DrillOrDrop’s September 2017 digest of news about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas updated daily. For headlines from previous months, click here
Top September 2017 headlines
- INEOS interim injunction renewed with small changes until November
- Labour and the Greens back protests at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site in Lancashire
- Angus announces the start of drilling begins at Lidsey in West Sussex
- Applications approved at Broadford Bridge and Brockham
- Marches against INEOS plans in Derbyshire
- Candlelit vigil as North Yorkshire signs-off conditions on Third Energy fracking permission
- Documents reveal breach of permit conditions at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site
- Photojournalist acquitted of obstruction at protest
- DrillOrDrop investigation into the oil and gas college
- Flow testing underway at Broadford Bridge
24 September 2017
What’s happening this week? 25 September-1 October 2017. DrillOrDrop weekly listings of events about fracking and onshore oil and gas
23 September 2017
Protest update 18-24 September 2017. DrillOrDrop review of protests about fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry.
22 September 2017
Angus Energy plans electricity generation at Brockham oil site near Dorking in Surrey. DrillOrDrop report
Pop-up protests at Yorkshire companies Sky Scaffolding, Moorhouse Drilling and Total Environmental. DrillOrDrop protest update
21 September 2017
Campaigners condemn change of policing tactics at N Yorks fracking protests. DrillOrDrop report
Five arrests at Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site. DrillOrDrop protest update, Gazette and Herald (Protester injured at anti-fracking demonstration – 5 more people arrested); The Yorkshire Post (Four charged over anti-fracking protests in North Yorkshire) and The Yorkshire Post (Woman injured and five more people arrested as anti-fracking protests continue in North Yorkshire); BBC News (Four charged over Kirby Misperton fracking protests);
Guest Post by Jon and Val Mager: Why the government must block fracking based on what we know about regulation at KM8. DrillOrDrop report
‘I’m going to carry on beeping horn to show my support’. The Blackpool Gazette reports on a local businessman who says he will continue to sound his horn in support of anti-fracking campaigners outside Cuadrilla’s site, despite being warned not to by police. Brian Morrison has made an official complaint to police after he said an officer shouted and threatened him with arrest.
Toxic town: The West Virginia community where cancer rates are four times the national average and residents point to chemical dumps as they cause as they attend one funeral after another. MailOnline reports from the former coal mining town of Minden where residents fear oil and gas companies could be further contaminating their water and region.
Far away from any witnesses, my small town is being poisoned by fracking waste. The Guardian reports from a tiny town in south-eastern Ohio in the Appalachian foothills where the Ginsburg Well is holding sludge and liquid waste from out-of-state fracking operations.
It would be ‘ludicrous’ to ban fracking says Salford planning lead member. The Salford Star reports that Salford City Council passes a motion that expresses concern on fracking.
20 September 2017
Four people arrested at anti-fracking protests at Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop protest update, Gazette and Herald (Four more arrests at fracking site at Kirby Misperton); Darlington and Stockton Times (Slow walks and bottom shuffling at Ryedale fracking protests); The Yorkshire Post (More arrests as anti-fracking protests continue in North Yorkshire)
IGas interim accounts say site construction at two Nottinghamshire shale sites is expected to begin soon and new shale application will be submitted in NW England by the end of the year. DrillOrDrop report, Proactive Investors (IGas Energy sees increasing momentum for UK shale)
19 September 2017
Fewer people would be happy to live next to a fracking site than a nuclear reactor, according to new poll. DrillOrDrop report on polling for the climate change organisation, 10:10, which also found that only 1:7 women and Labour voters would be happy to live within five miles of a fracking site. Energy Voice
Blackpool MP visits Preston New Road protests. DrillOrDrop protest update
UK’s oil industry ‘entering final decade of production’. The Telegraph reports on research at Edinburgh University concluded that fracking will be barely economically feasible in the UK, especially in Scotland, because of a lack of sites with suitable geology.
