Protest update: 20 March-2 April 2017

Break the Chain Armstrong Aggregates 170327 4 Reclaim The Power

Leapers Wood Quarry, Carnforth, 27 March 2017. Photo: Reclaim the Power

In this update of protests about fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry:

  • Reclaim the Power’s Breaking the Chain protest at fracking supply companies
  • 50 villagers joined protest against oil drilling near Billingshurst, W Sussex
  • Bez, of the Happy Mondays, visits Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site
  • Cycle protest
  • Lock-on at A E Yates

This post will be updated with new activities.

1 April 2017

Billingshurst, West Sussex

More than 50 local people took part in a protest in Billingshurst against plans to explore for oil nearby at Broadford Bridge. The event, supported by opponents of onshore drilling from across the Weald, comes as Kimmeridge Gas and Oil Ltd prepares to drill at the site at Wood Barn Farm. Latest DrillOrDrop post

Ian Gammie, Chairman of the Adversane Residents’ Association, said:

 ‘The community has not been informed enough by either the oil company, the local Parish Council or West Sussex County Council. If it wasn’t for leaflets from Keep Billingshurst Frack Free posted through the door, most residents wouldn’t even know about the site. We did a survey recently about issues affecting the area, and asked 36 residents what they thought about fracking: 20 said they were against it, two were for it and the rest needed more information. That says it all.”

“In the last couple of weeks, we’ve found out that UKOG have taken over the site, but we don’t know what they’ve actually got permission to do. You’d think given that we are the residents who will have drilling on our doorstep, we should be told. We want to know how we’ll be affected by the drilling, but we’re not getting any answers. There hasn’t been enough consultation on safety generally. I would like the company to share the details of what they intend to do at the site. Surely they have a social responsibility to let locals know.”

4illingshurst 170401 3 Jon O'Houston

Keep Billingshurst Drill Free, 1 April 2017. Photo: Jon O’Houston

Billingshurst 170401 6 Jon O'Houston

Keep Billingshurst Drill Free, 1 April 2017. Photo: Jon O’Houston

Billingshurst 170401 2 Jon O'Houston

Keep Billingshurst Drill Free, 1 April 2017. Photo: Jon O’Houston

Billingshurst 170401 1 Jon O'Houston

Keep Billingshurst Drill Free, 1 April 2017. Photo: Jon O’Houston

Billingshurst 170401 8 Jon O'Houston

Keep Billingshurst Drill Free, 1 April 2017. Photo: Jon O’Houston

Billingshurst 170401 7 Jon O'Houston

Keep Billingshurst Drill Free, 1 Apirl 2017. Photo: Jon O’Houston

UK Investor Show, London

Activists with an anti-fracking slogan painted on their backs took part in a demonstration at the UK Investor Show in protest at Union Jack Oil’s stand. The “naked truth” protest was part of Reclaim the Power’s Break the Chain protest.

UK Investor Show 170401 Reclaim the Power

One of the participants said:

“We have put our bodies in the way today, to protest the work of Union Jack Oil in furthering the fracking industry and to disrupt their reputation.

“UJO has been exploring for unconventional oil and gas and doing field development work for possible future fracking sites in the UK for the past two years.

“Whilst they regularly attempt to disguise their actions behind legal jargon, they have used flow testing and acid fracturing to develop the case for unconventional oil and gas extraction, either by them or another company. It is essentially gateway drilling.”

Video: https://www.pscp.tv/w/1lPKqZLNVjQGb

Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, Lancashire

PNR Gordon Marsden 170401 Fylde Constituency Labour Party

Gordon Marsden at Preston New Road, 1 April 2017. Photo: Fylde Constituency Labour Party

Blackpool South MP Gordon Marsden meets residents opposing fracking on the Fylde at Preston New Road. He tells the Blackpool Gazette:

“I wanted to go down to the site on Preston New Road to see for myself what was happening – there were lots of drivers beeping their support in opposition to what Cuadrilla are doing.

