New group backs fracking in Lancashire

Lancashire for shale launch

Picture: Lancashire For Shale

A new pro-shale group in Lancashire, part-funded by the onshore gas industry, launched yesterday in Blackpool.

Lancashire for Shale called on local and national decision-makers to get behind onshore natural gas development in the county.

The group said it was made up of local businesses and residents who “believe natural gas from Lancashire’s shale will create opportunities for our businesses, new jobs and much-needed investment for our county”.

In a letter to local media, signed by nearly 100 people, the group said:

“With the positive news that shale gas operations have been given the green light in Ryedale it is only a matter of time before the economic benefits start to trickle down to local communities and businesses in Yorkshire.

“As Lancashire-based businesses and local residents, we also believe shale gas will create opportunities for our businesses, new jobs, and much-needed investment for our County. But we are concerned that all these benefits to Lancashire risk being left behind.

“It’s high-time for all decision-makers, both national and local, to work together to ensure that Lancashire does not miss out on the jobs and investment offered by our County’s shale gas resources.”

The signatories included: Fylde businessman David Haythornthwaite; Claire Smith, president of Stay Blackpool; Tony Raynor, of Abbey Telecom; and Babs Murphy, of the North and Western Lancashire Chambers of Commerce.

Ms Smith, Ms Murphy and Mr Raynor supported Cuadrilla’s plans to frack at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood at the planning meeting in June 2015 and the public inquiry earlier this year.

Of the 95 signatories, seven described themselves as residents.

Ms Smith said:

“In coming together we can more effectively make the case for shale and demonstrate the strength of support in the county for shale gas ahead of the Secretary of State’s decision. We call on business, industry and policy-makers to get behind shale to ensure that Lancashire seizes this incredible opportunity for jobs and the local community.”

Mr Haythornthwaite said:

“Lancashire for Shale, will hopefully speak for the majority of Lancashire residents and businesses. I believe that most people recognise that the development of shale will be good for jobs and economic growth in the county but critically right here on the Fylde Coast. The exploration and potential development of natural gas from shale presents a once in a generation opportunity which we must not miss.”

In a press release, the group said it received funding from “a range of people, businesses and organisations including Cuadrilla and Centrica, WJF Technical Support, North West Energy Task Force, Abbey Telecom, Stay Blackpool and the Onshore Energy Services Group”.


Lancashire for Shale is just the latest group established to promote fracking in Lancashire. Two of its funders, the Onshore Energy Services Group and the North West Energy Task Force, have already been campaigning for shale gas developments in the region.

There is some overlap between the three organisations.

The 14-member steering group of Lancashire for Shale includes:
Ms Murphy and Ms Smith; Nick Campbell, of Inspired Energy; Rob Green, of Edge Hill University; Philip Hargreaves, of Lytham Green Investments; John Kersey, chair of the Lancashire branch of the Institute of Directors; Martin Long of Blackpool Leadership Group; retired commercial director Frank McLaughlin; Lee Petts, of managing director of Remsol; Steve Pye, of Lancashire TV; solicitor Peter Whitehead; and former county councillor Bernard Whittle.

All are also listed as members of the SME [small and medium sized enterprises] panel of the North West Energy Task Force. Mr Petts is also the chief executive and a founder of the Onshore Energy Services Group.

