DrillOrDrop’s digest of October’s news about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas developments in the UK and around the world.
- Minister overrules council’s refusal of Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking application and reopens inquiry on Roseacre Wood
- Shale opponents vow to fight on with legal challenges
- Mass arrests at Dakota pipeline protests
- Nationwide protests against Barclays Bank’s investment in fracking by Third Energy
- Company accounts: Cuadrilla loses $17.6m and Egdon £1.9m
- Planning condition delays restoration of Cuadrilla’s Becconsall site
- Two polls show shale gas support at record levels
- Decision deferred on IGas shale gas site at Misson over wildlife covenant
- Upton eviction trial sees five cases dismissed
- Water contamination concerns prompt objections to South Downs drilling plans
Read on for more details, more headlines and links
31 October 2016
Drilling Diary – November 2016. DrillorDrop listings for events about fracking, onshore oil and gas and campaigns around them.
‘Unattractive’ shale industry won’t take off in UK, analyst says. The Press and Journal reports comments by the Douglas Westwood analyst, Matt Cook, who predicts fracking will not turn into a thriving industry in the UK. He said shale was too small and nice in the UK because of the lack of big plays requiring serious investment.
Dakota Access pipeline protests: UN group investigates human rights abuses. The Guardian reports a representative of the UN’s permanent forum on indigenous issues has been collecting testimony from Dakota Access pipeline protesters who have raised concerns about excessive force, unlawful arrests and mistreatment in jail where some activists have been held in cages.
30 October 2016
Picture Post: Barclays anti-fracking protests. DrillOrDrop round-up of images from yesterday’s opposition to Barclays’ investment in Third Energy which has permission to frack in North Yorkshire. London Evening Standard, Cambridge News, Brighton Argus, Hertfordshire Mercury, Hastings and St Leonards Observer, MSN.com, Shoreham Herald
Fracking Week in Parliament – week ending 28 October 2016. DrillOrDrop report on debates and questions about fracking and shale gas.
How National Grid tried to keep £87m of consumers’ cash for pipelines it didn’t build. The Telegraph reports on criticism by Citizens Advice which accused National Grid of seeking to raise money on customers’ bills for new gas pipelines to reinforce the grid near Avonmouth. But by the time Ofgem, which determines what National Grid can charge bill payers for maintaining and upgrade networks, National Grid had decided the work was no longer needed. Despite this, National Grid argued it should be allowed to keep some or all of the £87m it had already collected.
29 October 2016
28 October 2016
“Illogical” planning condition delays restoration of Cuadrilla’s Lancashire shale gas site for one year. DrillOrDrop report
North Dakota pipeline: protesters pushed back after mass arrests, pepper spray – as it happened. The Guardian reports police made 117 arrests and used pepper spray on activists who had refused to back down over the disputed Dakota Access oil pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation. By the end of the day, the authorities said they had removed campaigners from a protest camp. NBC news, Reuters (141 arrests), Los Angeles Times
Doctors call for state ban on drilling and fracking. The Post-Gazette reports the call by the Pennsylvania Medical Society for a moratorium on new shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The Society is urging the state to establish an independent health registry and start studying fracking’s public health impacts. Its 300-member House of Delegates unanimously approved a resolution at its annual meeting on Sunday in Hershey. The resolution was rejected three years ago, but its author, Dr Walter Tsou, past president of the American Public Health Association, said “growing evidence has shown [fracking’s] deleterious effects outweighs any economic benefit”.
Upton community protection camp eviction trial summary. Frack Free Dee synopsis of the trial at Chester Magistrates court of people arrested at the eviction of the IGas site at Upton near Chester in January 2016.
Anti-fracking protest to take place in town centre tomorrow. The Swindon Advertiser reports on an anti-fracking protest outside Barclays in Swindon town centre against the bank’s investment in the fracking company, Third Energy. The protest is from 12-3pm on Saturday.
UK government expected to shrug off protestors’ lawsuit. Upstreamonline.com reports that the UK government is likely to give “short shrift” to a legal claim brought by law practice Leigh Day on behalf of Preston New Road Action Group. The website spoke to Mike Pocock, energy and planning partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, who said the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, was likely to knock back the claim. This would force PNRAG to decide whether or not to pursue their claim in court. He estimates a hearing would be early 2017 at the soonest, but more likely March or April.
27 October 2016
Irish fracking ban receives cross-party support. The Belfast Telegraph reports the Irish Parliament backed legislation by the Fine Gael TD, Tony McLoughlin, to outlaw drilling for shale gas from rocks, sand and coal seams in Ireland. The government cancelled proposals to stall the legislation until next June after Fianna Fail warned it would support any delay. Mr McLoughlin said agreement on the legislation was “a major win for the environment and for Irish politics”. EcoWatch, The Irish Independent
Are these oil companies set to be sunk by debt? The Motley Fool reports Premier Oil and IGas Energy are potentially heading for trouble because of high level of debt. The column says Premier has been getting monthly deferrals from lenders on its debt covenants and expects these to continue “until negotiations with its lending group conclude”. The decision by secured bondholders to turn down IGas’s request for a temporary waiver of daily liquidity covenants ratchets up the risk for shareholders.
Fylde coast shale gas supply chain events planned. The Blackpool Gazette reports that Lancashire for Shale, a group of local businesses supporting shale, is planning a series of supply chain events are to be staged over the next year for firms wanting to get into the shale gas industry. The paper says the purpose of the events is to create a forum that allows local firms to engage better with gas exploration firm Cuadrilla as the sector is set to grow. The events will feature speakers from America, Scotland’s offshore sector, the Lancashire business community and Cuadrilla.
Amec Foster Wheeler expects further decline in oil and gas. The FT reports that shares in the energy services group, Amec Foster Wheeler, fell 20% after it forecast another year of decline in its oil and gas business and a drop in solar power projects.
ConocoPhillips posts narrower than expected loss. The FT reports ConocoPhillips’ third-quarter earnings show the company in a stronger financial position than many of its peers. The US oil and gas group was able to pay for its capital spending and its dividend out of operating cash flow in the quarter, the FT says.
Theresa May must get serious about economic reform for Britain to weather Brexit turbulence. James Frayne, director of public opinion consultancy Public First, tells City Am “we need an end to the delays – and to expand shale gas exploration and drilling. This will help keep energy bills down for businesses and consumers and also help to develop a new industry that will spread jobs and wealth. While the government has been quietly supportive of shale, if it truly believes in a cheaper and more secure energy supply, it needs to come out and make the case – and pass legislation that will make it happen.”
26 October 2016
IGas shares fall 9% after bondholders disagree over debt terms. DrillOrDrop report
Upton anti-fracking protest cases dismissed. BBC News reports a judge has dismissed the cases against five anti-fracking campaigners who took part in a “peaceful and understated” protest. Nine people were arrested during an operation to evict land at Upton near Chester in January. Lanner Davies and Jamie Douglas Watson were found guilty of resisting bailiffs and received one-year conditional discharges and ordered to pay £150 costs. The cases against Cllr Matthew Bryan, Trky Cairns, John Thomas Hall, Louise Hammond and Simon John Stafford Smith were dismissed. Richard Burcumshaw was found not guilty of assaulting a constable and a charge of using threatening behaviour was dismissed. The judge said he was “wholly unimpressed by the prosecution evidence” against Mr Burcumshaw. Cllr Bryan described the case as “a colossal waste of police money and local authority money”. The case of Amelia Bish will be heard next year. Chester Chronicle and The Chester Standard
Bill to ban fracking paused until 2017. The Leitrim Observer reports that the Irish Government proposes to pause Deputy Tony McLoughlin’s bill to ban fracking from progressing through parliament until June 2017. The bill, due to be debated on Thursday 27 October but the government has proposed an amendment which will pause the committee stage until next summer. TD McLoughlin said “I believe that this is in order to allow due process to take place with regard to the EPA research process and to allow the Department time to consider its findings before the Committee Stage commences”. Belfast Telegraph. Sinn Fein TD, Martin Kenny, told the Leitrim Observer the government’s amendment as “a sinister and deceitful development”.
Fracking ban could lead to major power shortages in Scotland, warns Institute of Directors boss. The Dundee Courier reports comments by David Watt, head of the Institute of Directors in Scotland. He called on the SNP government to lift the moratorium on fracking to avoid power shortages, which he said could cripple the economy. He said: “There seems to be a gap emerging between the electricity we demand and what we are able to produce and we are not going to meet that just from wind and other renewables. Our electricity consumption is going up. We all thought it was going down, but we need more than ever. Fracking is not perfect but it must be given a chance.”
Activists to picket Swansea bank in anti-fracking protest. The South Wales Evening Post reports on the protest by Swansea and Gower Green Party outside Barclays on Oxford Street, Swansea, on Saturday 29 October over the bank’s investment in the fracking company, Third Energy.
