DrillOrDrop’s digest of the past month’s news about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas developments in the UK and around the world.
- InfraStrata puts Swanage gas drilling plans on hold
- SW Energy gives up Forest of Dean and Wiltshire gas exploration licences
- Nottinghamshire planners recommend approval of Misson shale gas application
- IGas warning in half-year accounts
- Lancashire Nana threatened with prison during Buckingham Palace tea protest
- Labour government would ban fracking
- UKOG plans for oil production in South Downs National Park published
- Watchdog ban on Greenpeace fracking ad was “substantially flawed” but draft ruling finds Friends of the Earth leaflet misleading
- Former planning minister backs local decision-making on fracking
- 2nd Cheshire village votes to oppose shale gas
Read on for more details, more headlines and links
30 September 2016
IGas warning in half-year accounts: uncertainty over company’s ability to operate as a going concern. DrillOrDrop report
Fracking Week in Parliament, week ending 30 September 2016. DrillOrDrop report on clashes between Scotland’s First Minister and Conservative leader on fracking
Commonwealth Bank: coal seam gas makes property ‘unacceptable’ as loan security. The Guardian reports from Queensland, Australia, that the county’s biggest mortgage provider has declared a property with four coal seam gas wells on it unacceptable as security for residential lending an application for a $500,000 bridging loan. The Commonwealth Bank said the 240-ha property failed to meet its lending criteria. Queensland Gas Company (QGC), which owns the wells insisted no properties that hosted its infrastructure had their values negatively affected.
29 September 2016
Meet the fracking regulators next month in Ormskirk and Worksop. DrillorDrop report on the latest in a series of meetings organised by regulators of shale gas.
The rise and fall of fracking in Europe. Arthur Nelson, writing in The Guardian, reviews the progress of fracking in Europe and its impact on carbon emissions.
Ineos shale boss says chemical giant eyeing more North Sea acquisitions. Energy Voice reports comments by Gary Haywood, of INEOS Shale, who said his firm sees the North Sea as a “great opportunity” especially in a low oil price environment. The company bought 12 UK North Sea fields last year from the German firm DEA, which is part of the LetterOne Group. INEOS also bought a 25% interest in the Clipper South field from Fairfield Energy.
Relief arrives for U.S. shale firms as OPEC folds in price battle. MailOnline reports sources in OPEC that output is to be reduced to 32.5m barrels per day from the current production of 33.24. This would establish a floor on prices near $50 a barrel, the website says, a level where many US shale oil companies can make money and drill new wells.
Fracked gas is not the only hazard — levels of radon are on the rise. Dr David Lowry, senior research fellow at the Institute for Resource and Security Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, writing to The FT, quotes research from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. It found levels of radon in Pennsylvania homes — where 42 per cent of readings surpass what the US government considers safe — have been on the rise since 2004, around the time that the fracking industry began drilling natural gas wells in the state. Radon, he says, is “unquestionably the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers”.
Scottish government accused of shale gas double standards. BBC Scotland reports accusations by Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, that the Scottish Government had “leapt on its high horse” over shale gas extraction in Scotland. But turned a blind eye to gas fracked abroad that was shipped to Scotland. The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, told Ms Davidson it was “a bit rich” or her to challenge the SNP on energy given the UK government’s support for new nuclear power. And Ms Sturgeon insisted her government would not “play fast and loose with our environment”. Herald Scotland
Why the UK Labour Party is wrong on fracking: The Eco Pragmatic Climate View. Nick Grealy, writing for Oil Voice, says: “The question is not whether we leave gas in the ground, but whose gas do we leave in which ground? An obsession with gas production avoids the basic issue of production only taking place to meet demand. Gas use in the UK, contrary to conventional wisdom, has fallen steeply. The UK uses no more gas than in 1995, even with 7 million more of us. Efficiency is an uncelebrated success, but we can’t insulate 24 million homes out of using no gas at all in any short or medium term scenario.”
East Lancashire campaigners welcome Labour stance on fracking. Telegraph quotes senior Blackburn-with-Darwin Labour councillor Dave Harling: “I am absolutely delighted. Fracking is environmentally damaging and it’s right a Labour government would ban it.” But Hyndburn MP, Graham Jones, tells the paper: ““I support moving away from fossil fuels but we need a domestic supply of gas while we do. That is better than buying gas, as the GMB’s Gary Smith said, ‘from hangmen and head-choppers’. The UK’s gold-plated regulations system can make fracking safe.”
Permanent damage to Pennsylvania. Sue Cuthbert, writing in The Yorkshire Post in response to US shale deliveries, says: “The fracking industry has brought permanent damage across the Pennsylvanian region and the taxpayers there will have to fund repairs. Ineos has also said that it will not be involved with payments to householders living near fracking wells. As they have 15 PEDL licences in Yorkshire to explore for shale gas, this, in itself, is worrying.”
28 September 2016
Council and InfraStrata confirm Swanage gas drilling plans at California Quarry on hold and no work expected this year. DrillOrDrop
What Nottinghamshire planners say about IGas’s application to explore for shale gas at Misson, Bassetlaw? DrillOrDrop report
“Safe history of drilling” or “Climate threat”? Two views of IGas shale plans for Misson, Notts. DrillOrDrop report
Nottinghamshire’s planners back shale gas exploration at old bomb site. Andy Rowell, reporting for Spinwatch, says the IGas proposed shale gas site is a risk category 2 site because of the possible presence of wartime munitions, chemical and/or biological contaminants or unexploded ordnance. The risk of explosions has required a munitions expert to be on site during drilling of monitoring boreholes. In January a council inspector noted that a potential unexploded ordnance had been detected and “we were asked to retreat”.
Shale gas ship arrives at Grangemouth after weather delay. BBC News reports the first INEOS tanker with 27,500m3 of ethane finally arrived on Wednesday after strong winds prevented it docking on Tuesday.
INEOS accused of buying the media after blocking fracking critic. Commonspace reports that INEOS barred the BBC interviewing Richard Dixon, director of Friends of the Earth on the media boat to watch the arrival of a shale gas tanker at Grangemouth. Dixon said he had been invited to join BBC Breakfast to contribute live comments. But the boat had been chartered by INEOS and Dixon said “for some reason, they didn’t want me on board …So INEOS got to decide who the BBC talked to.”
Scottish Secretary marks Ineos shale shipment, Scottish Government absent. The Aberdeen Press and Journal reports comments by Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, that there was a “clear body of evidence” on fracking now available to make a decision on giving it the green light. He was speaking in Grangemouth at the arrival of the first shipment of ethane from the US.
Scott Macnab: Time to look at the facts on fracking. Writing in The Scotsman, Scott Macnab says “Political leaders must pay greater heed to hard scientific evidence on this powder keg issue”. He adds: “Fracking has, bizarrely, almost taken on the status of a moral issue, when it certainly isn’t. It’s a matter of economics and energy policy – as dwindling oil reserves and ageing nuclear plants mean Scotland is increasingly becoming a net importer of energy. A more honest approach to the fracking debate is needed.”
