Three generations of Lancashire family block Cuadrilla’s shale gas site

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Lock-on at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool, 12 July 2017. Photo: Reclaim the Power

A 73-year-old woman joined her son and granddaughter in a blockade of Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool this morning.

Gillian Kelly, her son Sebastian (48) and granddaughter, Megan (19) locked their arms into boxes labelled Families against Fracking, outside the gates at the site off Preston New Road.

Another member of the family, Paul Martyn (61), also took part in the protest.

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Gillian Kelly taking part in a lock-on protest outside the Preston New Road shale gas site, 12 July 2017. Photo: Reclaim the Power

Gillian Kelly said:

“I’ve never done anything like this before, but I can’t sit idly and watch the place I was born and raised be poisoned and polluted by fracking.

“I feel now I’ve got to make a stand. This will affect my whole family and their futures; my sons, my grandchildren – and that’s why we’re taking action together as a family today.”

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Megan Kelly taking part in a lock-on protest outside Preston New Road shale gas site, 12 July 2017. Photo: Reclaim the Power

The lock-on followed a silent demonstration by more than 100 women seeking an end to what they regard as increasingly violent tactics by police and security guards at the site.

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Photo: Reclaim the Power

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Photo: Reclaim the Power

Lancashire Police said last week they were investigating a complaint that a security guard had assaulted a protester. Also last week, the Green Party MEP, Keith Taylor, expressed concern to the National Police Chiefs Council about the impact of policing on the right to freedom of assembly (DrillOrDrop report and link to Keith Taylor’s letter). Earlier in the protests, officers had been accused of disproportionate and aggressive tactics (DrillOrDrop report).

Since Monday, officers from other parts of the UK have been policing the protests, alongside the Lancashire force. The site is also being policed 24-hours a day.

Cuadrilla has consistently said the protests have not affected its schedule. But drilling has yet to get underway, despite being timetabled for the second quarter of the year, and fracking has apparently slipped from the autumn to the end of the year.

Today’s protests were part of a Rolling Resistance month of action, organised by local anti-fracking groups and the national network, Reclaim the Power. The organisers said this was the eighth working day to be disrupted.

Police said at 11.45am they had closed Preston New Road between Whitehills and Fox Lane. The Fylde Police Facebook page said this was :

“due to campaigners conducting speeches and lock ons in the carriageway”.

The pro-fracking group, Lancashire for Shale said today on Twitter:

“Re-routing of Emergency Services due to the closure of A583 is unacceptable on a regular basis. Protesters point has been made, now MOVE ON!!

“ENOUGH is ENOUGH” say both local residents and business.National activists asked to leave the #Fuylde as well as stronger court sentences”

“Police resources once again taken up by the illegal activities of national activists. It is #LANCASHIRE TAXPAYERS who are bearing the cost”

  • Earlier this morning baillifs evicted a roadside camp outside the Preston New Road site.

More details of protests at DrillOrDrop’s Protest Update

39 replies »

  1. A lot of jargon words there TW. I see you’re learning the lingo. When a community sees it as their democratic right to defend the land from an intrusion that they don’t want for the sake of its, and their children’s future I think you’re looking at something deeper than pro vs anti establishment…. interesting issues. Many police will be local, and Secretary of State Sajid Javid, who has delivered the overruling decision was born in Lancashire (as far as I can tell). He is communities and local government secretary. It would be good to see him mingling with the locals.

  2. Localism not your strong point PhilipP?

    Many of the police are not locals-this has recently been changed.

    Many of the antis are not locals, and many are just anti establishment.

    I suspect Sajid Javid has a few other priorities to deal with at the moment and is quite content for the police to look after the law, rather than protect Nimbyism.

    So, my local school playing field sold off for housing should have had the same level of nonsense played out around it? Exactly the same issues as you refer to in regard of PNR. Strange how you will use arguments against PNR which could equally be directed at other developments which go ahead every day of the week in this country.

    Yes, I know-back to the destruction of Lancashire, people dying in huge numbers, and actually, it will not be profitable. More like incoherent messages than mixed messages.

    • Absolutely nothing like the same issues as your local playing field being turned into housing Martin. I am baffled by your non comprehension of the issues at stake here. Effectively suggesting the people are idiots and have some ridiculous notions that you suggest in your last sentence is patronising as well. Perhaps you should visit them and learn about more the plans that you are so unfamiliar with. I’m sure Tina Rothery will help you out. You might get a piece of cake as well.

