Regulation

Live updates from Cuadrilla fracking inquiry Day 7 – business

Print
Live news as it happens at the seventh day of the inquiry at Blackpool Football Club into Cuadrilla’s fracking plans for the Fylde area of Lancashire. Check our Inquiry page for more information, posts and links.

The inquiry is examining Cuadrilla’s plans to drill and frack at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood. Today it hears support for the plans from Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce (NWLCC), James Bream, of Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, and Paul Matich, of PR Marriott Drilling Ltd.

Inquiry adjourned

4.38pm

The inquiry is adjourned until 9.30am tomorrow (Friday 18th February 2016)


Public questions to Paul Matich, PR Marriott

16.23pm

Ken Hopwood

Mr Hopwood, from Lytham, said Cuadrilla asked Paul Matich, of PR Marriott, about failures at the four vertical wells drilled in Lancashire at Preese Hall, Becconsall, Anna’s Road and Grange Road.

Mr Matich said the depth and width of planned wells had been achieved at three sites. The Anna’s Road well had been cut short on technical grounds.

Mr Hopwood said there were a lot of faults in the area. “At Preese Hall, the well was drilled into a fault. Can we guarantee this will not happen again?”

Mr Matich replied: “This is for the Cuadrilla team. It is my understanding that the use of the 3D seismic survey will take place. It is very detailed subsurface information. If there are areas of concern, they will be revealed.”

Mr Matich said Marriott had capability of 24-hour work with crews on 12 hour day and night shifts.


Lancashire drilling programme

4pm

Alan Evans, for Lancashire County Council, asked Paul Matich, of PR Marriott, about the programme of work his company was contracted to do for Cuadrilla in Lancashire.

Mr Matich said the original plan had been to explore at Preese Hall, Grange Hill  and Becconsall. These sites would then be taken on to appraisal and production, he said. Mr Matich said Cuadrilla intended its 36m HH20 rig would move between the sites.

Asked about recruitment, Mr Matich said Marriott intended to recruit locally. “We would obviously like to attract the local people we had to release”, he said.

Mr Evans asked whether the Marriott crew would work on both drilling and workover rigs. Mr Matich said it was likely that the drilling rig and workover rigs would work simultaneously. The workover rig would then have a separate crew.

Mr Maitch said 36 people would be on the rig crew. In addition there would be more staff employed on other equipment, he said.

Mr Evans put it to Mr Matich that the Environmental Statements (ES) on Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road estimated a total of 22 jobs. Mr Matich said he had not been asked to contribute to the ES figures.

Mr Evans asked if the 22 full-time jobs figure felt about right. Mr Matich said his numbers were not produced with Cuadrilla but based on Marriott’s discussions with supply chain companies, Clear Solutions and the waste management company, FBG.

36 job losses at PR Marriott

3.48pm

Paul Matich, senior project manager with the drilling services company, PR Marriott,told the inquiry the company had made 36 crew members redundant following the refusal of planning permission for fracking at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood.He said:

“As a consequence, jobs, income, spending and training of considerable benefit to the local economy has been lost.”

He added:

“We put a lot of investment into training the crew. That will be difficult to get back.”

If there is a very short gap we will have the possibility of getting the crew back, he said. The longer the gap, the harder it would be.

Mr Matich said Marriott and Cuadrilla advertised vacancies for crew in Lancashire.

“We were very pleased with the quality of the applicants that came forward for interviews”

He said the company had spent over £700,000 in local hotels between 2010 and 2012 from a total of £2.5m spent in the area.

If the appeals were successful, Mr Matich said Marriott would like to work with Cuadrilla. Marriott’s base in the Midlands had been looking after Cuadrilla’s rig for a year while it was dormant.


Public questions to James Bream, Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce

Diane Hogarth

3.18pm

Diane Hogarth described how a relative’s farm near Peterhead in Scotland had been compulsorily purchased because of the offshore oil and gas industry in the 1970s. Four farmworkers lost their jobs. She  asked how many people is it justified to have an impact on?