Colchester and District Green Party holds anti-fracking protest on Barclay’s doorstep. The Colchester Gazette reports that the Colchester and District Green Party is holding a demonstration outside the town’s High Street branch of Barclays, starting at 1.30pm.
West country welcomes mining but we should shun fracking. Molly Scott Cato, MEP, writing in the Plymouth Herald, says the Paris Agreement on tackling climate change means fracking and a dash for gas are incompatible with the commitment to holding global temperature rise to under 2C. Given 2016 is set to be the hottest year on record, there is a sense of urgency.
25 October 2016
Water contamination concerns prompt objections to oil production plans in South Downs National Park. DrillorDrop
Bill to ban fracking looks set to be voted through in the Dail. The Irish Times reports that a private members bill by Fine Gael Deputy, Tony McLoughlin, proposing a ban on fracking is likely to be backed by all parties when it is tabled on Thursday 26 October.
24 October 2016
Fracking protest sees Ryedale mother and daughter set up home in Barclays. DrillOrDrop report on the start of a week of protests against Barclays Bank’s involvement in Third Energy. MinsterFM (Anti-fracking protest at Barclays in Malton); Gazette & Herald (Anti-fracking protest outside Barclays bank in Malton)
What’s happening this week? DrillOrDrop listings of events, including nationwide protest against Barclays Bank investment in fracking, plus continuing Upton eviction trial, film screenings, consultation deadlines and public meetings.
Fracking Linked to Cancer-Causing Chemicals, New YSPH Study Funds. Yale School of Public Health reports that its researchers have confirmed numerous carcinogens involved in the processes of fracking have the potential to contaminate air and water for nearby communities. A study by the school found that more than 80% of chemicals that may be released into air or water lacked sufficient data on cancer-causing potential. Of 119 compounds with sufficient data, 55 unique compounds had carcinogenic potential. 20 chemicals had evidence of increased risk of leukaemia or lymphoma. Unconventional oil and gas development and risk of childhood leukaemia: Assessing the evidence in Science of the Total Environment
Fracking gives time for a new era in the North Sea oil industry, says leading expert. Herald Scotland reports on comments by Babs Oyeneyin, Professor of Petroleum Engineering at Robert Gordon University, who gives a public lecture on Wednesday in Aberdeen. He will say the North Sea oil industry could have a long bright future with the proper technological advances, but in the meantime shale oil and gas reserves must be exploited.
Rodborough says no to fracking in Gloucestershire. Stroud News reports that Rodborough Parish Council has strongly disagreed with Gloucestershire County Council’s draft minerals local plan which includes a policy supporting fracking. The parish described fracking as an immature technology that could have a devastating impact on the environment and local communities. The vote follows a decision by Stroud Town Council to also oppose any move towards unconventional gas extraction in the county.
Don’t say UK Government isn’t careful over fracking. Sandy Telfer, writing in The Scotsman says the recent decision over Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking appeals shows the UK Government’s approach to decision-making is every bit as cautions and evidence-based as that which the Scottish government stated will apply when it reviews the moratorium in Scotland.
23 October 2016
12 new fracking studies: shale oil and gas resources, public attitudes, impacts and regulation. DrillOrDrop report
Exposed: How top university helped secure £9million of YOUR money by passing off rivals’ research as its own… to bankroll climate change agenda. MailOnline reports that the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy claimed it was responsible for work that was published before the organisation existed in its bid for government funds. A spokesperson for the CCCEP is quoted as saying the centre had made mistakes in claiming credit for studies it had not funded and for papers published by rival academics and would take steps to amend them.
Local writers support ban on fracking. The Leitrim Observer reports local writers, including author and Irish Times columnist Michael Harding, and poets and writers Brian Leydon, Monica Corish and Children’s author Gerry Boland, wore anti-fracking tee-shirts at the Ballinamore Words Ireland series last night. Their action comes as Tony McLoughlin prepares to introduced a bill to ban fracking in the Irish parliament, the Dail, on 27 October.
Anglers stage lake protest in support of anti-fracking Bill. The Irish Times reports anglers and canoeists held a rally at Border lake on Saturday to put pressure on political parties to support a Private Member’s Bill to ban fracking.
22 October 2016
Horse protest against drilling. People living in a West Sussex village near UKOG’s proposed oil production site at Markwells Wood took to horseback to protest about the scheme currently before the South Downs National Park Authority.
21 October 2016
Fracking Week in Parliament. DrillOrDrop’s round-up of what politicians had to say about fracking and onshore oil and gas.
Police inspector cleared over controversial arrest of ‘drink drive suspect’ at fracking protest. The Manchester Evening News reports a police inspector filmed carrying out an arrest of a legal observer at an anti-fracking protest at Barton Moss has been cleared of any wrong-doing. David Keho denied abusing his powers and “barracking” Steven Peers before ordering his arrest in January 2014. An independent panel cleared Inspector Kehoe of gross misconduct following a week-long hearing. He was previously cleared by an internal investigation by Greater Manchester Police. Dr Peers described the result as “yet another GMP cover-up”.
Campaigner’s case dismissed. Frack Free Dee coalition reports that the case against Simon Stafford-Smith, arrested at the eviction of the Upton Protection Camp, was dismissed at his trial at Chester Magistrates Court today.
Stroud Town Council moves to oppose ‘terrible blight’ of fracking in county. Stroud News reports Stroud Town Council has adopted a policy against fracking for gas in Gloucestershire. Councillors are also objecting to Gloucestershire’s draft minerals plan and its policy to support unconventional oil and gas production.
Protesters alarm shoppers with fake ‘fracking’ survey in Bentham. The Craven Herald reports a team of five from Wenningdale Climate Action Network (WeCAN) carried out its own ‘fracking survey’ in taking over a dozen “readings” from various monitoring points on Bentham Main Street on a busy Saturday morning. WeCAN member Richard Wilson said: “Our message to concerned Bentham shoppers was that shale gas should be left in the ground.”
Shell to sell $1B of Canada shale oil, gas assets. Market Watch reports that Royal Dutch Shell PLC is to sell $1 billion of shale oil and gas assets in Western Canada as part of a global divestment programme to raise money and streamline its business.
Kenny to support anti-fracking bill. The Leitrim Observer reports Sinn Fein’s Martin Kenny, TD for Sligo, Leitrim, West Cavan and South Donegal, is to support the anti-fracking bill to be debated in the Dail next week.
Fracking alternative firm moves to Warwickshire. InsiderMedia reports that Nota Bene Research, which is leading a project to develop an alternative to fracking has moved to the Stoneleigh Park rural innovation centre. The company’s engineer, Nick Barnett, said his drilling technology could provide an “environmentally acceptable way of accessing the UK shale gas reserves”.
Watching CCI and RSI levels on IGas Energy PLC. YankeeAnalysts.com reports on IGas shares.
Can IGAS Energy PLC’s Tomorrow Be Different? The Stock Increases Again. Frisco Fastball describes IGas stock as a “huge mover” as 741,695 shares traded hands and stock increased 7.14% to hit 13.12p. It said IGas had been the topic of 13 analyst reports since 11 September 2015 and had received buy and speculative buy ratings.
K 2016: ‘Shale gas can help UK’s supply situation’, says Ineos executive. PRW.com reports comments by Tom Crotty, a director with INEOS. He said the development of shale gas in the UK could help secure the country’s gas supply and reduce dependence on imports. He was speaking at a KI Group conference in Dusseldorf on the future of polymer sourcing.
20 October 2016
Chesapeake Energy Declares ‘Propageddon’ With Record Frack. Bloomberg Markets reports comments by Chesapeake that it had set a record for fracking by pumping more than 25,000 tons of sand down on Louisiana shale gas well. The large volume is able to prop open bigger and more numerous cracks for oil and gas to flow, the company said. Output from the well increased 70% over traditional fracking techniques.
Onshore wind farms more popular than thought, UK poll finds. The Guardian reports on a ComRes poll for climate change charity 10:10, which found that 73% of the British public supported onshore windfarms, compared with 17% who opposed. This compares with newspaper comment and editorial articles in the past five years, which according to Imperial College is 66% negative about windfarms. The ComRes poll found even stronger support for solar energy (83% in favour and 8% against), while fracking was supported by 34% and opposed by 45%. Support for nuclear stood at 46%, compared with opposition of 37%. The poll interviewed 2,037 British adults online on 12-13 October 2016.
CML launches fracking policy review. MortgageIntroducer.com reports that the Council of Mortgage Lenders has announced a policy review into the impact of fracking on mortgage applications. The CML told DrillOrDrop this was “overstating the position”. A spokesperson said:
“It is early days and this is a developing situation. As yet there is no industry position but that’s not to say there will be an industry position in future.”
“Security” fears means delay for anti-fracking campaigner’s court hearing. The Blackpool Gazette reports that the court case of well-known anti-fracking campaigner, Tina Rothery, who faces jail for contempt of court, has been delayed because of security fears. Ms Rothery was served with a summons during a protest outside Buckingham Palace which said she would be sent to Styal Prison in Cheshire to serve 14 days but she should appear in court on 19 October. The hearing was then adjourned to a date and venue to be fixed.
