Work begins at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site


Cuadrilla announced this morning it was starting surface construction work at its shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton in Lancashire.

Preston New Road Action Group, which opposes the development, said on Twitter that residents had not been informed that work had begun.

Lancashire Police has confirmed

“We have been made aware that road works will be commencing today on the A583 with temporary traffic lights near the Plumpton site”

A statement from the Cuadrilla said:

“Planning consent was granted in October 2016 and Lancashire County Council recently discharged the planning conditions and approved Cuadrilla’s associated management plans for the works.”

Two legal challenges have been submitted against the consent by the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, but no date for any hearings has been confirmed.

Cuadrilla said the Preston New Road site would take approximately three months to build and prepare before drilling can commence.

The statement added:

“These early works will include a new site entrance, access road and well pad. The top soil on the well pad will be cleared so a protective membrane can be installed to create an impermeable barrier underneath the site.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla said:

“The start of work on our new shale gas exploration site is an important milestone for Lancashire, bringing new economic growth and jobs for the County. The work will be undertaken to the highest safety and environmental standards. The operations are also underpinned by comprehensive site monitoring programmes undertaken separately by ourselves, regulators and independent academics. Twelve months from now we hope this work will prove the economic viability of this indigenous shale gas resource in Lancashire which will help improve energy security for the nation.”

Preston New Road Action Group said

“Cuadrilla have permission to start work on the road outside PNR site. Obviously ignoring any legal fracking challenges they are facing”

47 replies »

      • I think this site has more integrity than to print such anti FoE propaganda. I have spent much of the last post trying to get and answer to the question – which of FoE’s front page statements is actually untrue? i.e. from “..that fracking could cause cancer, contaminate water supplies, increase asthma rates and send house prices plummeting”. Nobody has been able to give any satisfactory reply, or even an cogent answer.

        Clearly the ASA will be playing catch up on the evidence side and so will the English public. More and more counties in the States are getting moratoriums and fracking bans in place for the above reasons and more.

        • Clearly FoE has been very deceptive in their response to the ASA action. They’ve claimed that the issue was “dropped” when that is not the case, and they’ve said that the only repercussion was that they couldn’t recirculate an old leaflet when, in fact, they were told that they couldn’t promote the claims or similar ones that appeared in that leaflet. These people are as scaly as they come.

          Here’s a letter from the head of the ASA stating exactly that.

          [Edited by moderator] Blog post here

          and DrillOrDrop’s report here. [\edit]

          • “Indeed, we’ve taken action before against the fracking industry for its own ad claims, when they haven’t stood up to scrutiny.”

            LOL – yes a ruling 🙂 Not an informal resolution 1-0

            And Peeny why are you bringing this up on this post – it has nothing to do with the subject so it’s just trolling.

            • They really got spanked didn’t they johnny boy! Oooooouch! Not only forced to withdraw their fraudulent claims, but also caught lying while trying to defend their actions. Can you say “utter destruction”? LOL

        • FoE had 14 months to provide credible evidence. Their original stuff was technically very poor scientifically. I know, cos I wrote the complaint from ‘members of the public’.They use the words ‘toxic’, ‘risk’ and ‘hazard’ interchangeably, and do not know what they mean!! I had to spend a page going through the various designations of toxic, in various contexts.

          2 draft judgements later and FoE still have no credible evidence. ASA are now insisting that the disreputable FoE follow what they promised. They are str=arting to look very stupid indeed, and interviewers are taking them apart!

          • Ah, pity. Makes FoE look very disorganised. I trust you were representing the public in a totally unbiased and non prejudiced manner Ken? Just to correct one of peeny’s points – saying that ASA told FoE that they ‘couldn’t promote the claims or similar ones that appeared in that leaflet’ – it needs the original context i.e. that this held unless or until suitable evidence was provided.

            • Pleasant dreams, Phil. FoE is reeling, the anti-frack movement is teetering. You’re the only one who still believes the quack science that FoE used to make the claims which have now been banished. OMG, Awesome! Sleep well little fella!

              • I would pennywise but your incessant inconsequential wittering on keeps me awake. Tell me when you have anything interesting to say and I will give it my furthest attention, mind you judging by your recent performance pennywise that is extremely unlikely.
                You know this tree is remarkably comfortable……..yawn……….zzzzzzzzz

                • Still frackmongering pennywise?Ducking the issue again pennywise? Geddit? Duck? Quack quack? Its all frack quack to you isn’t it pennywise? that’s what comes of living in frackland of the not very brave! Better get back in your black lagoon swamp pennywise, the Trump dredgers are coming!