Labour’s green economic vision looks bolder than ever, but can Corbyn really sell it to voters? Business asks whether the current Labour leadership has “the nous to deliver a compelling green economic vision”, having decided to oppose fracking on climate change grounds. Writer James Murray says: “Labour may be starting to slowly rebuild its reputation as a leader in green economic policy thinking, but despite his overwhelming victory this week the question of whether Jeremy Corbyn can ever sell such policies to the public remains as open as ever”.
Lancashire chiefs continue to back fracking plans. The Lancashire Evening Post reports comments by Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce on Labour’s proposed ban on fracking. She tells the paper: “Our position is not to take sides in the ongoing political debate but to support the significant opportunity that this industry would bring to our local business community and its workforce. The full economic benefits to Lancashire are not known at this stage but, as the industry develops, new jobs will be created across the supply chain with a significant amount of revenue going back into the local economy.”
Pa. Supreme Court says Act 13 gave oil and gas industry special treatment, violated constitution. Penn Live reports the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled in favour of plaintiffs fighting a four-year battle with state government. It said Act 13, a 2012 law that overhauled oil and gas regulations, gave special treatment to the industry during the shale boom. After hearing arguments in March, the court on Wednesday ruled that parts of Act 13 violate state constitutional rights to clean air and water.
27 September 2016
Breaking: Planners recommend approval of IGas shale gas plans at Springs Road, Misson, N Notts, despite 2,629 public objections. DrillOrDrop report and The Guardian, Business Green, Proactive Investors, Notts TV, South Yorkshire Times, Energy Voice
Lancashire ‘Nana’ threatened with prison during Buckingham Palace anti #fracking protest. DrillOrDrop report. Lush News (Anti-fracking Nanas warn, “The oven gloves are off!”)
First US shale gas arrives at INEOS plant in Scotland. A tanker carrying 27.500m3 of ethane from US shale fields is due to dock at the INEOS petrochemical plant at Grangemouth today. Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS chairman, said “This is a hugely important day for Ineos and the UK. Shale gas can help stop the decline of British manufacturing.” BBC News, The Guardian, The Courier, The Ferret (PR plans for the tanker’s arrival)
Shale gas ban ‘would cement decline of UK manufacturing’. The Guardian reports as Ineos takes first shale gas shipment from US, its CEO Jim Ratcliffe says without fracking UK manufacturing’s future is ‘gloomy.
No fracking, drilling or digging: it’s the only way to save life on Earth. George Monbiot, writing in The Guardian, says “The Paris climate change agreement is worthless. Politicians can’t possibly honour it unless we stop developing all new fossil fuel reserves”
Anger over SNP ministers’ ‘snub’ for first US shale gas shipment to Scotland. Telegraph reports SNP ministers in the Scottish government have refused to attend the first shipment of shale gas from the US to Scotland despite the owner of the Grangemouth refinery stating the move would save 10,000 jobs and the plant from closure.
Other coverage: The Telegraph (Ineos’s fracking dream hits a squall); Mail Online (US shale gas shipment arrives amid storm over fracking); The Times (Fracking pressure rises as US gas arrives);FT (First US shale gas arrives in Britain as fracking debate reignites); Sky News (First US shale gas shipment arrives at Grangemouth in Scotland); Mail Online (First shipment of fracked shale gas from US arrives in UK); Ayr Advertiser (US shale gas shipment arrives amid storm over fracking); Scotlight Daily (Fracking ‘extremely safe’ says INEOS boss as shale shipment arrives)
SNP MP: I’ll fight fracking in Scotland even if research commissioned by Nicola Sturgeon proves it’s safe. Herald Scotland reports on comments by Martyn Day, SNP MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk, who is due to attend the arrival of fracked ethane gas at Grangemouth in his constituency. He welcomed the arrival but insisted he would continue to oppose fracking in Scotland. “Even if they come back with evidence to say this can be done, technically, safely and without a problem, the issue then becomes reputational damage. This modern technology – fracking – frightens people and they’re not convinced by it.”
Fracking gas blamed for ‘environmental destruction’ in US to arrive in UK. The Independent reports on a $4m fine imposed on Range Resources – one of the companies supplying shale gas to INEOS – for allowing wells to pollute ground water and soil in Pennsylvania in 2014. The paper says this was the largest penalty ever imposed on an environmental offence by the state.
THE SUN SAYS The campaign against fracking is based on lies and shale extraction could power the UK for a generation. The Sun editorial says “The campaign against fracking is a pack of lies.” Referring to reports in The Times that the Advertising Standards Authority has upheld a complaint against a Friends of the Earth leaflet in a draft ruling, the paper says: “The Sun has made this point before. It is good to see the Advertising Standards Authority agreeing, by rubbishing every claim in a leaflet blitz by the anti-shale propagandists Friends of the Earth.”
Fracking ban ‘leaves Britain dependent on foreign henchmen’. The Times reports on Labour’s policy on banning fracking. It quotes the GMB union as saying the party’s new stance would leave Britain dependent on foreign gas from “regimes fronted by henchmen, hangmen and head choppers”. The paper says this clash comes as the government is expected to approve at least one of Cuadrilla’s fracking applications for Lancashire.
Europa boss Hugh Mackay is excited as Holmwood seeks to repeat Horse Hill’s success. Proactive Investors reports that Europa Oil and Gas has unlocked £600,000 from a divestment a stake in the Wressle field in Lincolnshire to spend on the Holmwood well near Dorking. Chief Executive, Hugh MacKay, tells the website: “We can see a lot of technical read across from the Horse Hill success to Holmwood. And whilst we’re not going to adjust the prospective resources or the risks [ahead of drilling], we feel that Horse Hill is a very relevant well, there is good technical read across and it is certainly making us feel better about the prospect of finding hydrocarbons at Holmwood.”
Fracking and UCG: Fife Council seek ‘clarity’ on Scottish Government approach. The Dunfermline Press reports that Fife Council has written to the Scottish Government for an update on its fracking research and how local people can have their say in the proposed consultation. The National
Egdon Resources plc announces report on oil in place at Wressle-1 discovery. A report by ERC Equipoise Ltd concludes there are 14.18 million stock tank barrels in aggregate across the Ashover Grit, Wingfield Flags and Penistone Flags reservoirs. The Managing Director of Egdon Resources, Mark Abbott, says the company will now seek planning permission for production from the Ashover Grit at the Wressle-1 well. He predicts rates of 500 barrels of oil per day in early 2017 if permission is approved.
Liberal Democrat leader says there is “genuine concern” about fracking. Tim Farron tells the Gazette and Herald about concerns on fracking raised with him when he visited Kirby Misperton in Ryedale, during a visit to North Yorkshire to take part in the BBC’s Any Questions. (See also DrillOrDrop report)
Fracking protestors target MP. The Northern Echo reports on plans for a demonstration outside Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake’s constituency surgery on Friday.
