Energy Insider reports Shell is considering withdrawing from a shale gas exploration project in eastern Ukraine, nearly a year after it froze activity because of fighting in the country.
10th June 2015
North Yorkshire County Council asks Third Energy for more information on its fracking application for Kirby Misperton The Council tells us it has written to Third Energy requesting “clarification before it can complete the validation of the planning application”. Third Energy submitted the application on 22nd May 2015. NYCC has not set a deadline for the information to be supplied. The application will be published on the council website when validation has been completed.
European parliament votes for moratorium on fracking The Guardian reports that a majority of MEPs (338 to 319) supported a moratorium on fracking for shale for the first time. A report containing an amendment on a moratorium was not adopted so the result will have no practical effect. But the paper says the vote will signal uncertainty ahead for the European Commission and industry.
North Yorkshire County Council debates anti-fracking petition, signed by 1,000+ An area committee meeting in Malton votes unanimously to refer a petition against fracking to the council executive. The petition, signed by more than 1,000 people, calls on the county council to “oppose fracking and all other forms of unconventional fossil fuel extraction in North Yorkshire, and that this anti-fracking position should be reflected in all decisions relating to mineral planning applications in North Yorkshire”. The petition’s motion will be considered by North Yorkshire County Council’s scrutiny committees.
Consultation opens on Third Energy application for environmental permits to frack well at Kirby Misperton More details coming soon
80,000 crowdfunded fracking leaflets distributed in a month – more to be printed Our report
Guest Post: Ex oil man explains why he reported leaflets to advertising watchdog Our report
It’s time to talk honestly about fracking Letters to The Guardian from: Gary Smith, GMB union and Ken Cronin, UKOOG;, Joan Walley, former chair of House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee; J Harris, Balcombe.
Tougher testing rules delay fracking The Times reports that fracking will be delayed for at least another year because of new rules that require 12 months of testing of ground water before shale gas can be extracted.
Green Party organise series of ‘fact finding walks’ in area targeted for oil and gas drilling Kentnews.co.uk reports Green Party will be hosting a fact finding walk around Horse Hill in the Weald Basin which is being targeted for unconventional oil and gas drilling.
9th June 2015
100 shale gas pads on the Fylde? So what The Aunty Frackers Blog responds to Preston New Road Action Group’s map of what the Fylde could look like if Cuadrilla developed 100 well pads (see 7th June). The site says the blue dots that indicate the well pads exaggerate their size by a factor of 10 it also makes the point that the 100 well pads won’t be developed simultaneously but over several years and probably in clusters.
Is gas a weapon in the fight against climate change? BBC News reports from the World Gas Conference in Paris where the heads of the four biggest polluting companies in history are talking about how to solve climate change. Chevron, Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell – responsible for more than 10% of all greenhouse gases emitted since the industrial revolution – are talking under the heading “Natural gas as a core pillar for a sustainable future of the planet”.
Oil rises on lower shale output forecast The FT reports oil posted its biggest gain in June so far after a forecast showed US shale oil output will fall next month and Saudi Arabia said it had raised its output in response to stronger demand
8th June 2015
Residents oppose new rules allowing “lethal” chemical in oil and gas operation Our report
Exxon to face regulators over quakes The Wall Street Journal reports that Texas regulators are investigating some of the biggest US energy producers following earthquakes in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. An Exxon Mobil Corp. subsidiary and EOG Resources Inc., one of the biggest shale-oil and gas producers, are facing questions about their use of injection wells to dispose of wastewater from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. On Wednesday, the Texas oil-and-gas regulator begins hearings to assess oil company roles in causing the temblors, the WSJ says.
Do whatever it takes for a deal, says majority in global climate survey The Guardian reports that nearly 2/3 of people believe that negotiators at key UN climate talks in December should do “whatever it takes” to limit global warming to a 2C rise. The Worldwide Views on Climate and Energy consultation involved 10,000 citizens from 79 developed and developing countries. In a separate poll, 2/3 of Britons think investments in fossil fuels are becoming more risky.
7th June 2015
Anti-fracking campaign map illustrates density of Fylde well pads with Cuadrilla’s shale plans Our report
6th June 2015
Andy Burnham gets it all wrong on fracking The Frack-Land blog corrects what it says are mistakes made by Andy Burnham in his comments on fracking to The Guardian (See June 5th). In particular, the blog criticises Mr Burnham’s comments that fracking licences were “handed out like confetti”, “Where is the evidence that it is safe to come and frack a place like this?[his constituency]” and “”How can we justify in this day and age allowing a multinational to frack a local community without their say so?”
