Court date for anti-fracking campaigner facing jail


Tina Rothery with John Ashton at the United Against Fracking rally in Manchester

A prominent anti-fracking campaigner facing a fortnight in jail has a final chance to avoid the sentence at a court hearing next month.

Tina Rothery, from the Lancashire Nanas group, has been found guilty of contempt of court for refusing to provide officials with information about her finances in a legal dispute with the shale gas company, Cuadrilla.

She has been told she will go to Styal Prison in Cheshire for 14 days unless she provides the information at a hearing in Preston on 9 December.

Two-year old dispute over Cuadrilla protest

Ms Rothery’s case dates back more than two years to August 2014 when she and a group of women campaigners occupied a field for three weeks. They were protesting at Cuadrilla’s plans to frack a site nearby at Little Plumpton.

The company and a group of landowners went to the High Court to seek a possession order for the occupied field. They also sought an injunction preventing anti-fracking groups visiting a range of places in the Fylde area of Lancashire.

Ms Rothery asked the court for an adjournment to allow campaigners to challenge the injunction. But when she offered no evidence at the next hearing she was ordered to pay £51,594.53, part of Cuadrilla’s costs.

She has refused to pay and interest at 8% has been added to the sum.

“This is about deterring activists”

In June this year, she also refused to provide information to the court about her finances. In a statement to officials, she said:

“I feel in this case that our law courts are not being used to seek justice but instead being applied like a weapon and a threat against peaceful protest.

“As this case has nothing to do whatsoever with justice, I will not be complying with any request for information or payment.”

She told supporters:

“This is an abuse of our system of justice. This is about deterring activists and making examples”.

Jail threat


Photo edited to remove personal details

During a protest in September, Ms Rothery was served with papers which said she had been found in contempt of court and would be sent to prison for 14 days.

She said of next month’s hearing:

“This is the day when I go before the judge and explain why I am not cooperating with their request to fill in forms.

“This is not even about the activism – it is now about court rules of engagement and the expectation/insistence that I comply or face prison for 14 days.

“My options are to pay, to sort a payment plan, to declare bankruptcy or to stick with my moral core that says this is not about law or justice. It’s about the ones with the power, money and expensive lawyers, using our laws against us in court. It is impossible for anyone up against the powerful to be able to afford justice.”

Cuadrilla said the latest request to appear in court has nothing to do with the company but was a matter between Ms Rothery and the courts.

Adjournment for “security reasons”

Officials postponed a similar hearing in Blackpool arranged for 19 October for “safety and security issues which may arise at the hearing”.


55 replies »

    • I hope she gets locked up and when she’s out they take her house off her to pay the company. Absolutely disgusting what a small minority think they can get away with and they need to be held accountable for their actions.

      The companies and investors have families who they are trying to provide for and shouldn’t be held up by misguided, under researched, badly informed groups on some lifestyle quest backed by a few overpaid MP/MEPs out for their own gain.

      The protestors are very much in the minority in this country as the majority get on with their lives. UK onshore is going to happen so go look for a new hobby and leave everyone alone rather than disrupting their lives

      • Excuse me, what has Cuadrilla to do with this? The creditor is not Cuadrilla. And who invested in Cuadrilla? They are not a listed company so they are no shareholders. You are talking out of your backside and know less than zilch. Get on with your own life and stop being such an ignorant prat.

      • So you support fracking and yet you’re calling for something that will be ano unmitigated PR disaster for the UK fracking industry.

        [Edited by moderator]

      • What a horrible reply from a vindictive desktop assassin. Please read up on what you think you know. Please read the medical reports that state the cases and peer-reviewed papers that can follow up from onshore shale gas field developments. Please read that the industry state that it won’t bring down gas prices. Please read it’s a short-term ‘fix’ – so that it won’t secure long-term security from external supplies, just make us more prone to price hikes when we do need them again. Please read about using less gas, using more alternatives. Please read that the US is now in crisis because their own over-zealous production brought down their prices, making companies unsafe, go bust and now export their ‘home-grown-gas’ to make money, not energy security. Then please try and convince me that “this won’t happen over here”!

      • You are a fool. Without protest and fighting injustice you would be living in wooden hovel under the ownership of your lord. It people like this lady who put themselves at risk throughout our history who gained the freedom we have. Nothing was granted, it was all fought for. These people have no right to do what they are doing. There is huge opposition to this incredibly stupid process which enriches the few while putting everybody else at risk of pollution. I think you know that as you are probably in PR.

