DrillOrDrop’s July 2017 digest of news about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas updated daily. For headlines from previous months, click here
21 July 2017
Leith Hill oil drilling could trap people in homes and put lives at risk – opponents warning on traffic management scheme. DrillOrDrop report
Food and farming rally closes Cuadrilla’s fracking site. DrillOrDrop report
20 July 2017
Angus shares keep rising despite no resolution to planning dispute over Brockham oil site. DrillOrDrop report
Restore balance between rights of protesters and drilling companies – MEP. DrillOrDrop report
Protest police remove arm tube as TV reporter demonstrates anti-fracking lock-on. DrillOrDrop
Tensions rise at fracking site in UK after police and activists clash. The Guardian reports clashes between protesters, security officers and police at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site on 19 July. One demonstrator said she was left unconscious and received treatment in hospital. The paper also reports that an activist fell from his wheelchair when police tried to move him out of the road. Mail Online and The Mirror
Cuadrilla were in my school today – fracking company’s new PR trick. DeSmog UK reports Cuadrilla is putting its logo in front of children in Lancashire through sponsoring sports clubs and school competitions. The website said staff members have reached out to schools, including a talk to Kirkham Grammar School.
INEOS threatens legal action against National Trust over fracking survey. The Worksop Guardian reports that INEOS will ask permission for a court order to enforce the right to carry out seismic surveys on National Trust land unless the organisation changes its opposition. Energy Voice and Lancashire Evening Post
19 July 2017
Five-woman lock-on outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. DrillOrDrop protest update
Police overturned a wheelchair of a disabled protester as they try to move him out of the road outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site. In other scuffles a woman reported she was knocked unconscious and needed hospital treatment. DrillOrDrop protest update
Alleged assault of anti-fracking protester at Cuadrilla shale gas site – police send file to prosecutors. DrillOrDrop report
Planners seek public opinions on minerals policy. The Gazette and Herald reports that North Yorkshire County Council, the North York Moors authority and City of York Council are again seeking the public’s views on the mining and waste plan for the next 13 years. The deadline for comments is 6 September 2017.
18 July 2017
Countdown to comment deadlines on INEOS E Mids shale plans – campaigners urge councils to consider impacts of fracking. DrillOrDrop report on consultation on Harthill and Marsh Lane applications
Environment Agency grants standard rules permit to INEOS for proposed Harthill shale gas site. DrillOrDrop (see bullet point half way through post)
Investors back UKOG’s bid to extend consent for oil exploration at Broadford Bridge. DrillOrDrop report
Lorry concerns delay decision on traffic management plan for Third Energy fracking site at Kirby Misperton, North Yorks. DrillOrDrop report
Lock-on protest at Preston New Road in support of Italian pipeline resistance. DrillOrDrop protest update
The Environment Agency has made five visits to Cuadrilla’s Lancashire shale gas site since November 2016, of which one was unannounced, according to written parliamentary answers today. DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament
Six people charged with offences arising from anti-fracking protests have cases adjourned. The Blackpool Gazette reports that the people charged were: Samantha Atkins, 50, of Keighley, West Yorkshire (assaulting a police officer), Ellie Stanton, 24, of the Whitehills protest camp, (obstructed police), Isobel Taylor-Farley, 18, of the Preston New Road protest camp and her sister Eloise Taylor-Farley, 24, of Bolton (Obstructing police), Jonathon Black, 23, of Bolton and David Eaton, 43, of the Whitehills protest camp, (obstructing the police and offences of wilfully hiding tools belonging to a man working for the shale gas drilling firm, Cuadrilla).
17 July 2017
What’s happening this week? 17-23 July 2017. DrillOrDrop’s weekly listing of events about fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry.
Eight arrests at Marriott Drilling, Clay Cross. DrillOrDrop protest update
Oil giants under fire after breakdowns trigger nine days of flaring. The Ferret reports that ExxonMobil and Shell, which run the Mossmorran petrochemical complex in Fife are facing a legal crackdown for breaching pollution limits and endangering health after nine days of “unplanned” gas flares caused by equipment failures. The worst incident resulted in thick black smoke over Fife on 18 June, the website says. Neither company attended a public meeting earlier this month.