Mr Bream, from Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, said:

“This is something local authorities deal with in terms of costs and benefits.”

“The human elements wrench at your heart but you need to take difficult decisions about the greater good.”

Ms Hogarth said the farmhouse was now derelict and the pub was no longer used by the local community but by rig workers.

“The community has gone. I am wondering what it was all for.

“This was offshore. Shale gas will be onshore. It will impact on hundreds throughout the Fylde.”

Elaine Smith

3.15pm

Elaine Smith said she was “struggling to make the comparison” between the North Sea and shale gas in Lancashire. She asked James Bream, from Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce:

“Is it high volume hydraulic fracturing in the North Sea?”

Mr Bream replied: “No.”

Ms Smith: “Do you have a massive water requirement.”

Mr Bream: “We don’t inject water into offshore wells”

Ms Smith: “Do you have massive amounts of waste that needs specialist waste treatment?”

Mr Bream: “There are companies operating in Aberdeen that treat waste. Treatment of waste is not my area of expertise.”

Ms Smith: “Does the drilling take place in the centre of your tourist area?

Mr Bream: “The comparison is an economic one not a direct one.”

Mr Bream said Aberdeen was somewhere that people visited. But he acknowledged there had not been onshore drilling. He said:

“I don’t know what would happen if there was onshore drilling.”

“Red carpet not rolled out for Cuadrilla”

3pm

Matt Lewin, representing Friends of the Earth, questioned James Bream, of Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, about how relevant the North Sea exploration experience was to Lancashire.

Mr Lewin put it to him that local authorities rolled out the red carpet in Aberdeen in the 1970s to attract oil exploration companies. In Lancashire, last year an elected local authority refused applications from Cuadrilla.

Representatives of the community had come to the inquiry, Mr Lewin said, to say fracking is not welcome in Lancashire. He put it to Mr Bream:

“There is no question of the red carpet being rolled out for Cuadrilla.”

Mr Bream replied that it was counter-intuitive to think that a local authority would not try to attract new businesses.

Mr Lewin said the key difference between the North Sea and Lancashire was that one was offshore and the other onshore. We wouldn’t be having the conversations here about traffic, noise and light if the sites were one hundred miles offshore, he said.

“Gas compatible with a low carbon economy”

2.45pm

James Bream, of Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, told the inquiry:

“It is possible to have a low carbon economy and still use gas”.

He was responding to questions from Matt Lewin, for Friends of the Earth.

Mr Bream said Aberdeen was still hopeful about carbon capture and storage.

“That gives the opportunity to use natural gas and a low carbon economy”.

Mr Lewin put it to him that the use of shale gas was limited by the need to reduce carbon emissions.

Mr Bream said most people see the need to move to a low carbon economy. He said key questions were: how long is the bridge and how many years do you need gas for?

Mr Lewin said the situation in Lancashire now is very different from the exploration phase in the North Sea in the 1970s. He put it to Mr Bream that the use of shale gas today has to work within the context of a Climate Change Act.

Mr Bream said there was a need for shale gas now.


“Absolutely no guarantees”

2.30pm

James Bream told the inquiry there were “absolutely no guarantees” that a shale gas industry would be successful in Lancashire.

Answering a question by Alan Evans, for Lancashire County Council, he said:

“I am not a betting man. I wouldn’t put money on it happening here”.

But Mr Bream added:

“You can’t credibly attract an industry if you are not supportive of it.”

Mr Evans said the inquiry was looking only at the exploration at two sites and until there had been exploration there could be no confident assessment about a successful production industry.

Mr Bream agreed. “In the oil and gas industry, you go have a look. You drill some wells. You decide whether it is economically recoverable.”

Mr Evans put it to him that we should be cautious about trying to draw parallels between offshore and onshore.

Mr Bream replied: “You either do something and you might realise an opportunity or you don’t do something and don’t realise the opportunity.”