26 September 2016
UKOG oil production plans for Markwells Wood in South Downs National Park open for comment. DrillOrDrop report
Friends of the Earth condemns leak of draft ruling that fracking leaflet was “misleading”. DrillorDrop report
Fracking scare stories condemned by watchdog. The Times reports on the leak of a draft ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority. The paper says the ASA concluded that Friends of the Earth failed to substantiate claims that fracking could cause cancer, contaminate water supplies, increase asthma and send house prices plummeting.
Industry confirms no shale gas wells will be drilled in Britain this year. The Guardian reports comments by the industry trade body that it knew of no shale gas wells planned before 2017. With a government announcement expected in the next fortnight on Cuadrilla’s shale gas applications in Lancashire, the company said construction was needed at its two sites and the earliest drilling could start would be April next year.
INEOS PR plan to greet fracking boat. The investigative website, The Ferret, reports that INEOS is planning to take journalists out to dinner in Edinburgh this evening at the Wedgwood restaurant, putting them up in at the 4-star Apex hotel and then giving them breakfast on a boat on the Firth of Forth before meeting the gas tanker arriving at Grangemouth. After that they all get lunch and transport back to Edinburgh, including to the airport to fly home. The event has been organised by PR company MediaZoo, based at Imperial Wharf in London, the website says.
UK fracking firm Ineos holds children fun runs in shale country. Greenpeace Energy Desk reports that INEOS is organising fun runs to win over local communities in shale gas heartlands. More than 170 Go Run For Fun events have taken place since the initiative began with £1.5m from INEOS in August 2013, Energy Desk reports.
EPA Must ‘Correct Top Claim in Major Fracking Study’. EcoWatch reports on a letter from more than 200 public interest and environmental groups to the US Environmental Protection Agency urging it to heed the recommendation from its Science Advisory Board and clarify the seemingly unsupported top-line finding of the June 2015 draft fracking report.
Flashmob protests BP’s arts sponsorship outside British Museum. Energy Voice report on protest held on 25 September.
25 September 2016
Grangemouth ethane supplier was fined in US for pollution, report says. Energy Voice reports that a US fracking company which has a contract to supply INEOS at Grangemouth has reportedly been fined in the past for polluting the environment. The StateImpact website says Range Resources was fined $4.15m in 2014 for polluting soil and groundwater in Pennsylvania. In 2011, it agreed a $750,000 settlement with a family in Washington County, Pennsylvania, which accused the company of destroying its 10-acre farm. The settlement included a gagging order for the family’s two children. INEOS said Range Resources was one of several US companies supplying Grangemouth. The Herald
Not here, not anywhere. INEOS importing fracked gas at communities’ expense. Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Head of Campaigns, Mary Church, said in a press release: “It is completely unacceptable to attempt to prop up INEOS’s petrochemicals plants on the back of human suffering and environmental destruction across the Atlantic. The fact that Scottish public money is tied up in this project is disgraceful. Setting aside the devastating local impacts of fracking, the climate consequences of extracting yet more fossil fuels are utterly disastrous. If Jim Ratcliffe (INEOS owner) was really concerned about the future of the Grangemouth plant and its workers he would be planning for its transition to a low carbon model.”
UK climate pledge faces stiff test amid carbon tax drive. The FT reports on a letter in which energy companies, including Drax, urge the chancellor to maintain the three-year-old carbon price floor until at least 2025. The companies say pricing carbon emissions is “central to the UK’s efforts to decarbonise its electricity system”. By weakening the investment case for coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, the price floor had helped deliver significant, cost-effective cuts in carbon pollution, they add.
24 September 2016
The People’s case against fracking. The Falkirk Herald includes an article by Maria Montinaro, of Concerned Communities of Falkirk. She says the Broad Alliance of communities against unconventional oil and gas extraction launched the Community Case Against Unconventional Gas today. It brings together submissions by the Broad Alliance to the Scottish Government’s ongoing evidence gathering as it considers whether to ban or permit fracking and other kinds of UGOE. Visithttp://www.broad-alliance.org to view full submissions.
24 September 2016
What politicians said about fracking this week? European shale gas lobbying + INEOS US shipments in DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament for week ending 23 September 2016
23 September 2016
Former planning minister, Brandon Lewis, backs local decisions on fracking, days before government announcement on Cuadrilla’s Lancashire plans. DrillOrDrop report
Round-up of research on fracking and onshore oil and gas from the past 6 months. DrillOrDrop report
Letters: Fracking – Cuadrilla plays ‘get out of jail free card’. Roseacre Awareness Group writes to The Blackpool Gazette about the consequences of approval of Cuadrilla’s fracking plans in Lancashire by the Secretary of State. “Hedges will go, double HGV width site access will be put on to the narrow lane and a 9m wide access road laid across the pasture land. All this will be followed by convoys of lorries, a well pad, containers, drilling rigs, gas flares, security lights, guards and patrols, and much, much more, visible and stark on a farm producing our milk.” The letter says “Cuadrilla has already advertised for new personnel and it appears to many that the Government is working with the industry to try to balance growing opposition. The writer says: “It is to be hoped that there will be honour and consistency in his [the Secretary of State’s] decision.”
Gandalf’s quest against fracking arrives in Oxford. This Is Oxfordshire reports Greenpeace campaigner, Rick Guest, dressed as Gandalf the Grey, passed through Oxford yesterday on a 130-mile walk from Hereford to Downing Street in protest against fracking in his local area.
22 September 2016
You can see fracking’s impact on Earth’s surface from space. New Scientist reports on a study in Science which says fracking can lift the earth’s surface. It says the slight buckling of just 3mm a year, has been detected from space and can help predict where induced seismic activity is likely. The magazine says the movement happens when waste water is injected at high pressure. It has been seen near the location of the biggest quake ever recorded in eastern Texas, which recorded 4.8 magnitude in 2012, the magazine says. Journal reference: Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.aag0262
First U.S. shale gas shipment to arrive in Britain, serenaded by a Scots piper. London South East reports the first ship of gas fracked from US shale will arrive in Britain next week. Ethane is being imported by INEOS for its Grangemouth works. The financial website says this ups the pressure on Scotland to “reassess its opposition to fracking” and is “a foretaste of larger deliveries of liquefied natural gas from shale set to reach Europe in 2018”.
Billion-pound investment will secure future of Grangemouth site says boss. The Falkirk Herald reports a cargo ship the length of two football pitches will dock at the INEOS jerry at Grangemouth in five days to off load nearly one million cubic feet of fracked shale gas. INEOS has signed contracts to ensure deliveries every three weeks for the next 15 years to feed the chemical works.
