Opposition

Red line protest outside Manchester oil and gas conference

thin red line 3

Campaigners against climate change from across northern England formed a symbolic thin red line outside a meeting in Manchester about UK onshore oil and gas

Martin Porter, of Manchester Greenpeace, told a demonstration of around 50 people outside the city’s conference centre

“Fracking is our red line”

It was not compatible with the UK’s climate change obligations, he said.

Development of a shale gas industry would stop investment in wind, wave and solar power. He said it was important to know there was an alternative to shale gas.

“It’s jobs and clean air. It’s energy security, public transport, warm houses and fewer private jets.”

“It’s a sane, humane and ecological world. It will happen. It must happen. But it ain’t going to be easy.”

The meeting, sponsored by the industry body UK Onshore Oil and Gas, is focusing on planning and environmental issues. The speakers include UKOOG’s Ken Cronin, consultants from Barton Willmore and Amec Foster Wheeler, and academics Professor Paul Younger and Professor Jon Gluyas. Conference programme

thin red line 2

Outside the conference centre, Tina Rothery, the Lancashire anti-fracking campaigner who is being pursued by Cuadrilla for more than £55,000 in legal fees, said:

“We have objected for five years, continuously in towns up and down the country.

“The government chooses not to listen to us.

“We should be able to ask our councillors to research the documents we do but they don’t.

“We should be able to ask our MPs to be a voice in parliament because we can’t be and they don’t.

“We should be able to ask our Prime Minister and our ruling government party to listen to our concerns and be willing to debate with us. Even the industry won’t debate with us. We’ve asked for five years and we’ve never had an actual debate on this.”

She said she was not giving up in her refusal to pay Cuadrilla.

“It is really not that noble or honourable. All it is is: ‘Would any of you give in? Woud any of you give a penny to Cuadrilla?’ So it’s not heroic. We are all the same”.

  • DrillOrDrop twice requested a press pass to the meeting but the organisers said none were available. Ruth Hayhurst made a 526 mile round trip to report the industry’s views in case space was available but she was refused entry. She invited speakers to do an interview in the conference centre lobby or let her see their presentations. If any take up our request DrillOrDrop will report their views..

14 replies »

  1. Why make the trip if you knew beforehand you weren’t going to get access to the meeting, and then make a point of reporting drillordrop denied access as though it wasn’t expected.

    Futile trip.

    • Why would the conference organisers not give a press pass to a recognised journalist? It really doesn’t help their rather futile search for that elusive social licence does it. It seems they are happy to talk to themselves but really don’t have any confidence of how to deal with their messages getting outside their own circle in a way which is not controlled by one of the myriad PR companies who are leeching on to this business.

      • Ruth was refused a press pass to the conference. Anyone who attended the Cuadrilla Inquiry at Blackpool would know that Ruth gave very even handed reports on everyone’s evidence, whether they were pro or anti- fracking. What exactly are these people and their PR companies afraid of? Could it perhaps be that the truth hurts?

      • John, and others, you cannot be serious with this “hidden agenga” crap you guys are on about?

        Just because the industry leaders don’t give your anti-fracking voice piece an invitation to a closed meeting all of a sudden this meeting becomes a “cloke and dagger”issue, a them versus us their hiding something meeting……..please.

        The companies involved with shale gas exploration have held numerous public, community information exchange presentations along this journey, some of which I am sure your recognised journalist and maybe you and the other concerned posters here, have attended.

        Surely you’re not suggesting that this industry should be different from any other industry when they conduct their own private strategic meetings to discuss whatever it is they want to discuss.

        When the time comes for community consultation to take place the industry’s track record to date will ensure this happens

  2. “Development of a shale gas industry would stop investment in wind, wave and solar power.”

    But we keep being told by Greenpeace etc. that shale gas in the UK will be too expensive and unable to compete with imported gas.

    Why would private money invested in shale gas stop the green revolution? He is clearly worried that shale gas might actually be successful in the UK.

  3. Forgot to add, impressive numbers, what a huge turnout! Where were the thousands who signed the anti shale gas petition?

    • More there than for Backing Fracking’s “military ” operation in Blackpool when they chickened out of a march past 🙂

  4. Discussions about an industry which could affect vast areas of the country. Involved speakers from the public sector such as the EA and Lincs CC.
    How extraordinary to pull the blinds down and cut press presence.
    Fishy business.

  5. Michael Dobbie and Paul Tresto, are you prepared to declare your personal connections with this industry?

    During our own anti fracking campaign in Shropshire, NO representative from the gas companies involved (Dart and IGas) would engage in an open debate with the public despite being asked several times.

    Drill or Drop has always maintained a well respected and balanced style of reporting.

    • Jean why do you think I am aligned with or even a representative of a shale gas explorer?

      For your satisfaction and the record I am nothing more than you. A concerned, private individual who just happens to share an opposite view to yours.

      I stumbled across this particular site through Google, and am glad I did. If for nothing more than to have my 2 shillings worth, nothing more, nothing less ☺

      Don’t let’s create more angst and doubt than is already out there. I hope that answers your question.

    • As I have written many times on this board I am retired after spending over 30 years in the upstream Oil and Gas Industry working in nearly that many countries including UK North Sea and UK onshore. I have been involved in several wells (design, ops engineer and / or rig supervisor) onshore UK in Lancashire, N. Yorks, Hampshire and East Sussex in the 1980’s and the Lincoln area (Welton) in the 1990’s. I have also managed what was at the time the biggest offshore acid fracture stimulation in the world. So I believe I have something to contribute – direct experience. This experience includes petroleum engineering, production engineering, drilling engineering, rig supervision, drilling, ops and project management from deep water wildcats through to offshore subsea production development.

      I have been retired for 5 years. I have investments in Shell, BP and Lundin (Swedish). The former 2 investments are for dividends, the latter is speculative. If you have a pension plan / pension you are almost certainly invested in either or both Shell and BP.

      How about you, Jean, do you have any experience working in the industry or do you just live near a potential shale gas site and are objecting to it based on the US experience?

      I agree that Drill or Drop does provide a forum for both objectors and people with industry experience to contribute to the discussion. The only reservation I have is that the number of contributers appear to be limited and we go round in circles – perhaps Ruth can advise how many?

  6. Everyone knows drill or drop is anything but ‘unbiased and independent journalism’. The comments on here illustrate as much – the fact that all those opposing the industry are up in arms she didn’t get a press pass. Anyone can set up a blog and claim to be press, that doesn’t entitle them to unfettered access to every event! Anyone considered that she simply didn’t apply in time and all the slots were filled? By actual journalists? Or that the industry is simply done engaging with certain people??

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