    • You are saying how dare the court system jail your friend? Well you are a bit ignorant and contemptuous. She repeatedly defy a simple court order as if the she is all above the law and the court system does not apply to her because she is special (in her own mind). She got suck in to represent her friend in the anti fracking movement who then left her high and dry on the dock. The rule of laws apply to us all.

    • By being heavy handed, they have only created more negative publicity. I admire Nana Tina. Prison is NOT an easy option. Many people who have fought good causes have been sent to prison. She wont be the last. Go girl!

  1. Brilliant look for the frackers lol

    They’re stomping all over democracy, they’re trashing the climate, they’re supported by embarrassing morons and now they’re jailing Nans.

    Everything they do is a right royal **** up lmfao

  2. I think what doesn’t come through in this article is this: the Lancashire nana’s occupied a field with the stated intention to be there for a short while, and then be gone (a CIVIL offence in anybodies book by the way, not a criminal one).
    True to their word that’s what they did, and only then did Caudrilla go to the courts to evict a bunch of people who were not even there any more!

    So in my book, after takong such a foolhardy action as they did, it is absolutely right that no one should be paying Caidrilla’s £55k legal Bill except them.
    All power to this courageous nana i say…
    …and if caudrilla (or the corporate courts) want to score such a massive own goal as this, so be it.

  3. Lol so the courts are the lefties friends only when they award in their favor. This lady WILL go to prison if she doesn’t divulge her financial position.
    These people really do have zero substance thinking they can commit a crime and simply walk away from it.
    Cuadrilla raised the action on the farmers behalf. These people have absolutely no right to trespass and I’m sure if someone invaded your property you would be glad the law would punish the perpetrators.
    This will set an example to all anti frackers that by all means debate verbally but do it legally.

    • Mr M. These people did not ‘invade’ the property, they staged a protest. They left the site clean without damage. A small matter of Cuadrilla’s crew squatting on the adjacent field was never brought to court? The protesters had left before the action was brought. There was no ‘eviction’. The whole prosecution thing was a PR exercise by Cuadrilla. But it has and will continue to backfire on them.

    • Mr M writes: “These people really do have zero substance thinking they can commit a crime and simply walk away from it.
      Cuadrilla raised the action on the farmers behalf. These people have absolutely no right to trespass and I’m sure if someone invaded your property you would be glad the law would punish the perpetrators.” A large dollop of Cognitive Dissonance here isnt there? As far as we are concerned fracking is invasion harm and damage, horizontal wells invade our property, chemicals invade our health, all the concomitant attributes of traffic noise, light pollution food pollution, water pollution, air pollution and destruction of property values and businesses, lives and peace.
      Pardon me but isnt this a far more pernicious invasion of our property and by your own words the law should prosecute the industry perpetrators.
      Let that set an example to pro frackers and stop them walking away from it.

  4. The courts are neither enemies or friends they have to carry out the legal process. Cuadrilla (Barclays) is using it’s power/money to pursue the case. There was zero damage. She is a lady driven by a passion to stop the trashing of our countryside for profit in order that her grandchildren can enjoy what she enjoyed. Cuadrilla are trying to prevent further action from the public – mine is to close my Barclays account and bank ethically but I will also be part of the support for Tina. We are being trodden down by massive corporate businesses who care only about profit. People have to make their voices heard. Any area that has the threat of fracking hanging over them has overwhelmingly rejected it.

    • Viv. I thought it wasn’t the refusal of payment that got her into the current legal troubles. It was her refusal or contempt of a sinple court order which was to appear in court and give the judge the detail of her financial details so they can weigh the legal cost against her and reconsider the cost. I thought that was considerate of the plaintiff and the judge. But Tina showed her contemptuous attitude towards the court process and proceed that she challenged and lost. She could have just simply turn up and say I cant and will not pay and it would have been much simpler for her. But now she deserves whatever she gonna get.
      But surely she deserves a medal of Honor from her anti fracking brigade and comrades.

  5. Saddening invective and typical nastiness from the frack farm troll collectives here, do any of these spurious identities actually reside in this country? You do your cause no good, you just illustrate why we must stop the fracking activities in UK from spreading this sick hateful national socialist victimisation of those who would stand up for our environment, our food, our air our water and our communities. This invasion of hatred has happened before, it seems we must resist it again. Go away, you are not welcome.