Fracking industry advances with phase one exploratory applications in South Africa. The Ecologist reports that initial exploratory for shale oil and gas could begin in South Africa in a matter of weeks if current applications are successful. The most advanced proposals, to explore the Eastern Cape from south of Lesotho to Mount Fletcher, are under review. Texas-based Rhino Oil & Gas has submitted an environmental impact assessment that could lead to exploration around Matatiele municipality in weeks.
Quality of life v the push for fracking and airport expansion. Two letter writers to The Guardian question the government’s support for fracking. They question the morality of offering payments to people who live near fracking sites.
Major risks in shale chase. David Mellor, writing in The Burnley Express about shale gas potential in the Ribble Valley, says “To those who live here the exploration and extraction of shale gas in east Lancashire will have an impact on the residents of the area and these impacts should not be taken lightly in pursuit of hydrocarbons and profit”.
OPEC price war offers meagre rewards as US shale survives. Energy Voice reports from the Oil and Money Conference in London (DrillOrDrop was refused a press pass). Rex Tillerson, chief executive of Exxon, said “We have confirmed the viability of a very large resource base [of shale] in North America. Never bet against the creativity and tenacity of this segment of our industry.” But Energy Voice says Khalid Al-Falih, the Saudi energy minister, and Patrick Pouyanne, the CEO of French oil giant Total, warned that two years of low prices and investment cuts have left the global industry ill equipped to supply enough oil by the end of the decade.
Fracking decision disregards democracy. Jane Wood, of Keep East Lancashire Frack Free, writes to Pendle Today in response to a letter by Tony Raynor on leaving fracking to the experts. Ms Wood refers to reports which detail risks of fracking. She said the Faculty of Public Health had called for the decision to allow fracking at Preston New Road to be reversed. “Petroleum Exploration Development Licences have been granted across East Lancashire and this decision could give the ‘green light’ to these companies”, she says.
19 October 2016
Police hearing told how protest volunteer wore pig mask and ‘hated GMP’. The Manchester Evening News reports on the latest day of a gross misconduct hearing against Greater Manchester Police inspector David Kehoe, following an arrest at protests at Barton Moss. The man arrested, Dr Steven Peers, denied he had an agenda against the police and said he was an independent legal observer. But a series of YouTube videos were played which showed him dressed as a GMP officer in a pig mask pretending to beat up protesters. Dr Peers said this was an April Fool’s joke. Dr Peers said he witnessed “a lot of police brutality” at the protests and had since become a determined activist.
Police officer ‘tried to frame fracking protester for drink driving’. Metro reports Greater Manchester Police Inspector David Kehoe told a junior officer to breathalyse anti-fracking campaigner, Dr Steven Peers, falsely accusing him of driving to the protest site at Barton Moss. Video footage shown to a gross misconduct hearing showed Inspector Kehoe saying “You’ve just told me you’ve had two drinks. Dr Peers insisted he had been drinking tea and had a lift to the site. Inspector Kehoe faces charges that he abused police powers and failed standards of honesty and integrity.
Chester court hears anti-fracking councillor called police ‘shameful’. The Chester Chronicle reports on the case of eight anti-fracking campaigners evicted from the IGas Dutton’s Lane site at Upton near Chester. They include Matt Bryan, a labour councillor for Upton on Cheshire West and Chester Council. All have pleaded not guilty to offences arising from the eviction 12 January 2016. The paper said the court saw videos of the confrontation between bailiffs, police and campaigners. BBC News
Harrogate Votes For A “Frack Free” Future. The Harrogate News reports on the latest debate which saw a vote by 10: 1 in favour of the motion that “This House calls for an immediate end to fracking in the UK”. Blog post on the debate by Michael Roberts featuring the case by against the motion by Ken Wilkinson
Tarvin man to challenge Government over town’s fracking extension. The Chester Standard reports that Benjamin Dean, from Tarvin, has applied for permission to take the government to court over extensions to drilling licences. (See DrillOrDrop report)
Why drill for gas here? David Burley, of Frack Free South Yorkshire, writes to The Star that IGas’s proposed shale gas site at Misson Springs is “a shockingly poor choice”. He said IGas had “not provided a satisfactory justification. Rather, it is felt that the site was chosen for their convenience, logistics and security, rather than environmental and other material planning consideration.”. He said:
“Misson is a one through- road village and, thanks to quarrying, the TunnelTech mushroom growing company and Robin Hood airport, the IGas drilling will effectively hem the village in. The Misson villagers will be subject to increases in traffic, noise and odours from all directions. The site is only 125 metres from the Misson Carr SSSI Nature Reserve. Natural England has said that there will be adverse air quality impacts that will affect the SSSI. The site is on a Flood Risk 3a area (this means ‘high risk’) and IGas has failed the key Site Sequential Test. The site is a former training ground for bomber crews and, as such, there is an unknown quantity of unexploded ordnance in the ground. And they want to drill there!”
Green Investment Bank buyer backs fracking and coal. Energy Desk reports that the group expected to acquire the UK’s Green Investment Bank, the Australian bank Macquarie, has loaned billions of pounds to help finance fossil fuel projects around the world. They include fracking in the UK to open cast coal in Australia. Energy Desk says Macquarie is the largest shareholder of Hutton Energy, which holds fracking licences in the UK.
Fracking row: agency group responds to protest organisation. Estate Agent Today reports a response from the Fisher German group following accusations of conflicts of interest over shale gas sites. See DrillorDrop report
Anti-fracking groups welcome new bill to ban process in Ireland. Ocean FM reports anti-fracking groups welcoming a new bill to ban fracking in Ireland which will be debated for the first time in the Dail next week.
18 October 2016
Investigation underway into firms accused of conflict of interest in negotiations over seismic monitoring access. DrillorDrop report
UK oil firms’ Arctic bid to face historic lawsuit. Greenpeace Nordic and Nature & Youth announce at a press conference in Oslo they have filed a lawsuit against the Norwegian government’s decision to hand out drilling licences covering a large area of the Barents Sea. British companies hold interests in seven of the 10 new licences. They include Centrica, Tullow, Cairn Energy and a BP spin-off Aker BP ASA. The lawsuit will, says Greenpeace, be seen as a test case of whether the Paris climate agreement can add legal weight to challenges against oil developments in a court of law.
STEPHEN TINDALE As a lifelong Green, I’M convinced fracking’s the only solution to energy problems. The Sun carries a piece by Stephen Tindale who describes the approval of fracking in Lancashire as “a great start but that’s all it is. He continues: We need dozens more like it if Britain is to meet our energy needs in the decades to come. And if activist groups including Greenpeace really want to help the environment, they should stop protesting about projects like this and let them be built as quickly as possible.”
What the frack, Jeremy? Ineos writes huffy letter to Corbyn complaining about Labour policy. CityAm reports that Gary Haywood, chief executive of INEOS Shale has written to Jeremy Corbyn to complain about Labour plans to ban fracking if it were elected. Mr Haywood said fracking would create 74,000 jobs in the UK and £33bn of investment. Labour responded saying current plans for fracking could not be made compatible with safeguards needed.
UK oil companies set to drill in the Arctic. Greenpeace Energy Desk reports British oil companies, including BP, Centrica, Tullow Oil and Cairn Energy, have interests in 7 of the 10 new oil licences in the Norwegian Arctic.
Green subsidies will cost us £164 a year by 2020 because ministers failed to spend money on energy schemes more wisely. MailOnline reports that families will be paying £164 on their energy bills by 2020 to subsidise wind farms and cut greenhouse gas emissions. The paper quotes the National Audit Office as saying that the figure is higher than expected because failed to spend money on green energy schemes wisely.
Plan hopes to protest the goose that laid the golden egg. The Northern Echo reports that North Yorkshire County Council has produced a planning blueprint to protect the landscape and tourism, after approving the first fracking scheme in the UK for five years. The mineral and waste plan, running to 1,500 pages, will operate up to 2030.
Businesses queue up for Fylde coast shale gas work. The Blackpool Gazette reports comments by business leaders that firms are lining up to “grab a slice of the action in the shale gas revolution. The North and Western Lancashire and East Lancashire Chambers of Commerce said the number of businesses registered with its supply chain portal has increased 15%, to almost 780, since Cuadrilla’s site at Preston New Road was approved on 6 October. Opponents say most jobs will go to people already in the industry.
Gasland filmmaker says fight must go on against fracking. The Blackpool Gazette reports comments by filmmaker, Josh Fox, in response to the Government go-ahead for fracking at Preston New Road. During a visit to Lytham and Blackpool, he said: “This is not a time to roll over. They have overturned democracy.” He urged people not to give up: “We have to take more extreme measures – peaceful measures to oppose this. This is no time to roll over. “We need better forms of energy; we need to move on from oil and gas.”
