Regulation

Guest Post by Jon and Val Mager: Why the government must block fracking based on what we learned about regulation of the KM8 site

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Third Energy’s KMA wellsite at Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire. Photo: Eddie Thornton

As Third Energy prepares for high volume hydraulic fracturing in North Yorkshire – the first in the UK for more than six years – campaigners Jon and Val Mager argue there are serious flaws in the regulatory regime.

In this guest post, the couple report on what they found out from the Environment Agency about the plans and why they have urged the Business Secretary to stop the frack going ahead.

Jon and Val Mager

Jon and Val Mager outside the Kirby Misperton fracking site.

We spent over an hour talking to three officers from the Environment Agency at a drop-in event on 7 September 2017 in Kirby Misperton. This is the village close to the KM8 well which Third Energy is to frack.

We attended the meeting because we have experienced gas exploration in the East Riding of Yorkshire and because our research into environmental permits issued by the EA did not reassure us.

We also went because Val was born and educated in Ryedale, the area which includes Kirby Misperton, and both her parents are buried there. She fears that if industrial-scale fracking is allowed, Ryedale will change forever and a unique rural landscape and community will be lost.

We appreciated the honesty of the EA officers. Some of their answers may surprise those who have followed the campaign against high-volume, unconventional fracturing to obtain shale gas.

But from what we learned, we concluded that the full implications of fracking at Kirby Misperton have not been discussed in one democratically-accountable forum. Instead, it has been fragmented into three different regulatory agencies. No one has taken overall responsibility to communicate and consult about the local, regional and global implications of decisions made by different officers and councillors.

Similarly, there is no single independent inspectorate. The current combination of desktop assessment of plans by the HSE, the use of audits by the EA and the way both organisations rely on self-reporting by the shale gas companies is not fit for purpose. There is no independent real-time monitoring of the well sites which could easily and cheaply be achieved with video and infra-red cameras open to public view.

The fundamental objection to fracking will always be that if anything goes wrong miles underground during fracking, consequent significant pollution may not be known for weeks, months or years afterwards. It will be the local population and wider environment that suffer the consequences and it will be the public purse that covers the cost of remedial action.

We do not believe fracking would now be starting in Ryedale if information from EA sources, shared here, had been fully publicised and open for consultation in a single forum with all parties and open to questions.

That’s why we have written to the Business Secretary, Greg Clark, who will give final go-ahead to the KM8 frack, asking him to stop all fracking exploration in the UK immediately.

In the rest of this post, we give more detail of what we found out from the Environment Agency.

170907 KM8

Delivery of fencing to the KM8 wellsite earlier this month.

Detection of gas leaks

We were concerned about how gas leaks would be detected and dealt with.

A leak in September 2014 at the West Newton A well site in the East Riding was first reported by residents, rather than the operator, Rathlin Energy UK. It took time for the EA to respond and Rathlin initially described residents’ concerns as “false allegations”.

In March 2017, John Dewar, chief operator officer of Third Energy, reportedly told a Ryedale councillor that a strong smell from the Kirby Misperton well site was merely mercaptan. This is a product added to odourless methane to help detect leaks. The implication was that this was normal and nothing to worry about.

From our questions at the meeting, we discovered that officers from the EA and the HSE were unaware of mercaptan. They were unable to say at what point of the Kirby Misperton well testing mercaptan would be added. This issue must be clarified by the regulators before fracking starts at KM8 or at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool.

We also asked about the impact of faulting on potential leaks. In a presentation on 31 August 2017, Third Energy said:

“The aquifer under the KMA site is geologically separated by a series of faults from the nearest aquifer that supplies water for public consumption.”

The fault lines could offer a route for gas, released by fracking or well failure, to reach the air. We wanted to know what steps would be taken to monitor leaks of gas along the known fault lines.

An EA geologist said the compression faults in the area were unlikely to allow gas to escape to the surface. The risk depended on the extent of potential energy in faults which might be released by fracking. According to the EA assessment of local geology, this was not a justification for refusing permits to frack.

But the EA officers acknowledged that the faulting around KM8 could, theoretically, present a pathway for gas to reach the surface. They confirmed the only gas monitoring in place was adjacent to the KM8 well. There are no arrangements to monitor fault lines where they meet the surface in Ryedale.

