Cuadrilla vows to put “Lancashire First” but picks first fracking site contractor from Gtr Manchester


Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site

Cuadrilla is pushing ahead with plans for fracking in Lancashire with the announcement of a contract for preparation work at one of its sites. It has also made six commitments to the county – if shale gas were produced locally.

Campaigners against the company’s plans described the announcements as a PR offensive that ignored local residents. They said shale gas was not “wanted, needed or accepted” and they had “no intention of meekly stepping aside” for it.

Contract to Greater Manchester firm


Cuadrilla said this morning the £1.5m site build contract for Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, had gone to A E Yates Ltd, a civil engineering firm based in Bolton, Greater Manchester. Despite two legal challenges to the plans, Cuadrilla said work would begin early in 2017.

The Local Government Secretary, Sajid Javid, granted planning permission for drilling, fracking and testing at Preston New Road in October. His decision followed the recommendation of the inspector at a six-week public inquiry but overruled the refusal in 2015 by Lancashire County Council’s development control committee.

Cuadrilla is currently negotiating with council planners over the conditions of planning permission while opponents are taking legal action to try to overturn Mr Javid’s ruling.

Legal challenges

A fortnight ago, Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) announced it had lodged a statutory challenge (details)  and this morning the anti-fracking campaigner, Gayzer Frackman, said he had begun proceedings against the Secretary of State (more details soon on DrillorDrop).

PNR logoClaire Stephenson, of PNRAG, said today:

“We have absolutely no intention of meekly stepping aside to allow this industry to gain a foothold where it isn’t wanted, needed nor accepted.”

“Cuadrilla’s latest in a line of promotional sales pitches that wax lyrical about jobs and business, entirely ignores residential communities who will be forced to live with this dirty and insidious industry. We need to remember that a local and democratic decision to refuse planning permission for fracking in Lancashire has been deceitfully pre-determined and overruled by those above who have a vested interest in forcing this upon communities.”

Ms Stephenson described it as “quite astonishing” that Cuadrilla was pressing ahead in Lancashire “knowing they have no social licence”

She said:

“There are still outstanding, actionable health recommendations [made by Lancashire’s Director of Public Health] that are unaddressed and ignored, along with hundreds of peer-reviewed studies citing harm and environmental danger from proceeding with shale gas extraction, that in turn, have been ignored by the Conservative government.”

 “Putting Lancashire First”

cuadrilla-lanchashire-logoAlso today, Cuadrilla announced that it was making six commitments to Lancashire should shale gas production be successful.

It said the Chief Executive, Francis Egan, was publicly signing commitments to:

Increase energy security for Lancashire and Britain

Carry out our operations to the highest safety and environmental standards and communicate openly

Work with local partners to promote Lancashire as a hub for the UK shale gas industry with new jobs and economic growth

Prioritise Lancashire suppliers and publish the amount we are spending

Support local training opportunities for young people including the National Onshore Oil and Gas College based at Blackpool & The Fylde College

Share the benefits of shale gas by sponsoring educational and sporting projects and through a local community benefit scheme

The commitments would, Cuadrilla said, be measured and independently audited. The results would be published quarterly, starting in 2017.

The company, which launched a new Lancashire logo today, said the results of moving its HQ to the county had been:

  • Created 14 full time jobs
  • Employed 9 contractors
  • Created 2 apprenticeships or internships
  • Spent £500,000 directly
  • Contractors spent £164,000 on Cuadrilla’s behalf
  • Spent 48,000 on local community sponsorship
  • Spent £8,500 on local community donations

Figures for 1 January 2016-30 November 2016

francis-egan-8Mr Egan said:

“Putting Lancashire First is about a way of doing business and we are committed to putting the County first with new jobs, economic growth and community benefits, promoting prosperity for current and future generations of Lancastrians. We have often spoken about how shale gas will benefit Lancashire as well as enhancing national energy security and now we are turning those words into action.”

“Ignorant of local communities”

A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire said:

“We find the latest PR offensive by Cuadrilla to be ignorant of the local communities they are willing to inflict themselves upon.

“The line about “sponsoring educational and sporting projects” is one we will be seriously looking into.

“Schools should not allow this industry to buy acceptance using children as pawns in this political and undemocratic nightmare, when schools across the Fylde have banned children from even discussing fracking. The hypocrisy is stark.”