    • Either you are unable to read or you know full well several people on this BB who you do not like to have their own opinions and who contest the dictat of self professed “Supreme Leader” Phil C live in the UK – in fact I am sure most of us do.

      • Well we know Peeny doesn’t live in the UK Paul – he posts 99% of the pro-fracking bilge on here and I know he posts from an IP address in Baltimore; How. Well, in spite of claiming yesterday not be at all interested by my “little pee wee website”, he reads it and has tried to leave comments with his greasy interweb fingerprints all over them 🙂

        “Mr M” is obviously ust another of his many sockpuppets – you can tell from the phraseology and America spellings (e.g. “favor”). Mr Ed would have been a better name for him to choose IMHO.

        It’s a bit sad really Paul – you are about the only person who comes here with any sensible points to make on behalf of the frackers but you get drowned out by that Merkin idiot.

        • Yes, many of those must be out of work now the USA elections are over, which is why i suppose we see a sudden flurry here in UK? I guess as all this hots up here we will get flooded with the invective. I cant say i’m a shining example of detached debate myself, but i am learning as we go.
          Thanks for your comments refraction i shall try to match your self control.

      • Your words old bean, i love everyone, do try it sometime, just a little lift at the edge of the lips there? Yes, there you go! feels better doesnt it? and you are right i live right here and i am the supreme leader of two cats and one dog, at least that is what they allow me to think anyway!
        Have a nice day, and dont worry, it may never happen!

  6. The ‘Nanna’s knowledge of fracking and its harmful effects runs rings around the total combined knowledge of the pro-fracking numpty’s who keep turning up on this site. Besides that she’s a very courageous woman.

    • Thats a good one Philip. It would be interesting to see the Nana’s design and execute a frack job never mind drill the horizontal well in the first place. I wonder if they are familiar with MWD / LWD / Rotary Steerable systems / packers / TCP…..
      [edited by moderator]

      • I think Tina could talk to you quite cogently about the packer that got stuck at Anna’s Road causing them to abandon the site Paul. Please don’t descend to Peeny’s level. Your comments can sometimes be quite thought-provoking.

        • Not that unusual for a packer to be stuck and lost in hole – do you know what type it was / size? I read somewhere that Cuadrilla was worried about the cement bond and were using a packer to test the casing – or had they perforated and were they trying to do an injectivity test? I would guess an RTTS but it would be interesting to know. A packer can be stuck for a number of reasons, pressure differential, solids above it….. They are difficult to drill out. You can try milling it or milling the slips off it and catching it.

          • The packer was being used during testing for well integrity. It was temporarily installed at the bottom of the well but became trapped by the pressure of the testing. It was not possible to drill through the packer, and drilling around it at this relatively shallow depth would apparently have created operational challenges in the event that they were later permitted to commence horizontal exploration at a later date.

            So, it seems for want of a packer the well pad was lost. Finicky business this fracking isn’t it!

      • Fascinating blinkered view, since when do you have the gall to Call Ms Rothery by her popular nickname? Are you a friend of hers? Why would Ms Rothery want to drill a fracking well? That would be your biased value system, not hers, Ms Rothery is trying to stand up for her community and our environment, a degree in fracking would be as much use to her as a chocolate tea pot. As for drilling straight or horizontal wells, the industry seems to be producing cork screw logic and twisted arguments here, perhaps frackers should screw drills into the ground in future? that would certainly reflect the contempt for the environment and intended industrialised exploitation of the earth.
        [edited by moderator] I worked amongst some brilliant engineers and not once did any of them express the sort of emotional attitude we see here amongst these pro fracking posts. [edited by moderator]

        • Perhaps most of the photos of them have the word Nanna on their yellow T-Shirts – if they don’t want to be known as Nanna’s perhaps they would not have done this? You are talking rubbish again Supreme Leader Phil C.

          • Ha Ha Ha ha!!! Takes one to know one old thing! think i’ll invade somewhere warm this time, Bermuda maybe? Poland was too cold! You should never have stayed in the bunker you know, running out of bratwurst yet? I’ll get Dubya to send over a food parcel, Hilary sends her love,says thanks for the gene splicing, though she keeps having to shave off the mustache? bye for now, with all this fracking going on we should reach you in about ten years.

  7. You keep bragging about your technical knowledge and experience Paul but haven’t shown any kind of interest in the human impacts nor the impacts of air, water and soil contamination that is rife and well documented in the States.