In the light of very limited experience of onshore fracking onshore in the UK, we argue it would seem wise to set up arrangements to monitor fugitive emissions of methane from known faults connected to fracking well sites. The pattern of local faults as they occur at the surface should be notified to local residents so that tell-tale signs of surface leaks might be observed.

Emissions to air

The EA permit for the Kirby Misperton site (known as KMA) stated: “There shall be no point source emissions to water, air or land”.

We established that no gas from the test of the KM8 well would deliberately be emitted to air on the KMA wellsite.

But there will be emissions to air. Gas will be sent down the existing pipeline to the Knapton generating station, where it will be either burnt to generate electricity or flared. So, the point source for emissions from the gas will be at Knapton as the product of combustion.

Knapton Generating Station

This was not made clear in the EA permit for the KM8 frack. People may have been misled to believe that frack tests and the consequent industrial application of fracking to existing Third Energy wells would not require emissions of methane or other hydrocarbons. We believe this is an example of the failure of planning procedure and the EA permits to consider system-wide and cumulative impacts.

The EA team confirmed that the permit variation notice for the Knapton Generating Station (Section IC5 p.18) referred to known fugitive emissions of methane and NOx from the gas conditioning plant and combustion plant.

The team also said there was an assumption that all equipment involved in gas transmission and processing would leak under pressure. There were standards set for these leaks based on tests of each item of equipment at a range of pressures. The equipment at Knapton was assessed against these standards for performance within the expected range of emissions. This was normal industry practice which, according to the EA team, was based on “a methodology which has been tested”.

This raises the question of whether the pipes, flanges and pumps used for managing gas released during frack tests at Preston New Road and Kirby Misperton are subject to the same standards of testing and therefore a specified amount of fugitive emission to air has been assumed in the EA permits. Methane is considered to be as much as 20 times more influential than CO2 for climate change. This issue must be clarified immediately before any further progress towards frack testing in the UK.

Flaring of gas

We feel Third Energy gave the impression in its planning application and publicity that the Knapton generator was the only method of emitting gas from conventional wells or the planned frack test at KM8.

We established from the EA team that gas would be stored under pressure in the supply pipelines so that it was available when needed at Knapton. These pipelines, as the EA explained, would leak under pressure.

We also know that gas can be burned in the flare at Knapton, as it was in November 2015 when there was a complaint about odour at the Malton well site.

The EA team confirmed that the permit variation for the Knapton site, issued in January 2016, allowed Knapton to operate for up to 1,500 hours, or just over 62 days, a year. The EA team did not disagree with our assertion that it was inaccurate to describe the flare as an alternative, “emergency” facility when the generator was used only for limited hours.

We argue that it was inaccurate for Third Energy to suggest that the planned frack test at KM8 would not lead to emissions of methane or other hydrocarbon gases.

The planned frack test may release large quantities of gas beyond the storage capacity of the existing pipelines. It is clear there would be emissions to air during the test via three possible routes:

  • Permitted fugitive emissions from pumps, valves and pipe flanges allowed by EA standards;
  • Combustion in the “emergency” flare, which in reality was a route that could deal with gas for over 300 days a year;
  • Combustion in the generator providing there was a commercial basis for switching it on, which depends on demand, within the 1,500 hours it was permitted to run each year.

We also established from the EA that there will be no real-time monitoring or regulation of gas emitted or combusted as part of the frack tests. There are no plans for independent 24/7 monitoring of the flare or the generator at Knapton by, for example, video link.

The EA officer responsible for monitoring explained that regular audits of records kept at Knapton would reveal any impacts from additional gas from frack tests at KM8 and records would show up any problems with the “emergency flare” there. Third Energy would be expected to report problems and issues would also be covered in weekly monitoring reports – though we pointed out that the Malton complaint in November 2015 was not subject to an EA visit until January 2016.

Future greenhouse gas impacts

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Third Energy’s operation’s director, John Dewar, arriving at the KM8 wellsite earlier this year. Photo: Caroline Haywood

Third Energy does not acknowledge that there would be increased emissions of potent greenhouse gases as a result of the test frack at KM8.