Signatories to the letter

Andrew Anderson-Shepherd, Energy Trader, B.I.U.
Ian Ashton, Director, QED construction Ltd
Alan Ashton, resident
Sue Ashton, resident
Chris Attwood, Field Operations Manager, Cee Cee TV
John Barton, Chairman, Safelok Components ltd
Nigel Beevers, Director, Assist Management Consultants
David Berryman, MD, Wilkin Oilfield Engineering Co
Gerry Biggs, CEO, Siltint Industries Ltd
Mike Broughton, COO, Ground Gas Solutions
Andrew Buffey, Works Manager, Brier Engineering Ltd
Nick Campbell, Risk Manager, Inspired Energy
Lindsey Campbell, Director, Campbell & Rowley
Richard Chatham, MD and Owner, Ricardo Enterprises
Dawn Cheetham, Director, North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
Spencer Cheetham, Director, John Hunt Bolton ltd
Gary Clements, Regional Manager, Charles Willow Engineer
Kate Close, General Manager, Westwood Motor Group
Craig Donley, Plant Sales, Charles Willow Engineer
Lee Etchells, Director, Bon Chaunce Travel Ltd.
Chris Evans, Managing Director, Cee Cee TV
Champak Fakira, Contracts Director, ORSEAL LIMITED
Geoffrey Fawcett, owner, Fawcetts Liners
Emil Fernandes, MD, Greenhey Industrial & Marine Engineering
Tim Freshney, Managing Director, WJF Technical Support
Paul Friday, Managing Director, Future Focus Energy Ltd
Paul Gaunt, Proprietor, Blackpool Scaffolding Co
Alan George, MD, Molecular Control Systems Ltd
Robert Gibson , Managing Director, Gibson Solutions, Limited
Shaun Gray, Operations Director, Orseal Valves
Rob Green, resident
Paul Grimshaw, Director, Communication Services Ltd
Frank Guffogg, Gen Manager, elco
Carl Hague, Owner, Robert Thomas Investments Ltd
Jon Hardy, Director, Finances Explained
Philip Hargreaves, CEO, Lytham Green Ltd
Paul Harrison, Owner, Harrison decorations ltd
David Haythornthwaite, Managing Director, Tangerine Holdings
Phillip Hodson, Director, Kensington consulting
Beverley Holden, Finance Administrator, Ferguson Vehicle Contracts
Gary Holden, Owner, Carsnphones
Richard Houghton, Director, Hi5 Electronics Ltd.
Frank Howard, Managing Director Hockley International Ltd
Geoffrey Howard, Chairman, Continuity Shop
Javed Iqbal, Director, Voltek
Peter Jewell, resident
David Judge, Director, Cormar carpets
Adam Kaley, Commercial Director, Aegis Services Limited
Harry Karoo, Director, Crawshaw Hall Healthcare
John Kersey, MD, Kersey Hairdressing
Helen Killonan Wilson, Lakeland Ecological Services
Charles King, Managing Director, Nortest Ltd
Robert Klass, Project Estimation Manager, Mantank Environmental Services Ltd
Stephen Knott, Director, The Land Consultancy Limited
Paul Linderman, Owner, Twelve
Sybaris, Linderman, Owner, The Berkeley Apartments
Peter Liptrott, Director, Tannahill Reay Limited
Stuart Livesey, Resident
Martin Long, Chairman, Blackpool Business Leadership Group
Stewart Mackay, Owner, TRM Utilities
Peter Maguire, Managing Director, Petann Engineering Ltd
John Mallinson, Managing Director, J Mallinson [Ormskirk] Ltd
Dave Martin, Owner, Rossall Mobile Phone Shop
Paul McCherry, Managing Director, Cloud9 Computer Services Ltd
Anthony McGuinness, Owner, Mcguinness feeds
Joe Mckenna, Director, Dragonfly contracts ltd
David, McManamon, CEO, P.P.S.T.
Molly McManamon, Resident
Rob, Mitchell, Director, TMR SUPPLIES LTD
Babs Murphy, Chief Executive, North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
Peter Onslow, M.D., Cortman Textiles
Derek Ormston, Managing Director, Cooper Rigg Ltd
Simon Park, Managing Director, Kidds Transport Ltd
Mike Phillips, Managing Director, Purepages Group Limited
Roger, Pilkington, Director, Fuel Proof
Steve Pye, Chairman, Lancashire TV
Tony Raynor, Managing Director, Abbey Telecom
Anthony Rickards Collinson, Proprietor, Lake House Farm
Paul Roberts, Director, HAROBY LTD
Rev. Michael Roberts, resident
Stephen Robinson, Director, Champion Business Advisers Ltd
Arthur Ruttle, Director, Readyplant ltd
Asif Sadiq, Managing Director, Solco Pyroelec UK Ltd
Rob Slattery, Manager Director, John Slattery & Sons ltd
Claire Smith, President, StayBlackpool (formerly the Blackpool & Hotel Guesthouse Ass)
Steve Smith, Director, Eldon St Garage
Martin Sykes, Chairman, J. Sykes and Sons (Manchester) Ltd
Norman Tenray, CEO, Obas UK Ltd
Ian Trow, UK Sales, Quad Plus
Barry Waddilove, Managing Director, Furious Wolf Design
Paul Walsh, Director, Wellamforge ltd
Tim Ward, Key Account Manager, Gunmebo UK Ltd
John Watson, Chairman, Surface Print co
John Whelan, Director, Cuncannon
Malcolm Whittle, Director, Boiler Control Services Ltd