Frackers profit from shifting fortunes in the oil price war. Ed Crooks, writing in the FT, says “more than 100 North American exploration and production companies have gone bankrupt since the start of 2015 but generally they have been the stragglers with higher debts and higher costs. The stronger companies have survived and are well placed to expand, and the number of oil rigs running in the US is rising again.” The real strain, he says, is outside the US in Venezuela and other Opec members and in the pressure on the dividends of large international companies, such as Royal Dutch Shell.
Exxon Chooses War in New York’s Probe of Climate Change Research. Bloomberg reports ExxonMobil Corp has moved to block a New York state investigation into whether it covered up its knowledge of climate change. New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, launched a fraud investigation in November 2015, based on suspicion that Exxon misled investors, regulators and the public on what it knew about climate change dating back to the late 1970s. On Monday, Bloomberg says, Exxon asked a federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas, to in effect shut down the New York investigation for “political bias”. The company has claimed a similar argument against Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey.
Oil groups ‘threatened’ by electric cars. The FT reports that oil companies face a “resounding negative” threat from the sharp growth of electric cards, according to a study by the credit agency Fitch Ratings. It urges energy companies to plan for “radical change” spurred by new technologies that could arrive faster than expected. “They need to have a plan”, says Alex Griffiths, a Fitch managing director.
GMP inspector in anti-fracking arrest row faces disciplinary. The Manchester Evening News reports from a disciplinary hearing that Inspector David Kehoe was filmed barracking a legal observer at an anti-fracking protest at Barton Moss in January 2014. The hearing heard that the officer was ‘discourteous’, peppered Dr Steven Peers with questions, including at least two about drink-driving, and ‘failed to listen to the answers’ before arresting the protester for failing to provide a specimen of breath. Inspector Kehoe was cleared by an internal GMP investigation but Dr Peers took his case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which ordered the force to bring the officer before a disciplinary hearing.
Cost to police Lancashire fracking protests revealed. The Lancashire Evening Telegraph reports new figures which show the cost of policing and monitoring anti-fracking protests in Lancashire averages around £32,000 a year. A Freedom of Information request revealed the total cost of policing fracking demonstrations in the past three years is £63,840 and the average for April 2014-March 2016 was £31,920.
Security fears at Leith Hill oil site as drilling date gets closer. The Surrey Mirror reports extra security fencing could be erected around the Leith Hill oil drilling site as the company behind the drilling tries to minimise the risks from protesters. Europa Oil & Gas UK Ltd has submitted a planning application for increased security at the site, where it has permission for 18 weeks of drilling on the site. It asks for two layers of perimeter fencing, one 2m high and one 3m high to completely enclose the site.
Gandalf takes ‘Don’t Frack the Shires’ message to Downing Street. Grandfather Rick Guest has arrived in London after walking from Hereford to protest about fracking. Mr Guest, dressed as Gandalf, planned to deliver a ring to the prime minister as a symbol of the threat of fracking. He said: “My message to the government is that fracking is dangerous to our water systems and the climate. We don’t need it, we don’t want it, and we will resist it in every way possible.” Hereford Times
Assessing the cost reduction potential and competitiveness of novel (next generation) UK carbon capture technology. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is tendering for a specialist supplier to investigate the techno-economics of novel UK carbon capture innovation. The closing date for the tender is 10 November 2016 and the contract runs from 28 November 2016-29 September 2017.
17 October 2016
New drilling and testing plans submitted for Horse Hill, near Gatwick. MEP says they’re ‘affront to local communities’ and form of climate change denial. DrillorDrop report. Lse.co.uk, Evening Standard, Rigzone
What’s happening this week. DrillOrDrop diary of events about fracking and onshore oil and gas
Residents react strongly to oil company boss’s comments on Markwells Wood drilling application in South Downs National Park. People living near the Markwells Wood oil well near Forestside in West Sussex gathered to protest about their concerns about plans for 20 years of oil production plans by UK Oil & Gas Investments PLC. The residents, pictured above, say the company has not disclosed enough information about chemicals to be used in the process. Reed Paget, a local resident said:
“UKOG claimed in a recent interview to be transparent, so why won’t they tell us what chemicals they want to inject under our homes, villages and drinking water supply? And if they are as responsible as they have also claimed, why won’t they commit to pay for the clean-up of any water pollution that may occur as a result of their operations?
“We think local residents have a right to know more and express their concerns about potential problems that may arise from this scheme.”
Ministers must phase out diesel to reduce deaths from air pollution, says Friends of the Earth. In a press release, the charity says the government is due in court on 18 October 2016) to face claims that it has failed to put adequate plans in place to tackle the UK’s illegally dirty air. FoE says that in April 2015 the government was ordered by the UK Supreme Court to take immediate action to clean up the UK’s air, following a court case brought by legal campaign group ClientEarth. But the government’s plans to deal with the UK’s Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) pollution problem, which should have meant our air was brought within EU legal limits in the “shortest time possible”, are considered so feeble, that they are now being taken back to court.
What does it take to ‘really’ take control of our energy system? David Powell, of the New Economics Foundation, writing for Business Green, says fracking is about as far from locally-controlled energy as you can get. It is “pretty outrageous” to suggest that communities that are being fracked are in control of what happens. A system with communities in control would be designed to deliver social and environmental goals first, not profits.
IGas Energy’s UK shale gas resources estimated at 11 trillion cubic feet. Proactive Investors reports IGas Energy has detailed some 11 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of potentially recoverable gas resources in its UK shale portfolio, which marks it as a “world class” asset. The figure is a third-party assessment of the assets by DeGolyerr and MacNaughten, which estimates a total of 102tcf of shale gas in place across the IGas projects. The 11tcf figure is an estimate of the unrisked prospective resource. IGas statement
Dirty diesel generators in line for UK subsidies. The Telegraph reports that Britain is poised to fund a major expansion of dirty diesel power, after up to 246 proposed new projects with a combined capacity that could exceed Hinkley Point qualified for a Government subsidy scheme. The paper quotes green think-tank Sandbag as saying they could be in line for consumer-funded subsidies of £800m over 15 years.
U.S. shale output drop seen for 12th straight month in November: EIA. Reuters reports that US shale oil production is expected to fall for a 12th consecutive month in November, according to a government forecast. The US Energy Information Administration said November production was expected to fall by 30,000 barrels per day to 4.43m bpd, the lowest since March 2014. The biggest decline is expected in the Eagle Ford in Texas.
Fracking decision is short sighted. Tanya Jones, writing to The letters page of the Belfast Newsletter, says the Secretary of State’s decision over fracking in Lancashire “sends an ominous warning to the rest of the United Kingdom”.
Anti-Fracking Rally 12th November. Frack Free Lancashire reports on plans for a national march and rally against fracking in Manchester city centre.
16 October 2016
In their clamour for shale gas, ministers forgot the climate agreement. Professor Kevin Anderson, writing to The Guardian, says “No amount of spin or legal obfuscation can reconcile the UK government’s clamour for shale gas with its obligations as enshrined in the Paris climate change agreement. Consequently, when the UK’s communities secretary, Sajid Javid, gave the go-ahead for fracking in Lancashire (Report, 7 October), he was making a clear statement that the government has no interest in abiding by either the spirit or the maths of the Paris agreement.” He says shale gas produces carbon dioxide emissions 30-90 times higher than renewables or nuclear when used to generate electricity. Even with CCS, electricity from shale gas is still 10 times higher than low carbon power generation.
Public Opposition to Fracking Grows Worldwide. EcoWatch reports that fears that fracking contaminates water supplies and creates small earthquakes is leading to a backlash in local communities across the world. The article also appears in Climate News Network
Communities in Notts are split over fracking. The Hucknall Dispatch presents different arguments for and against shale gas extraction. The debate surrounding fracking will continue for months and years to come, he predicts.
Quality of life has a price. The frackers should pay it. Mary Dejevsky, writing in The Guardian, calls for a quality-of-life cost to major works that should be priced in at the beginning.
14 October 2016
Fracking week in parliament. DrillOrDrop review of what politicians said about fracking this week.
Majority of potential UK fracking sites are rich in important wildlife. The Guardian reports on a study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology, which finds that two-thirds of the areas that have been recently marked as potential sites for fracking have levels of biodiversity equal to or above the national average. Press release by University of Reading and Wired.com
Shale and nuclear are the way to keep the lights on. Jim Ratcliffe, chief executive of INEOS, writing in The Telegraph, says “For the foreseeable future, the UK is dependent on gas and nuclear for its primary energy needs to serve the general public and industry/commerce. Our energy policy for the next 10 years should give priority to exploiting shale gas safely and to building “tried and tested” new nuclear. It really is not so complicated.”