Finding out about fracking in West Sussex. Spiritfm reports on a meeting in Chichester tonight (22 September) organised by Chichester and Bognor Green Party to increase awareness of fracking and what it could mean to Sussex. Speakers include Dr Jill Sutcliffe from Medact, a non-profit organisation for health professionals, and Matt Williams from the RSPB. Sue Jameson and Martin Dale will provide local information and answer questions from the public.
Fracking regulators to host public drop-in at Malton. MinisterFM reports on an information meeting about onshore oil and gas. It is on 28 September in Malton and organised by The Environment Agency, Health and Safety Executive, Oil and Gas Authority, and Public Health England
21 September 2016
The sky’s Limit: Why the Paris climate goals require a managed decline of fossil fuel production. A study by Oil Change International and a group of 14 climate campaign group calls for an end to all new fossil fuel infrastructure and industry expansion. It finds potential carbon emissions from oil, gas and coal in the currently operating fields and mines would take the world beyond 2 degrees C of warming. Oil and gas fields currently operating would take the world beyond 1.5 degrees C. The study also calls for the closure of some existing fields and mines before fully exploiting their resources.
Fracking? Our position is… actually we have no position. Murray Jones, writing in The Times of Tunbridge Wells, reports that the local borough council’s Overview and Scrutiny committee had decided that a policy on fracking was a waste of time. The issue was for Kent County Council and the government to decide, the committee concluded.
Hydraulic fracturing: White House engaged in ‘messaging’ for EPA fracking study. EnergyWire reports that the Obama White House was engaged in the “messaging” for last year’s rollout of the EPA’s study on the safety of hydraulic fracturing. The headline from the study – that there are no “widespread systemic” drinking water problems – has been cheered by the industry and criticised by EPA science advisers who say the language isn’t supported by research in the study. Documents obtained by EnergyWire under the Freedom of Information Act show the White House was involved from June 2015. Teams met the EPA several times and kept “tabs” on what the topline messages would be.
The Review ‘swayed it’? The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review reports that former mines surveyor, Paul Morgan, believes a Review article may have prompted the man behind plans to drill for gas in the Forest to withdraw the proposal. Mr Morgan, from Coleford, told the Review last month about the potential dangers of drilling for gas. ““I really do believe that they (South Western Energy) read the article in the Review and realised the impossibility of carrying out fracking in the Forest. The severe danger of the task is too great if it could lead to water pollution.”
20 September 2016
Plans submitted for 20 years of oil production in South Downs. DrillOrDrop report
Theresa May: UK to ratify Paris climate change deal this year. The Guardian reports that the Prime Minister has promised Britain will ratify the Paris agreement on tackling climate change by the end of the year. Friends of the Earth says this is an important step but it won’t be worth the paper it’s written on unless the government stops investing in fossil fuels, puts a plan in place to meet the target of 1.5°C of warming, and supports those already effected by climate change.
Emissions targets need all-electric cars. Climate News Network reports on a new study by Climate Action Tracker, which says the transport sector must switch to zero emission electric vehicles to achieve limits on temperature rise agreed in last year’s Paris climate agreement.
Fracking moratorium to continue, Sturgeon insists. Energy Voice reports comments by Nicola Sturgeon that it will be next year before a decision is made on fracking. She tells the website: “The Scottish Government’s position is absolutely well known. We have a moratorium in place while we do a range of work to assess the issues that people raise around fracking. That work will continue over the course of the year into next year and we’ll take informed decisions on the basis of that work.”
YP Letters: No need for fracking when alternatives exist. Josie Downs, of York and Ryedale Friends of the Earth, writing in The Yorkshire Post, says the UK should not embark on fracking for oil and gas. “Instead, without further delay, we need to make much greater use of renewables and make changes to create a more efficient distribution network using new technology.” She continues: There is really no justification for making a pincushion out of Yorkshire and Lancashire risking water and air pollution, spoiling the countryside, using copious quantities of water and causing extra heavy lorry traffic. Feasible alternatives are now available.
The burning questions on issue of fracking. Graeme Orr, writing to The Herald Scotland, ask INEOS to name a community which has welcomed fracking to their region and to answer how it proposes to store polluted output water from fracking.
Popular speaker at fracking evening. White Horse News reports that Louise Somerville Williams is to speak at a film and discussion night organised by Frack Free Westbury on Tuesday 27 September.
U.S. city brought frack to life. Drilling for shale gas saved Pittsburgh after years of neglect, abandoned coal mines and empty mills and it could do the same for the UK. The Sun reports from Pittsburg on a visit hosted by INEOS, that the city is booming again thanks to shale gas. The paper says “So successful is fracking in the US that the gas produced is being sold overseas, including to Britain, where our trillions of cubic metres of the stuff lie untapped.” Opponents of fracking point out that Pittsburg City Council unanimously banned drilling for gas within city limits in 2011 (link) because of health fears of water contamination.
19 September 2016
Lancashire campaigner prepares to challenge any government approval of Cuadrilla’s fracking plans. DrillOrDrop report on launch of crowdfunding for a judicial review
What’s happening this week? 19-25 September 2016. DrillOrDrop’s update of 20+ events this week: including Gayzer Frackman delivers a “bribe” to Downing Street, Challenging fracking through litigation and empowering communities, plus training days, deadlines, meetings, information sessions and film screenings.
Picture post: Roseacre protest rally as Cuadrilla fracking decision approaches. DrillOrDrop report
Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos makes slow progress in UK fracking drive. The Telegraph reports INEOS’s has downgraded exploration plans for this year. The paper says INEOS director, Tom Crotty, talked of drilling tens of core wells before the end of the year. But the company has not yet submitted a single application and the revised plan is to submit five applications before the end of the year. Tom Pickering, operations director of INEOS Shale, denied there had been any downsizing in the company’s ambition.
UK shale gas exploration could revive old mining towns says Ineos director. International Business Times reports comments by Tom Pickering, Operations Director of INEOS Upstream that the hunt for shale gas in the UK has the potential to revive mining towns in the East Midlands, North West and North Yorkshire.
Derbyshire residents quiz experts over fracking controversy. The Buxton Advertiser reports on a drop-in meeting in Dronfield organised by regulators of the oil and gas industry.
Alba Mineral Resources, Horse Hill partner, raises £900,000. Proactive Investors reports that Alba Mineral Resources plc, a junior partner in the Horse Hill well, has raised £900,000 in stock. It says the money will be used to “advance the companies interests” across its portfolio, including Horse Hill.
Ineos boss warns independent Scotland would need “Greek-style” bail out. Energy Voice reports comments by Jim Ratcliffe, of INEOS, that an independent Scotland would end up needing a “Greek-style bail out”. He said the country wouldn’t have the “balance sheet” to survive economically. The website quotes an interview with the Sunday Times, in which he said an independent Scotland would be operating a “very large” trade deficit.
