First public meeting for two years on Fylde fracking

PNR 20170612 from video by Lady Bones 4

Cuadrilla’s shale gas site, Preston New Road, 12 June 2017. Photo: Lady Bones

People who want to find out more about fracking in the Fylde area of Lancashire are being urged to attend the first town hall-style public meeting on the subject for more than two years.

The event, organised by Fylde resident and oil and gas engineer Mike Hill, comes as Cuadrilla prepares to begin drilling at its Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool.

The meeting is described as an information event – not a pro or anti fracking meeting. It is expected to address issues including drilling and fracking techniques, regulations, monitoring of air and water, and consequences for local people.

Mike Hill said he would talk about the fracking process and its history in the Fylde so far. A retired medical consultant will talk about environmental and health issues. The event will also include an extended question and answer session, he said.

Mr Hill said

“With Cuadrilla about to start drilling at the first major test site in the Fylde, there is an urgent need for information.

“There are many questions being asked, about the process, how will the wells be drilled and fracked, what protection do we have, what regulations are in force, how will they be enforced and fracking monitored, and what are the consequences for those who live here, and our air and water.”

PNR 201705312 FrackFreeCreators - KnittingNanas 2

Preston New Road shale gas site, Little Plumpton, 31 May 2017. Photo: Frack Free Creators – Knitting Nanas Lancashire

Mr Hill added:

“The meeting is intended largely for those coming to the subject for the first time, and the focus will be on providing facts, not presenting opinion.

“This is a vital issue for our area, and I hope all those who want to take a fact-based and balanced view on this new potential industry in the Fylde will come along.”

He said he particularly hoped people who had moved to the area in the past two years would attend the meeting. He urged people:

“Please come, bring your questions, find out what’s going on and what is likely to happen next”.


Representatives of police, farmers, tourist facilities, supermarkets, churches and schools had been invited, Mr Hill said, along with supporters of fracking from the business community. A number have already confirmed attendance.

More details

The event is on Tuesday 27 June, at the 450-seat Lowther Pavilion Theatre, West Beach, Lytham St Annes FY8 5QQ. Admission is free, doors open at 7pm and the meeting begins at 7.30pm.

97 replies »

  1. You guys are are the same. I asked for an argument about any of Mike Hill’s observations and all you can come up with is alarmism and sneering personal attacks. If I was a resident in the fracking area I’d rather hear what he has to say.

    • We will all soon be residents “in the fracking area” if you lot have your way, are you really all so scared of an open debate to put forward your side? The text says that pro frackers are going to attend too, so you wont be alone?
      So safe to sit behind a keyboard and trollpost silly comments I suppose, but a tad harder face to face though isn’t itif you see someone with pink hair and a camouflage jacket it will either be GottAiPeenyRex etc etc , or me, or both…..or all of us……

    • I live a mile away from PNR and I’ll be going to listen and make my own mind up. Guaranteed Saint Francis of Egan or any of his representatives will show their faces !

        • Not unbiased but quite wary that Cuadrilla are notably shy of public events. As a lifelong Blackpool resident of course I have my concerns but will admit I’m leaning towards being anti but that’s just my personal opinion.

          • Shogun. Can I ask what your main concerns are? It’s interesting to hear someone’s viewpoint from the other side.

  2. Have they been told what will happen if the exploration phase is successful – which after all is what Cuadrilla is hoping for?

    Let’s say I was a resident then and I learn that if (exploration) successful that there would be a pad site for 4-5 wells established – possibly growing to 10 or more at a future date. To begin with, in terms of haulage, how many miles of 4-6in steel tubing, and larger (casing) steel and drill shafts etc, has to be delivered to the site? How many million gallons of water would be delivered, then sand and fracking fluids? Where does all the water come from and where will the drilling wast,e toxic sludge and flowback be going? How would road repairs and safety be managed if, say, I have children and grandchildren relying on the day-to-day use of those roads? Has ground water monitoring been carried out and evaluated over the 12 months prior to a fracking license being granted (as recommended by the EA guidelines)? How long will the fracking phases be, what noises and emissions should we expect at those times, up to the completion stages?

    These are all things I would want to know. Care to work through these points?

    • Phil
      All good guestions.
      Re monitoring. There is information on the environmental agency website relating to Cuadrilla groundwater monitoring July to Dec 2016. I assume Jan to July 2017 will turn up soon.
      Road repairs and safety are interesting. Presumably you need the councils to speak to that.
      All the other questions look like a matter of fact, but you would need Cuadrilla to provide these, if they are not already in the public domain.