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78 replies »

    • If I was a supporter of shale and wanted to invest or get involved in the supply chain I would put my hand up and ask, “How much will it cost to produce shale gas, how much can you sell it for and what are the profit margins?” Fairly obvious question if you intend to get paid for the work you do or to get a return on your investment. I would presume those figures would be readily available to me.

      Lets look a little deeper at the facts that we do know about shale gas prices in Europe.(which may not have been mentioned at meetings between those wanting a piece of the action and Industry spokesperson).

      EY (promoters of the Industry) state how much it will cost to extract European Shale:

      Between 53p and 79p per therm (that was in 2013 when the Industry thought it could get in under the radar saving millions by not having to spend on ‘Gold Standards’ or the cost of delays). It would cost a whole lot more now.

      Centrica who have already invested state at least 46p per therm, the maximum predicted value of gas for years to come.

      Do tell where the profit are when considered against the wholesale value, which could soon be as low as 20p per therm as stated below by big players who have no intention of losing market share.

      The 2015 landed price of LNG (all duties paid) is 37p per therm, again much cheaper than shale.

      You could suggest that oil and gas prices will soar but we all know that OPEC will not let US take their market share again. They may increase slightly to maximise OPEC profits but will drop the minute the US pick up their fracking equipment and try to re enter the market.

      No guesstimates. just facts and figures from the Industry and common sense.

      The 30% tax rate offered to the shale industry should produce huge revenue for the country?

      Please correct me if my figures are inaccurate and that 30% of nothing is nothing?

    • What an irresponsible man you are. The overwhelming peer reviewed evidence is out there for everyone to see. Facts and images. Stories from those that live with the industry. How can you still be so blind?
      Have you not taken heed over the years of replies to your comments that explain where you are wrong?

  1. Wow, they managed to find seven residents who support fracking in Lancashire. That must have been quite a challenge. I notice that most of the companies on the list are those in the oil and gas industry, so this really reads like a list of companies who want fracking so they can make money out of it.

  2. Money talks!! Sick of hearing about the ‘benefits’ of dirty energy, when cleaner options are constantly evolving, with relatively little investment!! I want my children to have a future, and global warming is becoming a reality!! For the benefit of future generations, we should not be swayed by money!

    • L.M. – why do you think there were a lot of wind farms being built onshore in England and now there are very few? And why do you think there continue to be offshore wind farms being built? It is because the owners are “swayed” by money i.e. they make a fortune out of them WHEN they are subsidised via ROCS / FITS / and even CFDs and not a lot when they are not. Same with nuclear.

      Community Windpower (nothing “Community” about them other than in name, owned by two ex-brokers who live in Cheshire) tried for 4 years to build a huge wind farm in the Forest of Bowland AONB, three refused planning applications, two lost Appeals…) they provided some costs in one of their applications. The numbers indicated that the windfarm could make a small profit on the electricity sales in the open market, based on the CAPEX and OPEX supplied. The ROCS (approximately equivalent to the sales price of the electricity) guaranteed 100% uplift i.e. 100% pure profit on the electricty sales.

      All businesses are in it for the money, check out Banks Renewables (wind farms and open cast coal mines), DONG Energy (massive offshore wind farms and oil and gas interests)….. Take away the subsidies (most of the profit) and say goodbye to renewables. Look at onshore wind in England now.