Appointment of the chair of the Environment Agency confirmed. The Environment Agency has confirmed that its new chair will be Emma Howard Boyd. Her 25-year career has been in financial services, including corporate finance, fund management and corporate governance. She was Director of Stewardship at Jupiter Asset Management until July 2014.
18 September 2016
Survey finds majority of adults in Mickle Trafford against fracking – 2nd Cheshire village to oppose shale gas. DrillOrDrop report
UK imports of US natural gas ‘geopolitically imperative’, says Ineos executive. International Business Times reports comments by Tom Crotty, director of INEOS, that importing natural gas from the US to the UK and Europe makes perfect geopolitical and commercial sense.
17 September 2016
Picture post: Driffield anti-fracking parade and rally. DrillorDrop report
Scotland “can’t go it alone without shale” claim. The Falkirk Herald reports comments by Jim Ratcliffe, of INEOS, that an outright ban on fracking would stymie any attempt to move from a deficit in Scotland’s economy to a surplus. He says Scotland will never be independent unless it embraces fracking.
In Ohio, frackers are drilling. Soon Ineos will be doing the same in Britain. The Observer joined a press tour of fracking sites in Pennsylvania, organised by INEOS. The paper says INEOS insists fracking in the UK will be different from the US. Technology has developed over the past decade and lessons have been learned, the paper says.
‘Childish’ SNP ministers to snub fracking gas arrival despite jobs boost. Herald Scotland reports SNP ministers will snub a landmark event to celebrate the arrival of fracking gas into Scotland later this month. A spokesperson blamed previous diary commitments. Scottish Conservative energy spokesman, Alexander Burnett, criticised the Scottish government for snubbing the event in “such a childish fashion”.
Company which has declined fracking licences said it is not ‘going away. After deciding not to take up exploration licences in the Forest of Dean and Wiltshire, Gerwyn Williams, of South Western Energy, tells The Hereford Times: “We have been in this business for over 20 years onshore UK, we are not going away. If energy prices improve we may re-apply, out of round if necessary, for some of the areas in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. Our short term focus is gas production in Wales whereby we can help protect existing jobs in heavy industry and hopefully create many new jobs.”
Fossil fuels investment takes nosedive. Climate News Network reports investments in oil and gas declined by 25% in 2015. It quotes Dr Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency, “We have never seen such a decline [in oil and gas investment]”. He adds: “Our findings carry a very important message for climate change and for the Paris agreement. Anyone who does not understand what is going on – governments, companies, markets – is not in the right place.”
16 September 2016
Fracking Week in Parliament. DrillOrDrop’s update on what politicians have been saying about fracking and shale gas this week.
Former Dana chief exec urges Scottish Government to rethink fracking. Dr Stuart Paton, an advisor to the oil and gas industry, has called on the Scottish Government to add fracking to its energy mix to fill a future gap in supply, reports Energy Voice. In a report for the think tank, Reform Scotland, he calls for a “sensible agreement between developers, government and local communities. After the decommissioning of two Scottish nuclear power stations the country will not have base load capacity, he says. Herald Scotland (SNP fracking policy “not logical” given support for oil industry, claims expert), The Scotsman (Report calls for fracking and nuclear power in Scotland), The Times (Flat Earth Fracking)
Scottish Conservatives claim fracking stance of government “exposed”. Energy Voice, in a second report on the Reform Scotland report, quotes Scottish Conservative energy spokesman, Alexander Burnett: “This is another expert exposing the SNP’s ludicrous position on fracking. As he rightly points out, the Scottish Government is happy to take energy from the North Sea and coal plants. Yet it rules out categorically the possibility of extracting energy in an unconventional way. Not only does that not make sense, but it risks Scotland missing out on the economic benefit fracking could bring.
Ineos boss: Scotland will never be independent without fracking. Jim Ratcliffe, tells The Scotsman, if the Scottish government bans fracking then Scotland will be unable to move from a deficit in its economy to a surplus. It will never become an independent country, he says. He also accused Nicola Sturgeon of hypocrisy by accepting INEOS’ decision to import shale gas from the US in order to save the Grangemouth refinery from closure.
Nicola Sturgeon announces ‘growth commission’ members as tycoon warns independent Scotland needs fracking. The Telegraph reports that Nicola Sturgeon has announced the membership of an SNP commission to consider ways to improve Scotland’s finances. The announcement came as Jim Ratcliffe, of INEOS, warned she could forget independence unless she could find a way to get Scotland’s finances out of deficit.
Letters – September 16, 2016. Elizabeth Warner, chair of Roseacre Awareness Group, writing to the Blackpool Gazette, says “If permission is granted for drilling at Roseacre Wood it will be a green light for gas wherever and whenever a company makes an application”. She says local authorities cannot offer protection to communities facing shale gas developments “as we see already the Secretary of State now deciding that which Mark Menzies [the Fylde MP] once said was a decision for Lancashire”
Campaigners meet with Sajid Javid about fracking bid. The Bromsgrove Standard reports that members of a local fracking group met MP Sajid Javid to discuss the impact of shale extraction in Lancashire, the subject of an appeal by Cuadrilla. The paper says Bromsgrove and Redditch Against Fracking group is calling on the government to respect Lancashire Council’s decision and reject an appeal from energy firm Cuadrilla to mine for shale gas. In his newly appointed role as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Mr Javid is due to announce whether to overturn Lancashire Council’s decision by next month.
‘Don’t mess with momma’ – young mum’s anti-fracking mission. The Retford Times reports that young mum, Rachel Kitchin, who lives a mile from the proposed Tinker Lane site near Blyth, handed in a petition of 2,871 signatures to Nottinghamshire County Council. She tells the paper: “I have a two-and-half year old daughter and she goes to Blyth Pre-School which is very close to where it could happen. She’ll be breathing in the fumes, drinking the water and all sorts – you don’t mess with momma! It’s about basic human rights, we all have the right to clean water, clean air and a safe environment.”
Lincolnshire Talks: Is fracking the answer to our county’s energy needs? The Lincolnshire Reporter asks whether fracking for gas is needed and welcome in Lincolnshire. Cllr Colin Davies, executive councillor of Economic Development on Lincolnshire County Council, says “fracking does have a part to play but I do not think it’s the panacea that some people hold it up to be.” Ben Loryman, of Lincolnshire Green Party says the UK must end the fossil fuel age as soon as possible.
INEOS aims for 5 shale core sites in UK by year end. ICIS reports from Pittsburgh that INEOS wants to have lodged five planning applications for vertical core drilling for shale gas in the East Midlands by the end of this year.
The Sun says Brits must try to look on the bright side of Hinkley Point nuclear deal now that Theresa May has given it the go ahead. The paper adds: “We must ignore the security issues, the massive delays and the extra costs… or we could just get cracking with fracking”.
Britain is now free to frack and slash energy bills. Bjorn Lomborg, writing in The Telegraph, says “one of the key benefits of the vote to leave the European Union is that Britain will no longer have to co-operate with overzealous regulations on shale extraction or fracking which has the potential to transform the energy market”.