      In do not think you will get your questions answered at the forthcoming event, it would have to be one led by the operator, but they are great for this discussion board as the drilling progresses I guess.

      • What a shame then hewes62 that the operator restricts its public involvement to a few closed committee meetings and a “community information line” run by a PR agency who have no answers when you call it. They appear to be scared of direct open public involvement since Mark Miller appeared at a meeting in St Annes in 2012. I wonder why?

        • I should, to be fair, add that they did hold a couple of open days at Pipers Heights and in Freckleton but seem to have give that up as a bad idea too – when was the last one? About 2 years ago ISTR.

          • Refraction.

            Yes, they should turn up from time to time to answer questions on what they are going to do and why.

            But if people turn up to have a debate about fracking, or just to air their views then progress will be slow.

            I attended an INEOS/ Edwinstowe Parish Council meeting recently. It was billed as a presentation on the forthcoming Seismic Surveying.

            There was a brief presentation, and then there were questions. The first was ( not verbatim, but the gist ), ” despite thousands of peer reviewed papers saying fracking is unsafe and destroys people’s health, why are you going ahead with it”.

            Then there was a request for cast iron guarantee that the Parliament Oak at clipstone would not be destroyed by Fracking, as it had been there a long time.

            Similar issues were aired including sink holes, big tobacco, traffic, bamboozling the public, the effect of fracking on tourism, INEOS safety record, drilling under Sherwood Forest, likely closure of Thoresby as a result of the desire to frack, safety of houses over mine workings due to fracking, traffic, contamination of the Bunter Sandstone aquifer ( not if but when etc ), birth defects and industrialisation of the area.

            One lady gave us, the audience a 3 minute monologue on why fracking was bad, and then asked a similar question to the first.

            All OK but only three questions got through seismic, one was around the effects of the vibrations, and one about recent seismic and affect on a fishing pond and one about use of local labour. All answered OK.

            But we were no further forwards in understanding the full scope of the seismic, where was to be affected, when , likely issues with tourism and so on.

            INEOS promise to hold further meetings as things progress, primarily to inform the parish councillors and the public.

            The chairwoman did fine work trying to keep the questions coming and keep them polite, given the strength of feeling.

            Key issues for me we’re

            If you want to know what a company intends to do, hear them out and ask questions which clarify what will occur.
            If you disagree, fine, but neither side should go with the intent of denigrating the other.
            Make plans based on what you hear to take further action, or not, as you feel fit.

            If you want to debate the rights and wrongs of fracking, support or undermine the presenters, best get a panel in, a la Cantebury, with similar attendees, but also some representation from the regulators and gov, and pen in at least a day.

            The companies may then turn up to speak at the former, maybe not the latter.

            By the by, it was a good meeting, friendly as it could be, a credit to the parish council for organising it, INEOS for attending and speaking and for the few who stayed on to chew over a few issues.

            So ( and it’s a long reply ), in my opinion, Cuadrilla should bit the bullet and give factual presentations, and locals should see a way to let them without thinking it is just giving them good PR.

            • All fair enough Hewes62 – Cuadrilla’s problem is that after NOT engaging with the public openly for some time now (they did make some effort a few years ago), hiding behind a PR firm for their “community information line”, and trying to bribe the local community instead with rather transparent offerings to a football club owned by a vocal supporter and to the local rugby club they don’t really have the credibility to achieve what you suggest any more. It’s a pity as a proper dialogue would actually be useful.

            • I’ve tried to debate with lefties lots of times. They end up getting aggressive when they lose. Lots of hot air and no ideas from them, always someone else’s fault. I don’t bother with them anymore.

            • Fracking and antifracking is not a right v left issue. Except in your case, GottaBKidding, as you reveal yourself to be on the right by your constant claims that anti-fracking campaigners are on the left.

    • I thought these have been addressed by council planning permit and EA before they started. Are we going around in circle again???

      • What, the council planning regulations that have been crippled by government edict and are overruled by government decree and the underfunded understaffed EA that dont haver the resources or training or the government backing to do anything about it. And they will soon be replaced and crippled completely by an unspecified government controlled toothless propaganda machine anyway?
        Those issues?
        Circles within government circles within autocratic circles, all leading precisely nowhere. Those circles?