68 replies »

      • Peeny must get confused as to which ID he’s used on which article on which social media platform I think Paul. It’s an occupational hazard in his line of work. LOL

    • Ms Flint is at odds with her party and party members. The GMB and the odd dissenting Labour MP do not represent the position of the party. Just like the Conservative anti fracking MP in Bolton doesn’t represent the Conservative party. You get this in a democracy, it doesn’t change party policy so I’m not sure, when DoD has already reported on this why you raise it again. I wouldn’t get your hopes up as it means nothing.

      • Well, it might mean that those who live in fuel poverty are given better lives. That actually does mean something to me, KT. I understand that you and the rest of the mafia do not look at this particular facet of the issue as very important, but some of us do!

        • Peeny – you should desist from this bleeding heart, hand wringing nonsense on behalf of the ‘poor’ British public and their fuel poverty. It has a strong whiff of insincerity. Just be honest about the your main investment portfolio interests and leave the due diligence up to others would you please?

        • If you are really so bothered about the ‘poor’ UK pensioners, I suggest you get off your butt and go out into the community and give them some of that US shale gas ‘profit’ you keep harping on about…oh hang on a minute; that doesn’t exist…sorry Mr P, gonna have to use some of your own savings.

    • ‘Share the benefits of shale gas by sponsoring educational and sporting projects and through a local community benefit scheme’

      A strange statement

      It would suggest that there is a profit margin in UK shale or is he just offering investors money to local communities?

      Centrica (backers of UK shale), EY ( promoters of UK shale), The Oxford Institute. and Bloomberg say the numbers do not stack up.

      Of course there is the technical difficulties to overcome.

      One would presume that in order to drill thousands of wells into the heavily faulted Bowland Basin you would need to start by drilling 1 exceptional well and then building from there.

      But this is not the case in Lancashire. We have a case study. Preese Hall 1.

      Click to access 5075-preese-hall-shale-gas-fracturing-review.pdf

      The British Geological Survey explain exactly what went wrong and what is likely to happen in the future.

      This report is a must read for anyone who wants to see what the likelihood is of any future developments in Lancashire becoming technically, therefore economically successful.

      • As PNR is a temporary application, any jobs created are temporary.

        I would advise any youngsters looking at engineering based apprenticeships to look at what source of energy will be used in the future and work towards those technologies.

        Clean renewable energy is the future that all agree on.

        Renewables are not temporary. They are here to stay. The source is infinite.

        Think renewable, think future.

        • Agree. More effective efforts must direct toward solving storage problems and intermittency of renewables.
          Surely noone would wait for 5 years with £10mil overhead cost annually and the throw in £100mil to build the site just for fun. Obviously they have seen the numbers from early flow rate from Preesehall well. So it reasonable to think they do see a profit margin. Mind you it may be pretty small margin considering the current oil/gas price and cost of well construction and local opposition.

      • You are beginning to catch on, John. Slowly, very slowly, but it’s happening! Yes, money speaks. No one invests $50mn in a fiduciary capacity without expecting a return commensurate with the risks taken, so they are anticipating making money, my good man!

        • No Mr P, they are just spending the bank’s money and drawing big director’s pay. Then when the loans are called in the banks squeal to the government; they bail them out with tax payers money that should have gone to those ‘poor’ pensioners…

          • Sherwulfe can you provide an ounce of evidence to support your claim, or is this just another bit of anti-frack mafia misdirection and hyperbole? Has Cuadrilla taken one cent in loans? Nope. You deal in science fiction.

            • Mi amor; let’s not fight again. You know so well that all this evidence has been put up here on the blog many times, but you prefer to ignore it, just like you keep pushing out the myth of ‘poor old pensioners’, and jump to the next post. As you have all day, if it really interests you, you can look back and reflect on this. Enjoy.
              P.S. Did you get some money out to give to the poor as I asked? It will make you feel a 100% better person if you do. Happy Christmas and good will to all 🙂

              • You made a claim that Cuadrilla’s loans would be called in. You haven’t been able to prove it have you? No, that’s because they haven’t any loans. As for the “myth” of poor old pensioners, I know that’s the way you Greens would like to think of it, but the facts are far different. There are many out there that don’t share your idyllic green visions. They just want to have some warmth in the winter, and they cannot afford it. Yet you want to foist your expensive solutions on them and drive them into the dirt! Merry Xmas to you too! ;o)

                • Mr P. It’s time you threw that old CD away that your bosses gave you 10 years ago….everything has moved on. Do some research of your own instead of copying of the ‘ticker tape’ of the business establishment.

                  ‘There are many out there that don’t share your idyllic green visions’
                  Not idyllic, realistic and necessary. There are more and more people sharing the clean future vision. This again has been demonstrated in the reporting of the recent questionnaires posed from govt, greens and business.