Baroness Featherstone: Energy and climate change is at the top of the Lib Dem agenda. Business Green reports on the Lib Dem’s stand on fracking. Energy and climate change spokesperson, Baroness Featherstone, tells the website: “To see a government placing so much emphasis on fracking and not on decarbonising the economy is insane. In my view [fracking] is like the biggest distraction and waste of energy that we could possibly see. It’s not going to happen, it’s not going to be commercially viable, any company that looks at it and sees all of the problems – it’s not geologically going to be like America, and getting agreement from local people is not going to be such a doddle. But our silly government prefers to big up fracking and to make their path smoother by removing safeguards, or making them as minimal as possible, rather than backing the industries that could and are booming at the moment on renewables.”
15 September 2016
Fracking researcher takes first step in “academic freedom” legal case against Glasgow University. DrillOrDrop report
YP Letters: Fracking is a threat to agriculture. Malcolm Hara, writing in the Yorkshire Post, refers to an article by Lorraine Allanson in support of fracking in Ryedale. Mr Hara says evidence from Australia suggests more jobs could be lost in agriculture than created by fracking. “Any jobs created would be short-term, but with long-term consequences for the environment and local people. Tourism could also suffer as well as agriculture. Don’t let our beautiful rural Yorkshire become a sacrifice zone for the benefit of a few”. Christopher Pickles, also writing in response to Lorraine Allanson, says development of shale gas would require, according to industry figures, 10-20 1ha drilling pads in a 10x10km licence block, with 10 wells on each pad. “This would utterly change the countryside as we know it”, he says. June Smith and Peter Allen also write to rebut Lorraine Allanson’s views.
Delight for protesters as company decides not frack in Wiltshire. Wiltshire Times says the anti-fracking group, Keep Wiltshire Frack Free, is delighted at news that South Western Energy is not taking up its exploration licences in the county. See DrillOrDrop report. Also The Gazette(Campaigners celebrate after licences for fracking in Stroud district are withdrawn) and BBC News
Australia’s natural gas bans risk replicating Springsteen’s rust belt. Clyde Russell, writing the Oil Report Column for Reuters, reflects on the decision by Northern Territory to become the latest of Australia’s eight state and territory governments to put a moratorium on fracking. He says “The main motivation is seemingly to avoid conflict with well-resourced environmental groups opposed to fossil fuels, as well as farmers, who have concerns about the potential impact of fracking on water tables and the availability of farmland”. He says “By ensuring that natural gas supplies will be limited, and therefore prices high, environmental activists are keeping coal-fired power competitive.” The decision will also have an economic impact on gas-consuming industries, he says.
14 September 2016
Breaking: SW Energy gives up Forest of Dean and Wiltshire gas exploration licences. DrillorDrop report
Community group gives notice of legal challenge to extension of oil exploration licence in Sussex DrillOrDrop report
MPs sign off on Wales Bill. The South Wales Argus reports that the final stage of the Wales Bill, which hands new powers to the Welsh Assembly including issues such as fracking, finished its journey through the House of Commons on Monday.
Protesters slam North Dakota pipeline but company ‘committed’. Reuters reports on protests in Atlanta and other US cities in support of Native American activists trying to stop the construction of a pipeline in North Dakota which they say will desecrate sacred land and pollute water. Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, whose subsidiary is building the pipeline, said it was committed to the project.
Methane emissions rising from fracking, new study shows. EcoWatch reports methane emissions from the fossil fuel industry are responsible for the majority of the recent rise in global atmospheric methane, according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper concludes that methane emissions for the sector increased significantly between 2000 and 2009, challenging conclusions that atmospheric ethane from fugitive fossil fuel emissions fell during this period.
Renewable power is cheapest option today. Carbon Tracker, the think tank analysing the financial impact of climate change, reports that renewable power generation costs are already lower on average worldwide than those of fossil fuels. Its analysis published today finds that clean energy plants will become even more cost-competitive by 2020. Carbon Tracker’s head of research, James Leaton, says “Policy-makers and investors really need to question out dated assumptions on technology costs that do not factor in the direction of travel post-Paris. Planning for business-as-usual load factors and lifetimes for new coal and gas plants is a recipe for stranded assets”.
Gas pipelines run over EU energy policy. Climate News Network reports on criticism of E3bn European funding for the 3,500km Southern Gas Corridor. The website says critics say funding runs counter to EU climate change objectives. They also say construction will cause misery to communities along the route and help to prop an autocratic regime in Azerbaijan.
Comment: How Shell and BP’s tar sands plans went wrong. Greenpeace Energy Desk says 42 projects in the Canadian tar sands have been put on hold, delayed or cancelled in the past two years, according to a new report by Greenpeace and Oil Change International. They include Shell’s Carmon Creek project and postponed phases of BP’s Sunrise venture. Link to report
Redditch MP meets new anti-fracking group. MP Karen Lumley, writing in The Redditch Advertiser. Says she met members of the new Bromsgrove and Redditch Against Fracking to “hear of their concerns about the effects of shale gas extraction on public health, a concern which I share”.
13 September 2016
Fylde doesn’t look promising for #fracking – veteran US geologist tells parliamentary group. DrillOrDrop report
BP’s Dudley Favors Argentina Shale Over Costly Texas Permian. Bloomberg Business reports comments by BP’s chief executive, Bob Dudley, that the company would rather invest in Argentina’s shale oil fields than in the Texas Permian Basin. In an interview, Mr Dudley said his company is seeking to buy more assets in Argentina’s Vaca Muerta shale fields, which he said had “enormous potential”.
Moscow TV channel faces Ofcom inquiry. The Times reports that RT, formerly known as Russia Today, is to be investigated for bias after it made inaccurate comments about Cuadrilla during an item on The Keiser Report. Ofcom has previously found RT breached rules on impartiality and broadcasting “materially misleading” content. In November 2014, Ofcom threatened possible statutory sanctions for future breaches.
Cutting speed limit to 60mph ‘would have huge effect on carbon emissions’. The Kincardineshire Observer reports recommendations by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in its annual evaluation of the Scottish Government’s progress towards climate targets. They include cutting the speed limit from 70mph to 60mph. The CCC praised Scotland for leading the UK in reducing greenhouse gas emissions but said fresh policies would be needed to meet ambitious new targets, particularly in transport, housing and agriculture.
Despite claims to the contrary, science says fracking not causing increased earthquakes. The Oil Voice website looks at the cause of the 5.6 magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma on 3 September 2016, the joint largest in the state’s recorded history. The author, Marita Noon, says may reports ascribe the cause to disposal of waste water used in oil and gas operations and concludes “the facts don’t support the accusations. Fracking isn’t causing Oklahoma’s increased earthquakes”.
