Opposition

“Yes to kale, no to shale” rally closes Cuadrilla’s fracking site

170721 pnr Reclaim the Power2

Campaigners from across the UK gathered outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool for a demonstration today in support of food growing and against fracking.

The rally, with music, dancing, food and speeches, closed the Preston New Road site for most of the day.

Fracking opponents came from as far as away as Torquay and Somerset. Many were organised for a long day at the roadside, with picnic chairs, sandwiches, suncream and umbrellas.

The event was co-ordinated by Reclaim the Power, a national group behind this month’s Rolling Resistance, which has seen almost daily lock-on protests at the site.

170721 pnr Reclaim the Power

Photo: Reclaim the Power

Local anti-fracking campaigner, Tina Rothery, said:

“We don’t need lock-ons. We just need numbers”.

A police officer on duty at the site said:

“If you get everyone out like this every day we would not stand a chance.”

170721 pnr Reclaim the Power3

Alan Schofield, chair of the Organic Growers Alliance. Photo: Reclaim the Power

Alan Schofield, a Lancashire market gardener and chair of the Organic Growers Alliance told the crowd:

“The most important thing is that those gates are shut.”

“We are the people, together we are strong.”

He said:

“We’re not fighting something that should be allowed. We’re here protecting mother earth.

“We’re protecting by educating and informing people and there is a wonderful thing about knowledge that once you’ve learned something you cannot unlearn it, you cannot un-know it. You, you can ignore it but ignore it at your peril”.

Another speaker, Fi Radford, of Grandparents for a Safe Earth, said:

“I will fight this until my last breath”.

170721 pnr Reclaim the Power4

Photo: Reclaim the Power

The atmosphere at the site was notably more relaxed than on Thursday (20 July 2017), when 10 people were arrested.

Today one carriageway of Preston New Road remained closed during the rally and a contraflow operated. . There were reports of at least one arrest at the start of the day. This post will be updated with information from Lancashire Police.


Reporting for this post was made possible by individual donations to DrillOrDrop. You can donate by clicking here

53 replies »

  1. Why oh why do normal people have to mollycoddle these types of people. An exclusion zone in fronf of the site plus safe passage route for all vehicle traffic has to be the answer.

    • Harmful consequences for the people and the environment …

      Oil and gas producers like ExxonMobil are promising safe production and install their drilling rigs throughout North Germany. However, this documentary shows that things go wrong on a regular basis with harmful consequences for the people and the environment.

      German journalist Jo Hiller is on the track of energy corporations like ExxonMobil and investigates their marketing tricks. He questions the alleged reliable environmental protection and investigates whether oil and gas production in North Germany is making people ill in the targeted areas. Jo Hiller reveals the marketing tricks of the energy corporations. He meets with physicians who criticize the distribution of medical misinformation.

      Laboratory analyses – commissioned by the German broadcaster NDR – prove that pollutants are released into the environment in the vicinity of the drilling sites. The increase of earthquakes in the gas production regions is most probably related to the extraction of hydrocarbons. Jo Hiller meets locals whose houses are damaged. He confronts the regulatory body and the oil and gas companies with the results of the comprehensive investigation.

      • Lock The Gate, Lancs
        This has been posted before.
        Jo Hiler correctly raises concerns about past O&G activities. As you can I imagine, the H&SE requirements in the 1960/70 and into the 80s were not as strict as now. Venting and flaring seem common, with less separation than now for the general public. Gas plans were not as ‘tight’ as they are now. The dumping of drill cuttings is also highlighted.
        You would certainly be disappointed if you found an old drill cuttings site on your land and did not know about it. Or turned over a sod of turf and found oil. Samp,ed your ground and found mercury etc.
        But, nothing he says points to this being allowed now.
        A good reminder that things have gone wrong in the past, but that we have learned a lot and have legislation to implement those learnings. No doubt we can always do better.
        One of the points that sticks out for me is the collapsing house. The owner says he has no idea as to why it is subsiding, and seemingly no idea as to what his insurers think about it all. Not a clue, clueless in fact, other than some seismic surveying was done somewhere a long time ago etc etc. He worries about earthquakes, but omits to say if there have been any where the building is, or if the subsidence came first.
        One other point is his comment that, although the plant emits Benzine, the company say it cannot get to the public. The company would only say what the emissions are, and note if they are above or below the legal requirements. He then discovers fuel station vapour recovery, but forgets to say why it has been implemented first.
        So overall interesting, but he could have done with someone with some knowledge of the industry to assist him, and it would have been helpfull if the industry had felt confident enough ( for whatever reason ) to speak to him.
        I was also puzzled as to why he never got to speak to any ex plant operators. He could have cleared up a few of his mysteries.