                  Time’s a moving on Peeny. Don’t get left behind koʻu aloha we are all planet walkers.

                  Now off to do some Christmas shopping.
                  Some ideas for y’all.

  1. Sport and education? Since when has the burning of fossil fuels been associated with sport and healthy activities? This is the same tack the tobacco industry took until the health professionals and public eventually wised up. Many will see this for the cheap PR stunt it is. They even use the same PR company that the tobacco industry used. I hope people are informed enough to join the dots. Burning all fossil fuels adds to air pollution and climate change. And that is without including the other well documented negative impacts associated with fracking. We must transition away from fossil fuels as quickly as possible and it is that that will safeguard future generations, not fracking.

    • Shale gas extraction has been a success of unimaginable proportions in the US, in terms of the reduction in air pollutants. Any athlete, or person who exercises outside should be very happy to have this technology in the UK.

      The anti shale mafia is full of doom, gloom, and conspiratorial contrivances, that attempt to demonize anything to do with shale.

      Transitioning away from fossil fuels too rapidly is costing lives. It is bringing suffering to tens of thousands, and probably more.

      KT, you might benefit from reading this article entitled, “Energy Poverty Is Much Worse for the Poor Than Climate Change.” It is based on a report from The Breakthrough Institute and it argues that we are morally bound to find inexpensive energy sources for those less fortunate, rather than force these people to make due with the poor substitute of renewables. Check it out:

      • Thank you Penny but according to Source Watch this climate change denier is linked to The Breakthrough Institute. And as many of the poorest countries in the world will suffer disproportionately from climate
        change – I think are moral duty is to tackle climate change as well as fuel poverty. In affluent societies like the U.K. fuel poverty is a disgrace and could be alleviated if we provided more support to the poor.

        • The Breakthrough Institute does excellent, fact-based work. I can understand why you would take issue with them.

          More support to the poor in the UK would include access to more affordable domestic natural gas. It sure has worked in the US, and it can undoubtedly work in the UK.

          • You are embarrassing yourself with your insistence that UK shale will reduce prices Peeny. We’ve explained why several times, but do carry on – we don’t really care that you make yourself look silly.

                • Can you explain how adding more gas locally would not lead to a widening differential in favor of lower gas costs?

                  Also, can you demonstrate why renewables would be less costly than adding significant local onshore gas?

                • It’s not deflection Peeny – It’s just that you don’t get to make the same crass statement over and over again and expect people to waste their time explaining things to you each time. get off your lazy backside and read what we all put last time you tried this silly rant about fracking reducing costs.

                  While you are at it maybe you can explain why you maintain here that fracking in the UK will lead to lower gas costs but on the Blackpool Gazette page you wrote “it is very important that the UK finds a solution that doesn’t raise energy prices significantly.” oops!

      • A reduction in air pollutants? More like an exchange of one cause of air pollutants for another!
        EPA slapped a $2.1m fine on one fracking company in an out of court settlement for storage tanks that were releasing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) at 170 well sites into the atmosphere. The case took 2 years to get this far, so these storage tanks at 170 well sites in North Dakota, mainly on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, have been leaking for much longer than 2 years. There are many other cases like this in North Dakota still yet to come to court/awaiting out of court settlement.

        Without the use of the FLIR camera, these leaks could not have been identified. For years now people have complained of health impacts relating to the VOCs from fracking-related processes in the USA.

        The leaks across fracking sites is something that the fracking industry has only recently been forced to address (this autumn).
        It’s been possible only due to the constant pressure from environmental groups like Earthworks, who provided undeniable scientific evidence of these leaks to the atmosphere that have been affecting local air quality and national GHG emissions.

        • But the leaks have absolutely nothing to do with fracking, do they Lock the Gate? Nope.

          It’s a bad operator who isn’t doing proper maintenance.

          Is your argument that the world should forego the benefits of lower energy prices, that all of those who live in or near energy poverty should suffer, when they shut down gas fracking for a reason that has nothing to do with the technology? Is that really your policy prescription?

          • Peeny has invented a way to frack that produces absolutely nothing at all!
            No Gas! No Earthquakes! No Waste Water! No Volatile Organic Compounds! No Particulate Matter!

            It’s called The Joy of Fracking and should be in your local book store just in time for Christmas!

    • Yes. Bashing UK shale is a sport for vested interests in renewables, offshore, coal and nimby. And an education for eco warriors.