Scottish and Welsh leaders seek to ward off Westminster ‘hijack’ of powers. The Guardian reports Scottish and Welsh first ministers have attempted to increase pressure on the UK government over Brexit by jointly publishing 38 amendments to the EU withdrawal bill. The Scottish government claims the UK wanted to centralise policy areas on issues including fracking. BBC News, Daily Record (20/9/2017)
Lancashire business awards. Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla and headline sponsor of the Be Inspired Business Awards, is quoted by the Lancashire Evening Post:
“It is inspiring to see so many businesses and the individuals behind them being recognised for their enthusiasm, innovation and sheer hard work at the BIBAs. My congratulations go out to everyone who made it to The Blackpool Tower for another fantastic night. Everyone of them is playing a crucial role in ensuring the economy of Lancashire continues to thrive”.
18 September 2017
Anti-frackers mobilise Ellesmere Port community. The Chester Chronicle reports that opponents of fracking have delivered 5,000 leaflets for a community meeting on 26 September at 7pm at Westminster Community Centre, Church Parade, Ellesmere Port.
Regency Mines sells remaining UK Oil & Gas Investments shares. Interactive Investor reports that Regency sold its remaining 6.8 million shares in UKOG at an average price of 8.2p per share, for a total of £557,080. The company said the sale would allow it to deleverage its business and provide capital to invest in Curzon Energy and rationalisation of its US coal interests.
16 September 2017
600+ people reportedly attended marches in N Derbyshire and S Yorkshire and a rally against INEOS shale gas plans in the area. DrillOrDrop Protest update, Derbyshire Times, Derbyshire Times video (19/9/2017) ITV News, Sheffield Live (17/9/2017)
Labour MP, Mike Amesbury, attends I’m not a militant activist demonstration in Runcorn against INEOS portrayal of opponents of fracking. DrillOrDrop Protest update
Leith Hill community picnic against Europa Oil and Gas plans for exploratory drilling in the Surrey Hills. DrillOrDrop Protest update
15 September 2017
Three anti-fracking marches tomorrow against INEOS shale gas plans. DrillOrDrop report on marches in Derbyshire and Cheshire.
Government told to change some of the rules on costs in environmental court cases. DrillOrDrop report
Fracking Week in Parliament returns after the recess. DrillOrDrop report on questions and debates in parliament
Charities condemn rejection of changes to Lobbying Act. The Guardian reports that charities have condemned ministers for rejecting changes to the Lobbying Act made by a government-commissioned review. The act restricts what non-government organisations can say in the year before an election. The review called for a reduction in the scope of the act to include only activity intended to influence how the public vote. But the Conservative has refused to make the change.
‘End in sight’ for fight against fracking in Scotland. STV reports comments by the Scottish Greens, who say they hope the “end is in sight” in their long-running campaign to ban fracking. A recommendation is expected from the Scottish government, following a consultation, before the end of the year.
“Enough is enough”: Entire council unites against INEOS road closure plans. The Falkirk Herald reports all members of Falkirk Council want to stop INEOS plans to permanently close a public road.
14 September 2017
Candlelit village in Kirby Misperton as village prepares for deliveries to Third Energy fracking site. DropOrDrop report, Minster FM (Anti-fracking campaigners begin protests at Kirby Misperton 13/9/2017), Gazette and Herald and The York Press
Geraint Davies, MP for Swansea West, speaks in the Westminster Hall debate on Welsh Energy about opposition to fracking. DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament
13 September 2017
Angus accused of betraying trust and misleading councillors over Brockham oil site. Retrospective application for fencing, equipment and buildings approved. DrillOrDrop report on meeting of Surrey County Council’s planning committee
What Surrey County Council told the OGA about Angus Energy’s Brockham oil sidetrack. DrillOrDrop report
Fund launched to support legal advice to anti-fracking groups facing civil actions. DrillOrDrop report
Energy minister Richard Harrington gives details of regulation on decommissioned wells. DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament
Salford City Council set to pass motion on fracking. The Salford Star reports Salford Council is to debate a motion on fracking a meeting of councillors next week. The motion “expresses concern about unconventional gas exploitation” but falls short of banning the process on council land. It also opposes the Conservative Party manifesto promises to take fracking decisions out of council control.