“It is completely wrong of the Government to ignore local democracy and the wishes of people in Lancashire by allowing Cuadrilla to frack despite the strong opposition to it.”

31 March 2017

A E Yates depot, Bolton

Reclaim the Power activists from Lancashire shut down A E Yates’ depot in Bolton, the works contractor for Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site. Two women were arrested.

A E Yates 170331 2 River Rain

Lock-on protest at A E Yates, Bolton, 31 March 2017. Photo: River Rain

A E Yates 170331 River Rain

Lock-on protest at A E Yates, Bolton, 31 March 2017. Photo: River Rain

30 March 2017

Eddie Stobart depots in Warrington

Activists blockaded two premises in Warrington of the Eddie Stobart haulage firm in protest at deliveries to the Preston New Road fracking site. Two men were arrested.

Eddie Stobart 170330 Eddie Thornton

Lock-on protest, 30 March 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

Eddie Stobart 170330 Cheryl Atkinson

Blockade, 30 March 2017. Photo: Cheryl Atkinson

29 March 2017

Centrica HQ, Windsor

Break the chain Centrica 170329 Emily Connor

Reclaim the Power party at Centrica HQ for chief executive, Iain Conn, 29 March 2017. Photo: Emily Connor

Reclaim the Power said a group of anti-fracking campaigners held a party for Centrica’s chief executive, Iain Connor, at the company’s head office, to mark his £1.4m bonus.

The event was part of Reclaim the Power’s Break the Chain protest against the supply chain of the fracking industry. One of the activists said:

“Without his company bankrolling fracking in Lancashire, the industry would be dead in the water.

“Fracking may be devastating to local communities and have no public backing, but kudos to Iain for sticking with it through the tough times. Going forward, we hope Centrica continues to profit from Lancashire’s sacrifices, and that you can use your millions to shield yourself from climate catastrophe.”

28 March 2017

Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, Lancashire

Eight people took part in a lock-on protest outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road.

PNR 8 person lock-on 170328 Eddie Thornton 2

Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, Lancashire, 28 March 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

PNR 8 person lock-on 170328 Eddie Thornton

Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, Lancashire, 28 March 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

PNR 8 person lock-on 170328 Eddie Thornton 3

Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, Lancashire, 28 March 2017. Photo: Eddie Thornton

Leeds bus stops

Reclaim the Power placed satirical posters overnight at bus stops in Leeds as part of its Break the Chain protest. The posters, based on similar branding by Yorkshire Water, warning that liquid waste from the shale gas industry would come to the treatment works as Knostrop in Leeds.

Break the Chain Leeds bus stops 170328 Reclaim the Power

George Calvert, from Reclaim the Power, said:

“Yorkshire Water’s most recent advertising campaign has refered to clean water as a ‘liquid birthright’ but we know this could be threatened if the Knostrop treatment works accepts fracking fluid. That’s why we decided to do some extra advertising for them and let people around Leeds know what could be on the way. There’s currently no fracking in the UK, and Yorkshire Water and FCC Environment can cut ties with the industry now before it gets started to help protect the people of Leeds and the global climate”.

27 March 2017

Leapers Wood Quarry, Carnforth, Lancashire

Break the Chain Armstrong Aggregates 170327 1 Reclaim The Power

Leapers Wood Quarry, Carnforth, 27 March 2017. Photo: Reclaim the Power

Reclaim the Power said members of anti-fracking group, Bristol Rising Tide, blocked the entrances to a Lancashire quarry, used by Aggregate Industries, a supplier to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool. The 11-hour blockade, using swings on the height barriers, led to queues of lorries attempting to go to the quarry. Reclaim the Power said two people had been arrested.

Break the chain Armstrong Aggregates 170327 3 Kristian Buus

Leapers Wood Quarry, Carnforth, 27 March 2017. Photo: Kristian Buus

This was the first day of a scheduled fortnight of action by Reclaim the Power called Break the Chain, aimed at the supply chain of the shale gas industry.