But if the company successfully established fracking to increase production from all its wells in Ryedale then industrial scale fracking would have a significant impact on emissions to air with a consequent impact on greenhouse gases.

Third Energy claimed its successful fracking would support the work of the Knapton Generator, which has the capacity to provide electricity for 40,000 homes. The company did not reveal that the station operated only during peak periods of demand if the price were right.

We believe no further activity at any fracking site in the UK should be allowed until the full extent of permitted emissions to air from frack tests and the planned industrial scale fracking has been assessed using the EA standards for emission of methane and NOx to air and their impacts have been subject to public consultation and scrutiny.

Short notice unannounced inspections

We have experience of unannounced inspection by independent inspectorates, such as Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, and think there should be the same approach for shale gas exploration sites.

EA with line

The EA can do spot checks as part of regulatory enforcement under the Environment Act 1995, Sect 108. But we established from the EA team that there have been no unannounced inspections of shale gas sites. (The EA team did not count exploration sites at Crawberry Hill and West Newton-A because officers did not regard them as fracking.)

In contrast to other inspectorates, the EA does not publish the procedure for unannounced inspections. There is currently no record of whether or not inspections are unannounced.

The EA team could not tell us precisely how many inspectors were employed. The team said this was because colleagues from outside the organisation’s EA onshore oil and gas programme might become involved if their particular expertise was needed.

The EA has the key role in issuing permits and inspecting the effectiveness of such permissions. There is no independent inspection of the industry, the regulators and the effectiveness of the relationship between the two.

Without public background information supported by open availability of reports of unannounced inspections, there cannot be any confidence in the robustness of the EA’s regulatory regime for fracking which depends mostly on information provided by the operator. Self-reporting implies self-regulation if breaches are only uncovered sometime after the event.

Given the several regulators involved in fracking permissions and inspection, there is a strong case for a single, independent inspectorate reporting to Parliament.

Trust in Third Energy by the Environment Agency

The strategy for regulation in the UK assumes that current local planning permission, EA and HSE permits and inspections are adequate. Given our experience of how gas exploration in the East Riding was not effectively regulated, we wanted to understand the relationship between the EA and operator and how the EA deals with breaches in permits.

We asked about recent incidents involving Third Energy, including the Malton leak, the company’s changes without notification to groundwater monitoring and the incorrect mean monthly figures for stack emissions at Knapton.

The team explained that the EA has “a culture of regular shared team briefings”, which included incidents such as the Malton leak.

Response to breaches had to be in proportion to the impact, the team said. There was a four-point scale to record the seriousness of the breach in the Compliance Assessment Report. Enforcement action would be taken if necessary. The operator paid a fee to cover the cost of regulation by the EA and if there was a high level of breaches then the fee would be increased so there is also a financial penalty for non-compliance.

The team said it had to work within the current Environment Act and the statutory guidance which provided the remit and context for the Agency. The officers acknowledged that self-reporting by the industry was the basis of the audit process, which was the core of the EA approach to regulation. They confirmed there was no independent real-time visual monitoring e.g. using video cameras, but there was an air-monitoring unit beside the KM8 well.

We concluded that there is a close working relationship between the EA and the onshore oil, gas and shale gas industry underpinned by a fee structure which means the industry contributes to the funding of the regulator.

There is no single, authoritative and independent inspection regime which can, not only “speak truth to power” about failures of regulations, but also be held directly to account by Parliament if there are shortcomings in the inspection regime, putting people and the environment at risk.

34 replies »

  1. INDEPENDENT REAL TIME MONITORING OF WELL SITES
    “independent monitoring of the well sites which could easily and cheaply be achieved with video and infra-red cameras open to public view”.

    Exactly what is this supposed to achieve?

    Are they to be installed from the start of drilling? Or just during the Frac job? Or just during production?

    All these would require multiple cameras to capture a complete view of the whole location, some of which would have to be certified as being ‘intrinsically safe’ for use on the location – and these are certainly not cheap.

    Who would be responsible for the cost of purchasing the system, installation, maintenance and repair of failed equipment? What about the provision and upkeep of the data link and website? Broadband is not readily available in some of the more remote well locations, so how is the video feed to be broadcast? Satcomms or a dedicated micro-wave link could be installed and used – but neither of these options are cheap.