Council won’t commit to outright ban on fracking in Bolton. The Bolton News reports that Bolton Council has refused to say it will ban fracking outright in the borough. Last year, council leader, Cliff Morris, said the council would seek to block fracking applications on land owned by the authority as “a starting point”. At a meeting of the full council on 12 October, Cllr Morris said: “It is still a matter of where fracking applications are made on our land we will ban them. But for other applications we will look at each of them on their own merit and look at what is needed.”
Letters – October 14, 2016. The Blackpool Gazette carries two letters opposing the government’s approval of a plan to frack in Lancashire.
After landmark ruling allows fracking in Lancashire, UK gears up for direct action protests. Occuypy.com interviews opponents of fracking who plan to give shale gas companies a few sleepless nights wondering what direct action will happen next.
13 October 2016
Support for fracking falls to all-time low – Nottingham University poll. DrillOrDrop review of this and other recent shale gas surveys, including INEOS polling and parish ballots. The Guardian, Business Green Business Green, The Telegraph; The Northern Echo (Fracking firm Third Energy brushes off decline in public support)
Lancashire anti-fracking campaigners call on Prime Minister to honour her promise to stand up for all and fight ‘burning injustice. DrillOrDrop report
UK government ‘short’ on climate target. BBC News reports on advice from the Committee on Climate Change that the government is not on track to meets its pledge of cutting emissions by 80% by 2050. The CCC advises the government to not pursue the Paris Agreement commitment to hold temperature rise to 1.5C. it says: The most important contribution the government can make now to the Paris Agreement is publishing a robust plan to meet the UK carbon budgets and delivering policies in line with the plan.” It says the government can re-visit the 1.5C ambition in the future. Carbon brief (UK needs negative emissions to comply with Paris climate deal)
Jurassic shale of the Wessex area: resource estimation report. The British Geological Survey announces its estimate of the total amount of shale oil in place in the Jurassic rocks of the Wessex area at between 0.2 and 2.8 billion barrels or 32-378 million tonnes. The central estimate is 1.1bbl or 149 million tonnes. No significant gas resource is identified. The BGS says this is because the shale is not thought to have reached geological maturity. DrillOrDrop plans to report on this in more detail soon.
Shale industry sues to block new Pa. drilling rules. Philly.com reports that the shale gas industry has filed a legal challenge to block new rules intended to reduce the surface impacts of oil and gas drilling in Pennsylvania.
Poland Reaches End of The Road for Shale Gas Prospects. OilPrice.com reports that Poland’s race to explore shale gas is over after the state-run firm PGNIG and oil refiner PKN Orlen cancelled exploration projects.
Fracking trumps climate change, pollution, health and democracy. Tony Bosworth, of Friends of the Earth, writing for The Ecologist, criticises comments by Sajid Javid in his announcement to give fracking the go-ahead in Lancashire. He said fracking represents a “positive contribution towards the reduction of carbon. Tony Bosworth quotes Kevin Anderson, professor of Energy and Climate Change at Manchester University:
“Let’s be absolutely clear. The development of a UK shale gas industry is incompatible with the UK Government’s climate change obligations as enshrined in the Paris Agreement. No amount of eloquent political spin, legal obfuscation or pseudo-scientific camouflage can reconcile the Government’s clamour for shale gas with the carbon budgets underpinning the Paris 2°C and 1.5°C commitments. Instead of clinging to the last vestiges of a fossil fuel industry, we need a genuine low carbon transformation, and fast.”
EPA Agrees Its Emissions Estimates From Flaring May Be Flawed. Inside Climate News reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to re-examine the accuracy of its 33-year-old estimates of air pollution from flaring near refineries and at oil and gas drilling sites. The website says the agreement comes in the wake of a lawsuit against the EPA by four environmental organizations. They claimed that air samples near oil refineries in Houston showed elevated levels of volatile organic compounds, chemicals associated with threats to public health and smog-forming pollution. Those levels, the plaintiffs said, were 10 to 100 times higher than being reported under outdated and inaccurate formulas that estimate levels of air pollution.
Roseacre Roads can’t cope with fracking traffic. Frack Free Lancashire carries a recorded piece from That’s Lancashire about the proposed lorry route to Cuadrilla’s Roseacre Wood site.
12 October 2016
Minister’s fracking decision on Roseacre Wood has “unleashed a dragon” of anger says community group. DrillOrDrop report
Confirmed – vast majority of purchasers won’t buy near fracking site. Estate Agent Today reports on a survey of a thousand adults by One Poll for House Extension Online on their attitudes to buying near a fracking site. 64% said they would be reluctant to buy a home near a fracking site, and 43% said they were “very unlikely” to do so. People aged 45-54 were most unlikely to buy near a fracking site (68%), compared with 59% for 18-34 year olds. Women were more unlikely to buy near a site than men (63%:54%).
Call for UK Experts in Climate Change to scope IPCC Sixth Assessment Report. The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is inviting UK experts to express their interest in helping to scope the Sixth Assessment Report for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Bond Summons: Temporary Waiver. IGas issues a bond summons to seek a temporary waiver of its daily liquidity covenant and to amend certain notice provisions for bondholder meetings and allow a written resolution procedure. The summons follows half-year results which forecast non-compliance with the daily liquidity covenant in the second half of October. IGas says “This temporary waiver is intended to provide a platform for discussions with the Company’s stakeholders in order to reach an agreement on a sustainable capital structure for the Group.” The meeting will take place on 26 October 2016 Proactive Investors
‘Another low for transparency’ as minutes of John Swinney’s talks with Ineos never taken. Herald Scotland reports that transparency campaigners have called on SNP ministers to “back up their rhetoric” over openness with action after it emerged that discussions between deputy first minister, John Swinney, and INEOS senior figures in February were not minuted. This means that details of what was discussed cannot be disclosed under Freedom of Information laws.
All the Ways Theresa May Is Screwing Up the Environment. Vice News reports on threats to the environment by the government. It includes on the list approving fracking for its additional greenhouse gas emissions.
Fracking won’t be safe, warn experts. The Ferret reports on a study by Professor Andrew Watterson and Dr Will Dinan from the University of Stirling that regulatory agencies lack the staff and resources to protect the public from pollution risks. No-one has worked out how to make sure that regulation is effective, they say. Professor Watterson says: “We are now asked to believe assertions stating regulations will again protect us and ensure the new fossil fuel shale gas fracking industry will always maintain good practice. This smacks of policy-making madness as we face a global climate change disaster”. The article contains an embedded copy of the report.
‘We have no intention of fracking’ at Broadford Bridge says UKOG. The Midhurst and Petworth Observer reports a spokesperson for UKOG: We do not need to frack, we don’t have a licence to frack and we have no intention ever of fracking on that site. We are not a fracking company and this is not shale gas.” Broadford Bridge, near Billingshurst, in West Sussex, has planning permission for an exploratory oil well.
Labour table motion against fracking in Pendle. Pendle Today reports that Cllr Yasser Iqbal, who represents Reedley, on Pendle Borough Council, has tabled this motion:
“Council notes with disappointment the decision by the Communities Secretary to ignore local democracy and grant a fracking licence in Lancashire. Council also notes the decision of the Conservative government to allow companies to apply for fracking in parts of Pendle namely Brierfield. Council resolves to: Write to the Prime Minister and the Communities Secretary to not proceed any further with plans to grant licences which allow fracking in Pendle [and] write to Andrew Stephenson MP asking him to publicly speak against fracking.”
Shale gas boosts UK manufacturing, says INEOS. Energy Live News reports comments by Tom Pickering, Operations Director at INEOS Shale that shale gas has a positive impact on UK manufacturing. He says: “We produce all of those things that go into the goods that we use in our everyday lives. It keeps that manufacturing occurring, potentially part of a manufacturing renaissance in the UK and that has really been a central part of the story for us. It’s providing base building blocks into UK manufacturing. Ten years ago, UK manufacturing accounted for 25% of GDP, now it accounts for less than 10%. That’s not a decline, it’s a real collapse but we think that by bringing in low cost feedstock and securing low cost energy, you can keep manufacturing happening here in the UK.”
America’s About to Double the Shale Gas It Sends Overseas. Bloomberg reports that Cheniere Energy Inc was cleared by regulators to start loading tankers with liquefied natural gas from a second plant at its Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana. The company’s two plants can each produced the equivalent of 650m cubic feet a day. Next year Cheniere plans to bring online a third plant and begin commissioning a fourth.
Mark Ruffalo: President Obama, you still have time to ban fracking. EcoWatch reports that actor Mark Ruffalo and documentary filmmaker Jon Bowermaster sent a letter on Tuesday calling of President Obama to take immediate action to address fracking during his last 100 days in office. Ruffalo narrates a documentary by Bowermaster which includes three years of interviews with scientists, economists, health professionals, geologists and whistle-blowers about the impact of drilling and fracking.