  2. Ever been to a sports centre KT?
    “as quickly as possible” I do agree with, but that will be many years in the future and to suggest otherwise is a smokescreen. So, meanwhile we will continue to ship gas half way round the world and pretend that is a better option, whilst the huge global warming industry jet off to places like Rio for another conference?
    I suggest you also take care reference comments about PR. Your side of the debate is not too good at producing factual information (see ASA) and we continue to see comments from people who should know better (BBC) suggesting companies like Ineos should invest in carbon free energy! My chemistry text book would indicate that is a total nonsense.

    • Martin – What would you like to see happen to the remaining 20 billion barrels of home grown North sea gas and oil, our 440,000 strong offshore work force, and the in place offshore infrastructure which could take much more production if the Government reduced the offshore taxes down to match the 30% offered to the onshore industry?

      I think you will find that if we maximise our North sea potential, maximise our renewable potential, and implement country wide energy saving projects, then we would not need to ship gas half way round the world as you suggest.

      Please explain your reasons and factual evidence how you arrive at

      ‘but that will be many years in the future’

  3. whatever happens with the great fracking hoax history shows us that energy prices never go down, when it was first introduced nuclear energy was going to make electricity so cheap it wouldn’t need to be metered

  4. “Prioritise Lancashire suppliers and publish the amount we are spending”

    “Cuadrilla said this morning the £1.5m site build contract for Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, had gone to A E Yates Ltd, a civil engineering firm based in Bolton”

    Well that’s a fail straight off then as Bolton is in Greater Manchester – it is not in Lancashire LOL

    Well done Cuadrilla – the same competence we have come to expect.

    • ….and from what kind of regimes do we currently import most of our LPG? Every time you pay your gas bill you are putting money into their pockets. In the plain words of Union Leader, GMB’s Gary Smith on Labour fracking ban: “Which henchman, hangman or head-chopper do we want to buy our gas from going forward?”

      Cuadrilla just want to go about their business, building up a safe, secure, onshore gas industry.

      • If you read back Mark you will see that most of the UK shale companies are backed by Chinese investment, so kettle calling pan black methinks. By the way your own I gas is controlled by China with over 13% stake

  5. Ah jolly good, this put a smile on my miserable face. Love how the elitist liberals think a “social licence” is required before we bring in the HGVs.
    Thank goodness this country has individuals like me that make sure you have happy little life’s. Whilst we don’t mind you having your say over a cup of tea and scone at the town hall meeting don’t become deluded into believing you will somehow stop us capitalists.
    I keep telling you to focus on some other topic as we will only go away should we find it’s 100% not commercially viable.

    By the way do you know that 4 out of the 8 cables connecting France to the UK have been severed by a ships anchor ? It won’t be repaired until at least February and may cause blackouts and price increases over the winter months.

    • Mr M I am worried about you, this is not the first time you have written this way. This post displays a fixation with HGV’s and for you Capitalism contains some sort of threat, and yet neither of things are intrinsically threatening in themselves.You also seem to be driven to impose something you clearly see as a threat onto others, Your posts show that these elements are power/fear/subjugation archetypes for you and such is your fear of these elements and the conflict within yourself you need to assuage these internal conflicts by threatening to impose them upon others.
      You also mention peoples ‘little lives’ here ‘Thank goodness this country has individuals like me that make sure you have happy little life’s. Whilst we don’t mind you having your say over a cup of tea and scone at the town hall meeting don’t become deluded into believing you will somehow stop us capitalists’.as if you are somehow superior to them and need to rule over them in some illusory way, this is also worrying from a psychological point of view and indicates a condition bordering on narcissism paranoia and persecution.
      Your display of delusional superiority also indicated by selective concepts that you feel that inferior beings are not capable of understanding repeats the fear/persecution complex. This is not good.
      I would suggest you either talk these things through with someone you trust, if you trust anyone that is, or seek some degree of professional help.
      Please try to see that no one is your enemy, we are all one people, no one is trying to take anything from you and scarcity is an illusion. You dont need to subjugate anyone to be free, just enjoy life and be at one with everybody, try to smile because you are co-operating with your fellow human beings, not because the competitive race for superiority has given you some sort of illusory advantage.
      Do try and find out why HGV’s hold such fear for you.