    What are viewers expected to look at? With all due respect to the general public, they would have no idea of what stage the operation is at, never mind what is and is not supposed to happen on a location and therefore what to look for. Even if they did, the cameras wouldn’t show what is happening downhole.

    If somebody watching does see something that they think is wrong, who do they call? Do they expect someone from the HSE / OGA / EA to be on call 24/7? What exactly are they expected to do – other than call the Operator to find out what is going on?

    And I can guarantee that if there was a technical problem so that the video feed wasn’t working, the Operator would be accused of deliberately breaking the system to hide what they are doing.

    Realistically, would you like a camera which is broadcasting your every move to the World to be peering over your shoulder while you work?

  2. DETECTION OF LEAKS
    Primary detection of leaks would be by monitoring the data from pressure gauges. However, in a large volume system, this would probably not pick up the effect of a small leak for some time.

    The reason for this is that error bars on the detection system have to be set to account for natural pressure variations that will occur during daily use. E.g. a valve opening or closing will cause a small pressure wave to go through the system. Pipework above ground will be exposed to the air temperature and direct sunlight – these can have surprisingly large effects on the pressure inside the pipe.

    For this reason, it has been standard practice to add mercaptans to the gas system since the grid was switched over from ‘town’ gas to ‘North Sea’ gas in the 1960’s, because ‘North Sea’ gas has no odour.

    Mercaptans are incredibly smelly – they are to H2S as concentrated Hydrochloric acid is to vinegar. They are used to detect small leaks throughout the gas network – right up to the burner on your gas cooker.

    In that respect, I am very surprised that the EA & HSE officers were unaware of Mercaptans.

    I don’t know at what point they would be added to the KM stream, since it’s producing direct to a power plant.

    There are some Wells in the East Midlands area that also produce condensate which contains naturally occurring mercaptans.

    When the first exploration well to encounter this was tested in the 1980’s (I forget who drilled it, though Taylor Woodrow or Kelt Energy come to mind), all was fine until the end of the test. The surface equipment was depressurised and opened for cleaning. There was a small amount of condensate remaining in the test separator and when it was opened up, the mercaptans vapourised – cue mass projectile vomiting on site and complaints about the smell from 10 miles downwind..

    So be careful what you wish for…

    And in any case, it has absolutely nothing to do with Frac’ing.

    With respect to the impact of geological faulting on potential leaks, if these were indeed a potential leak path, then the gas that was present in the formation would have migrated up them to surface a long time ago. As noted, the faulting is compressional and so acts as an additional sealing force.

    I wouldn’t expect the EA officers to categorically say it wouldn’t happen, just as I cannot say categorically that a plane taking off or landing at LHR, LGW, LCY or STN will not crash on my house in the next 15 mins – but I’m not going to lose any sleep over the thought it could, theoretically, happen.

    It is not correct to state that there is very limited experience of frac’ing Onshore the UK. There have been around 200 frac jobs performed onshore the UK (before anyone starts yelling, yes, I know that nobody knows exactly how many, but that number is from the Royal Society report, so that’s the number I’m going with).

    In addition, there have been at least three Frac vessels working in the North Sea for several decades. In addition to that, several of the Service Companies have designated their Aberdeen facilities as ‘centers of excellence’. This means that they are used by the Service Companies to design and monitor Frac jobs in other Countries where they do not have a dedicated service center.

  3. EMISSIONS TO AIR

    It is not correct to state that the emissions from gas combustion at Knapton should have been included.

    Emissions data for gas production (and oil, for that matter) as routine has always been up to the point of when the gas or oil leaves the production location.

    Emissions during actual use of the gas (e.g. in a chemicals complex, power station etc) has always been reported by that particular facility.

    This has been standard, because otherwise every production platform would have to establish where every cubic meter of gas was going to go, what it would be used for and what the results emissions would be.

    This is clearly impractical.

    With regards to fugitive emissions from surface equipment, this essentially means only the low pressure equipment at the end use point (in this case, the Knapton Generating Station). The high pressure pipework at the well pad essentially has zero fugitive emissions, because (counter-intuitively) it is easier to get an effective seal with high pressure gas than it is with low pressure gas. This was one of the points that the report into fugitive emissions by Cornell University in 2011 did not take into account and one of the reasons why it has since been discredited.