11 October 2016
Fracking regulators plan 19 more public information sessions in shale gas areas. DrillOrDrop report
Germany pushes to ban petrol-fuelled cars within next 20 years. The Independent reports that the German Bundesrat has passed a resolution banning combustion engine cars by 2030. If the ban were to go through, German citizens would only be permitted to purchase electric or hydrogen-fuelled cars. The resolution, which has received cross-party support but has no legislative effect, calls on the European Commission to implement the ban across the European Union.
BP ditches plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight. The Guardian reports that BP has decided not to go ahead with plans to drill for oil in the commonwealth marine reserve in the Great Australian Bight. It had predicted that the area’s potential was as big as the Gulf of Mexico where there are now more than 4,000 rigs. The Guardian says the news comes after repeated requests for more information from the Australian regulator and growing public concern about the impact of drilling and any potential oil spill.
Council urged to ban fracking as concerns mount. The Warrington Guardian reports that former Trades Unionist and Socialist councillor Kevin Bennett is urging Warrington Borough Council is being urged to ban fracking. A spokesman for the council said a working group was considering the “wider implications” of fracking before making representations to government.
Shale gas section of a speech by Energy Minister, Baroness Neville-Rolfe, to Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit. The minister said:
“When developing the exploration of shale gas safely in the UK we must consider how the approach can improve the outlook for energy costs and the UK’s security of supply.
“We should be considering the positive effect of shale as a feedstock to manufacturing industries such as chemicals. And we must examine how the levers that Government holds can be used to open up the supply chain opportunities for UK-based companies.
“In this way, we can capture economic benefits to the UK as a whole, whilst also maximising economic activity in places like Yorkshire and the North West of England.”
UK minister dismisses threat of climate court battle. Environmental lawyers from Client Earth report the UK’s Climate Change Act has been “dangerously neglected” leaving the government open to lawsuits, reports The Guardian. The Climate minister, Nick Hurd, disagrees, saying an emissions reduction plan due out in the first quarter of 2017 will put the country on track to meet its targets.
Fossil Fuel Production Emits More Methane Than Previously Thought, NOAA Says. Inside Climate News reports on a peer reviewed study in Nature which concludes that methane emissions from fossil fuel production are 20-60% higher than widely cited estimates. The study, by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado, also found that flatulent cows and rotting landfill were the blame for the ongoing increase in methane first detected in 2007.
UK loses top 10 spot in global energy ranking for the first time. The Guardian reports that the UK has fallen out of the top 10 international league of energy sectors from the World Energy Council for the first time. The council blamed the UK government’s lack of clarity and policy changes, which it said had left the county facing a potential gap in energy supply. The UK was also added to a watch list of countries where negative changes are expected imminently, alongside the US, Germany and Japan.
Alan Whitehead returns as shadow energy and climate change minister. Business Green reports Dr Alan Whitehead has returned to his previous post as shadow energy and climate change minister, just months after resigning in protest at Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. He joins the revamped Shadow Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy team with shadow secretary of state Clive Lewis, shadow minister for industrial strategy, Chi Onwurah, and shadow labour minister Jack Dromey.
Oil record output underlines OPEC’s struggle to raise prices. The FT reports on a warning by The International Energy Agency on the scale of the challenge facing Opec as it tries to raise oil prices, after the cartel’s production hit a record high in September and with demand growth continuing to slow.
Fylde campaigners say the fight against shale will continue. The Blackpool Gazette reports on the Lancashire Responds demonstration on Saturday. (See DrillOrDrop picture post)
Back off Cuadrilla… Lancashire anti-fracking campaigner, Tina Rothery, writing on her blog, says “My sincerest hope at this time is that Cuadrilla start picturing that which is inside of us, the bit that stands on the path in front of the children and says “You will not pass” and you KNOW we mean this. Back off Cuadrilla… you won’t like us when we’re angry.”
‘Stand by to cash in on shale gas’. The Lancashire Evening Post reports that Lancashire firms have been urged to sign up to benefit from work generated by the soon-to-be shale gas industry in the county. The North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce says chamber members will be in pole position to benefit from shale gas exploration in the county. Work could start next year. Cuadrilla has pledged to put contracts and money into Lancashire business and help the county the centre and leader of this industry. The Chamber is in the process of upgrading the existing supply chain portal to ensure local firms prepare themselves and develop relationships with Cuadrilla and their key suppliers.
Fracking protesters demonstrate at shale gas summit. BT News reports that Fracking protesters have held a demonstration outside a business conference for the shale gas industry. Around 30 protesters turned up outside the Radisson Blu hotel at Manchester Airport, watched from a distance by as many police officers. Inside the hotel the European Shale Gas and Oil Summit was taking place, bringing together Government officials and technical experts to discuss strategy.
May forcing through policies that damage the environment. Keith Taylor MEP, writing in The Argus, says Theresa May “has no democratic mandate of her own and continues to force through policies that are damaging our environment, the economy, and local communities.”
Doriemus Applies For Main Market After Exiting AIM Earlier This Year (ALLIPO). London South East, the financial website, reports that Doriemus PLC intends to apply for its shares to admitted to the main market of the London Stock Exchange. The company, chaired by David Lenigas, has interests in the Horse Hill oil well near Gatwick.
10 October 2016
Global Energy Scenarios 2016 report: Global energy demand growth set to fall. The World Energy Council predicts a shift in final energy consumption. It forecasts demand for electricity will double by 2060. The largest increases in generation will be from solar and wind, which will represent 20-39% by 2060. Fossil fuel usage could fall to as little as 50% of the primary energy mix in one of the scenarios. In all three scenarios, the carbon budget is likely to be broken in the next 30-40 years. Guardian report
Fossil fuel industry must halt expansion. Climate News Network reports on an analysis by Oil Change International which says governments must call an immediate halt to new coal, oil and gas projects if the world is to meet climate change targets. Executive Director, Stephen Kretzmann, tells CNN: ““If the world is serious about achieving the goals agreed in Paris, governments have to stop the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. The industry has enough carbon in the pipeline – today − to break through the sky’s limit.” Report
Fracking is a form of climate-change denial – Josh Fox. Writing in The Guardian, the filmmaker, Josh Fox, says it’s too late to stop the most destructive effects of climate change. He said “Lack of courage by western governments is having devastating consequences, and in the case of America, one of them is fracking. This is the unacceptable “solution” to the climate crisis that the US has been pushing all across the world. The decision by the British government last week to overturn Lancashire’s rejection of fracking shows that the UK, too, seems to be falling for it.” He adds: “The Lancashire decision will have to be fought off with passion, enthusiasm and courage. This means putting ourselves and, yes, sometimes our bodies on the line to stop this march of fossil fuel madness.”
Stances on fracking called into question. David Cragg-James and Malcolm Cohen, writing to The Guardian, put opposing sides in the debate about fracking.
Sajid Javid is being ‘reckless’ with lives to push fracking, campaigners say. INews reports on reaction to Sajid Javid’s decision to allow Cuadrilla’s plans for Preston New Road and to reopen the inquiry on Roseacre Wood.
Theresa May’s Great Frack And Rule Swindle. Barry Freeman, writing in The Lancashire Evening Post, said the government’s promise to listen to the concerns of Joe Public were laid bare the following day when Communities Minister Sajid Javid sided with “rich and powerful fracking companies and forced the industry on Lancashire” He said: Westminster’s message is unambiguous. Go ahead. Consult the public. Have open meetings. Debate. Invest money and resources in conducting a fair and open democratic process. Then approve the bids or we will slap you down. Budgets decimated all over, many councils will grimly grasp the futility of resistance and simply roll over before the drill. In this matter, despite the PM’s fine words, her Government listens only to those who say what it wants to hear.”
Cuadrilla’s fracking plans in Lancahsire have impacts across the UK. Frack Off reports that 13 million gallons of radioactive fracking waste from Lancashire may be destined for Leeds. It says Frack Free Leeds is beginning a campaign to stop the city’s Knostrop waste water treatment works from accepting radioactive flowback fluid produced from shale exploration and fracking.
Egdon Resources: Volatile But Positive Week For Shale Gas Planning. Investing.com reports on the decision by Nottinghamshire County Council to defer a decision on shale gas drilling at Springs Road, Misson, in which Egdon has a 14.5% interest. But it says this was more than made up by the approval of Cuadrilla’s plans to frack at Preston New Road.
Is the Gatwick oil driller ready to gush again? King of Charts Zak Mir sees trading opportunity. Proactive Investors quotes Zac Mir that shares in UKOG, the company behind Horse Hill, should soon rise from current levels of 1.75p to around 2.5p. “They’re both rising and they’ll probably deliver a golden cross buy signal over the next couple of weeks, so that would be a decent technical reason to go long.”