The Bay website reported that Morecambe and Lunesdale MP, David Morris, said:

“I condemn in the strongest terms this irresponsible intimidation of companies and road users trying to go about their lawful business and get on with their daily lives. The Police have a difficult enough time without having to devote resources to manage people from outside the area who are wasting everyone’s time and standing in the way of jobs and opportunity for local people.”

The Bristol Post reported on 5 April 2017 that a Edward Crawley from Bristol is due to appear before Blackpool Magistrates Court on 12 June, charged with aggravated trespass. A 40-year-old woman, also from Bristol, was arrested on suspicion of obstruction and disrupting a person engaged in lawful activity but was later released without charge.

Bez visits Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, Lancashire

Bez, the dancer and maracas player with the Happy Mondays, visited Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool.

Bez PNR 170327 1

Bez, World of Water, nr Preston New Road, 27 March 2017. Photo: Steve Spy

Bez PNR 170327 3 Steve Spy

Bez with Tina Rothery, Preston New Road, Little Plumpton 27 March 2017. Photo: Steve Spy

Video by the Blackpool Gazette:

23 March 2017

A E Yates, Bolton

A E Yates Bolton 170323 River Rain

A E Yates, Bolton, 23 March 2017. Photo taken from video by River Rain

Opponents of fracking took part in a lock-on protest outside the entrance of A E Yates, the site construction contractor for Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road, shale gas site.

The protesters unlocked themselves after five hours and received a warning from police.

D Morgan, Ellesmere Port

Protest outside civil engineering firm, D Morgans, Hooton, Ellesmere Port.

D Morgan 170323 2 Leo Dobbs

D Morgan, Ellesmere Port, 23 March 2017. Photo: Leo Dobbs

D Morgan 170323 Leo Dobbs

D Morgan, Ellesmere Port, 23 March 2017. Photo: Leo Dobbs

22 March 2017

Reclaim the cycle lane protest, Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, Lancashire

Anti-fracking campaigners took part in a cycle ride, called On Yer Bike, Cuadrilla, to protest about the shale gas site at Preston New Road and the loss of the cycle lane.

PNR cycle protest 170222 1 Ros Wills

Preston New Road, Lancashire, 22 March 2017. Photo: Ros Wills

PNR cycle protest 170222 2 Ros Wills

Preston New Road, Lancashire, 22 March 2017. Photo: Ros Wills

PNR cycle protest 170222 3 Ros Wills

Preston New Road, Lancashire, 22 March 2017. Photo: Ros Wills

21 March 2017

Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, Lancashire

Lorry at PNR 170321 Refracktion

Lorry leaving the Preston New Road site, 21 March 2017. Photo: from a video by Refracktion (see below)

Opponents of operations at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site complained as an articulated lorry failed to negotiate the exit to the site. There had also been complaints about mud on the road from the site. On 23 March, Lancashire County Council announced it was reducing the speed limit on Preston New Road from 50mph to 30mph and then 20mph outside the site.

Video by Refracktion:


13-19 March 2017

6-12 March 2017

26 February-5 March 2017

20-26 February 2017

13-19 February 2017

6-12 February 2017

30 January-5 February 2017

23-29 January 2017

16-22 January 2017

7-13 January 2017

1-6 January 2017


35 replies »

  1. [Edited by moderator] The longer the public are exposed to these games, the better for the chances of shale gas exploration.

    • [Edited by moderator] … its just diversion tactics you all have employed since this web site started, jumping on anyone who has the temerity to express an opinion contrary to the wishes of the O&G industry, and that is how you operate. [Edited by moderator]
      What really matters is that this country is being attacked by an industry that ignores all the laws and the regulations, and that it is being sanctioned and protected by our own government, that, is unacceptable [Edited by moderator]

      • Phil, It seems to me that most of the pro-frackers make the mistake that the world works on their terms. Most truly believe that the making of that mythical beast ‘money’ at the expense of others is right and proper. It is a colonial mentality perpetuated by those who really pull the strings.