  3. Yes, circles are what the antis do.
    I have just noted my road has a sign up saying it will be closed for 9 days due to repairs required to the edges. Damage caused by literally hundreds of lorries travelling from building sites to dump loads of soil onto a site to raise the level for “drainage”. (Ie. the land owner could make some money to take the spoil and end up with a site suitable for mobile homes.)

    Did the land owner have to obtain permission for this? No. Will he have to pay for repairs? No. Did he construct a traffic management plan? No. Were the wheels washed before the lorries left the site? No. The reality of everyday life today. The road will be repaired, and after a few months we will all forget about it, getting on with our lives. I suspect sites such as PNR will be no different-certainly other sites for conventional gas and oil exploration in UK support this.

  4. Not going around in circles at all. Not on these threads. Frackers have just sought to downplay or mislead from the reality at every step… ‘oh, this is only an exploration etc’.

  5. Back to the election, good summary of why Labour nearly won, offfers of free everything to the under 30s:

    • Not free Paul. Paid for by business taxes.

      I do not include medium and small business in this post as they mainly pay their taxes; big corporations however who register offshore, expect a well educated and healthy workforce to join their ‘matrix’ and make their investors and directors ‘profit’ over and above a profit but refuse to pay towards this by not paying UK taxes. Disgusting. And then they shout when there is a skills shortage (or more likely the refusal to pay the best rates, wanting labour on the cheap).

      If companies want workers they should contribute to the education and welfare system of this country; either that or pay a levy to the state as a contribution towards each and every worker they take into their workforce.

    • Nice to see people are still learning as they get older.
      This election will always go down as a crisis narrowly averted. The middle classes didn’t bother voting as May didn’t inspire them and the benefit bustas came out in droves thinking more freebies. Won’t make that mistake again.

      • It’s not averted yet Peeny – we are living through it – at least those of us in the UK are.

      • Trying to rewrite history again GottaLoveTheIrony? You dont think anyone is fooled by the poll charts do you? That’s it, grasp at straws to prop up the old Osimandeus illusions, honestly you lot get more desperate by the day, dredging up anything to disguise your feet of clay.

          • “This election will always go down as a crisis narrowly averted” that is attempting rewrite history, the truth, all ready being written, will be somewhat more accurate and damning of this tory historical crisis that came home to roost big time, and the accompanying hysterical electoral climb down to DUP earth for the tories, wait till after the frack lady swings.

    • Lets see, where was the sample taken, when was it taken, how was it taken, what were the parameters of the questions, was there any implied result or absence of implied result, who took the questions, how were they recorded and processed, were there any statistical anomalies, how were they dealt with, was there an agenda or bias in the number crunching, why was age the only factor, were there any other issues not asked or ignored, what was the competency of the questions, the questioners and the sample?
      As always in statistics invariably is of the how and the why, the when and the who, and that is never mentioned, just flat result charts are essentially misleading without the required data set and methodology.
      But nice try anyway.

      • Phil, you denigrate other people’s data, but have yet to provide any source for your statement that the site will be “toxic for 30000 years”

        • [Edited by moderator] I have written extensively all ready all you need to know, as you all ready know, just look it up, and look up the Philip P posted documentary too, that will tell you how little we can trust this contemptuous industry [edited by moderator]

  6. Given the proclaimed highest of standards observed for Natural Gas development in Germany and their severe restrictions on it I found this doc very interesting. Corporations have ways over getting around laws even there (Ken Wilkinson take note).

    • Excellent documentary video Philip P and this is what is proposed in UK? Horrifying evidence of the total contempt the o&g industry have for people and their property. Lets see if any anti anti’s will be brave enough to refute this evidence of o&g gas and oil pollution in Germany?

    • Phil P
      I am not so sure!
      There is quite a lot in the report which is worth discussion.
      Overall the it seems to say that the gas industry ( EXXON Mobile is named ) has caused pollution in the past, dumping fluid in drains ( the UG oil sample for mercury ), pictures of hoses leading through a fence, and the contamination of land with mercury.
      There is also mention of past and present airborne emissions primarily benzine (cancer issues ) and Toluene. A comment by a doctor that thousands of studies show higher cancer rates near oil wells, in relation to an O&G
      In addition there is mention of past oil production with children playing near the oil wells, the dumping of cuttings around that time ( the 1950s?), and the digging of a hole to reveal water with an oil slick on it. The case of subsidence, a reference to seismic activity and the implication that this has caused the subsidence.