Cuadrilla should pay for police protection. D Barker, writing to the Blackpool Gazette, says:
“Cuadrilla, desirous to ingratiate themselves with the community by handing out donations, should willingly pay up for the excellent police attention they receive at this stringent time.”
16 July 2017
‘This has been my life for past six years’: on the anti-fracking frontline. The Guardian reports from protests outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site.
Fracking: report warns of risks associated with shale gas extraction. The Guardian reports from Northern Territory, Australia, where it says residents, environmentalists and farmers have welcomed a “balanced” report on fracking, which identified a number of risks associated with the industry and a loss of community trust.
Manchester to Blackpool anti-fracking bike ride. The Salford Star reports on a bike ride organised by Reclaim the Power which will pass Barton Moss, Wigan, Leigh and Bolton on the way to Preston and Blackpool.
15 July 2017
Campaign against fracking in Derbyshire village dealt another blow. The Derbyshire Times reports that the Communities’ Secretary has confirmed that INEOS Shale’s exploration plans for Bramley Moor Lane, Marsh Lane, near Eckington, do not need an Environmental Impact Assessment. See DrillOrDrop report on 29 June 2017
14 July 2017
Many fracking protests are not peaceful, lawful or local, says Cuadrilla – untrue says Lancs campaigners. DrillOrDrop report
Divestment and renewable energy rally, Preston New Road. DrillOrDrop protest update
Two-car lock-on at Preston New Road shale gas site. DrillOrDrop protest update
Approval for flow test programme. UK Oil & Gas Investments plc reports that the Oil and Gas Authority has granted final consent for extended flow testing at Broadford Bridge. The company said the programme would test around 900ft of naturally-fractured Kimmeridge rocks over multiple zones to establish if oil can flow at commercial rates and quantities.
Fracking firms tell government they are “suffering” as finance dries up. Greenpeace Energy Desk reports UK fracking companies privately admit they are struggling to secure finance, according to government documents obtained via freedom of information. In a meeting last May with then-business minister Anna Soubry, the Onshore Energy Services Group (OESG) said:
“Industry are finding it a challenge to get support from British banks… all funding therefore comes from overseas and self-growth,” the group said, according to the government’s minutes of the meeting.
“British banks are saying the companies are too small.”
See also The Independent
Fracking activists have a right to protest. We must support them. Jonathan Bartley, co-leader of the Green Party, writing in The Guardian says anti-fracking activists in Lancashire “are on the right side of history, and in years to come we will remember them as heroes.”
13 July 2017
Let go of your fears, Standing Rock activist tells Lancashire anti-fracking campaigners on visit to Preston New Road. DrillOrDrop report
“Right to protest under threat at Lancashire fracking site” – Green Party. DrillOrDrop report on letter to Cuadrilla’s chief executive about allegations of violence by staff at the Preston New Road shale gas site.
Wressle Planning Appeal updates. DrillOrDrop report on Egdon Resources’ announcement that it will appeal against the latest refusals of planning permission by North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee. Scunthorpe Telegraph , Proactive Investors
UKOG’s bid to extend planning consent at Broadford Bridge now open for comment. DrillOrDrop report
Lord Smith of Finsbury calls for “clear, firm, transport and rigorously implemented” regulation of fracking. DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament
Parliamentary Questions by Lord Bird and Lord Truscott on fracking regulation. DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament
Tripod and lock-on protest at Marriott Drilling, Chesterfield. DrillOrDrop protest update
Friends of the Earth slams fracking transport plans after expert report. Friends of the Earth says Third Energy’s traffic management plan for Kirby Misperton is “dangerous inadequate” after a traffic expert highlighted flaws. The group urges North Yorkshire County Council to reject the plan. ITV News
Bristol Rising Tide and local activists block storage yard of Cuadrilla’s fracking drill rig. Rising Tide reports its supporters joined activists from a protest camp at Marriott Drilling near Chesterfield. The two activists from the protest camp are locked on with an arm tubes for six hours before they were cut out. Two Bristol activists were alongside them on bamboo tripods blocking access to the yard. They were finally brought down and arrested after seven hours. All were charged with aggravated trespass.