    Meanwhile haven’t mentioned (nor experienced) high volume multi-well, multistage fracking processes as they are now practiced in the US (these would be the approaches now used to getting gas from fields here at economically flows). You, peeny and your kind never mention the decline rates of flows form fracked wells which means once begun the more and more wells have to be drilled – to effectively march across a landscape in 1-2 mile blocks, again to sustain viability.

    These high volume practices, in combination, are all quite recent (developed over the last ten years) and all of these things were pointed to by Tina Rothery in the very first interview I saw of her – solid homework – while you are still drawing on past knowledge and peeny was going on about the ‘same old fracking that had been carried out safely for over 60 years’. So you see I respect her views and knowledge and it rings true to my own (now extensive) independent studies.

    Peeny will clearly say anything that might promote his commercial interests and while you might understand the ‘plumbing’ Paul it doesn’t follow that I would ask a plumber about the quality of the water or where it comes from. Do you still have family or mates, or investment in the industry that you want to protect/promote?

    • I posted this yesterday but you must have missed it? Look at the production rates for recent wells. Decline rates for UK wells are unknown but Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall well indicated that rates are very high and the wells will have a slow decline rate due to the excellent geology (sand) of the Bowland Shale. But we won’t know for sure until they drill and test the recently approved wells. What are you so frightened of?

      Click to access dpr-full.pdf

      Fracking is a stimulation process with the objective of opening up hydraulic fractures in rocks and keeping them open with a proppant, sand. The fluid used is predominantly water with possibly friction reducer and viscosifier. The process is the same whatever the volume or number of stages, the equipment is the same. You need more of it for bigger jobs. The surface pressure is limited by equipment rating; the pressure required to fracture the rock being stimulated depends on the mechanical properties of the rock. It may be as high as 15,000psi (maximum rated equipment available generally). People seem surprised and frightened by this pressure. Why? There are many conventional wells producing without stimulation from sandstones with surface pressures requiring a 15,000psi rating. Google HPHT.

      Downhole / subsurface is not a reason to stop shale gas exploration. Traffic, well density, visual amenity and other planning issues may be – but that is for the planners to determine. Waste water disposal is another issue which needs addressing.

      • So Paul – why in your opinion, if production rates for recent wells are “very high” did KPMG use an assumption “that a well could produce c3.16 bcf over its lifetime”.

        This is an EUR remarkably similar to that used in the IoD report from 3 years ago. It does seem strange that if the expectations should now be higher, as you seem to infer above, that KPMG should persist with using effectively the same figure.

  8. I looked at the EIA document linked above – rigs down, rates up. Perhaps I have not understood it correctly. But it appears to show that wells are more productive now than they used to be. There is other information including from Canada which indicates higher rates now:

    “However, the wells improve as you drill longer laterals. We are projecting 15 Bcf per well from 7,500-foot laterals and a rate of return of approximately 40% at $3 gas. From our analysis which is consistent with what we are seeing from many of the offset operators, we see 1.8 to 2.0 Bcf per thousand feet and ultimately expect to drill up to 10,000-foot laterals which at 2 Bcf per 1,000 foot would equate to 20 Bcf wells. With the longer laterals, you will see better rates of return as we believe EUR per foot is linear, and drill and complete costs decrease per foot for extended reach laterals.”

    Click to access marcell.pdf

    I am not familiar with anything from KPMG but 3.16bcf EUR seems low when compared with some of the recent shale gas wells in North America. They are looking at 9 – 15 Bcf from the Haynesville?

    • The quote “We are projecting 15 Bcf per well from 7,500-foot laterals and a rate of return of approximately 40% at $3 gas.” suggests, in very simple terms, extraction and production costs of around $2.14 MMbtu which is equivalent to about 17p a therm isn’t it? That’s about a third of the lower bound of the publicly available predictions for costs of UK shale extraction.

      Is there any reason you are aware of Paul to imagine that UK costs could ever be held at that low level when analysts have suggested a range of 46p to 102p a therm?

      • No idea about costs in UK. But John Powney appears to be the expert – he keeps telling this BB that it is too expensive and will never be economic.

        The fact that the rates were apparently very high at Preese Hall and Cuadrilla persist with the project tell me that the economics are expected to work. I also heard that the well flowed or would have flowed without fracking. Just an industry rumour. But as I keep saying, the Bowland Shale is actually quite sandy. There is a good outcrop you can visit in the Trough. Ruth was thinking of going, not sure if she did or not.