InfraStrata raises NI storage stake to 90%. Natural Gas World reports that InfraStrata has acquired an extra 25% in Islandmagee Storage, the developer of a planned gas storage facility in Northern Ireland, from the publicly-owned firm, Mutual Energy.
12 September 2016
What’s happening this week? 12-18 September 2016: 17 events about #fracking and onshore oil and gas in DrillOrDrop’s round-up.
Carbon capture seen competitive with offshore wind in UK. Energy Voice reports on recommendations from the Carbon Capture and Storage Association. Its Parliamentary Advisory Group says the UK could build facilities to capture and bury carbon pollution under the sea at a similar price to offshore wind arms and nuclear plants. The group’s spokesperson, Lord Oxburgh, says it could be deployed at £85 a megawatt hour in the early 2020s if ministers introduce policies to back the technology. He recommends establishing a delivery authority similar to the London 2012 Olympic Games and a payment programme to encourage emitters to collect carbon. Link to report
Explosion at B.C Encana fracking water facility injures worker. CBC News in British Colombia reports that an explosion at an Encana facility that produces water for fracking has injured one worker and shut down the plan near Dawson Creek. The facility treats water from an aquifer considered too saline for human or animal use so it can be used to frack local gas wells. The explosion caused no environmental damage and there was no risk to the public, the Oil and Gas Commission said.
Lawsuit launched over fracking, water and climate change in the Colorado River Basin. The Centre for Biological Diversity in Denver reports it has filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the Bureau of Land Management and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to compel them to update invalid Endangered Species Act consultations on the impacts of climate change and fracking in western Colorado. The action seeks to halt all new oil and gas leasing and development on federal public lands in the Upper Colorado River Basin pending updated consultations.
Chester anti-frackers on trial next month. The Chester Chronicle reports that nine anti-fracking activists, including a Labour councillor, face a trial next month after being arrested at the time of the eviction of Upton anti-fracking camp on 12 January 2016. The trial date has been set for 18 October 2016. The people on trial include: Cllr Matt Bryan (obstructing/resisting a constable); John Thomas Hall, 50, of George Street, Chester, (resisting/obstructing a constable); Amelia Bish, 28, of Horse Hill Protest Camp, Hookwood, Surrey (resisting/obstructing an enforcement officer); Lanner Davis, 24, of Horse Hill Protest Camp, Hookwood, Surrey (resisting/obstructing an enforcement officer); Trky Edward Cairns, 41, of Borras Community Camp, Borras, Wrexham, (failing to comply with a section 35 direction excluding a person from an area). They all deny the charges.
Stop Barclays funding fracking. Fossil Free launches a petition calling on Barclays to stop investing in fracking.
Calling all businesses against fracking. Halsall Against Fracking urges businesses in PEDL164, 165 and 261 to sign the group’s Businesses Against Fracking list, before Aurora submits planning applications to Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council and Lancashire County Council.
10 September 2016
What politicians said about fracking. DrillOrDrop’s parliamentary update in Fracking Week in Politics for week ending 9 September.
9 September 2016
John Swinney met fracking firm Ineos four times in one year. STV News reports Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, has met INEOS four times in one year, after the Scottish Government announced its moratorium on fracking in January 2015. The broadcaster says Swinney met INEOS representatives on 12 February, 15 April and 25 November in 2015. A fourth meeting, on 25 February 2016, came to light following an FOI request by STV.
Lorraine Allanson: The economic case for fracking in North Yorkshire. Lorraine Allanson, a supporter of fracking for shale gas, tells The Yorkshire Post: “The gas industry will be investing millions of pounds into the Yorkshire economy, Yorkshire’s businesses and workforce need to be investing in Yorkshires future. We have the workforce, the tenacity and the ambition, we just need our local politicians to wake up and work for the good of its hardworking, industrious population. That’s my vision, is it yours?
Rotherham anti-fracking group to meet. The Rotherham Advertiser reports an anti-fracking meeting is to meet on Tuesday 13 September at 7.30pm at The Green Dragon, Kimberworth. The meeting includes a presentation by Frack Free South Yorkshire.
Chester anti-fracking demo to take place outside court. The Chester Chronicle reports that a demonstration will be held outside Chester Magistrates Court today (Friday 9 September) in support of nine people arrested during the eviction of Upton anti-fracking camp. The group includes Matt Bryan, a Labour member of Chester West and Chester Council, Jamie Watson, John Thomas Hall, Louise Hammond, Richard Cairns, Isabelle Bish and Richard Burcumshaw. Today’s hearing is for case management. A trial is listed for the week beginning 17 October 2016.
8 September 2016
UK Oil & Gas Investments due to submit application for 20 years of oil production in South Downs National Park. DrillOrDrop report. Petersfield Post (Plans to start oil production in woodland site near Rowlands Castle are lodged – 10/9/2016)
Money cannot compensate for fracking, Kirby Misperton resident tells politicians. DrillOrDrop report on All Party Parliamentary Group on shale gas regulation
Barry Gardiner: Labour’s new members will help us deliver victory and a cleaner, greener well-paid Britain. Shadow energy minister, Barry Gardiner, tells Labour List: “We will make Britain more democratic, accountable and fairer. Our cities, towns and villages will be actively involved in delivering an efficient, decentralised energy system. We will make sure planners can stand up to developers and protect communities, both when they do want to have an onshore wind turbine and when they don’t want to have a fracking well! He says Labour has a plan for one million green jobs and “could not be more different from the nightmare vision being offered by the Tories – worsening air pollution, thousands more job losses in our solar industries, our countryside torn up by fracking, the big six energy companies allowed to continue ripping us off and a spiral of decline in the very electricity system we need to keep the lights on.”
7 September 2016
Shale area MPs urge fracking companies to limit number of well sites to reassure residents. DrillOrDrop report on All Party Parliamentary Group on shale gas regulation. Blackpool Gazette(MP demands assurances from fracking companies -10/9/2016)
Parliamentary #fracking group accused of bias; chairman says it reflects all sides. DrillOrDrop report
INEOS seismic surveys for #fracking in Derbyshire and S Yorks due to start in weeks. DrillOrDrop report
Investment from fracking companies sees Teesside become a potential area for exploration. The Chronicle reports Teesside is emerging as a hot spot for the UK onshore oil and gas industry. It said Egdon Resources has increased its interest in PEDL068 by 20% to 68%. The block includes the former Kirkleatham gas well near the Wilton chemical complex. Egdon is also in partnership with Third Energy and Celtique Energie in assessing a 14th round licence area stretching from Seaton Carew to Seal Sands and Redcar to Coulby Newham.
Judge puts hold on plan to open California lands to fracking. The US news channel, ABC News, reports that a federal judge tentatively rejected a plan on Tuesday (6 September) by the federal Bureau of Land Management to open up more than 1,500 square miles of land in central California to oil drilling and fracking. US District Judge Michael W Fitzgerald wrote in his ruling that the BLM had failed to take a “hard look” at the environmental effects of the estimated 25 percent of new wells that would be devoted to fracking.