        Sadly for them it is in fact a myth. People are all different. We don’t think the same. We all have different paths and choices. The world is still turning, for now. Those of us who feel strongly about protecting the places we call home, our children and their children will continue to make a stand; some will be direct, others behind the scenes.

        It’s what I love about humanity. Those who work together to make the world a better place will continue despite the few who seem bent on destruction. The world is a beautiful place.

        • Yes, Sherwulfe, it still is a beautiful planet, i had the privilege to see much of it in past years, from the air and on the ground and i was astounded and impressed by the sheer scale and magnificence of the natural landscape. I used to come back to England and feel closed in but also happy that we had not yet turned our country into the industrial wastelands i was also unfortunate enough to see abroad.
          What i see around me here, not just with the o&g industry in particular, but others too, has saddened me. i saw some of the horrors abroad mostly, that man is capable of and vowed then never to let it happen to my own country, where at least i had some say in it.I narrowly missed the advent of the 1st Gulf war, and didnt see the results until years later when the mine clearing and gusher capping was still being carried out, what i saw there was indescribably horrific, even after a partial clean up. The wake up call was timely and here we are, I see Bury Hill Wood, where i spent some time nearby many years ago now, and fell in love with the place, the tiny twisting roads and high stone natural escarpments either side, the quiet woods and the closeness of the few houses and overhanging trees. Quite magical.
          I agree, we band together to protect this still beautiful planet, it was never about money, it was always about whether we are capable and responsible enough to care for this planet and not just use it like an endlessly exploitable resource
          For some apparently if the earth will not give up its resources freely, then they will use violence and force to rip the resources from the earth and leave it bleeding, and its time to say no.

  2. [Edited by moderator]

    This is supposed to be a site for debate between those who support fracking, and those who do not. I have assured you numerous times I have no contact with the companies looking to frack in the UK or any financial incentive to support them. That is still over looked to try to create a conspiracy. I just believe they should be given a chance to prove their cause, or, if that fails, to move on. The increasing desperation to try and prevent that is the best proof that the ice is pretty thin.

    [Edited by moderator]

    • ‘ Prove their cause, or, if that fails, to move on’

      The technical failings by Cuadrilla at Preese Hall are well documented

      Click to access 5055-preese-hall-shale-gas-fracturing-review-and-recomm.pdf

      The report is clear about those failings and what is likely to happen during future treatments

      The complexity and difficulties working in the Bowland Basin are highlighted many times by the British Geological Survey in the official review of the report, prepared solely to advice The Department of Energy and Climate Change, on the events which took place during 6 small fracking operations at the Preese Hall well in 2011 which were responsible for 50 recorded seismic events.

      ‘The reports from these studies conclude that the earthquake activity was caused by direct fluid injection into an adjacent fault zone during the treatments.’

      There are numerous references suggesting dangers associated with any future operations

      ‘we are not convinced by the projected low probability of other earthquakes during future treatments’

      ‘The analyses failed to identify a causative fault, and knowledge of faulting in the Basin is poor. In the present state of knowledge it is entirely possible that there are critically stressed faults elsewhere in the Basin’

      ‘The reason for such high leak off is correctly indicated as probably due to extensive natural fractures’

      ‘Although some large scale structures have been mapped earthquakes in the magnitude range of 2 to 3 M require only relatively small rupture areas,and so can occur on small faults’

      There are many more similar references

      These references to the fault system become even more concerning when reading Cuadrilla’s request for future seismic threshold to be set at 2.6M (1.7M plus 0.9M post injection magnitude increase) An astonishing request after the repercussions of triggering a 2.3M.

      This request is not accepted by the BGS but the careful wording of ‘for the next few events’ and ‘can be adjusted over time’ puts great doubt on how long the imposed 0.5M would be adhered to.