  2. The ‘keep it in the ground’ ideology is hollow. All it is really saying is to keep importing from OPEC etc. Its based around this rediculous idea that if other countries produce their own oil and gas it won’t affect market prices and production in OPEC et al. Completely barmey economics and entirely disproved by the last 8 years. The shale boom in the US dropped global prices and killed alot of exploration and production around the world. The keep it in the ground types effectively deny that every happened when they say the world has enough and no more needs to be found. The reality is that if individual countries worked on supplying their own fuel it would help minimise our impact on the world during the energy transition. The keep it in the ground folk are only saying it as an anti local fossil fuel argument, not an environmental, economic, or moral one. Hell, they know flat out that if they won the argument even they themselves would then be importing from countries over which they have no environmental control, there is poor environmental regulations, and poor human rights. Its environmental and economic nuttery, but hay ho, thats them for you.

  3. Organic foods are great-for the organic associations. I used to have day to day dealings with them and they were akin to some of the climate change organisations-an absolute drain of resources creating rules and regulations to give them every excuse to keep charging more for registrations and inspections. The supermarkets love the concept, as they love organic/free range meat-because it increases their margin within an existing shelf space.
    Grow your own is a much better option, ie. taking back control. Or, for meat, get to know your local producer.

    As for the keep it in the ground merchants, they just want to move the situation over the horizon and think it is out of sight to the rest of us. Well, it isn’t. Like growing our own food (good, according to PNR crew), using our own fossil fuels (bad, according to PNR crew). Not as if we have a shortage of agricultural land when we produce 3m tonnes of cereals to be processed-for what?-FUEL! Why aren’t some out there campaigning about the morality of that? (Even ignoring the countries with starvation problems, 3m tonnes is the UK surplus after a bumper harvest. How many of those do we get in a decade?)

    Who was the bright spark who thought that was a good stunt outside of PNR? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

    The recent suggestion to DYOR doesn’t seem to be sprouting into life in certain quarters.

  4. Yes, John-pretty obvious. Try a look at projected costs for oil extraction in the Weald and then compare that to N.Sea-even without decommissioning costs. Some of us can do our own research without blinkers.

    It really is an interesting characteristic of this site that things move on, information is up-dated from across the world, but the antis still stick to the ancient, failed, tactics (eg. fracking is uneconomic and failing in USA). It seems there is satisfaction now in encouraging like minds and acceptance that there is insufficient credibility for converting the unconverted-and this is before any actual economic proof of concept has been promoted by the UK exploration companies.

  5. RTP are a left wing guerrilla group that are starting to draw serious attn to themselves. Big difference between local protesting and organised anarchists. If they start becoming a regular nuisance they will score an own goal.

    • First it was nanas with scrummy lemon drizzle cake, now friendly organic veg growers. These people are clearly ‘guerrilla groups’. Keep well away.

      By the way. Any update on the Cuadrilla security guard who has been put forward to the CPS for the way he dealt with removing a protector?

      Talk about own goals.

  6. lol, anybody notice that all the pro fracking comments only talk about costs and lefty agenda? Who gives a frack about costs? The sooner we lose this addiction to fossil fuels the better and pretty much anything helping that along is a bonus. The point of the aversion to fracking has nothing to do with import/export, fossil fuel costs etc., if any talk about such things its to try and appeal to those that dont care about anything but £$! Instead of poisoning the land (which cannot be sanely denied fracking causes, amongst other terrible things), how about spending the time, effort and money on synthetic fuels and renewable energy? How about instead of detracting from the effort of those trying to protect YOUR land, offspring etc., detracting from the efforts of government and big corps in trying to keep the fossil fire burning and doing everything they can to appease the oil magnates?

    You know how dirty and expensive the used oil reclamation business is? Compare that cost (in environmental damage, wasted energy and £) to converting all that waste oil into bio fuel. Then follow the profit and youll soon see why biofuels are not being followed up as a “transition fuel”, pretty much the same reason teh diesel engine was legally stolen from a cheap, easy to fuel source for all, to the dirty fossil fuel based only-the-big-oil-can-source monstrosity it became.

    For instant, when people making their own biofuel from recovered used veg oil became a veritable past time, and the government got wind of it (read big oil took the threat to their profits seriously) things suddenly changed to mark the activity untenable for most. Car manufacturers were even including biofuels in the officially authorised fuels for their engines. Then suddenly, the chemicals required to process the used oil became difficult to obtain or uneconomically expensive, raw veg oil for SVO fuel and some of the respective additives got tax and price hikes and the car manufacturers suddenly changed the way their engines worked so that biofuels would foul them, and most removed the inclusion of biofuels in “authorised” fuel lists. Yes, some of this is down to small corporate greed taking advantage of the increasing sales, but many were also pressured by gov both directly and indirectly, the gov changed the way some things worked (laws/regs) as they inturn were pressured by the magnates . (I think most pre-1994, and many since upto the early ’00’s, diesels could run home made biofuels with little or no modification).