                • Ha ha, oh dear pennywise you are a one! You dodge Every issue pennywise, you witter on about scientific method but you don’t even understand what it means!!
                  I”ll tell you about your precious scientific method means pennywise.
                  Firstly, it is an examination of all the evidence without pre-judging anything. All the evidence is collected, positive, negative or neither, without prejudice, without favouritism and without bias, otherwise it is not science. Then each element is tested again and again and again, nothing is excluded and nothing is added. Blind studies are set up and nothing is judged yet. Then after every exhaustive test has been carried out and blind studies too., all the data is collected, categorised, evaluated without predjudice and recorded in the greatest detail possible. That data is then checked and re checked and checked again, any errors, and there are always some are either evaluated or the experiment carried out again. Still no conclusion is reached, no pre- judging is carried out and all such evident bias either removed or re-tested. Still no conclusion is made. The available data is collated in all possible correlations and collated in as many various ways as possible. Still no pre-judging or conclusions are drawn. Trends are noted but no synopsis or conclusion, just data measurement. Then all the data is peer reviewed as far and wide as possible, the peer reviews are never pre judged regardless of political, scientific or cultural bias, all are treated equally.
                  When all that has been returned and any anomalies either retested and resubmitted or corrected if its a mistake. When all that process has been carried out only then can the number crunching begin and trends identified. Understand there is NO empirical conclusions even then only trends and categories of statistical analysis identified and listed in terms of giving elements an arbitrary score of statistical probability. Rarely, if ever, does one element of statistical analysis rise above the data to give a direct conclusion. Often its just a LIKELIHOOD of probability above the base data. The conclusion and synopsis are always the same, only PROBABILITY is recorded and a likely trend, and there is always an enormous addendum detailing the statistical anomalies, the limitation of data collection and statistical analysis and method. And so a scientific report is released IN ITS ENTIRETY and in the addendum it is always stated that statistical analysis is always limited by the available data and methods of collection and a greater sample may produce entirely different results.
                  There, now, how does your painfully inadequate understanding of scientific method and testing stand up to that?
                  Do the science, do the maths, carry out unbiased examination of ALL the available data and go through the above process and submit your report, it should take you about five years and cost around $10 million. When you have done all that without bias come back and post the COMPLETE UNBIASED results here.

                • It is worth noting that no oil&gas organisation or government has carried out a verified peer reviewed analysis of fracking, its effects on water air land and climate change in its entirety. The only person who has carried out such empirical scientific peer review analysis into aspects of this highly complex industrial new process of high pressure fracking and failures of existing well integrity is Dr Anthony Ingraffea, and he, has been personally vilified but his peer reviewed scientific methodology and analysis remain unchallenged. Just the usual industry strategy of play the man, not the ball, no equivalent scientific peer reviewed analysis has been produced by the oil and gas industry or its supporters or indeed any government organisation. Until when or if that is done all other claims for the industry remain unsubstantiated conjecture and opinion. So we either rely upon peer reviewed existing scientific analysis or we remain in the never never land of partial political policy and biased conjecture. I prefer to be guided by such peer reviewed scientific analysis that exists so far, and they do not support the untested high pressure tracking process and further indicate regular failure of existing wells.
                  That is the present state of play.

                • What is also worth noting is that the long awaited review into the climate change effects of fossil fuels carried out by the UK government was stifled and delayed by Teresa May until the planning conditions for fracking in Lancashire and Yorkshire could be overturned by the governments hatchet man of choice before the report was released and could be taken into account which may well have supported the planning conditions and prevented oil and gas permissions across the country. Teresa May also disbanded the department responsible for assessing climate change, thereby preventing further damage to government policy.
                  Hardly a scientific assessment of the available data from a government point of view either.
                  No scientific method there is there?

          • Has this [edited by moderator] got NO idea how to behave on social media at all?

            Do stop cross posting and repeating yourself please.

            • I hope I haven’t annoyed you refraction, the yawns are all for the off subject posts of pennywise and co, not you.

            • I do it for you, Johnny! You’re obsessed with me and always thinking of me. I know you want more posts and more info from me. I just enjoy making you happy!

              BTW, are you ready to debate? Give me your reasons against fracking and let’s get going!