Asked by Mr Evans if he had done any economic research on the prospects of a shale gas industry in Lancashire, Mr Bream said no.


“Don’t take things for granted”

2.20pm

James Bream, representing the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce, advised Lancashire it should not assume the oil and gas industry would be successful. He told the inquiry:

“Don’t take it for granted that things will happen.”

“Things won’t happen if they are not planned for and executed.”

Based on Aberdeen’s experience, Mr Bream said Lancashire needed to be business and investor friendly. The industry would need public and private money.

Aberdeen was full of high-quality office blocks, not industrial land. It didn’t feel like the perception of a dirty industry.

Lessons from Aberdeen

2.02pm

James Bream, research and policy officer for Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce gives evidence to the inquiry about the North Sea oil and gas industry.

He said the industry started in 1970 and had benefited the local area. He said the Aberdeen region hosted 20 of  the largest companies in Scotland, including BP and Shell. Supporting them was a range of supply chain companies, which employed three times the number of people than the operators.

Mr Bream said the North Sea was a high-wage industry. It had been good for the region, despite the current difficulties of low oil and gas prices.

He said benefits would accrue to the UK if shale gas took off where “the right signals” were given. He said the local supply chain would need to be nurtured to develop.

The inquiry heard that tourism was one of the larger industries in the Aberdeen region. Mr Bream said the oil and financial services industries were a week-day market for hotels. But the hotel rooms could also be used by the tourism industry at weekends. He said:

“You can have your cake and eat it”


Inquiry adjourns until 2pm

1.15pm


Public questions to Babs Murphy

Jean Stringman

1.13pm

Ms Stringman asked Babs Murphy about how many Chamber members had been surveyed about shale gas in research carried out in November last year. Ms Murphy replied about 10% of members of the North and Western Lancashire and the East Lancashire Chambers had been surveyed.

Ms Stringman also asked how many of 500 attendees at a Chamber shale gas conference came from the area. Ms Murphy said she didn’t have that information but would provide it.

Elaine Smith

1.04pm

Ms Smith asked Babs Murphy whether the Chamber of Commerce had asked members in tourism about its support for shale gas. The inquiry had already heard that only 3% of Chamber members worked in tourism. But Ms Murphy said StayBlackpool, representing hotels and B&Bs, had supported the Chamber’s position.

The Chamber had referred to Wytch Farm in Dorset, where it said oil production had no impact on tourism. Ms Smith asked if Ms Murphy had visted Wytch Farm? Ms Murphy said no. Ms Murphy accepted that the Lancashire sites were in the Fylde coast tourist areas. She also said Wytch Farm was in a tourist area but Ms Smith said she would provide evidence to show that this was not true.

Jacqueline Sylvester

12.58pm 

Mrs Sylvester said she lived near one of the proposed shale gas sites and she would be “unacceptably adversely affected” by them.

She asked Ms Murphy if the Chamber was prepared to support the shale gas proposal that would “blight a whole community for a prospect of 1 1 jobs?”

Ms Murphy said:

“We can sympathise with concerns. It is our believe that these concerns can be mitigated through conditions. Our position is about the economic opportunity.”

“I am passionate about Lancashire. I am passionate about creating opportunities for your young people. I am passionate about where I live.”

Ms Murphy said she couldn’t make a statement about public concerns because they were “not proven”.

“We have been told by regulators and experts and Public Health England that it can be done safely and responsibly with the correct safeguards.”

Maureen Mills

12.50

Mrs Mills said she was a relatively new member of the Chamber of Commerce but she had not been asked her views on shale gas. She asked how the Chamber had canvassed opinion among its members.

Ms Murphy said policy was set by the membership council elected by members. The chamber then used what she called “historical techniques” to assess opinion and fed then back to the Chamber.

Mrs Mill asked why the chamber had not polled members on their views on shale gas.