      The Ineos shale team, with their US expert advisers, recently commented on the risks of working in the Bowland shale.

      No mitigation measures or recommendations could ever guarantee the stability of the geology of the Bowland Basin on which so much depends and common sense would suggest that as the first attempt has produced serious technical failings then the hundreds that would follow would not pass without incident with serious consequences.

      Martin thinks it’s time for Cuadrilla to move on. I agree.

  3. So, you agree with your own statement John. That’s to be commended, but very long winded to arrive at that conclusion.

    Much simpler to state, “it is all going to be a disaster, so let Cuadrilla make the mistake, and we can get on with life”. No? I wonder why not.

    • I don’t think we can afford to let Cuadrilla have another go. If a surgeon had botched his three first hip operations would you let him operate on you?

      Lubrication of faults with fracking fluid has indeterministic consequences – the tensile state of the fault boundaries is not known. The planned Preston New Road exploratory drill directions would pass through the recently identified fault trending from Preese Hall to St Annas road and we know what happened at Preese Hall where they couldn’t even frack vertically let alone horizontally. Nothing might happen at the development stage, nothing might happen during production, nothing might happen at all ever. But maybe five or ten years down the line after the fracking starts or after fracking waste fluid is reintroduced for disposal quakes will start, maybe never to stop – look at certain areas of the States….

      So they’ll be fracking through the Sherwood Reservoir that probably drives the three springs at WakePark leisure lakes, close to this fault. The same supposedly ‘saline’ reservoir that historically was used by the cotton mills in Kirkham and a dairy at Elswick.

      The well pad under construction is approximately the same size as Wrea Green ‘green’ which is a big ‘green’. You have ineffective regulators that have not yet visited the site once when under construction. It’s really a production pad for upto 60 wells in all directions with suggestions of ladder level horizontal drilling – unique – to allow these thick highly faulted beds to be fracked in an area which suffers subsidence.

      And would you really trust this company not to contemplate reinjecting the fracking fluid into a well purposely perforated at the upper Sherwood Sandstone Level. Would anyone check? How would they check?

  4. I’m not sure but isn’t the agreement regarding Cuadrilla that they don’t re-infect the frack fluid but instead take it away for treatment elsewhere, so reducing the risk?

    • Well , no one’s sure, I’m sure! A consultation for public comment that disappeared with no published results specifically cited/suggested/recommended re-injection.
      ( https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/portal/ho/ep/oog/guidance?pointId=1444679889218?)

      More specifically, the permit blurb for the site includes:-

      The flowback fluid will contain water, sand, polyacrylamide and mineralised content
      from the target formation.

      No limits are required to be imposed for reuse of the flowback fluid because the mineralised content that is brought to surface with the flowback fluid has come from the formation to be fractured.

      Reuse of the flowback fluid in the hydraulic fracturing fluid will only result in the mineralised content returning to the formation from which is was derived and will therefore have no discernible impact upon the receiving environment
      We have assessed that there is no groundwater in the shale and we do not expect the fractures to propagate into the Millstone Grit. If the retained fluid did unexpectedly migrate into the Millstone Grit, the quality of water in the Millstone Grit and the retained fluid will be so similar that there will be no significant environmental impact.

      this is from :-

      Environment Agency Permitting Decisions
      Consultation on our decision document recording our decision making process
      The Permit Number is: EPR/AB3101MW/A001
      The Applicant/Operator is:Cuadrilla Bowland Limited
      The Site is located at: Preston New Road Exploration Site,Little Plumpton, Fylde, Lancashire, PR4 3PJ

      Click to access Cuadrilla%20Preston%20New%20Road%20Decision%20Document%20RSR%20Permit%20KB3395DE.pdf

      So it would appear that reinjection into the Millstone Grit would be quite tolerable!? Re-inject in used wells to get rid of waste?! What happened in various regions of the States when this happened….

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