Glasgow protesters prepare to take on councillors at City Council meeting. The Glasgow Evening Times reports that Frackwatch Glasgow is to hand in a petition with more than 800 signatures to Keep Glasgow a frack free zone at the full council meeting tomorrow (14 September)
Get fracking facts right. A Keeton, of Warsop, writing in The Derbyshire Times, complains about what he calls “ill-informed lemmings” who oppose fracking and have not looked into the subject themselves.
David Baddiel Tries to Understand Fracking. BBC Radio 4 broadcasts a 15-minute programme in which he talks to Francis Egan, of Cuadrilla, and Hannah Martin, of Greenpeace. Available on BBC IPlayer Radio
12 September 2017
INEOS injunction on fracking protests renewed for two months despite challenge from campaigners. DrillOrDrop report, The Guardian, Energy Voice, BBC News (13/9/2017), Nottingham Post (13/9/2017), Lincolnshire Live (15/9/2017)
Who said what at Broadford Bridge planning meeting. DrillOrDrop report on the key arguments at West Sussex County Council’s planning meeting.
We’re not being listened to, say campaigners outside planning meeting on UKOG’s Broadford Bridge oil site. DrillOrDrop report
Health Minister, Philip Dunne, reveals ambulances attended incidents at or near Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool six times in July. DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament
The One Show on fracking from the point of view of the farmer who has leased land to Cuadrilla at Preston New Road, near Blackpool. Link to recording of the programme
11 September 2017
On the eve of a planning decision about the Broadford Bridge site, Sussex Wildlife Trust warns of the threat to local woodlands from oil exploration. DrillOrDrop report
Energy minister, Richard Harrington, reveals government departments discuss anti-fracking protests. DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament
UK Oil & Gas issues two million shares at 1.15p to former director. London Alliance News reports that former UKOG director, Jason Berry, had exercised an option to buy two million shares for £23,000. UKOG shares were down 3.6% at 8.10p per share.
From Zen monks to “imprisoned” contractors – the North Yorkshire village on fracking’s front line. The Yorkshire Post reports from the Meet the Regulators’ event in Kirby Misperton.
Growing number of restrictions place by police, councils on anti-fracking protests. DeSmogUK reports that local councils, police and companies are increasingly trying to restrict how anti-fracking campaigners can protest shale gas development in Britain.
10 September 2017
What’s happening this week? 11-17 September 2017. DrillOrDrop listing of events about fracking, onshore oil/gas and campaign activity. Includes two planning meetings, No Fracking Day in Marsh Lane and court challenge to INEOS injunction.
Britain flouting duty to protect citizens from toxic air pollution – UN. The Guardian has an exclusive preview of a report by the UN’s special rapporteur, Baskut Tuncak. As well as accusing the UK Government of flouting its duty to protect the lives of its citizens from illegal and dangerous levels of air pollution, he warns of the risk of fracking. He tells the paper:
“UK regulations on fracking are complex, split between several regulators and do not appear to be sufficiently stringent,” he said. “Fragmented policymaking allows for loopholes.”
9 September 2017
Protest update 4-10 September 2017. DrillOrDrop photo round-up
8 September 2017
Investigation: What happened to the National College of Onshore Oil and Gas. DrillOrDrop report
“We need to be able to witness history as it happens”, says acquitted anti-fracking protest photojournalist. DrillOrDrop report
Flow test permit. UKOG announces that the Horse Hill site near Gatwick in Surrey has received environmental permits from the Environment Agency to carry out extended well tests on the original well (HH-1) and drill and test a sidetrack and new borehole. The company said the planning application for the work would be decided at a meeting of Surrey County Council’s planning committee on 18 October. The Telegraph, Proactive Investors, City Am, HydrocarbonsTechnology.com
Fracking protesters to march through north east Derbyshire. The Derbyshire Times reports on three protest marches on Saturday 16 September against plans by INEOS to carry out exploratory drilling for shale gas at Marsh Lane in North East Derbyshire. A consultation on the INEOS planning application has received up to 4,000 comments.