      And you appear to be yet another person on this BB who doesn’t seem to understand that renewables are peaking at well below 40% for electricity and making little contribution to heating (in UK). Even in Germany. They are too intermittent and we have a major storage issue. Gas this morning is providing 51% of UK electricity, coal 3%, nuclear 25%, France Interconnector 6% (also nuclear) leaving the UK renewables contribution at 15% (of this about 2/3 is wind).

      Please have a look at the NG Future Energy Scenarios:

      All four scenarios require gas and lots of it through to and beyond 2040, the source of the gas differs, with two not using UK shale gas, and two using it. Consumer Power, “A Wealthy, Market Driven World” uses the most UK shale gas”. Personally I think we live in a market driven world whether we like it or not.

      I have posted this link several times in different posts but no one has provided any feedback? This is an important document and should be discussed as it is feeding into our long term energy plans and carbon emission targets. And it provides some background for shale gas discussion.

      • Subsidies for the oil and gas industries far surpass those of renewables, now or in the past.

        What a ridiculous world we live in where people put profit before health, self interest before those who share our world and a new and bigger car before the future of the planet. Last week the hottest temperature ever on the planet was recorded in Kuwait; a taste of things to come.

        The current use of fossil fuels is akin to weapons of mass destruction. Shale cannot ‘replace’ imports; they just add to the problem.

        We already have more than enough gas in reserve, save it for the great grandchildren and beyond, to use wisely. Cut waste and consumption,insulate in colder climates and wear more appropriate clothing, buy locally produced food when you can, or grow some of your own; add as many clean energy sources as we can and minimize fossil fuels, the ‘cancerous tobacco’ equivalents.

        Time to wake up people, get your heads out of the sand; look outwards and not inwards. Let our descendants be proud of us, not disappointed by misaligned choices based on fictitious ‘computer numbers’ and greed.

        • So your alternative to gas is? Check out the tax regime in the North Sea and compare it with what renewables / other companies pay (corporation tax etc.). You will find that the tax take on Nrth Sea production is magnitudes higher than any other industry.

          PRT is in addition to corporation tax.

          Ask John Powney, he knows.

          • Read my post again and you have your answer.
            Investment in clean energy is hampered by short sighted fossils. Dong Energy, as you aptly cited, has taken the initiative and is exploring all options in an ever changing world. We need to move into the future, not bury ourselves in the past. It’s not all about the ‘money’ Paul.

              • Investors making money from clean energy, doesn’t get better than this!
                Hope the ‘Lancashire for Shale Group’ (LSG) read your post and think again about supporting no profit shale (NPS).

              • Again, you deliberately miss the point, Paul.

                Climate change is real. The contribution from industry has been acknowledged. If you carry on using ANY fossil fuels at the current rate it will cause irreversible damage to the planet; loss of land, ecosystems, mass migration to our ‘cosy’ Europe, and eventually death to ‘mankind’. If this is your aim, please continue with shale, one of the dirtiest and worse than coal.

                It is my belief that ALL of us must act quickly to make changes, not just a few. It is illogical that clean energy is being pushed aside for dirty fuel. We already have enough transitional fuel in the North Sea, we don’t need anymore. We need to use this wisely for need, not want or waste.

                I will be clearer: Not ALL about the money….means that life is more important, people are more important, our food, clean air and water supplies are more important; our home, this Earth is more important. Money is just a number on a computer.

                NB Capitals used for emphasis, not to shout 🙂

    • And here lies the problem . The government want the economic benefits at the expense of the environmental impact.
      The communities that may have to live with it see it differently.
      This experimental Shale Gas Industry will not be welcome because its risks are simply too much for anyone expected to live with it. An industry that will never stop drilling while it’s cost effective to do so. The future implications are dire if this goes ahead.

    • At least these people work and contribute to the country’s economy, which is more than can be said for the majority of the anti’s.

      • That’s the sort of crass comment that illustrates so well the industry’s problem with getting a social licence – you and your friends simply don’t understand who opposes you and why Malcolm. Antis not “anti’s” btw.