    All pipework, flanges, pumps etc on any installation are subject to rigorous, regular testing. This is either to API standards or (where higher) as dictated by local regulations.

  4. FLARING OF GAS

    I am puzzled by the comment that ‘gas would be stored in the supply pipelines’ and that these would ‘leak under pressure’.

    Perhaps the EA misunderstood the question or the authors misunderstood the answer?

    The supply pipeline could be used as a temporary buffer for small volumes of gas (i.e. by increasing the pressure in the pipeline), but for the larger volumes which may be produced during a test, this would have to be stored at the Knapton site in LNG form or in a pressurized tank.

    In any case, as explained previously, there should be no fugitive emissions from the high pressure pipe.

    With respect to the emergency flare, while EA team ‘did not disagree’, they obviously did not agree either. An emergency flare is designed for just that – limited use in an emergency. It is not intended or suitable for long term use that the authors suggest – a completely different design of flare would be required.

    In any case, it really does not make sense that Third Energy would produce gas just to flare it, when they are already connected to the Knapton Generating station. I would suggest that when it comes to the time, Third Energy would make an application to increase the number of days they are allowed to use the generating station – the greater volume of gas would result in lower operating costs.

    I have looked into the background of the mentioned Malton complaint. As far as I can tell, the incident was correctly reported to the HSE within the required 24 hours. The EA was not contacted at the time, as no noxious substances had been released. The EA must have accepted this reasoning, otherwise they would have given it a much higher non-compliance score when they did their visit in Jan 2016.

  5. FUTURE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

    The authors appear to be primarily concerned about the release of additional methane with respect to the KM 8 Well.

    However, if the test frac’ing were successful in producing additional gas (by no means a certainty) which warranted further development, then the gas produced would be used in power generation. Yes, this would produce additional CO2 & NOx, but not methane, as that would be burnt.

    If the logic implied in the last paragraph were applied, this would mean ceasing all further exploration and production of hydrocarbons in the UK, not just that produced from frac’ing.

  6. SHORT NOTICE UNANNOUNCED INSPECTIONS

    The EA are entitled to inspect the location at any time, as are other bodies such as the HSE and OGA.
    We know that there have been at least two inspections at the PNR site, although whether or not they were unannounced is open to question (I suspect in one case, they were specifically invited to attend during a rainy day).

    In any case, as far as surface facilities go, there is no difference between a ‘frac’ site and a ‘conventional’ well site except during the actual frac job itself.

    As far as the Onshore Oil and Gas Industry goes, the HSE have over-riding authority, so they are in effect acting as an additional inspection force on top of the EA.

    As for the statement that ‘self-reporting implies self-regulation’, this is nonsense. The O&G Industry is highly regulated – the UKOG website has a listing of the regulations that they are expected to follow and it runs to four pages.

    If you choose to believe that self-reporting does indeed imply self-regulation, then this means that ALL industry in the UK is self-regulating, as the reporting model used in the O&G Industry is no different from any other industry in that respect.

    This reporting model has been used by the HSE successfully to continually make the UK a safer place to work over the years. Statistically the UK is one of the safest places in the EU – never mind the rest of the World – to work.

    So how does the oil industry in the UK really stand up safety wise? Well, in the last five years, the UK Construction Industry has had over 200 fatalities. UK Agriculture in the same time has had around 150 fatalities. The oil industry has had 6 fatalities in the last 10 years. Is that 6 too many? Absolutely.

    Go onto the UK HSE website and see the figures for yourself. The HSE regards us as one of the best industries with regards to HSE working practices, mainly due to the substantial policies and procedures that have to be put in place prior to getting a license to operate, plus the microscope we are continually working under these days.

    Like many other industries, the O&G Industry comes under the auspices of more than one body of the UK Govt and has to get permissions for all of them to operate – I do not see this changing any time soon, unless they were all amalgamated into a single Govt Department, and that is simply not going to happen..

    The HSE is already the UK‘s independent regulator and does report directly to Parliament.