Electric cars will fuel huge demand for power, says National Grid. The Guardian reports on the National Grid’s Future Energy Scenarios report. The two greener scenarios see no gas from fracked shale gas. But in one scenario of high fracking, shale gas is projected to provide 32bn cubic metres by 2031, a similar amount to the 36bn cubic metres provided by the North Sea last year. Regardless of how much gas comes from fracking, National Grid sees gas playing a key role in power and heating for decades.
Trade association hits back at MEP after US fracked gas arrives on Isle of Grain. KentNews.co.uk reports on comments by Ken Cronin, of UK Onshore Oil & Gas who responded to criticism by Green MEP Keith Taylor of US LNG imported into the UK on Saturday. Mr Cronin said:
“With an estimated 1,329 trillion cubic feet of gas a mile under our feet, it would be both cleaner and greener to utilise our own supply instead of shipping gas in across oceans and continents.”
US ‘will become one of the world’s top gas exporters by 2020. The Guardian reports a study by the International Energy Agency which says growth in production as fracking opens up shale oil and gas deposits will mean the US will rival Russia and Norway.
What happens to women when men flood into town for six-figure fracking jobs? Mark Zuckerberg reports. CNBC reports on a Facebook post by Mark Zuckerberg on the unexpected repercussions to the dating pool when a town in North Dakota gets flooded by men. Reuters and Rigzone
Listen to the people and halt fracking. In a letter to the Yorkshire Post, Tim Norman, writes: “As days go by, I am getting more and more concerned over the state of the fracking industry. The people of Yorkshire do not want fracking, not only on our doorstep but in our fields.” The paper also has a letter from David Cragg-James, also opposing fracking, and from shale gas supporter, Lorraine Allanson.
12 July 2017
Silent protest by women at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site against police and security tactics. DrillOrDrop report (second half)
Baillifs evict roadside camp and tower at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool. DrillOrDrop’s Protest Update
Egdon’s Biscathorpe oil well receives environmental permit – after 21 months. DrillOrDrop report
Simon Hart refers in parliamentary speech to vandalism against the parents of a former MP who supported fracking. DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament
Police beef up security as Lancashire fracking site after protester is hit by van. The Guardian reports on an incident in which a protester was knocked over by a van leaving Cuadrilla’s shale gas site. (See DrillOrDrop protest update for 10/7/2017), Mirror (Fracking protester run over by truck after ‘slow walking’ in front of vehicle during controversial demonstration)
Fracking can contaminate rivers and lakes with radioactive material, study finds. The Independent reports that a study by Pennsylvania State University and other academic institutions found stream sediments downstream of a treatment plan that were so radioactive they were nearly at the level that would require disposal in a specialist facility in some US states
Let’s ditch fracking for a cleaner planet. In a comment in the York Press, Tim Murgatroyd argues why people in the UK would prefer to see money spent on shale extraction being put into renewable energy sources.
11 July 2017
Lock on protest at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool. DrillOrDrop protest update, DeSmogUK (Three arrested as protesters continue to disrupt Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking site) and Blackpool Gazette (Preston New Road closed both ways due to anti-fracking protests)
Continuing demonstrations outside Marriott Drilling, near Chesterfield, a supplying of equipment to Cuadrilla. DrillOrDrop protest update
Cake on the Gate – day 2. DrillOrDrop protest update report of action at Broadford Bridge oil exploration site in West Sussex.
Parliamentary questions by Labour MPs Jim Cunningham, Justin Madders and Catherine West on the government’s policy on fracking and proposals for regulation. DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament
Fracking could begin in London after ‘multi-million’ pound natural gas find. The Evening Standard reports that London Local Energy claims to have identified natural gas “worth millions” under an industrial estate in Willesden, raising the prospect of the capital’s first fracking operation. The company now wants a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence to drill. The OGA says there are no plans for a new round of onshore licence bids.