5th June 2015
Dudleston CBM appeal upgraded to inquiry, again Our report
Andy Burnham to call for moratorium on fracking The Guardian reports that Andy Burnham, the frontrunner in Labour’s leadership contest, wants a fracking moratorium until stronger scientific evidence can show it is safe to drill for shale gas. He told the paper: “How can we justify in this day and age allowing a multinational to frack a local community without their say so? The next step, beyond the moratorium, would be to give local people a much bigger say in whether or not it can proceed. If an organisation could convince a local community that in the end the deal they were putting on the table was beneficial then that is fine. But it can’t be fine without proper consultation.”
Oil price falls as Saudi Arabia pushes Opec cartel to hold production levels The Guardian reports that Saudi Arabia has bulldozed fellow members of the Opec cartel to hold production at current level, ensuring lower crude and petrol prices continue.
Egdon Resources acquires further interest in PEDL 241 Egdon announces it has reached agreement with Celtique Energie to acquire an extra 40% interest in the Lincolnshire licence PEDL 241. This takes Egdon’s interest to 80% in the licence area, which contains the North Kelsey Prospect, 10km south of the Wressle-1 discovery in PEDL 180. The transfer of interest is subject to approval by the Oil and Gas Authority.
4th June 2015
E Yorkshire councillors approve Rathlin’s West Newton drill plans – opponents disappointed but not surprised Our report
Statoil and ExxonMobil chiefs call on EU to allow fracking The FT reports comments by the heads of both oil companies calling for fracking to go ahead in Europe.
Unanimous vote against fracking in Lancashire Preston City Council’s planning committee votes unanimously today to object to Cuadrilla’s plans to frack at Roseacre Wood, according to The Lancashire Evening Post. Julie Buttle, clerk to Woodplumpton Parish Council, which opposes the application, thanks planning officers for recommending objection on traffic grounds. A Cuadrilla spokesperson stressed that the number of HGVs moving through the area was a maximum level, not an average and said: “The existing route is Cuadrilla’s preferred option – the Broughton leg which was discussed is the alternative route, not the preferred route.”
DECC budget details show limited scope for cuts The Carbon Brief reports on how the 2% cut of £70m in DECC’s funding, imposed in the budget, will pose a challenge for the department
SNP are luddites over fracking says Carswell UKIP reports comments in the Sun by its single MP that Britain’s racking revolution could be blown off course — after the anti-fracking SNP was awarded control of the key House of Commons Energy Select Committee. The SNP have banned fracking north of the border until a consultation is carried out — despite calls for cheaper energy.
Country diary: Mr Cameron, are you listening? Robin Page, writing in The Telegraph, says fracking must be stopped instantly, along with building in the Green Belt and all GM crops.
3rd June 2015
‘No shale gas revolution in Europe’ Jerome Ferrier, president of the International Gas Union, tells the BBC: “You cannot duplicate [the US experience] in Europe… Politicians are hesitating to accept shale development”. He added the future of gas does not depend on shale gas – there is enough conventional gas [to meet demand] for more than a century”.
Residents put pressure on council to stop fracking The Yorkshire Post reports more than 1,000 Ryedale residents have urged North Yorkshire County Council to prevent energy companies using the controversial fracking mining method in the district. The petition calls on the authority to “oppose fracking and all other forms of unconventional fossil fuel extraction in North Yorkshire, and that this anti-fracking position should be reflected in all decisions relating to mineral planning applications in North Yorkshire”.
Anti-fracking group withdraws leaflet The Frack Free Alliance agrees to withdraw a leaflet called Farmers’ Lock The Gate after an informally resolved case by the Advertising Standards Authority. The ASA says a member of the public complained that the leaflet was misleading.
Council report recommending approval of Rathlin Energy’s third E Yorkshire well site is “not accurate or balanced”, residents say Our report
Anti-fracking campaigners send East Yorkshire councillors a cease and desist letter over gas drilling in the county. Our report
OPEC’s shale war leaves big oil companies as unexpected casualty Bloomberg reports that multibillion dollar projects at the heart of the oil majors’ strategy need prices close to $100 a barrel (rather than the current $65) to make them economically feasible. The website says the new period of cheap oil and ample supplies suggests the world may no longer need the big expensive projects planned by Shell, Chevron and Total.