Energy professor predicts Scottish Government fracking ban. Energy Voice reports comments by Professor Peter Strachan, of Robert Gordon University, that the Scottish Government will block fracking as the industry has no social licence north of the border. He said money needed to support fracking in Scotland would be better spent supporting North Sea exploration. He said: “The cautious, evidence-based approach from the Scottish Government on balance is sensible. Let’s look at the context and consult on that then have a bigger debate on whether we should go ahead with fracking or not. Both governments need to end the fixation on fossil fuels and look to harness the power of the wind, sun and sea as soon as we can.”
Will fracking ever happen in the Bristol region? The Bristol Post looks at local possibilities for fracking and oil and gas exploration. It also previews the screening of Groundswell Rising in the city on 1 November (See DrillOrDrop’s drilling diary for details)
New ‘fracking’ concerns for campaigners at Broadford Bridge. The Midhurst and Petworth Observer reports anti fracking campaigners are keeping a close eye on the Broadford Bridge drilling site at Billingshurst following the government’s landmark ruling for the oil and gas industry that horizontal fracking can go ahead on a Cuadrilla site in Lancashire. A spokesman for Keep Billingshurst Frack Free said: “This site is ready to go, so it’s whenever the rigs turn up really, and we are keeping a very close eye on it. The government’s ruling makes us all the more concerned. We are very worried because UKOG say it’s not fracking but they are talking to their investors about shale oil and gas.”
Leaked emails show Hillary Clinton blaming Russians for funding ‘phony’ anti-fracking groups. The Washington Times reports that Hillary Clinton complained about “phony environmental groups” pushing an anti-fracking agenda in a speech to a private audience, according to excerpts leaked on Saturday by WikiLeaks after purportedly hacking into the account of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. The Clinton campaign has refused to comment on the leaked documents. In her remarks, allegedly made in June 2014, Mrs Clinton reportedly said: “We were up against Russia pushing oligarchs and others to buy media. We were even up against phony environmental groups, and I’m a big environmentalist, but these were funded by the Russians to stand against any effort, ‘Oh that pipeline, that fracking, that whatever will be a problem for you,’ and a lot of the money supporting that message was coming from Russia,”
Hillary Clinton Touted Her Record of Spreading Fracking in Secret, Paid Speeches. The Intercept reports on comments in private meetings by the Democrat candidate about promoting fracking abroad. The website the comments are in contrast with her campaign rhetoric. She rarely speaks in public about her role selling fracking abroad and has sometimes positioned herself as a sceptic.
Clive Lewis appointed Shadow Business Secretary in latest Labour reshuffle. Business Green reports on the appointment of Clive Lewis as BEIS Secretary but it understands that Barry Gardiner will retain responsibility for energy and climate change issues. Rachel Maskell retained her post as Shadow Environment Secretary.
Why the AJ Lucas Group Ltd share price crashed today. The Motley Fool Australia reports the mining services company, AJ Lucas Group Ltd, an investor in Cuadrilla’s activities in Lancashire, saw its share price close down more than 15% to 39.5 cents. The website says: “It looks like a rocky road ahead for AJ Lucas shareholders. UK environmental groups aren’t likely to lie down quietly and could potentially tie up gas drilling for ages. That’s the most likely reason for shares sinking today.”
Doriemus PLC – update regarding open offer. David Lenigas’s oil and gas exploration investment company, Doriemus PLC, announces that Optiva Securities Ltd has subscribed up to £250,000 for ordinary shares. The Open Offer price of £0.00035 per share. The offer, which opened on 6 September 2016, closes on 18 October and aims to raise up to £865,200. Doriemus has invested in plans for a side-track at Brockham, near the Horse Hill oil well, proposed extended flow testing at Horse Hill and a new well at Lidsey next year. Source: UKCityMedia.co.uk
GMP officer faces misconduct charge for fracking arrest. The BBC reports that Inspector David Kehoe is to face a gross misconduct hearing over the arrest of Dr Steven Peers at the Barton Moss protest in January 2014. The proceedings will begin on 17 October 2016 at Greater Manchester Police headquarters at Central Park, Manchester, and are expected to last a week.
Tory MP will fight his own government on fracking if plans submitted. Bolton West MP, Chris Green tells The Bolton News: “My position is still the same — I am going to look after the interests of my constituents and I cannot foresee any point in the future where I will support fracking in the constituency.”
Could Nottinghamshire be transformed by shale gas? Retford Today reports from fracking areas of Pennsylvania about the impact of shale gas on the economy.
September 2016 drilling headlines. DrillOrDrop review of September’s news stories
9 October 2016
Con with the wind. Green tycoon bankrolling anti-fracking protesters so he can promote his rival wind turbine business. The Sun reports that Dale Vince of Ecotricity is “bankrolling” anti-fracking protesters so he can promote his rival wind turbine business.
Here’s how the Government Justified Lancashire Fracking Decision as ‘Positive’ for Climate Change. DeSmogUk looks at how Sajid Javid “pushed the issue of climate change into the long grass” in his decision on Cuadrilla’s fracking site.
How Much Money Would You Need to Be Paid to Have Your Garden Fracked? Vox pop by Vice News on how much people who want for fracking in their back yard.
Gas industry has a great story to tell – but doesn’t. Robin Mills, chief executive of Qamar Energy, writing in The National, says “the gas industry is winning the argument too slowly to be a commercial and environmental success. It needs a radical change in its media, public and political outreach to make its case on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Anti-frack demo held in York. The York Press reports that anti-fracking campaigners gathered near York Minster to protest at the Government’s decision to allow fracking in Lancashire.
8 October 2016
Picture Post: Lancashire Responds rally. DrillOrDrop report
Lancashire faces £330k legal costs in Cuadrilla fracking appeal- reports. DrillOrDrop post
What’s happening this week? 8-16 October 2016. DrillOrDrop’s listing of events about fracking and onshore oil and gas, including Lancashire Responds today.
Cuadrilla chief Francis Egan: Fracking in the UK offers a ’40 to 50-year play’. The Telegraph interviews Cuadrilla’s Francis Egan who estimates testing will inject £20m into the local economy over the next 18 months and a couple of hundred million pounds at each of the two sites if they go into production.
More reaction to Cuadrilla decision. Blackpool Gazette (Fylde residents vow to battle on and ‘Successful shale gas industry will bring jobs bonanza’); 2BR (Anti-fracking campaigners warn their mental health is at risk); Leyland Guardian (Cuadrilla proud the county will play crucial role)
7 October 2016
Fracking Week in Parliament for week ending 7 October 2016. DrillOrDrop report on the Scottish ban on underground coal gasification.
What price Tory localism when fracking’s on offer in Lancashire? Jennifer Mein, leader of Lancashire County Council, writing in The Guardian, says Lancashire has embraced the theme of localism. But the overturning of the council’s refusal of planning permission for fracking “only underlines the theory that localism applies only when it suits the centre. It highlights the chasm that exists between people seeking answers and a government that is either unwilling or unable to provide them.”
Cuadrilla fracking decision: shale industry’s battle is beginning, not ending. The Ecologist reports that Sajid Javid’s decision to allow planning permission in Lancashire will “trigger a new phase of organisation, protest and resistance among impacted communities”. The writer, Michael Bradshaw, Professor of Global Energy at Warwick Business School, says “Cuadrilla, IGas and other communities may just find the ‘social licence’ they thought they didn’t need is essential after all”.
Hundreds expected to protest at Lancashire fracking site. The Guardian preview the Lancashire Responds rally planned for Saturday outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site.
6 October 2016
Breaking: Government approves Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking plans at Preston New Road but Roseacre Wood on hold. DrilllOrDrop report
Breaking: Lancs community group vows to fight Cuadrilla Lancashire fracking decision + other reaction. DrillOrDrop report
Industry reaction to Lancashire Cuadrilla fracking decision. DrillOrDrop
Key points in government announcement on Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking sites. DrillorDrop report
Other reports (with thanks to the APPG on Unconventional Gas and Oil for the links): Government upholds fracking appeal in landmark ruling – BBC News; Fracking in UK given go-ahead as Lancashire council rejection overturned – The Guardian; Government approves fracking at one site in Lancashire – Sky News; Fracking go-ahead: Government approves Cuadrilla plans, overruling Lancashire council – The Telegraph; Fracking allowed in Lancashire in landmark Government ruling – The Independent; UK fracking scheme gets go-ahead after government intervenes – The Financial Times; Fracking to take place in Lancashire after government overturns council rejection – International Business Times; Government approves one of two controversial fracking schemes – The Sun; Fracking in UK given go ahead by Government at site in Lancashire – Evening Standard; Fracking gets the go ahead in Lancashire – 2BR; Government gives green light for fracking at Lancashire site – The Yorkshire Post.