7 September 2017
Fracking company surveying land near Bolsover cemetery. The Derbyshire Times reports that a fracking company’s designs on land next to a Derbyshire cemetery have been criticised as “inappropriate” by residents. Residents said they saw flags in the field Oxcroft cemetery, indicating the area would be part of INEOS seismic testing plans. INEOS said it had chosen to maintain a respectful distance from the cemetery.
UKOG’s upbeat update has WH Ireland eager for more data. Proactive Investors reports that the broker, W H Ireland, was caught on the hop by a “positive update” from UK Oil and Gas Investments plc. The website says the broker has its target price under review after being surprised by the increased column of fractured Kimmeridge formation announced in yesterday’s stock market statement.
6 September 2017
Community group questions Angus Energy’s competence to operate Surrey oil site. DrillOrDrop report
UKOG announces flow testing is underway at Broadford Bridge. DrillOrDrop report
Planners recommend approval of retrospective application for Brockham. DrillOrDrop report
Women’s protest at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site. DrillOrDrop’s protest update
Surrey campaigners celebrate protection for trees on lorry route to Europa’s Leith Hill oil exploration site. DrillOrDrop report
Fracking film sparks big debate. The York Press reports a film about fracking released on YouTube has prompted a fierce debate. The maker, Dave Thorp, said most people loved 2 Miles Under but a significant minority of anti-fracking protesters hated it and voiced their feelings on the web.
Union Jack Oil sees bags of opportunity onshore in the UK5 September. Proactive Investors reports on the business model of Union Jack Oil, which has interests in the East Midlands at Wressle and in the Weald Basin at Horse Hill, Brockham and Broadford Bridge.
Fracking equipment stockpiled in Runcorn. A writer to the letters’ page of the Runcorn and Widnes World says a large collection of equipment is being stockpiled in Runcorn, enough to run two sites at the same time.
We’re not buying the line that fracking brings wealth and opportunities to our communities. The Guardian reports on the impact of fracking in the Northern Territory of Australia.
5 September 2017
Cuadrilla breached environmental controls at Lancs fracking site, official documents reveal. DrillOrDrop
Shale gas company declares war on the anti-fracking movement. Netpol reports it is working with an anti-fracking campaigner and solicitors Bhatt Murphy to challenge the INEOS injunction on protests.
Fracking Hell – Director threatened over film. Minster FM reports that director David Thorp has been threatened on social media over his anti-fracking film 2 Miles Under.
UKOG shares jump as excitement for Broadford Bridge grows. Proactive Investors reports that UKOG shares rose 14% as investors responded to a photo on Twitter, posted by David Lenigas, which appeared to show progress at the Broadford Bridge site.
Energy companies renew rugby club deal. Business Lancashire reports that Cuadrilla and Centrica are sponsoring Fylde Rugby Club for a fourth successive season.
4 September 2017
Fracking firm Third Energy appoints new directors – opponents say company is adding deckchairs to the Titanic. DrillOrDrop report
‘We can show fracking is safe in Yorkshire’. The Yorkshire Post reports comments by Third Energy’s new chairman, Keith Cochrane. He tells the paper:
“The company. all those operators that are involved in the process of developing it, we all have an obligation to articulate and demonstrate to those with concerns about the potential impact that this can be done safely and in a responsible manner.
“Alongside that there are potentially significant benefits not just for local communities but the UK more broadly with the role of gas in the broader energy mix, the implications of depending on imported gas in the longer term and the potential to develop a domestic resource in a post-Brexit world.”