    If you wish to change this, then this would apply to ALL UK industries and involve the creation of an additional regulatory body above the HSE.

  7. TRUST IN THIRD ENERGY BY THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY

    I would disagree that exploration in the East Riding was not effectively regulated. Exploration and Production activities have been ongoing since the late 1930’s, when the first Well at Eskdale was drilled.

    Indeed, it could be argued that the quoted examples show that the regulatory system is working. The EA Inspector in his report stated that the groundwater monitoring system chosen was widely used and acceptable to the EA. The error in calculation of stack emissions was picked up by the inspector, who pointed out the mistake. The Operator agreed and submitted the corrected figures – which showed that the discharges were still within allowable limits.

    As far as I can ascertain, Third Energy have not been fined for any breaches.

    With respect to the fact that the EA charges fees for it’s inspection services, I really doubt that this (or what their Pension Fund is invested in) affects the decisions of the individual Inspectors.

    If it really is a concern, then I’m sure the Operator will be only too pleased for the fee system to be dropped – which effectively means the taxpayer picking up the bill.

    But what of inspections of the offshore facilities? The Operator provides the helicopter transport to and from the Drilling Rig or Platform for the inspectors, be they DECC, HSE, EA, OGA etc. This would also include meals and, in the event of an extended inspection or adverse weather conditions, accommodation as well.

    This could also be construed as being a ‘conflict of interest’, so should the taxpayer pay for the inspectors to have their own Helicopter transport? Bear in mind that the Helicopters have to be specifically outfitted & certified for Offshore service and the pilots also have to be certified.

    I’m not sure of the exact cost these days, but I doubt there would be much change from £5,000 per flying hour, plus whatever the shut-down time on the Rig / Platform is. They could take a packed lunch, but in the event of adverse weather meaning they cannot return the same day – what then?

    O.K., I’m laboring the point a bit, but what regulatory changes are requested for the East Riding cannot be taken in isolation. They apply to not only the rest of the Onshore and Offshore Oil & Gas Industry, but potentially all other industries in the UK as well.

    As noted previously, the HSE is already the UK‘s independent regulator and does report directly – and is therefore accountable – to Parliament.

  8. Dear Jon and Val Mager,

    i think we can gather from this detailed and voluble, but essentially irrelevant series of denials and self justifications, that the industry does not want to be regulated and monitored by on site monitoring by any means?

    Clearly they are happy with the minimum they have managed to manipulate the government into so that they have the absolute minimum of public transparency and an absolute lack of public accountability.

    It states that the existing regulating bodies are responsible to parliament, but where does that get us when parliament is so uninformed and the minority government had to be propped up with the only party, the DUP, that supports fracking?

    That one aspect alone must indicate how desperate the government is to hold onto its incestuous economic ties with the industry that have been allowed the most outrageous infiltration into our countryside and are carving up even more as we speak, so that even if local objections are upheld locally in official planning refusals, that the government finds it necessary to overturn that under the guise of the now notorious cover all ever of more obscuring smokescreen of “national interest”?

    These volumes of disingenuous put downs and contradictory remarks, following the now typical supieror attitude of “the industry knows best, don’t you worry your little head about it” and “nothing to see here, move along please or we will intimidate you, brutalise you and arrest you under patently false pretences” surely must indicate a high degree of desperation to hide the the industry activities under a bigger smokescreen of trying to put all of the attention onto protest while simultaneously ignoring any and all contraventions of what few regulations and planning agreements and operational checks that do apply to the point where the operators are not even looked at by the protecting police force and indeed anyone else?

    the simple truth is that we should not have to listen to anything the industry say in its own defence, we should have been completely informed by government of the intended processes and just as a Doctor or Surgeon is legally required to do in great detail. the process should have had by law, to tell us of the potential consequences of the procedures and the potential risks to our health should we be prepared to take that risk. That should have all been available from the beginning and the public then allowed to make our decision based upon that information from the outset.