  1. More speculation, PhilC. I would have thought some lesson may have been learned from FOE.

    Fear sells, and is used in so many sectors, but remember the recent referendum. Overdo it, and people lose all sympathy.

    • No speculation Martin, the FOE issue is all red herring, i would have given it little credence either way, it was only a poster, which is why i kept out of it. i thought i would just return the complement of the dire posts from you, TW, pennywise and mark, fun, isnt it? I am just enjoying spreading good will and joy to the unconverted, forget any constructive discussion, just ridicule invective and and personal abuse, i really enjoy, but ultimately t is a waste of time ans space. thats mostly what i see on other posts and soon to be of course on this one too, if you dont like it then pick up your game and stop wasting time and space on these posts. when you and your colleagues start to act like grown ups, i will, simple as that.

      PS i meant what i said, the oil industry will destroy the health and environment in this country, and lives will suffer, just as they have have all across the world, hide all the facts in intimidation and non disclosure agreements if you can, it doesn’t alter the truth, nor will it ever do.
      I shall always mean what i say and say what i mean, if you dont like it, tough, meanwhile i play you at your own little game, i hope you enjoy the ride.

      • Ooops, a few spelling mistakes there, i think this new ipad is great for most things, but the touch screen keypad is rubbish, never mind. i should be grateful to the hundreds of thousands of children who spent their day up to their necks in water in the slave mines for the raw materials suffering massive heartless fatalities that the industry keeps very very quiet about, and also those hundreds of thousands of poor slaves forced to put them all together, another offensive legacy of the slave owning industries. God help them and god help us for exploiting them.
        Time to stop this madness.

    • It’s a very good point, Martin. One that you would think that the anti-frack mafia would have picked up on long ago. There’s a reason why Trump and Brexit won, it’s because the irrationality of the far left. When FoE plays dirty, and lies to people so that it can raise money, people become upset and push hard in the opposite direction. Much better to have a rational, fact-based discussion, and come to moderate, middle of the road decisions. But the anti-frack mafia will hear none of that!

  2. This could be a valuable control experiment. Compare and contrast the actual effect on the environment in Lancashire with the effect at KM of a similar project but with demonstrators? Which one is more disruptive. Let someone (one at a time please!) monitor the traffic, count the trucks going in and out. Compare the traffic levels to any KM walkers in front of trucks.

    Two things Francis Egan have said in the past have always impressed me. One was how he says that once people drill, the response is going to be “Is that it? Is that what the fuss was all about?”

    The other was : “Its not about how much gas is there. It’s about how much do you want?”

    • As a Francis Egan fan you must be excited about his claim

      “you need to understand the scale of this – this will be the largest gas field in the whole of Western Europe”.

      Opinion polls show the majority oppose fracking and the industrialisation of the countryside.

      No surprise you are a ‘want’ supporter

      The last 6 years have proven to be a good experiment proving that the strength and resolve of local communities is far superior to corporations focused purely on profit.

    • Traffic monitoring an PNR should be interesting Nick.

      The closure of the main arterial road in to Lytham (Peel Road) for 2 weeks from next week, coinciding with Cuadrilla placing 30 mph advisory speed signs and temporary traffic lights, while they build the new access road from Preston New Road to the site from 9.30am – 3pm Monday to Friday, will give local people a nice little taster of what they have to come.

      Somebody today said we should just let Cuadrilla get on with it as they will mess it up themselves without any help based on past performance, and it seems that already they are on course to upset a whole load of the travelling public just as soon as they start. The Keystone Kops couldn’t do it better 🙂

  3. Getting it out may not cause drastic disruption to daily lives. Burning the gas, underground pollution, seismic disruption…. Future of the planet people! Let’s not take chances on exactly how bad global warming will be. Let’s not take chances on whether underground fracturing of the earth’s crust causes earthquakes. Better to never know than to have the worst possible outcome for all life on earth.

  4. “It was only a poster”??

    Asking for £50 donations to fund FOE legal challenges. Like the one at KM. A total waste of those donations, very obvious from the outset, but it raised the money required. Perhaps those who gave don’t care, but I suspect some will now feel pretty ripped off. And if the bank accounts now get frozen, what then? Print a few more posters?
    Shouldn’t worry too much about the antics in Yorkshire. I suspect the Yorkshire locals will find a way of dealing with that. Not to be messed with.