Ms Murphy said: “That is something we wouldn’t usually engage in. We don’t survey for opinion. We survey for research.”

She added that chamber members could attend the AGM, at which shale gas has been discussed. There had been no dissent, she said.

Gail Hodson

12.45pm

Mrs Hodson gave details of a survey she had carried out of Chamber of Commerce members on shale gas using the 2016 members list. She found that 78% had not been questioned by the Chamber about shale gas. 57% said they believed fracking would have a negative effect on tourism and agriculture and 8% said it would be positive.

Ms Murphy said company owners joined the chamber and she didn’t know who Mrs Hodson had spoken to. “Until we know that and focus in on what was said by our member companies I can’t comment further.”


American experience

12.29pm

The Chamber relied on a report of the US experience of shale gas benefits. Ms Murphy acknowledged the US experience would be different from the UK.

Estelle Dehon, for Friends of the Earth, asked Ms Murphy whether she had considered the boom and bust cycle of shale gas in the US her evidence.

Ms Murphy said the Chamber was looking at the shale gas industry for the long-term. She said regulation varied differently between states. In the UK the industry would be managed more robustly.

Ms Dehon put it to Ms Murphy: “You do not acknowledge any negative economic impact of shale gas”. Ms Murphy replied:

“We don’t think there will be any negative economic impact. We believe it will be extracted in a safe responsible manner, as do the regulators.”

Ms Dehon said: “Even when there is negative evidence in a document you rely on, you still don’t accept there is any evidence of negative economic impacts. Ms Dehon said:

“You have presented entirely one-sided evidence to this inquiry”.

Ms Murphy replied: “There are economic benefits when you have high paid jobs, full employent, money in people’s pockets. There are huge benefits for the general public when it is not depressed and not dependent on the minimum wage.Any concerns can be mitigated. We have no reason to disbelieve what the regulators are telling us.”

Ms Dehon: “You have ignored that this industry will only create 22 jobs [across two sites] because it is a low number of jobs.”

Ms Murphy said: “We are looking to the long term”

She said Cuadrilla had made a commitment to using local people. “We will never know the benefits unless exploration can go ahead”.

Ms Dehon said: “22 jobs across these sites is not a lot of jobs.”

Ms Murphy: “In terms of exploration it is adequate. Our case is based on jobs over the long-term in production.”


House of Lords committee report on shale gas

12.23pm

The inquiry heard that the Chamber of Commerce cited a report by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on shale gas.

Estelle Dehon, for Friends of the Earth, said the committee recognnised the uncertainty about the number of jobs. Ms Murphy replied:

“If we require certainty we would not advance our supply chain. Anything new is uncertainty. If Aberdeen had relied on certainty, we would have denied Aberdeen and the area the jobs [from the North Sea].”

“We have never claimed certainty on jobs but even the most pessimistic reports predicts many thousands of jobs will be created if this industry becomes established.”

Ms Dehon said the offshore industry was very different from an onshore shale gas industry. Ms Murphy said the chamber had drawn comparisons with offshore because there was no onshore industry. She said:

“We do know from a reasonable assumption from all of the data we have seen that there will be job creation. If you are asking me to put a finger on it, I can’t at this moment in time because there is no certainty”.


Industry-supported reports on shale gas benefits

12.15pm

The Chamber cited a report by EY, commissioned by the onshore oil and gas industry body.

Estelle Dehon suggested the report was a piece of PR for the industry. Ms Murphy said “I disagree with that statement in its entirety”. The report was not saying anything that other reports had said.

Ms Dehon said EY relied on a a high scenario produced in research from the Institute of Directors. She suggested again to Ms Murphy that this was industry PR. Ms Murphy replied:

“There is a clear reasoned assumption that this industry will create jobs. At this moment in time we have no idea how many but we do believe it will be significant.”

Ms Murphy said she had not been aware of a disclaimer in the EY report but it would not have stopped the Chamber using the document. She also said she was not aware that Cuadrilla had commissioned the report by the Institute of Director.