BP CEO: Shale revolution “very painful” for much of world Moneycontrol.com reports comments by the head of BP, Bob Dudley, on CNBC that the revolution meant the US might supersede Saudi Arabia as the world’s major swing oil producer, able to alter its production to balance supply and demand. He saw the price of oil—which has recovered somewhat this year but is still down around 40 percent from the USD 100+ levels seen before July 2014—remaining “lower for longer.”
Shell expects oil rebound as shale fails to fill supply gap Bloomberg reports comments by Shell’s chief financial officer, Simon Henry, that oil prices will rise because supply from shale drilling in the US won’t be enough to satisfy growing global demand.
After fracking ban, Denton residents ponder next steps The Texas Tribune reports Denton residents flooded a city council meeting to assess where things stand after state legislators blocked a ban on fracking in city limits, passed last autumn. Spending most of their time listening to constituents and asking questions, the council took no action on Denton’s next steps in a meeting that stretched into early Wednesday morning. But several expressed scepticism about defending the ban in court, the paper says.
2nd June 2015
Lancashire shale gas supporters launch publicity campaign; opponents describe it as offensive Our report
Objections to Cuadrilla’s lorry route to proposed Roseacre fracking site from Preston planners and suggestions of concerns in Lancashire Highways Our report
Warnings over oil debt are getting louder The FT reports that banks have been cutting exposure to the oil industry and conversations about borrowing will get tougher. It says the industry as $2.5tn of debt outstanding, about half is American and about half owed to banks in form of loans.
Will US shale gas bring global energy prices tumbling? The BBC reports the US is looking to challenge Qatar as the undisputed king of LNG. But it says recent falls in gas prices have played havoc with developers’ plans and the economics of gas liquefaction and export depend on getting a higher LNG price in the export market than the current $3 mark. The American shale revolution may have seen gas prices tumble at home, but exporting its spoils will have nothing like as dramatic an impact on the rest of the world.
House energy chair supports lifting oil export ban Reuters reports that Lisa Murkowski, the Republican chair of the House of Representatives energy panel says he favours lifting a 40-year old ban on US oil exports.
A vision of Britain outside the EU – confident, successful and free Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, writing in The Telegraph, looks ahead to Britain outside the EU where it can “tap into its huge reserves of shale gas and oil, which came on tap, almost providentially, just as North Sea gas was running out.”
Exxon CEO calls on Europe to open access to fracking Nasdaq reports that Rex Tillertson calls on European governments to open up access for companies to using fracking to extract gas. The head of the world’s largest oil company says large numbers of wells fracked in the US and Canada have proven the technology can be used safely to extract large volumes of gas.
1st June 2015
“Tell the truth about seismic testing and property damage”, say campaigners ahead of council decision on Rathlin’s third well Our report
Seven activists arrested during protests against fossil fuels across the UK The Guardian reports on a day of action by the Reclaim the Power group. Seven demonstrators forced their way into offices of Media Zoo, a PR company representing INEOS. Twelve people bared their bottoms on the steps of the Department of Energy and Climate Change with letters spelling “wind not gas”. There were also protests at a carbon capture and storage conference in London and a protest outside Npower offices in Leeds. In Oxfordshire, campaigners unfurled a banner reading “David Cameron in bed with the Big Six” outside Conservative Party offices in Witney.
Police attend anti-fracking demo The Litchfield Mercury reports on an anti-fracking demonstration at the offices of energy company, Cuadrilla. The paper reports about a dozen protesters and six police officers.
Campers protest plans for more gas power stations The Abingdon Herald reports that more than 250 protesters have gathered at a campsite near Didcot to protest against government plans to open new gas-fired power stations. Three days of protests, including a day of action today, began on Saturday.
Fracking Resumes In Denton, Texas, After Governor Outlaws Local Bans On Oil And Gas Drilling The International Business Times reports that gas drilling is starting again in Denton, despite the city’s 7-month ban on fracking. Vantage Energy resumes drilling today after Texas Governor Greg Abbott passed a law prohibiting cities from banning fracking in their home areas. Three activists are arrested attempting to block an access road.
Fracking bans are no longer allowed in Oklahoma Climate Progress reports that Oklahoma’s Republican governor, Mary Fallin has signed a law preventing towns and cities from banning fracking. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which will take control of oil and gas drilling, is run by three Republican commissioners. Two of the three have long links with the petroleum industry.
Why climate change matters for your investments Citywire Money reports that pension funds and insurers are starting to shun coal for investment reasons, as much as moral ones.
Pioneer divests Eagle Ford business World Oil reports that Pioneer Natural Resources has sold its Eagle Ford Shale Midstream business for $2.15bn to Enterprise Products Partners.
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