      As the company seems not to have spoken to the reporter directly, nor the council ( implicated by the report as covering up environmental data … or not publicising it sufficiently) then it may be a bit lob sided.

      So a lot to cover, and best one bit at a time. Past performance in oil and gas development may well have caused environmental issues and latent health issues. Contamination as evidenced in the report via soil samples and mushrooms ( as some mushrooms are good at picking up heavy metals, even in non contaminated soil) is worthy of investigation by local authorities and action as appropriate.

      The first bit would be the point Phil C makes, that this could be coming here.

      But as it already is, and has been since the First World War ……

      1. We have onshore oil in the U.K., so the oil contamination issues would be similar? Anyone know of any ( kids playing round nodding donkeys at Bothamsall/ Eakring or other onshore oilfields ) and associated health issues. Ditto the existing Weald fields. I would exclude WYF as it was well fenced.
      2. Any subsidence relating to seismic surveying. Best example would be the Vale of Belvoir and or Shelby Coalfield following intensive surveying in the 1970s. I know of none.
      3. For onshore gas a bit different but any similar issues at Kirby Misperton? Mercury contamination, dodgy councils and or hoses led through fences? Any issues around the Morcambe Field terminals or Point of Ayr?
      4. Scant local knowledge of well/industry location. I was not sure what his point was. Either oil and gas production is so well hidden few people know about it, or he only asked people in towns, who may not have travelled areound to see it.

      Enough for now.

      Next is Benzine exposure. What is the background level, what you get from smoking, open fires, driving, occupation and then what comes over the fence from a gas processing plant which flares and sometimes vents. Compared with tanker driver, petrol station and O&G employees 1960s on.

      • Hewes62,
        I am curious, you quote me as saying
        “The first bit would be the point Phil C makes, that this could be coming here.
        But as it already is, and has been since the First World War ……”
        Please refer to where and when you make that claimed quote fromI have always maintained that high pressure unconventional fracking is a recent 2007 development, but the original concept was invented by a Civil War Union Army Engineer, a Colonel Roberts, i recall?
        Or are you refering to oil extraction in UK?
        If so would you kindly quote the entire context and not an extract of the quote?

        • Phil C
          It must have been a senior moment.
          June 25 2017 8:56 am, You said, of the video, ‘ excellent documentary video Philip P, and this is what is proposed in the U.K?’
          I took that as this (conventional O/G production in Germany) was what was proposed in the UK.
          So, yes, must stick to direct quotes. Plus brush up on I pad copy and paste.
          The video does not mention fracking (as far as I can see)

  7. Not sure this meeting will be any difference to previous meeting where anti fracker brigades turn up and yell at official representatives and drown out the question time withhow their youtube based researches have shown fracking poison and kill all life forms in country farms and their advice on energy policy and renewables must be adopted immediately or else the sky will fall in. And on the side the anti fracking brigades also give financial and investment advice to attendees as a free of charge and clearly their investments advices have worked well or taken up by their comrades protesters as we know most of those taken up and support these investment advices have no fixed address and often spend their time on the street just outside PNR site. Clearly they should go and talk down the Americans since they are far to deep into shale such that they need the anti fracking brigades wisdom far more than the locals here. Their energy independence and growing economy with more secured cheap energy supplies from shale should be stopped or reversed otherwise their economy will make losses in investment money on shale and their water will be burnt poisoned people will die of all sort of cancer and illnesses buildings will fall crashing down by earthquake. The anti fracking brigades will prove to the local attendees atMr Hill meeting that despite almost a decade of shale production expasion in the US with no major incidence of these catastrophies predicted and insisted by the anti fracking brigades their faiths and religious beliefs in their researches and in the voices inside their head dictate and insist that all these disasters by shale will happen any moment now in the US (maybe next 5 minutes) and it has already happened in the UK. So all please come to the meeting and get free scientific and investment advice from the anti fracking brigades from these meetings. And sure if you are not converted by their wisdom instantly the anti fracking brigade representative there will help you by yelling loouder and louder until these message into your heard and becomes a voice inside you. So come and listen to all the wisdoms that are on offer.

    • Did you look at the documentary above that Philip P posted regarding o&g contempt and lies in Germany? That rather negates the anti anti stance in every possible way doesn’t it?

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