Ms Dehon said: “You have relied on a number of industry-sponsored reports”.

Ms Murphy replied: “When an industry establishes itself there will be a naturally-occurring cluster of business. This will happen with shale gas. It is the scale that we are unsure about at the moment.”

The Chamber also relied on a Deloitte report on shale gas. Ms Dehon asked if she was aware it was based on unverified information from Cuadrilla. Ms Murphy said she was not.


Report on rural impacts of shale gas

12 noon

The Chamber of Commerce cited a redacted report on shale gas impacts on the rural economy commissioned by DEFRA.

Babs Murphy admitted to the inquiry that she had not read the unredacted version of this report. She said:

“I cannot possible read everything that is put in front of me. But I did read the redacted version.”

Estelle Dehon, for Friends of the Earth, said the unredacted version of the report acknowledged that tourism may be adversely affected by congestion or perception about an area that hosts shale gas.

Ms Murphy replied:

“We are not aware of any evidence that tourism in this area would be affected. We have looked at tourism in other parts of the country that could be affected by shale gas and we can’t find it [the evidence].”

She said the Chamber had found the Wytch Farm oil field in Dorset had no impact on tourism. In Pennsylvania tourism was on the up, she said. Ms Murphy added:

“The claims about industrialisation of the countryside does not fit with the facts that we have.”

Ms Dehon said the unredacted version said the report suggested there could be losses to tourism and farming.

Ms Murphy said: “This would be a material consideration in phase two [appraisal], rather than looking at it today.”

Ms Dehon put it to Ms Murphy: “Your evidence is that economic benefits should be taken into account. Is it your evidence that the disbenefits should not be considered.”

Ms Murphy replied: “No but if there are disadvantages, which I don’t believe is the case, they should be take into account.”

Farming support for shale gas

11.50am

Estelle Dehon, for Friends of the Earth, asked Ms Murphy about a Chamber of Commerce claim that farmers supported shale gas developments in Lancashire. Ms Dehon asked how she knew this.

Ms Murphy replied: “I have met with some of them. They have indicated it to me.”

Ms Dehon asked: “How many?”

Ms Murphy: “Between 15 and 20”.

 


“Chamber survey elicited the response you wanted”

11.35am

Estelle Dehon asked Babs Murphy about a November 2015 survey of Chamber members about shale gas.

Ms Murphy said the survey was carried out with the East Lancashire Chamber. She clarified that there were 160 responses, which represented 10% of the combined full membership of the two Chambers. The results from NW Lancs membership were not separated out, Ms Murphy said.

Ms Dehon put it to Ms Murphy that the survey did not ask neutrally-based questions. Ms Murphy said they already knew members supported shale gas. “We wanted to know whether they would benefit and whether they have the skills to contribute”.

Ms Dehon: “You asked questions to elicit the response to support your case”.

Ms Murphy: “I wouldn’t agree with that. All we want to demonstrate to the inquiry is that there are businesses that are able to take on the opportunity. You are insinuating there is is somehting a little more sinister behind those questions.

Ms Dehon asked how a question which mentioned benefits of shale gas in the US not designed to lilicit a response that there will be benefits from shale gas in the UK.

Ms Murphy replied: “Only to know the scale that businesses could contribute to that sector”.

Ms Dehon said the survey told participants that the information would be used for research purposes only and would be confidential. “Any businesses responding would not know you would be using it to present to this inquiry”, she said.

Ms Murphy: “It was the personal details we were alluding to not the generic information gathered.”

Ms Dehon asked the question again.

Ms Murphy: “The senitiment in that statement did not cover the basic information provided”.

Ms Dehon: “Where on this survey does it tell you the information will be used at this inquiry”

Ms Murphy: “I don’t think it does, I know it doesn’t.”

Ms Dehon: “You have not provided a copy of the responses to the inquiry.”

Ms Murphy: “I have the responses with me which I am happy to pass over.”