Spy drones, blast zones, treetop sit-ins: getting fracking gas to Scotland. The Ferret reports on anti-fracking campaigners in Pennsylvania trying to stop a pipeline that would take shale gas to the coast for export to the UK and elsewhere.
MEP issues warning after US fracked gas arrives on Isle of Grain. Kent News reports on reaction from Keith Taylor, Green Party MEP. He tells the website:
“It’s a sad day for Kent, the UK, the US and the planet.
“Fracking is not just an issue in Britain, in the US, where it’s more widespread, communities have been devastated by the controversial and destructive unconventional extraction process.”
Anti-frackers “economical with the truth”. The Blackpool Gazette reports that eight protesters outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site have been found guilty of a public order offence after a four-day trial. Stephen Allen, 47, Liz Beck, 54, Sally Bowman, 46, Daniel Jones, 29, Ian Kitching, 55, John Knox, 30, and Ellie Stanton, 24, all of Blackpool, and Craig Wilson, of Atherton, were given 18-month conditional discharges and ordered to pay £300 costs. District Judge Jeff Brailsford said in describing their lock-on protest the protesters had “at times been economical with the truth”. He suggested that future sentencing for protesters might become more severe.
Letters: Solidarity needed to beat fracking. Royston Jones, writing to the Blackpool Gazette, in support of councillors who took part in a lock-on protest. He says fracking is a national issue:
“Solidarity and raising awareness are essential if we are going to beat fracking. It is also a vote winner across north England, the East Midlands and the Tory heartlands of Surrey, Sussex and Dorset.”
10 July 2017
Horse Hill update: Announcements on environmental permit, planning application and licence acquisition. DrillOrDrop report; Government Press release (Environment Agency minded to approve application at Horse Hill – 12/7/2017)
Labour MPs quiz Energy Minister on carbon capture and storage and Conservatives’ proposed shale environmental regulator. DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament
Cake on the Gate protest outside UKOG’s Broadford Bridge oil site in West Sussex. DrillOrDrop protest update
Picket line of anti-fracking campaigners outside Cuadrilla’s Bamber Bridge headquaters. DrillOrDrop protest update
Lorry surfing and protester hit by truck. Two people climbed onto vehicles delivering to Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road. Three people were arrested. A protester was hit by a truck leaving the site. DrillOrDrop protest update and DeSmogUK
North Wales Police on duty at Preston New Road. Campaigners report additional officers from North Wales are now policing protests at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site.
Drilling rig owned by UK fracking firm Cuadrilla ‘seriously vandalised’. The Guardian reports that a rig owned by Cuadrilla was seriously damaged in vandalism at PR Marriott yard near Chesterfield from 18-24 May. The paper reports the rig was attacked with sledgehammers to smash its touchscreen computers and windows. Components were drilled out, while pneumatic pipes and electrical cables were cut. Cuadrilla had not confirmed – for commercial reasons – whether this was the main drilling rig planned for use at Preston New Road near Blackpool. Derbyshire Police told DrillOrDrop:
“There was a break-in at the site sometime between noon on May 18 and 3pm on May 24. Once on site, the person responsible caused a large amount of criminal damage before leaving. The investigation into this is still ongoing.”
See also Energy Voice (11/7/2017)
Row erupts over Danesmoor fracking protest. The Derbyshire Times reports that traders have complained that anti-fracking protests outside P R Marriotts in Danesmoor at harming their businesses
9 July 2017
What’s happening this week? DrillOrDrop’s weekly listing of UK events about fracking and onshore oil and gas.
Guest Post by Dr David Lowry: Fracking’s hidden hazards. DrillOrDrop report
8 July 2017
Officers from other forces to join policing of anti-fracking protests at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool. DrillOrDrop report and Blackpool Gazette (10/7/2017) and BBC News (11/7/2017)
7 July 2017
Cuadrilla’s bid to change rules for Lancs shale gas site raises concerns about “intensified fracking”. DrillOrDrop report
Public demonstration and rally outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool. DrillOrDrop’s protest update
Ireland becomes third European country to ban onshore fracking. Business Green reports that Ireland has become the third EU country to ban onshore fracking after President Michael D Higgins signed into law the Petroleum and Other Minerals Development (Prohibition of Onshore Hydraulic Fracturing) Bill 2016. Business Green says France, Germany and Bulgaria have also banned fracking.