    The information we see here with its inherent series of “we know best, you don’t understand anything” attitudes affords us less than nothing, because it comes from the wrong direction, its often not what is said, its what is left unsaid that matters, we should not at this late stage, still be asking for clarification of regulatory checks and balances from a self regulated industry to justify its actions and operations that clearly are not in the least bit fixed or certain and so far have been seen to be contravening every condition in sight in order to carry on its secretive operations.
    Are we to have to imagine we have been informed in any way on this most important aspect of the industry which has planted itself in our midst, when it has nor been in the least bit justified by central, or local government.

    This must be discussed freely and openly in a public debate forum, where government, both central and local, the police, and the operators, and local and national interest groups can thrash out the issues without further secretive cover ups, obscuration and prevarication.

    Lets have this issue out in the open, for once and for all.

    That has not happened yet, it was overdue long before this stage, now it is vital or the consequences will be too devastating to consider.

    All issues discussed, nothing excluded.

    • Phil C
      If Jon and Val Mager have queries about the issues I have raised, then I will be only too happy to engage with them.

      I split my reply into sections so that people who actually want to listen, and have questions about the points I raised, could do so easily.

      I went into as much detail as I could to try and clearly explain my point of view – especially since some of the points they raised could not just have significant implications for the Oil Industry, but UK Industry as a whole.

      However, as with my previous posts, you choose to avoid addressing specific points I have raised, or asking specific questions, instead of which you essentially accuse me (again) of being dishonest.

      You state you want to discuss the issues freely and in open debate, but when I attempt to do so, you don’t?

      Why shouldn’t the oil industry be allowed to defend itself in an open forum?

      Your assertion that the industry does not want to be regulated or monitored by any means is clearly wrong. There is a comprehensive set of regulations in place that we follow, and as well as on-site inspections, there are normally noise, water and air monitoring stations.

      But you choose to deny these facts.

      The oil industry is far more open and accountable than most other industries, but you also choose to deny this.

      The oil industry is not self-regulated, but you choose to deny this.

      The oil industry has safely, unobtrusively and responsibly been producing oil and gas onshore the UK for over 50 years, but you choose to deny this.

      You claim that there have been ‘secretive cover ups’, but you have provided no evidence of any?

      You clearly don’t trust Parliament, the HSE, OGA, EA or the Police to regulate – or enforce – the regulations, so who do you trust to do so?

      • My dear Injuneer: [edited by moderator]

        “However, as with my previous posts, you choose to avoid addressing specific points I have raised, or asking specific questions, instead of which you essentially accuse me (again) of being dishonest.”

        Lets address this honesty issue first before it becomes just another silly thing to throw around as ammunition [Edited by moderator]no where in the above comments did i mention honesty or otherwise, particularly not to you personally, and did not even refer to you, but addressed my comments to Jon and Val Manger, not you. Am i not allowed to disagree with anything you say? Or if i do so, is that your definition of me calling you dishonest?

        [Edited by moderator]

        Also you are so keen to display the word “fact” when it suits you as if you have the only facts available and no one else can possibly have any facts that contradict your own definition of facts, but refuse to accept facts from anyone else?

        “You state you want to discuss the issues freely and in open debate, but when I attempt to do so, you don’t?”

        That simply is not correct. You refused to comment on any of the facts i gave you on the previous comments and just called it, what was it? Oh yes “junk science” and “snake oil” you called it because i use the HHO device myself and quite clearly said so, you ignored that fact as well didn’t you, did you debate it? [Edited by moderator]

        By the way, when i mentioned open debate, something i asked for long before you arrived on the scene, I was referring to the government and apparently few and far between governing bodies utter failure to explain in an open forum the exact operational procedures and risks for such a countrywide operation just as is legally required by a doctor or surgeon prior to a procedure that has significant risks. That has not been done, in fact i have seen hardly any debate about it at all in other that either loose and off hand terms and not one debate on the media, so we look at what is available on the internet, good or bad, and mostly it appears, bad, quite significantly so.

        I made some moves in that very direction of offers to join or even host an open debate, but the offhand replies i received which had all sorts of conditions and no go areas on what could or could not be discussed by various operators and local authorities was simply a waste of time, so i gave up the effort as being too limited by the operators and government bodies themselves. So we have the situation we have now, where sides have been chosen and very little can convince either side any more, its far too late to moan about that now, it should have been done officially by government and the industry years ago. Believe it or not i was in two minds originally whether the ohandgee processes onshore were good or bad, it was lack of “honesty” then and looking at the internet for the experience of other countries and the frankly laughable comments made on this forum which gradually moved me towards anti rather than pro. So your colleagues have done that to themselves.