Ms Dehon: “There is nowhere we can verify what you put in your proof of evidence.”

Ms Murphy: “No. But I have copies available for each Rule 6 parties

Ms Dehon: “Why were they not provided with all the other documents to the inquiry”

Ms Murphy:”it was purely a timing issue. It was just finding time to look at the results. It was a resource implication.”

“Vast majority of members” support shale gas

11.30am

Ms Dehon, for Friends of the Earth, asked Ms Murphy about the basis of the Chamber’s claim that its members strongly support for shale gas.

Ms Murphy said the position had been taken in 2013 by the Chamber’s council, its governing body. After that, the Chamber had organised a shale gas conference and communicated with membership. After an occupation of its offices by opponents of fracking, the Chamber received over 100 unsolicited letters of support, she said.

“The vast majority of our members do support the Chamber’s position. Some want to be part of the supply chain. Others see the bigger picture and the benefits for Lancashire”

Ms Dehon put it to Ms Murphy that if 10 people had resigned from the Chamber over shale gas, could it be assumed that 1,590 members supported the position? Ms Murphy replied:

“I have no reason to believe otherwise.”

She said it had been approved at annual general meetings in 2014 and 2015 and communicated through newsletters and the media. Ms Murphy said the Chamber was a democratic organisation.

“We have to go with what a vast majority of our members are saying.”

 

Chamber membership in tourism and farming

11.20am

Ms Dehon asked Ms Murphy what proportion of Chamber members worked in tourism and agriculture.

Ms Murphy said 3% worked in tourism and less than 1% in farming. She acknowledged that the two industries made a significant contribution to the Lancashire economy.

 

Friends of the Earth questions Babs Murphy

11.15am

Estelle Dehon, barrister for Friends of the Earth, asks Ms Murphy whether she has any expertise in the energy sector or climate change.

Ms Murphy said she did not have this expertise but it was possible to understand climate change and energy security without have qualifications.

Ms Dehon asked Ms Murphy whether she had read the evidence on climate change of Professor Kevin Anderson,  a later witness at the inquiry. Ms Murphy said she had not read it yet.

 


Preston New Road benefits: 11 jobs

10.58am

Alan Evans, for Lancashire County Council, asks Babs Murphy, of the Chamber of Commerce, about jobs created by the proposed exploration site.

His cross-examination is delayed because Ms Murphy has access only to her direct evidence and she has to rely on the Cuadrilla team to provide her with documents.

Mr Evans said Cuadrilla had estimated the Preston New Road site would generate 11 net full-time jobs. This number included Lancashire supply chain jobs and spending in the local area, he said. The same figure had been produced for the Roseacre Wood site, he said.

Ms Murphy said she had not denied this.

Mr Evans said Cuadrilla’s approach had been to follow government guidance on exploration sites. They had not gone further into production, he said.

The Chamber of Commerce  evidence cited a report by the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on shale gas. This should have more weight, Mr Evans, suggested than an industry sponsored document.

Mr Evans said the report stated the benefits could not be quantified until after the exploration and appraisal phases.

Ms Murphy said she did not disagree.


Exploration “considered on its merits”

10.50am

Alan Evans, barrister for Lancashire County Council, asks Ms Murphy of the Chamber of Commerce, about government guidance on hydrocarbon exploration and production.

Mr Evans said guidance required planning authorities to look at individual applications for the exploratory phase should be considered on their merits. They should not consider benefits of the future production phase, he said.

Ms Murphy replied: “I apologise. I am not a planner. I can’t comment on that.”


Benefits “might”/”probably” accrue

10.45am

Alan Evans, for Lancashire County Council questions Babs Murphy, chief executive of NW Lancashire Chamber of Commerce.

Mr Evans put it to her that the Chamber had not cited the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) in its evidence to the inquiry.

Ms Murphy said she is not a planner. The Chamber’s understanding is that planning should give due consideration to economic benefits, she said.