Lengthy legal challenge expected to Scottish fracking decision. The Herald reports the final decision on fracking in Scotland is likely to be several years away because of legal challenges. Ministers expect an announcement later this year will be the subject of a judicial review by either industry or environmentalists.
East Lancs business leader defends fracking link-up. The Lancashire Telegraph reports that Miranda Barker, chief executive of the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, has defended an official partnership with Cuadrilla to support businesses that want to be part of the supply chain. She tells the paper: ““Whenever there is a new development our role is to help businesses link up with it if they wish. Companies can decide for themselves whether they want to work with that development.”
Anti-frackers deny ‘intimidatory atmosphere’. The Blackpool Gazette reports on the trial of eight anti-fracking protesters who deny Public Order offences. The paper says two women on trial, Sally Bowman and Liz Beck, gave evidence denying there was an intimidatory atmosphere at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site on 2 February this year. The both said they had never taken part in a lock-on protest before.
Angus Energy issues 1,916,667 new shares. Angus announces the share issue, which will be admitted to the AIM share index on or around 13 July 2017.
6 July 2017
Postcard message at Preston New Road. Reclaim the Power reports that opponents of Cuadrilla’s shale gas site blocked the entrance with a “Wish you weren’t here” message. DrillOrDrop’s protest update
Lancashire Police under fire as senior officers ignore violence against anti-fracking protesters. Netpol argues that Lancashire Police is liable for “the extremely intimidating situation it has created” at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site.
“If must start reminding Cuardilla’s security guards they have no more powers than the average citizen and face arrest if they assault protesters. It must act if security staff ignore this warning and break the law. It must start restraining its own officers too and it must agree to meet local people and hear their concerns and their anger.”
First LNG shipment to have Britain cooking on US shale gas. The Times reports that the first delivery of liquified natural gas from the Sabine Pass in the Gulf of Mexico is scheduled to arrive at the Isle of Grain terminal on Saturday after a 13-day journey. The Telegraph
Burnham on Sea town councillors raise concern over fracking plans. Burnham-on-Sea.com reports that town councillors expressed concern that fracking for shale gas could begin in the area. It follows a presentation by Frack Free Exmoor, Quantocks and Sedgemoor to the council.
5 July 2017
Lancashire Police confirm they are investigating a complaint that a security guard assaulted an anti-fracking protester outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool. DrillOrDrop report. Blackpool Gazette, The Canary
Protesters block Cuadrilla fracking site in Lancashire saying operations at Preston New Road could pose risk at the Springfields nuclear fuel production plan. DrillOrDrop’s protest update and Energy Live, Reclaim the Power
East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight quizzes minister on shale gas liabilities, groundwater risks and staffing of regulators. DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament.
Blackpool Magistrates Court told protest was ‘intimidatory’. The Blackpool Gazette reports that eight anti-fracking protesters were on trial accused of public order offences following a lock-on protest at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road. They deny the charges. The paper says Inspector Andrew Moore told the court protesters were divided between locals who would talk to the police and others who would not engage.
Letters on Fylde fracking meeting. The Lytham St Anne’s Express (pictured above) includes reaction from readers to the town-hall style meeting on 27 June at the Lowther Pavilion Theatre.
David Lenigas gets Twitter-happy about share price gains of firms tied to Horse Hill oil discovery. Proactive Investors reports that David Lenigas, chairman of Doriemus PLC (LON:DOR), has taken to Twitter to boast about share price gains in his oil and gas company following strong progress at the Brockham well near the Horse Hill discovery.
A Judge Has Ruled Against A Legal Challenge To The Government’s Air Pollution Plan. BuzzFeed News reports a judge in the High Court has ruled against environmental law group ClientEarth’s legal challenge to the government’s draft air quality plan.