        The Third Energy KM well will probably also work as a small gas to power project (which I think it is, they have the gas turbine) but that is small scale.

        • Honestly Paul? You know nothing about projected costs in the UK? You really do surprise me for somebody who seems to be otherwise quite well informed. Are you sure it’s not that you’d rather not discuss them?

          And what choice does Cuadrilla have but to persist with the project and burn still more investor cash? Give up?They have no revenues worth talking about so if they do they go bust and the investors lose £100 million straight away. They and their unfortunate backers are stuck on this treadmill until it breaks. How long will that be?

          • I retired in 2011 – 5 years ago. There is no doubt that industry costs are lower now than they were then. But I have not worked onshore UK since 1988 (except for one horizontal well in Welton, Lincolnshire, 1994 ish). So I have no knowledge of current UK onshore costs. I can tell you what it costs to drill a well offshore Ghana, Vietnam, Angola or Mauritania (projects I last worked on). But not onshore UK. And I am not interested in finding out just for the sake of arguing with John Powney. You could ask Cuadrilla / I-Gas / First Energy? They will probably tell you.

            • Thanks Paul – I don’t need to ask John as I have seen the publicly available forecasts from Centrica, EY, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES). I am genuinely surprised that somebody who could tell me what it costs to drill a well offshore Ghana, Vietnam, Angola or Mauritania, and speeds a lot of time defending shale gas extraction in the UK isn’t interested enough to have looked at the same – even if only to be able to counter the estimates with their own information, if that were possible. Surely finding out wouldn’t just allow you to argue with Mr Powney – it would give you a much better perspective on the viability (or otherwise) of fracking in the UK.

              • Refracktion – the costs I know are the projects I have engineered, planned, and executed so as you would expect, I know to the nearest $50k what these cost. I had an AFE to prepare and account to. For onshore UK in 2016 I have no idea. But my position on this is that nor does anyone else at this stage (other than the Operators will have some budgetary numbers / AFEs for the exploration wells and some +/- 50% numbers for their economic models). I was in the business long enough to know that accurate cost estimates at this stage are simply not possible – Centrica would agree with me, the others are guessing using all sorts of assumptions many of which will be incorrect. Until the exploratory wells are drilled and tested, reserves are determined, well rates and EURs are assessed, accurate cost estimates are not possible. In the end the development scenario costs may be prohibitive or they may be attractive, but I can guarantee they are unlikely to be similar to the Centrica, EY, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES) estimates.

                I thought Centrica had farmed into one of the concessions – why would they do that if the cost outlook is negative?

                I am only interested in the technical, engineering subsurface issues – not the costs. It makes no difference to me if UK shale goes ahead or not. But as you are seeing with each planning application, there do not appear to be valid reasons for refusal other than traffic and noise, which I have also always said may be why some applications will be refused, along with amenity and waste disposal.

                • Centrica did indeed farm into Cuadrilla’s concession – at the time the UK gas price was about 65-70p a therm which might have made the risk look worth taking. It isn’t now and won’t be for the foreseeable future.

                  Maybe you need to ask them why they took what looks like a bad bet which exposes them to up to £160 million of risk:

                  “Centrica has paid £40 million in cash and committed to fund £60 million of expenditure on the Bowland joint venture from the transaction, effective date of 1 January 2013. A further contingent payment of £60m will be paid by Centrica subject to certain operational milestones having been reached.”

                  – although I seem to recall that they got cold feet and forced some downward restructuring of the agreement in 2015.

                  I am not sure what you mean by “In the end the development scenario costs may be prohibitive or they may be attractive, but I can guarantee they are unlikely to be similar to the Centrica, EY, Bloomberg New Energy Finance and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies (OIES) estimates.”

                  Given that those estimates encompass a range between 49p an 102p a therm you seem to be suggesting that extraction costs will either be well below 49p or well above 102p – but you also told us you have “No idea about costs in UK.”

                  Could you clarify what you mean there?

                • I have no idea of the costs – nor do they, the costs may be in that range, below it or above it? Is that enough discussion on costs? If a development plan is ever submitted we will know the costs +/- 10%.

                • … and yet you were very willing to suggest ” a rate of return of approximately 40% at $3 gas.”. Ah well.

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