    • Three Jersey undersea internet cables have been severed by a ship’s anchor.
      Four of eight Interconnexion France-Angleterre (IFA) cables have been damaged, and will be running at half-capacity (1GW) until mid February. Of late, UK had been exporting power to France during the day and importing to UK for a very short time during the evening peak. No blackouts are expected on this side of the channel as a result of the damage:

      “”The interconnector has really been acting as a regulating valve, helping contain prices in both regions when there have been shortages and allowing UK generation to benefit from high prices in France and vice versa. The reduction in levels of capacity across this interconnector by 50 per cent will reduce the size of the regulating activity at a time when temporary shortages are becoming more common.” “Both countries expect to see tight margins during similar time periods, so the ability to meet peak periods shouldn’t be adversely affected, but the ability of the interconnectors to regulate prices will be reduced.”

      It’s France, not UK, who will be struggling this winter to meet electricity demand with outages at 18 of 58 nuclear reactors due to high levels of carbon deposits in the steel steam generators that were manufactured by one forge – Creusot. The loss of 1GW via the interconnector won’t be causing blackouts in Britain.
      The interconnector loss affects the import-export exchange by 1GW and has been forecast to push export prices up a little.

      • Normally we import from France in the summer and export to France in the winter apparently.

        Today at 1145hrs we are importing 1GW from France and 1GW via the Dutch ITC. Uk demand is quite high at 50GW probably due to the winter temperatures. Wind is higher than yesterday at around 2.6GW from 14GW installed. I assume if it was a windier day we would not need to import via the 2 ICT systems?

        Good to see solar/PV doing it’s bit, estimated at 3.6GW at present. Unless it get’s significantly windier this evening, gas and or coal will have to take up the solar/PV tonight if demand stays at the current demand – or we have a problem as the ICTs are at current downgraded capacity.

        • 50GW? Demand this afternoon is 36.5 GW a 3.5GW fall from around 40GW at 11am this morning. According to my chart It hasn’t risen above 40GW yet. Yesterday there was a peak around 5pm approaching around 45GW until around 8pm when it fell from 40GW to around 35GWs by11pm. Timed heating and sofa-blanket snuggling is popular in GB and other Nordic countries.

          • I must have read it wrong – currently just under 43GW. thanks for correction. Otherwise everything else I noted in the previous post is the same except solar PV has dropped to 0.19GW – as it is almost dark.

            At 1625hrs today we are still importing 1GW from France and 1GW via the Dutch ITC. Wind is around 2.8GW from 14GW. As noted earlier, gas and coal have picked up the drop in solar / PV.

            Do you use Gridwatch? If so, they also have one for France.

              • Yes, Gridwatch notes that it is generally a surplus of wind generated electrcity in NW Europe if it is coming to us and a deficit of the same if we are exporting.

  6. More due diligence required. The government will have a lot to answer for in driving this matter through against all local objections and simply believing the propaganda of the racketeers. Phil C posted this video by mistake a few posts ago. It is about a Wyoming farmer telling his story to an Australian audience. May I draw your attention to the section starting at 24 mins – where he talks about what the shale drilling meant for local jobs. The whole thing is worth watching a so many of the promises made to the community have a very familiar ring to them.

    • Thank you Philip P for pointing out this video. I’ve just watched it right through and am shocked but not surprised. The part where he showed the symptoms of his hair loss and described his wife losing her sense of smell and taste and the neuropathy in her fingers and feet was particularly terrifying to me. These were exactly the symptoms I suffered 6 years ago when I had 6 months of chemotherapy for cancer. My sense of smell and taste has returned but I have permanent loss of sensation in my fingers or toes. Our government and the industry in this country will, no doubt tell us we would have ‘gold standard’ regulations and that couldn’t happen here. Isn’t that just what Mr Fenton in the video was told?

      • Yes Pauline, sadly neurological disorders are common among dozens (out of the hundred or so) recorded personal testimonies on both professional and home made videos that I’ve seen – so are hair loss, skin complaints, breathing disorders and nose bleeds. The story is almost the same wherever fracking is introduced. The promoters say you can’t compare other situations to yours – you’ll be better regulated, your community will get financial and employment benefits and so forth. The fellow in that video does a good job of covering most of the bases. Can you imagine an intensively fracked landscape fitting into English environs – with the much higher population density over here.

        The misrepresentation of the real impacts on health, groundwater and atmospheric contamination is criminal in my view, not to mention the employment promises and the greenhouse gas emissions, and it will just be a matter of time before the appropriate laws get get fully updated to deal with the rogues and fraudsters doing all the pushing.

        • The American people have really suffered the full force of fracking’s health and environmental impacts. It’s a crying shame.

          • Yes, tragic even. I love America but the people pushing O&G (especially fracking) do not represent the America that I love. It’s a country at war with itself over these issues and the Dakota pipeline is becoming a symbol of this battle ground.

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