More production cuts possible in Europe’s Groningen gas field due to earthquakes. The Hydraulic Fracking Blog reports authorities in the Netherlands have proposed more production cuts in the Groningen gas field, Europe’s largest, in response to earthquake concerns. The cuts would limit production by another 10%, in addition to cuts that have already taken effect, with intent to further reduce the number of earthquakes occurring in the country’s north.
Cllr Paul Andrews re-elected as Malton mayor with Cllr Joan Lawrence as deputy. Opponent of fracking, Paul Andrews, continues as Mayor of Malton (Gazette and Herald)
Don’t encourage fracking. Jarvis Browning, writing to The Yorkshire Post, says “now hat Kevin Hollinrake MP is Parliamentary Private Secretary to Environment Secretary Michael Gove MP, I, and others, hope that he does not use his power or influence to encourage fracking, as this was very strongly opposed by us in North Yorkshire at [the Third Energy planning meeting last year in] Northallerton.
Sulfide-producing bacteria dominate hydraulically fractured oil and gas wells. The American Society for Microbiology reports on a study published in its journal, mSphere. This suggests the oil and gas industry may need new ways to monitor and mitigate sulfide-producing bacteria in fractured shales.
4 July 2017
Protesters at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site allege a demonstrator was restrained and assaulted by security guards as 35-hour lock-on protest ends. DrillOrDrop’s protest update
Labour MP, Barry Sheerman, asks what government assessment there has been on the Medact Report. Details in DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament.
Drug and bail offence. Daniel Jones, who lives at the anti-fracking camp at Whitehills, Blackpool, admitted a bail offence and possessing the class B drug amphetamine, the Blackpool Gazette reports. Blackpool Magistrates gave him a 12 month conditional discharge.
How fracking leads to babies: Huge surge in births among families who earn a lucrative income drilling sites. The Daily Mail reports on research by University of Maryland which identified an uptick in births near US fracking sites related to boosts in income.
3 July 2017
Three Lancashire councillors join 13-person lock-on against fracking at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool on the first day of Reclaim the Power’s month of “Rolling Resistance”. Nine people were charged with obstructing the highway and offences under trades union legislation. DrillOrDrop report, The Guardian, BBC News, ITV, Blackpool Gazette, BBC News (update)
New NE Derbyshire MP, Lee Rowley, uses maiden speech to back local opposition to INEOS Shale plans in the constituency and Coventry MP, Jim Cunningham, quizzes minister on staffing in his shale gas team. Details in DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament.
What’s happening this week? 3-9 July 2017. DrillOrDrop’s listing of events about fracking, onshore oil and gas and the campaigns against it.
Protest update 3-9 July 2017. DrillOrDrop photos and news from protests across the UK about fracking and onshore oil and gas.
IGas plans UK shale exploration after restructuring clears path. The FT reports IGas aims to start drilling for shale gas later this year after a financial restructuring wiped out more than $100m of debt. See also DrillOrDrop report from the company’s unaudited 26 April 2017
2 July 2017
Strong arm of the law. Shocking moment ‘out of order’ police officer hurls fracking protester to the ground. Headline from The Sun report about protests at PR Marriotts in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. Daily Mail (Frack off! Police officer is slammed for ‘disgusting behaviour’ after hurling a woman to the ground to stop her blocking lorry during a anti-fracking protest). The Mirror (3 July 2017)
Living with activists in a fort in the woods. BBC News feature about the eviction of protesters living on the site Europa wants to drill for oil near Leith Hill.
Towers protest at Fylde fracking site. The Lancashire Evening Post reports on the construction of two towers at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road near Blackpool. See also DrillOrDrop’s Protest update post
1 July 2017
Drilling Diary – July 2017. 60+ events about fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry DrillOrDrop’s monthly diary
Protest bike ride. About 30 bikers took part in a protest ride around the villages of north east Derbyshire and south Yorkshire in opposition to plans by INEOS to explore for shale gas in the area. DrillOrDrop Protest update post and Derbyshire Times
Categories: Daily headlines