Bell Pottinger expelled from PR trade body after South Africa racism row. The Guardian and others report that Bell Pottinger, a company that formerly advised Cuadrilla and Centrica, has been expelled from the PR industry’s trade association after an investigation found its secret campaign to stir up racial tensions in South Africa to be the worst breach of ethics in its history.
Union Jack half year accounts – assets potentially transformational. Union Jack reports that success in the next six months at one or more of the developments at Holmwood (Surrey), Biscathorpe or Wressle (both in Lincolnshire) could have a “transformational effect” on the company. In the six months to 30 June 2017, the company saw gross profits of £528, compared with a loss of £577 for the year to 31 December 2016. The loss for the period was £ 315,607, compared with £205,697 for the same period in 2016. Union Jack also has interests at Keddington, North Kelsey and Laughton in Lincolnshire. Proactive Investors
Anti-fracker targeted security chief. The Blackpool Gazette reports from Blackpool Magistrates Court that anti-fracking protester, David Logan, 37, was among protesters who made vile comments about Cuadrilla’s security chief at the Little Plumpton shale gas site. Mr Logan pleaded guilty to sending a threatening message by social media. He was sentenced to a 12-week community order with a tagged curfew of 9pm-8am and ordered to pay £100 compensation to the security manager, £45 costs and £85 victims’ surcharge. Mr Logan’s solicitor said his client did daft things when he was drunk but was curbing his use of alcohol and no longer used social media.
Anti-fracking protester successfully gets bail terms changed. The Blackpool Gazette also reports that Blackpool Magistrates changed the bail terms of 67-year-old former nurse, Barbara Cookson, so that she could cook at one of the anti-fracking protest camps. Her bail terms had prevented from entering the camp near Blackpool. She has been accused of obstructing the highway and denies the offence.
3 September 2017
What’s happening this week? 4-10 September 2017. Listing of events about fracking, onshore oil and gas and campaign activity. DrillOrDrop report
Bell Pottinger chief quits ahead of ruling on race hate campaign claims. The Guardian reports that James Henderson, the chief executive of Bell Pottinger has resigned days before a ruling over accusations that the public relations firm stoked racial tensions in South Africa. The company had previously advised the shale gas company, Cuadrilla.
Last chance. David Cragg-James, writing to the Gazette and Herald, says a Friends of the Earth petition asking Greg Clark not to grant permission for fracking near Blackpool could be the last chance to stop “that first fatal frack”. He says “There is nothing shameful about a U-turn if you discover you have been mistaken”.
2 September 2017
£50bn plan for hydrogen gas sparks back to life. The Telegraph reports that ministers are expected to introduce plans for a £5bn overhaul of the country’s gas grid to remove carbon emissions from the energy system. It is likely to come in the long-delayed strategy to clean up emissions from heat, transport and industry. It could cut carbon emissions in heating by more than 70% at the lowest possible cost, the paper says. It would add £170 to gas bills every year by 2050 – but this is reportedly cheaper than conversion to electric heating.
1 September 2017
Green Party offers “full support” to veteran anti-fracking campaigner, Tina Rothery, arrested at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site. DrillOrDrop report
Drilling Diary – September 2017. DrillOrDrop listings for events in September and beyond.
Regency Mines sells further stake in UK Oil & Gas Investments. London South East reports Regency Mines has sold a further 6 million shares for £416,411. This follows news of a sale the day before of 4.5m shares for £325,064. Chairman Andrew Bell said “This concludes the immediate sale programme undertaken to provide liquidity and derisk and rebalance our portfolio of interests.”
Stroud protesters travel to Lancashire to show solidarity with anti-fracking protest. The Stroud News reports that grandparents and parents from Stroud and Cheltenham visited the Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool to support opponents of fracking.
Police meeting for fracking village. The York Press reports that police are holding a meeting for people who live near a fracking site in North Yorkshire. The event, on Tuesday September 5, is at 5.30pm, at the village hall in Kirby Misperton, near Pickering.
Categories: Daily headlines