Reaction: Government accused of ignoring its own climate change experts over fracking (Independent); Does fracking affect the water supply (BBC News); Fracking go-ahead hailed by businesses but slammed by campaigners (Energy Voice); Fracking: What is it, what’s happening in Lancashire, and what’s next? (Telegraph); ‘He’s rewriting the rules’: locals furious at minister’s fracking intervention (The Guardian); Cuadrilla boss says fracking for gas better than importing it (The Guardian); Fracking campaigner: “This Government neither listens nor can it be trusted” Blackpool Gazette); Fylde MP issues demand for proper regulation and monitoring of shale gas sites (Lytham St Annes Express)
SNP bans underground coal gasification despite warnings Scotland will lose out. The Telegraph reports on Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s Energy Minister, who said “a step change” in information would be needed before underground coal gasification could be reliably assessed. Cluff Natural Resources, which planned to spend £250m+ on the UK’s first deep offshore UCG plant at Kincardine in Fife, argued the risk could have been managed with appropriate regulation. BBC News, Energy Voice
Scotland’s energy sector could be “left behind” by UCG decision. Energy Voice reports comments by Scottish Conservative, Alexander Burnett, on the ban on UCG in Scotland.
5 October 2016
Council delays decision on first Nottinghamshire shale gas site after legal warning over covenant. DrillOrDrop report
Live updates from Nottinghamshire County Council meeting on IGas shale gas planning application for Springs Road Misson. DrillOrDrop report
Other reports: Notts shale licence ‘would mean granting illegal acts’ (The Star); Conservationists deal last-minute blow to ‘unlawful’ fracking bid (The Guardian); Decision delayed on shale gas bid which could lead to fracking (Nottingham Post); Shale gas exploration plan halted after 50-year-old covenant is discovered (INews); VIDEO: Historic meeting to decide Notts shale gas exploration (Retford Today); Fracking test drill decision for Notts postponed after campaigners’ intervention (Notts TV);
4 October 2016
Misson decision day. DrillOrDrop’s key facts for tomorrow’s Nottinghamshire County Council meeting on IGas shale plans for Springs Road
Wildlife Trust’s last minute plea to stop fracking near Notts nature reserve. The Mansfield Chad reports a last-minute attempt by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust to stop drilling at IGas’s proposed shale site as Mission. The paper says legal advice provided Friends of the Earth’s Rights & Justice Centre has been brought to the Trust’s attention that such activities would be in breach of a longstanding restrictive covenant which applies to both the proposed drilling site and a Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve.
Inside Track: Grown up debate on fracking is long overdue. Herald Scotland calls for more light and less heat in the debate about shale gas.
3 October 2016
Anti-fracking campaigner begins legal challenge to drilling licence extension. DrillOrDrop report
What’s happening this week? Events listing for a key week for fracking and onshore oil & gas. DrillorDrop report
Europa records £1.9m pre-tax loss. DrillOrDrop report on the company’s annual accounts and drilling plans
Fracking and the price of democracy. Anna Szolucha, writing for Repower Democracy, says the imbalance in benefits and burdens that are involved in all shale gas developments has already been experienced by local residents in Lancashire even though fracking has not really started yet. In a blog for the website, she says: “They report few benefits but a whole range of adverse health and social impacts such as increased stress, community conflict and an atmosphere of distrust and surveillance that are an effect of the prospect of fracking in the area.” See DrillorDrop report on Dr Szolucha’s study The Human Dimension of Shale Gas Developments in Lancashire
OGA officially an independent government company today. Energy Voice reports the Oil and Gas Authority was officially made an independent government company today. The allows the organisation to use new powers, including dispute resolution, meetings access and sanctions. It now has the power to issue warning and enforcement notices, financial penalties up to £1m, operator removal and licence revocation. New website at: https://www.ogauthority.co.uk
Fracking fears in national park. The Yorkshire Post reports on a survey of residents in the North York Moors National Park which has shown a level of concern about threats from development never previous recorded. One of the key concerns was fracking. Others included rights of way, bracken encroachment and lack of funding.
York’s hands are tied over fracking, says city’s environment boss. The York Press reports comments by Lib Dem environment executive member, Andrew Waller, who says the latest draft of the minerals plan will be forced to disregard a no-fracking commitment because of national legislation. He says: “the council’s hands are tied as the Conservative government is determined to ignore local councils and push through fracking against the wishes of local communities. We think it should be up to local people to decide.”
Egdon Resources awarded nine new Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences in UK 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round. Oil Voice reports on confirmation of new PEDLs awarded to Egdon Resources in the East Midlands and Cleveland Basin.
Labour’s opposition to shale gas is economic sabotage of industrial Britain. Gary Haywood, chief executive of INEOS Shale, writing for City AM, says “I cannot conceive of a worse betrayal of the industrial communities of this country than to deny this potential lifeblood to UK manufacturing. Shale gas can be the difference between more closures like Redcar and Port Talbot and the flourishing of UK industry. This week I am at the Conservative Party conference to call on the government to work with the shale industry to kick-start our economy and show Labour’s sclerotic energy plans for the economic sabotage that they are.” Herald Scotland, INEOS News
UK Minister Says Govt Backs Fracking, Ahead of Key Permit Decision. Rigzone, quoting Reuters, says Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, says the UK government still supports fracking in general, days before he is due to rule on whether to grant planning permission for two fracking sites in Lancashire. He reportedly tells Sky News: “I can’t talk about a particular planning application but in general terms this government has been clear … that fracking, and using the resources that we have in this country, is part of the future of this country.”
SNP snubs second fracking invitation in a week. The Press and Journal reports no SNP MSPs or MPs appeared at the UK Shale Energy Conference in Glasgow yesterday – just days after the party sidestepped an offer to attend a ceremony to mark the arrival of the first shipment of US shale gas at Grangemouth. The double affront has led to accusations by Scottish Conservatives that the administration’s “dangerous procrastination” on fracking is harming the Scottish economy, the paper says.
Rochdale a potential fracking site. Rochdale Online reports that Hutton Energy has been granted PEDL269, comprising block SD81, including Shawforth, Darwen, Brown Wardle Hill and Syke to Deeplish and Kirkholt, and ending at Bury.
Letters – October 3, 2016. The Blackpool Gazette carries a letter by Tony Raynor on The Times report about a draft ruling against Friends of the Earth’s leaflet on fracking. Jules Burton, of Roseacre, also writing in the Gazette, says “We will never we will never accept fracking in our landscapes, but will continue to battle until the practice is banned from the UK’s shores. He says: “To suggest that despoiling the Lancashire countryside, imposing an industrial complex which will cost the jobs of those currently employed in the Fylde’s core businesses and in an instant strip people of the right to live the lives they’ve chosen may just be ‘collateral damage’ to the smart set in London, but to label it ‘good for the country’ demonstrates a callous disregard of those they purport to represent.”
Time to back fracking. Otto Inglis, writing to the letters page of The Courier, says “Hydrocarbons are utterly essential to our economy: to generate electricity, power our vehicles and to produce the ubiquitous plastics we depend on. It is time the Scottish Government wised up to this fact and approved onshore fracking for shale gas.
Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking plans threaten communities across the UK. Frack Off reports on the imminent decisions on fracking at Preston new Road and Roseacre. The website says planning permission also expires at the end of this month at Banks and the site remains unrestored.
NCC to approve IGas’ application to develop hydrocarbon wellsite in North Nottinghamshire. Hydrocarbons-technology.com reports on Nottinghamshire County Council’s planning committee meeting on 5 October to consider IGas plans at Misson.
2 October 2016
Cuadrilla boss ‘confident’ of fracking go-ahead as crucial decision looms. The Telegraph writes that Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, is confident the government will approve plans to frack in Lancashire. The paper describes this as a make-or-break week for UK frackers, as councillors in Nottinghamshire will also vote on plans by IGas to explore for shale. Mr Egan accepted opponents may seek a judicial review if the government gives the go-ahead but he said the company could try to avoid further delay by getting preparatory work underway before any challenge was heard.
Sajid Javid to rule on Blackpool fracking this week. City AM reports that Sajid Javid’s announcement on Cuadrilla’s appeal to frack in Lancashire is likely to come at the Conservative Party Conference.
Residents in Lancashire await Government fracking decision. The I reports comments by Heather Speak, who lives close to Cuadrilla’s Roseacre Wood site, as she waits for Sajid Javid’s announcement on whether fracking should go ahead in Lancashire.
Fylde fracking nana prepares for prison sentence. The Blackpool Gazette reports comments by anti-fracking campaigner, Tina Rothery, that she is prepared to go to jail after served with a summons outside Buckingham Palace. This follows a long-running dispute with Cuadrilla over legal costs, which she refuses to pay. She tells the paper: She said: “I am due in court on October 19th and I have been told I will be going to Styal prison for contempt of court. They served the papers on me in London when they could have done it at my home any time over the past weeks.”
Scots should turn up the heat on Sturgeon over shale gas snub. Michael Glackin, writing in The Times, reflects on political support for INEOS imports of ethane from the US to Grangemouth.
1 October 2016
Notice of new planning application due for Horse Hill’s “Gatwick Gusher” oil site in Surrey. DrillOrDrop report
Drilling Diary October 2016. DrillOrDrop listing of events on fracking and onshore oil and gas