    The west is only worried that with the increased boldness of the east, they wont receive as much of the profits they have hitherto been enjoying since the east is slowly preventing the west from raping them. Its the same story over and over. Oooh, youve got something we want, and you wont trade it to us for something that has no value to either of us? We’ll steal it by hook or by crook. When you retaliate, well first use carrot and stick, and if that doesnt work, well just use the stick because our stick is bigger longer and better than yours. And once weve had all we want, well just piss off and leave your crumbling country we just destroyed to the corrupt magnates we helped to power to lubricate our greed machine. What do you think really started the wars and recent turmoils in the middle east? It was the fact that the west was finding it more and more difficult to convince the east to trade oil in their favour, and that combined with other factors meant the west may one day have to rely on their own reserves. The USA barely touches its own reserves, in fact, i seem to remember reading that they import and store more foreign oil than they extract/use of their own, despite having the second or third largest known reserves in the world. And ofcourse, big banks jump on the band wagon as theyre all inextricably linked. Of all the countries in the world which had oil, were a part of the oil process and had no international banking, since the 90’s, two remain “out of the western loop”, and one of those is slowly being destroyed both directly and indirectly by the west. Once Iran falls, the west owns the world.

  7. Perhaps they would have been better employed cleaning up the oil spill on Blackpool sands last week from the rig off Liverpool!

    Maritime environment, oil/gas exploration and transport=a potential, and real problem, that we have the choice under our feet to mitigate against. Gas prices rising warns Centrica today.

    Now that’s what I call own goals.

  8. I see John indicating BHP Billiton not interested in shale. Shame they announced recently they are doubling their number of rigs in USA.

    Yep-DYOR-is good. ROO-is bad. (Rely on others.)

  9. The twenty companies of central importance to this market in terms of highest capital expenditure in the industry, with detailed company profiles for each. The profiles contain details of the company’s total capital expenditure in 2014 and 2015 and shale gas capital expenditure for 2014 and 2015 and market share within the shale gas market. The twenty leading companies are:
    – Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
    – Antero Resources Corporation
    – BHP Billiton
    – Chesapeake Energy
    – Chevron
    – ConocoPhillips
    – CONSOL Energy
    – Encana Corporation
    – EQT Corporation
    – ExxonMobil
    – PetroChina (CNPC)
    – Pioneer Natural Resources
    – Range Resources
    – Reliance Industries Limited
    – Royal Dutch Shell
    – Sinopec
    – SM Energy
    – Southwestern Energy
    – Statoil
    – Talisman Energy (Repsol)

    Examine each of the leading 20 companies’ shares of the shale (tight) oil market in 2014, together with the share of the market held by companies outside of the top 20.
    – Discover how much each company is spending on shale (tight) oil in 2014 as a percentage of their total capital expenditure and learn about the most favourable shale plays and the reasons behind this.
    – Anadarko Petroleum Corporation
    – Apache Corporation
    – Chesapeake Energy
    – Chevron
    – Concho Resources
    – ConocoPhillips
    – Continental Resources
    – Devon Energy
    – EOG Resources
    – EP Energy
    – ExxonMobil
    – Hess Corporation
    – Marathon Oil
    – Murphy Oil
    – Newfield Exploration Company
    – Noble Energy
    – Occidental Petroleum
    – Pioneer Natural Resources
    – Royal Dutch Shell
    – Whiting Petroleum

    So not many big companies involved?

    • ‘So far the Government has failed to entice the large international oil companies such as Shell — known as super majors — to take up drilling opportunities for shale gas in Britain. From this exclusive club of companies, only France’s Total has signed up so far for fracking in the UK’

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/epic/rdsb/10948157/Shell-sails-ahead-without-UK-shale.html

      Statoil, who have supplied us for decades and know our energy markets inside out

      Another witness to the committee, Tor Martin Anfinnsen, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Trading, Statoil, said his company had interests in shale but only in the US. He explained why:

      “We had a look at the UK sometime back as part of a global survey with Chesapeake, of the US, but we decided against going into the UK.

      “We believed we were operating in a more prolific basin in US than what the UK could offer. But I think it was primarily it was what we call the above ground risk, not so much government policy but it’s a fairly densely populated country this and there have been obstacles, if you will, to our activities in the Marcellus field in the US as well and we thought they may be even tougher to overcome here.”

      https://drillordrop.com/2016/11/13/francis-egan-on-drilling-in-2017-low-gas-prices-financing-expansion-and-how-many-wells-can-you-fit-on-a-site/

      So how many big companies are involved in UK shale?

      Isolated and running on fumes.

      • John – you made the claim that the majors were not interested in shale anywhere. You are wrong. End of story. Get a life. Cuadrilla will frack a couple of wells near you soon, results may be uneconomic (as you predict) or they may be comercial (as they predict). If commercial watch other majors join the rush.

  10. And the market for shale oil/gas in USA v UK is??? I think that explains a lot.

    Of course the bigger players start in a country with a bigger market, and one that is in control of it’s own resources.

    It happens with most new technology. And it means that once serious development starts in UK there will be years of experience, involving a huge number of wells to utilise, where appropriate. It also means, quite critically, that when that serious development starts there will be proven price advantages already shown from an existing large market-look at current world oil markets.

    Try and create as much fake news as you will, but the real news is happening now, and exposes the fake position. I can quite understand the policy of using fake news in the absence of real news, but all it does now is confirm the weakness of the protest.

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