  3. So we see how the machine works, promise people more money and business and all other considerations fly out of the window. Pro fracking contributors say that profit is not the only motive, and yet it takes the economic carrot to motivate support.The same process has been observed in Australia and America. Promise investment and business support and local business falls over itself to run for the big bucks. Next it will be non disclosure agreements for any degree of compensation for the local people that will suffer most. Divide and conquer, go tell it to the ferry man.

  4. Ruth – love your unbiased reporting on this……not. Come clean. You are against the industry and everyone knows it. Stop hiding behind this ever thinning veneer of ‘unbiased’ journalism.

  5. Oh dear Ruthie! We all know you are a ANTI FRACKING SWAMPY! As you told me in Balcombe Tea Rooms 2013 “I would NOT want fracking near my home (Lewes)” How you can describe yourself as INDEPENDENT is a complete mystery!

    • 100% true! Ruthie is STEALING A LIVING selling herself as “INDEPENDENT!” when we all know she is 100% Anti Fracking!

      • Malcolm, I think you’ll find that those who are in favour of fracking don’t want it near their own homes either (in fact probably more so, because they may have a better understanding of what it actually involves): we have friends in the US who breathed a sigh of relief when oil industry execs moved onto their estate because they knew they were safe from having fracking near where they lived; our Ryedale MP who’s about as pro-fracking as they come is on record as saying he wouldn’t want it near his own home.

        • It say INDEPENDENT JOURNALISM, which isn’t the same thing. That means reporting and quoting exactly as it is, which Ruth appears to do very well. Vastly more independently than the Murdoch press. At least when the facts are reported accurately, people can make their own minds up accordingly. Perhaps well informed, objective decision making is what you object to?

      • “Is it that you like to insult people?”……. , perhaps you should re-read one of your earlier riveting posts.

        Let me refresh your limited mind danielsjulie of what you wrote……………”what an irresponsible man you are”, and another, ……. “how can you stïll be so blind”, so that’s not insulting?

    • Malcolm – you are very rude with your shouty capitals.

      Did you know by the way that the Reverend Roberts is on record as stating that he wouldn’t want a fracking well closer than “a few hundred yards” from his own house, whilst enthusiastically supporting attempts to frack just 180 metres from houses in Roseacre? Shillarious isn’t it?

  6. Think the pro frackers are struggling to find new support and resorting to ever more desperate measures. Same old bunch just re-branding and trying to give credence to an industry which carries significant adverse impacts. DECC’s own Public Attitude survey shows opposition is continuing to grow against fracking (as more and more communities are affected) especially among those who know more about what the process entails! You only have to read the internet/social media to see that. Why do they also have to get personal too? It does them no credit whatsoever. It is about time they came clean with specifics about what jobs there will be, where, when and for how long and just how many sites and wells that would entail. Even the industry can not justify the job figures over a sustained period.
    Let’s see how long it takes for them to try and brand me a nimby and scaremonger too. Fortunately those who know me know that is far from the truth.
    Carry on reporting Ruth. Perhaps the truth, reported independently, hurts them so they cast stones. I have had contact with several university students researching fracking, some of whom started out pro fracking but who, after completing their research, have changed their view and become opposed. That speaks volumes to me.

    • I expect the desparate measures will include chaining themselves to trucks and cutting air brake lines?

    • Barbara..Remember “Its not the truth that hurt’s! Its the SHOCK of hearing it!” All who came to Balcombe and RUINED The Village said it was a ANTI FRACKING Village with 90% against fracking! In a local Parish Council in may there were two candidates….one a male Anti Fracking Protestor & a Independent born & bred Balcombe lady …Guess who WON ! It was not the anti fracking scaremongering [edited by moderator]

    • I totally agree with Barbara Richardson. The list of names says it all, the same old band just rebranded. 95 signatories with just 7 described as residents – and they call anti-frackers NIMBYs. Funded by the usual suspects including Cuadrilla, Centrica and the North West Energy Task Force ( which as we know is also funded by the gas industry). By their frantic PR and press release, anyone would think the Secretary of State was due to make a decision on Cuadrilla’s Appeals.