  3. One for you John Powney:


    “The outlook for oil supplies is “increasingly worrying,” with about $1 trillion in investments lost during the current industry downturn and fewer new deposits being discovered, Nasser said at a conference in Istanbul. Some estimates suggest that at least 20 million barrels a day of new output is needed over the next five years to offset rising oil demand and the natural decline of developed fields, he said.

    “There seems to be a growing belief that the world can prematurely disengage from proven and reliable energy sources like oil and gas, on the mistaken assumption that alternatives will be rapidly deployed,” Nasser said in a speech on Monday. The petroleum industry will be at the heart of global energy for years, and the transition to use of alternatives will be “long and complex,’ he said.”

    • ‘” Nasser said in a speech on Monday. The petroleum industry will be at the heart of global energy for years, and the transition to use of alternatives will be “long and complex,’ he said.”’

      Clearly has a vested interest. It is only long and complex because of the unwillingness of those who invest and own dirty fuels to let go and move into better and cleaner sources of energy – the ‘let’s live for the day’ psychology. Like UK state pensions, inquiries into disasters and other items that call the ‘elite’ to account progress will be at a snail’s pace or worse; alternatives and truth covered up.

      If we are lucky, the human race will look back in history and wag a very angry finger at us and classify us as ignorant. 😦

      • Maybe, but unfortunately this is the reality. All the forecasts show crude demand increasing, and natural gas demand increasing (albeit for a much longer period during the “transition” if it ever happens…).

  4. If the antis can not raise serious arguments why blame others for questioning the arguments they do raise?

    At one time you (PhilipP) were promoting the decline that was “happening” to shale oil in USA. Today we have one of the worlds major oil companies stating oil is now a $50 play for the foreseeable future, and only a short while ago they stated $55. Why? It is not to do with growth in alternatives. And in between those two events there were numerous sources of information confirming what was happening. So, did we see a recognition of that and a change of focus? No, back to some pretty dubious data from 2014 dragged out of retirement.

    As I said in a recent post, you have painted yourselves into a corner by continuing with a mixture of fake news, speculation and scaremongering and many are now aware of this. Come the day, if that arrives, when there could be something significant to support your cause you might find people have stopped listening.

    Maybe they will be too busy noting that China is currently moving troops to their first overseas base. Where? Djibouti. Any idea what that could mean?

    And I think you will find most alternatives that offer a clearly defined cost and utility benefit do not get held back by a conspiracy-remember the jet engine?

    • Can you actually quote anything I’ve said and debate those points Martin instead of relying on memory and imagination. You’re making claims here that I don’t recognise apart from the 50 dollars/ barrel but that’s nothing to do with anything I’ve debated here.

  5. And another one for you to get your head round John:


    “The American shale gas revolution will enjoy a second wind as rapid growth in domestic production sees the US join the world’s club of top gas exporters, a leading energy authority has predicted.

    Fracking has already opened up US shale oil and gas deposits, leading to a fall in gas prices and greenhouse gas emissions as power generation switches from coal to gas, as well as reducing America’s historical reliance on fossil fuel imports.

    But an increase in US gas production over the next five years will cause another revolution as the country begins liquefying and shipping gas to Asia, Europe and the Middle East, the International Energy Agency said.

    In a report published on Thursday, the IEA forecast the US would generate almost 40% of the rise in global gas output between 2016 and 2022. Come 2022, the US will produce more than a fifth of the world’s gas, putting it on the same level as top gas exporters such as Russia and Norway, the agency predicted.”

    • This is good news Paul. Britain will not need to exploit its own shale gas, it will be uneconomical to do so anyway. I expect Canada could supply gas alternatively (for a shorter boat hop across the Nth Atlantic). Other countries will also step up supplies to competitively offload as much as they can before fossil fuel demand tapers then nose dives as the ‘S Bend’ of the new clean technologies kick in. There will be a glut, a buyers market. It will be charitable of Britain to meet it’s remaining needs by absorbing some of those surpluses from friendly nations while working with them towards the energy solutions of the future.

      • No LNG facilities in canada? They used to send their gas to the US, perhaps they still do? Demand is going up quicker than they are replacing reserves – read the Saudi Aramco article. The prices won’t stay low forever. But aside from that we don’t know what UK costs are going to be until the planned wells are drilled, stimulated and flow tested. Then we will have a better idea. Why would Centrica invest money in it? They are already buying LNG from the US.