Linc Energy: Criminal proceedings in doubt as liquidators seek to not answer charges. ABC News in Australia reports that criminal proceedings against the failed company, Linc Energy, are in doubt after liquidators indicated they would seek to not answer environmental harm charges. The company faces five counts of wilfully and unlawfully causing serious environmental harm at its Hopeland underground coal gasification plan on Queensland’s western Darling Downs.
6 September 2016
Minister avoids parliamentary questions on acceptable level of #fracking emissions. DrillOrDrop report
UKOG completes acquisition of further interest in Horse Hill and Weald licences. UK Oil and Gas Investments announces it has completed its agreement to acquire the entire 3.9% interest of Flowermay Ltd in onshore Weald Basin PEDL137 and PEDL246. The company says it paid £1m for Flowermay’s remaining 6% shareholding in Horse Hill Developments Ltd.
5 September 2016
What’s happening this week about #fracking and onshore oil + gas? DrillOrDrop diary for 5-11 September 2016
Anti-fracking camp at Bridge Trafford evicted. The Chester Chronicle reports anti-fracking campaigners who established a small camp on privately-owned land at the side of the A56 Warrington Road, Bridge Trafford, have been evicted. The camp was set up after they discovered Star Energy Ltd, owned by IGas, had bought a field at Bridge Trafford for £141,000 and another field south of Warrington Road in Barrow, owned by David William Pym. The Chronicle reports that papers were served before a case at Manchester High Court brought by landowners, Andrew and Sian Walley and Bill and Barbara Williams but backed by IGas. Costs of £5,000 were awarded against campaigners, Dr Steven Peers and Simon Stafford-Smith.
Man guilty of charges over anti-fracking camp eviction. The Chester Standard reports that Stephen Allen was found guilty of aggravated trespass and resisting an enforcement officer during the eviction of a protest camp at Duttons Lane, Upton, near Chester. The paper says Mr Allen told the court the company carrying out the eviction on 12 January 2016 broke its own health and safety rules. A witness for the company denied this. Mr Allen received a two-year conditional discharge. No costs were awarded against him.
INEOS fracking seismic survey plans need resisting. The website Frack Off reports INEOS is planning seismic surveys in South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Frack Off says INEOS has told Rotherham council it wants to start the surveys at the end of September or start of October.
Mapuche community in Argentina fights fracking site. BBC News reports Mapuche indigenous communities in the Vaca Muerta hills of Argentina are alleging fracking has contaminated groundwater and led to problems for people and livestock. YPF, the operating company for Chevron, says there is no evidence that fracking has contaminated water.
New genus of bacteria found living inside hydraulic fracturing wells. Ohio State University reports on research by its academics has found evidence of sustainable ecosystems taking hold in shale oil and gas wells. Almost identical microbial communities have been found in wells drilled hundreds of miles apart. They are unique to hydraulic fracking sites.
Mark Menzies MP asks about shale gas responsibilities in government. Jesse Norman, minister at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, says his department has taken over responsibility for overseeing regulation from the Department of Energy and Climate Change. See Fracking Week in Politics on Friday 9 September – DrillOrDrop’s review of what politicians say about fracking.
Campaigner to walk through Hebden Bridge and Halifax in anti-fracking march to Downing Street. The Hebden Bridge Times reports on the walk by Gayzer Frackman from Blackpool to London – see DrillOrDrop report
Union Jack oil fully funded for onshore push. Energy Voice reports a statement by Union Jack Oil that it is fully funded and debt-free. The half-year results reported £2m+ cash. The field development plan for the Wressle discover is “professing” and the firm expects to start operations in the final quarter of this year.
4 September 2016
Anti-fracking campaigner leaves Blackpool for walk to Downing Street to “bribe” Prime Minister. And opponents of shale gas in North Yorkshire present a £10,000 cheque to MP Kevin Hollinrake. DrillOrDrop report
Frack Free Northwich urges people to quiz regulators at information session. The Northwich Guardian reports on a Meet the Regulators meeting at Winnington, Northwich this month. See DrillOrDrop report (2/9/2016)
2 September 2016
Derbyshire and Cheshire residents get chance to question regulators on #fracking at meetings this month. DrillOrDrop report.
August 2016 drilling headlines. DrillOrDrop’s compilation of the past month’s headlines on fracking and onshore oil & gas and
Cluff Natural Resources non-exec director resigns. Energy Voice reports that Chris Matchette-Downes has resigned with immediate effect has a non-executive director of Cluff Natural Resources.
Australian experience shows the need to ban fracking. In a letter to The Yorkshire Post, Russell Scott, of Frack Free Ryedale, refers to the decision by the Australian state of Victoria which banned fracking this week. He writes “It’s time the UK followed the lead of Victoria, and others such as New York, France and Germany, and banned fracking immediately”. He said fracking would have negative impacts on farming and tourism and risked public health, along with causing air, noise and light pollution, road congestion and a potential devaluing of property prices.
1 September 2016
Who wants to drill where? DrillOrDrop’s Autumn 2016 update on 50 sites within the UK including recent activity, expected operations, company plans, decisions and licence changes.
September 2016 Drilling Diary. DrillOrDrop’s calendar of events on UK fracking and onshore oil and gas.
Churches put their faith in green energy. The Financial Times reports nearly 2,000 Catholic parishes in 16 dioceses have taken up green electricity according to figures released today by a group of charities including Christian Aid.
Facing the challenge of toxic wastewater produced by oil and gas companies. The Ecologist says disposing of waste water from unconventional gas and oil techniques, including fracking, is one of the big challenges facing the UK. It says in the UK there is currently no data available about how much wastewater is currently produced from UK oil and gas companies. A research workshop held in the US last year concluded: “the UK has very little experience with water use and contamination from unconventional oil and gas activity, although we have made significant progress in establishing environmental baseline monitoring programs.”
BP deepens Chinese shale gas interests. The Telegraph reports BP has signed a second major co-operation deal with China National Petroleum Company to extract shale gas resources. The deal with CNPC covers the exploration and production of shale gas across a 386 square mile area at Rong Chang Bei in the Sichuan Basin. It follows a similar agreement in March this year to develop the adjoining Neijiang-Dazu block.
Green light for Humber River gas project. The Planning Portal reports that the Business and Energy Secretary, Greg Clark, has approved a £150m gas pipeline under the River Humber. Work is expected to start early next year. The project, to be in a 5km tunnel, will replace the existing pipeline which lies on the river bed. It is part of the national transmission system connecting an import terminal at Easington on the East Yorkshire coast to the wider network. Greg Clark decided there would be no significant impacts on the Humber Estuary Special Area of Conservation. Mitigation measures would “ensure the integrity” of the Humber Special Protection Area and Ramsar Site would be safeguarded.
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