    • Well Martin, fortunately Backing Fracking has been kind enough to offer to write to all the “victims” (as they rather histrionically call them) offering advice. They should have a bit of money for stamps as they collected donations of £1100 for a website that still hasn’t seen the light of day over 12 months later.

      Oh goodness – I’ve just realised – the group Michael Roberts is an admin for seems to have conned people into giving cash under false pretences! Now isn’t THAT a lovely irony eh? What do you say Michael? Can you offer an explanation as to what happened to the cash? Perhaps we should get Judy Hobson to visit again and put the question to you?

  5. So, Cuadrilla have started work at Preston New Road after informing the Police and the Council but didn’t bother to inform residents living a couple of hundred metres away. Treating the residents with contempt already. I suppose that’s Cuadrilla’s idea of liaising with the community?
    I’m not surprised they’ve shown up today. It was only yesterday that was saying that all the recent pro-fracking coverage in the media and the timing of yesterday’s shenanagins with the ASA were a ploy to paint anti-frackers at Kirby Misperton and Preston New Road as scaremongers and turn public opinion against them. The frackers PR machine may be very powerful but it’s also very transparent.

  6. “Majority oppose fracking and the industrialisation of the countryside”??? Why industrialisation?? What are wind turbines and solar “farms”? Octopus drilling will make the existing on shore facilities look too excessive, and most locals are unaware they are there. By the way, I worked with a guy who lived around half a mile from a wood, that wood then contained a clearing that pumped oil up into a tank, that was emptied every now and again. No problems, less intrusion than the local muck spreading. His house was worth £1m with the wood. It was still worth £1m with the wood and the clearing.

    John, you are losing the plot! Let’s look at KM-existing site that has been extracting gas without problem for two decades and no way a problem to the locals, during construction or since. So, all of a sudden, an attempt to utilise that site more efficiently causes such twaddle.

    Keep up such attempts and there will be zero credibility left. “Majority oppose fracking”-don’t be silly. The majority have no idea what fracking is, and you know that. It just might be that now with FOE having to use facts, the majority might learn something about the facts and come to a proper conclusion.

    A few set backs, and your group quickly show a lack of a plan B. I really don’t have a lot of sympathy-plan A was very evidently a straw house, and there should have been some preparation for when it got blown away. (If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!)

    I wonder how on earth the antis will manage if a well finally gets drilled and produces good production without any negative impact? I suspect the conspiracy theory will be revisited.

  7. Without any negative impact Martin Collyer? We’ll be testing the water for levels of unwanted chemicals, and monitoring the number of cases of respiratory diseases, skin complaints, blood disorders, and problems in pregnancy, and comparing them to research already done and existing documentation in the US around fracking sites. Then we’ll decide about whether there is negative impact and let you know.

  8. Good grief .. I hope you’ll learn a few facts about fracking Martin! ‘Why industrialisation?’ just shows that you haven’t done your homework.
    Shan’t explain it all here but just google ‘fracking gas fields’, and look up images. You confuse conventional and unconventional drilling above. Its all deep underground and extended horizontally sure but didn’t you know that this is nothing like sipping gas out of a huge reservoir. Over 70% of the gas from each well is gone in the first year. You have to re-drill every 3 months to maintain flow then once your cluster of wells has saturated the vicinity around the pad site you make another site and then another and another – and so it goes on. Gas is not for trucking, you need pipelines, so the lattice of interconnecting pipelines grows with the pad sites. And Methane out of the ground is never pure, it’s mix with other stuff – you have to have condensers and other plant too – it’s a leaky dirty business.

    ‘The majority have no idea what fracking’ let’s see … you do? you are vocal about the ‘uninformed’ critics but are clearly a newbie to the whole approach of high volume hydraulic fracturing. You joined the pro-frackers bandwagon denounciation FoE’s statements – as lies or propaganda – but couldn’t answer my simple challenge to prove any of their pamphlet’s front page statements as untrue. You are a climate change denier so are ripe fodder for the alt-right-ish bullies who insist on bulldozing the case for fracking.

    I do hope you take up independent learning and reflection on the real facts around fracking and don’t join this delusional ‘reality’ that is being pushed by certain people here – those who avoid even looking at the hundreds if not thousands of testimonials from people already who have have had very damaging experiences of being around fracking wells. Complaints pour into Penn State offices at the rate of around 200 per week – the local authorities who usually have neither the resources nor the remit to act on these often bury or shed them>
    Please understand how this charade of ‘no evidence’ has been maintained for so long.

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