  6. I know the short term memory goes first PhilipP. Suggest you revisit your Giggling about Penns. and how the movement against shale was represented by what was happening in that State. Yet, it is obvious shale oil and gas is booming in USA and Penns. is a smokescreen. Either you know that and thought no-one would notice, or you didn’t know that which raises the question as why post “facts” you had not researched adequately.
    And reference Paul’s post above, first shipment of USA shale gas arrives to enter the British gas system, following on from shipments that have already entered Grangemouth. A couple of purchasing managers there that need the sack as they must have ignored cheaper sources. LOL

    • Try North Dakota then: http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-northdakota-bust/
      Martin I never said Penn represented declining curves for shale gas all over the US. I was debating the point about complaints when I showed those graphs, period. What I would point out is it looks like there will be another glut coming and that will probably last until the end of the fossil fuel era as countries counting on those reserves compete to offload them. See my response to Paul just above.

      • PS North Dakota (Bakken shale formation) yields both oil and gas (predominantly oil) but the scale and type of hydraulic fracturing would be a similar to what you would expect to see here if high yields were being expected from the Bowland shales. To be economical (if that were even possible) they would need to be high yields of course.

        • Don’t worry Philip P – the “yields” or flow rates were very high from the Preese Hall well. Not sure the Bakken is the best analogy for Bowlnad – I will check.

          “In the Permian shale play of West Texas and New Mexico, output is forecast to rise by more than 70,000 bpd to 2.25 million bpd, in what would be the biggest monthly rise since January 2016.

          Meanwhile, Eagle Ford production in Texas is expected to rise by 14,000 bpd to 1.08 million bpd, the first monthly increase since December 2015, EIA data showed.

          In North Dakota’s Bakken field, production is forecast to fall by nearly 18,000 bpd to 976,000 bpd, the fifth consecutive month-on-month decrease.

          U.S. natural gas production from the seven biggest shale basins was projected to increase to a record high 49.1 billion cubic feet per day in March, the EIA said.”

  7. With all the excitement above I don’t think anyone caught my main point i.e. were are coming to the end of the fossil fuel era. It can’t happen soon enough in my view, but it is happening. This rush to O&G production is clearly a rush to squeeze profits out of remaining reserves. Costs will be keenly competitive but it will be the last wheeze for the dying fossil fuel beast before it splutters to a halt in the not too distant future. Hoorah!

  8. Spot on Philip P. The death knell of fossil fuels including fracking started sometime ago and what with Volvo announcing all electric vehicles in 2 years (that will set a precedent for the other car manufacturers to follow suit)….as for Preston New Road it will ‘fall flat on it’s face’ and ‘fizzle out’. The key thing is ‘time is money’ and investors patience is wilting in the summer sun! The local/regional and national community resistance is paying dividends. Fracking is has a ‘track record’ of being unsafe, uneconomical (short termism, a junk bond), unpopular, unsustainable and seemingly by the sound of it..unwelcome too! The clock is ticking….

    • So why is demand forecast to increase year on year (passed 2050 for gas)? Yes, death for fossil fuels – but not until the next century at least.

    • Not until around 2030 I’d say Paul. Several factors explain the short term expansion: 1/developing countries becoming bigger power consumers; 2/other countries moving away from coal and nuclear for base-load power generation and 3/ the USA grabbing a larger portion of the world commodity market for gas/LNG (the report was mainly about growth in that market for the USA).

      My bold claims are based on observing the rapid emergence of disruptive technologies that really can solve the base-load balancing issues concerned with intermittent renewable supplies. I’m not talking about inventors in their backyard sheds I’m talking about utility scale solutions that are being field tested now and there are several front runners. Tessla is building their Gigafactory in Nevada, and it will be the largest factory in the world, dedicated to battery production. They’re involved in some massive grid energy storage projects already. They’re mainly going down the Lithium-Ion route but there’s some interesting competing technologies that are ready to be scaled up also: Flow batteries, Salt water batteries and Super Capacitors. I also think we’ll be hearing a lot more about ‘Glass’ batteries in the next few years – the inventor of Li-Ion batteries has come up with the ‘glass’ solid state battery technology that can be made largely from recycled materials that has three times the capacity of Li-Ion, many times their charging cycles and none of their chemical and fire hazards.

      Prices for some of these solutions are already plummeting and consumer acceptance rising. It will only take a few successful models to take route and the uptake will accelerate dramatically, driven by consumer demand, and probably won’t stop until it reaches all over the globe. The upwards ‘S Curve’ for new energy will rocket past fossil fuel demand within (between) one and two decades I reckon. Don’t worry, you will still be able to enjoy the nostalgia for the fossil fuel era in museums well in to the future.

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