Mr Evans said he wanted to explore how planning policy deals with this issue in the context of the proposed fracking sites at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road.

He said the NPPF made a distinction between exploration, appraisal and production stages for oil and gas. Ms Murphy said:

“We can’t have production without exploration and our submission is about the benefits of production. I see this as one of three stages.”

She said she could not comment on the distinction between the different stages.

Mr Evans put it to her that her evidence treated the applications as part of one overall process. It is implicit throughout your evidence that you regard the whole overall package as one matter.

That is correct, Ms Murphy said. “Our assessment of economic impact is based on the industry establishing itself in Lancashire.”

Mr Evans said: “Your evidence is that these are benefits that might accrue if production is successful.”

Ms Murphy replied: “I think those benefits will probably accrue.”

Mr Evans said: “You are firming this up now under cross-examination”


“Start of a supply chain”

10.35am

Ms Murphy tells  the inquiry an email survey in November 2015 of Chamber of Commerce members was intended to establish whether there was the basis of a supply chain in Lancashire.

The survey had a 10% response rate, representing 160 businesses. 72% of responses had an interest in supplying direct to the industry. 84% said they would expect to supply to the supply chain.

“We believe the results of that survey indicated to us that we have the start of a supply chain waiting for this industry to come into Lancashire.”

The Enterprise Zone in Blackpool would focus on job creation in the energy sector, she said.

“The business community are willing to explore the opportunities of shale. I don’t necessarily agree they are ready. There is still a lot of work to do.”


“Significant” job creation from shale

10.25am

Ms Murphy tells the inquiry the Chamber of Commerce has a duty to look to the future about shale gas. It was essential for Lancashire to take the opportunity of fracking or other areas would take the benefits, she said.

“We want those benefits in Lancashire.”

“We are forecasting significant jobs will be created in this industry on the basis that this industry will produce gas.”

She said she could not state that exploration would generate direct jobs or employment in the supply chain. Jobs would come with production, she said.

Chamber of Commerce evidence

10.15am

Babs Murphy, chief executive since 1992, tells the inquiry, she is giving evidence to represent the views of the 1,600+ members of the Chamber of Commerce.

She said members ranged from multinational companies to small businesses, providing 65,000 jobs and contribute £3bn a year to the Lancashire economy.

Ms Murphy said Cuadrilla is a member of the Chamber and a sponsors of an award scheme, which attracted 1,200 applications a year.

The chamber does not receive any financial gain from the award scheme, Ms Murphy said.

She gave evidence that said since the Chamber established its support for shale gas in 2013 six members had cancelled their subscriptions. Four members still subscribe but don’t support the Chamber’s position, she said.

“I can add that we have had new members joining us on the strength of the Chamber’s position.”


Inskip route too expensive

10.02am

Before hearing from the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Nathalie Lieven, QC for Cuadrilla, told the inquiry about why the company did not propose to use the route through Inskip to Roseacre Wood throughout the project. Heavy goods vehicles will travel through Wharles during the extended well test.

Ms Lieven said:

“The cost of using the route through the Inskip site is high. We consider it is a disproportionate cost for two or three vehicles a day during the extended flow test.”

Ms Lieven refused to give the cost of using the Inskip route.It is commercially confidential, she said. “It is a high cost.”


Inquiry opens

10am

Updated 19/2/16 to correct headline “Illicited” to “Elicited”. Apologies for this and other typos. Tying fingers were getting tired, by this stage. 

This report is part of DrillOrDrop’s  Rig Watch project.  Rig Watch receives funding from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. More details here

6 replies »

  1. The whole argument of the pro-fracking “force” is now crystal clear. If you are not in the lottery you can’t win it.
    Whether or not the chances of winning are a million to one.
    I have rarely been moved to so much antagonism against this mindless woman who has no idea of the impact her stupidity could have on local communities, not to mention impact on tourism and farming which should be, but clearly are not, part of her brief.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s