      • A bit like this BB, same old names commenting with the same old arguments, I wonder how many different people comment on this blog – Ruth? Same old anti frackers and same old neutrals and pros….. with too much time on our hands.

        • I agree with your comments. We are on this blog and tend to get a bit too passionate and personal and think our expressed views and opinions here will changes whatever the decision out there in the real world. Most opinions here won’t sway the hardcore frackers or anti frackers alike. So maybe put aside the personal stuff have a bit of fun and and be objective.

  7. I am optimistic about our future without fossil fuels and for this to happen quicker that many of the industry and its supporters believe. Financial investment is required but that is the case for any new energy source. If we want a cleaner, safer world then we should not be wasting our time and investment prolonging fossil fuels. We must continue the transition as fast as possible. Yes it won’t happen overnight but it can and it will.
    Huge savings can be made by making buildings of all kinds more energy efficient, using energy smartly and less wastefully.

      • The anti frackers don’t want to know the truth about renewables. We keep being told about US shale gas companies going bust, bubbles bursting etc. – what about solar companies. In the UK we are hearing 12,000 solar workers have lost their jobs when the subsidy was cut (it is still heavily subsidised of course but profits are clearly too low now).

        • As clean energy is the necessary future, surely this is the result of bad government policy?

          Osbourne also made mistakes with our own North Sea industry. A windfall tax in 2011 (but no actual windfall…) and a crippling fiscal regime caused the loss of 40,000 skilled jobs in the industry.

          Let’s hope these errors are quickly reversed and we can move forward in the right direction for all.

          • Actually the numbers are apparently much higher, close to 120,000 North Sea related jobs will be lost by the end of 2016. The antis seem to think that North Sea Oil and Gas companies get subsidies, tax breaks compared with other industries. The complete opposite is true. What other industry has PRT on top of corporation tax? Remove PRT and create a level playing field.

            The solar PV job losses are false jobs created by an insane subsidy system which initially offered 43p per kwhr FIT subsidy when the market electricity price driven by gas and nuclear was less than 5p per kwhr. Guaranteed inflation protected for 20 years. This was bad Government policy.

            The solar PV domestic FIT has been cut as panel prices have fallen. It is now between 12p and just under 6p / kwhr for new installations; electricity market prices are below 5p / kwhr.

        • Check out the figures on the subsidies the oil and gas industry enjoys along with the tax breaks and offshore fronted companies.
          Then tell me why we are STILL subsidising this industry today?

  8. Perhaps someone local to Lancs could ask this new group, or the companies and individuals within it, if they support fracking unconditionally, or whether they have red lines that the fledgling UK fracking industry must not cross. For example, does this group think there should be sufficient insurance or an upfront bond to cover environmental damage at all stages of the process; who do they consider should pay for the additional expense to road infrastructure from greatly increased traffic; likewise potential costs from increased accidents, crime or health issues arising from an influx of migrant workers; sufficient environmental protection for protected sites such as SSSI’s, National Parks, SAC’s etc; sound regulation on use of fresh water, particularly in times of drought or shortages; sound regulation on waste water treatment and disposal; do they agree there should be some regulation of set-back distances from dwellings, schools etc for well pads and for density of site locations; will they condone gagging clauses in the event of settlements resulting from litigation? Alternatively, do they wish to have an industry run as it has been in the US, Australia etc and condone their high level of autonomy and self regulation? What opinion does this group have on man made climate change? Do any of the members live in the areas repeatedly devastated by a series of increasingly intense floods? Do they support low or zero carbon renewables as the ultimate goal? Do they merely support fracking as a very short term fix with a supply chain that will benefit their businesses in the very short term, irrespective of our country’s climate change commitments?

    • Hi Mike I’ve put in a request for an interview and will let you know what response I get. Best wishes, Ruth

      • Thanks Ruth. Glad you responded, as the usual suspects seem to have studiously avoided answering my simple and perfectly reasonable questions. Surely this ‘new’ group will welcome an interview and be more than willing to clarify their ‘red lines’? Why would they possibly refuse?

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