        [Edited by moderator]

        Now we come to another unfortunate habit of accusation, and that is this:

        “You clearly don’t trust Parliament, the HSE, OGA, EA or the Police to regulate – or enforce – the regulations, so who do you trust to do so?”
        This is the same process of accusation used to suggest i trust no one, where do i say that?

        “I split my reply into sections so that people who actually want to listen, and have questions about the points I raised, could do so easily.”

        So here we go again, “people who actually want to listen” what does that imply? Me i suppose, and then you complain about alleged honesty? My dear injuneer, i have been posting here for a long while now, (yes i am using the qualification argument back at you, fun, isn’t it?) and your colleagues have said far worse to me before and without me saying anything to them until i got fed up with the nasty remarks.
        So now i take no prisoners, if you suffered from that, then i am sorry, but look to your colleagues here to explain why that is.

        “Why shouldn’t the oil industry be allowed to defend itself in an open forum?”

        Where have i said that? i said entirely the opposite in fact and i said it was all ready late, and the situation is now getting critical, if not in meltdown right now, as evidenced by the outrageous police actions against peaceful protest.
        What i am saying is that all you have said is only watched by a small section of the public, in fact the whole issue should have been debated in open forum with precisely what you contribute here, for the entire country to see, we are only seeing such contributions from you now, when the industry is so far embedded, and is all ready affecting in a negative way, every level of society, it is too little too late. This should have been done at least two years ago, maybe three or four, but it seems the industry only now want to engage when they have all ready apparently removed all the foreseeable obstacles except one, and that is those protesters who all ready know the dangers and have saying so here for ages. Hence the present police misuse and brutality and the efforts to close down any protest at all. Do you really want a police state?

        That is what i said.

        My dear injuneer, I have posted many highly detailed factual posts on this web site, and i have received virtually nothing in reply other than silly remarks. So dont accuse me, i will look at your posts, but i have a limited time at present to able to do so, so it will take a while. But i will get there.

        My point before you lept upon it and accused me of all sorts of things [edited by moderator] it is not about you and me, it is about this major issue in this country for everybody and whether we can do this without coming to blows, verbal or actual, and that is where it should be debated.

        [Edited by moderator]

  9. Ian R Crane arrested, and previously being harrassed for walking and filming on a public footpath, but of course the industry have nothing to hide and no hidden agenda do they?

    This is now a situation where any protest, peaceful or otherwise is now outlawed completely? That is totally and utterly unacceptable and must be challenged all the way to the UK courts and as we are still under the auspices of EU law, right up to the EU courts.

    !!WARNING!!

    This 2nd video has been hacked from 11.25 minutes in and very loud music inserted over the top of the video to obscure what is being said. so turn your volume down before then, what this indicates, i leave it up to you to decide, but clearly someone does not want you to hear what is being said. so we begin to see what lengths the anti antis’ and their supporters are prepared to go to to cover up debate.

    This is part of what we talking a bout, its the secretive and corporate government sanctioned overbearing and frankly socially and democratic unacceptable attitude of the industry which clearly does not want anyone monitoring them even from outside the sites?
    So what chance do we have to get these operators to submit to any degree of public scrutiny and accountability in any regulatory form whatsoever?

    That public debate is now urgent before we find ourselves under the boot of a

  10. To understand the ignorance of the anti frack crowd perhaps one should recall the scene [edited by moderator] were picketing a fracking site at a Southern location where the frackers started to complain that they could smell gas and were reporting it to the colocated police . You do not smell methane, somebody was clearly in the hedgerow letting off a gas canister , I see no reason why a company would want to vent Shale gas, after all they are selling it, not giving it away. As I have said on here several times, methane is not dangerous to humans, other than by ignition, or air replacement in a confined space (that is the pressure of methane if released in a confined space may drive out the natural air. Hence anyone in there were suffocate, that of course can happen almost anywhere and more likely on a campsite) As for public scrutiny the companies have to abide by very tight regulations. That is public scrutiny !

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