Daily headlines

Drilling headlines – December 2017


171202 HH eviction HHP8

Eviction of campaigners from Horse Hill oil site in Surrey. Photo: Horse Hill Protectors

DrillOrDrop’s December 2017 digest of news about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas updated daily.

Click here for headlines from previous months

Top headlines in December:

  1. Europa Oil & Gas seeks to extend injunction covering occupation of its Bury Hill Wood site in Surrey
  2. UKOG reports unproductive section of Broadford Bridge well plus plans for new sites
  3. DrillOrDrop review of 2017, the year in pictures and what to watch in 2018
  4. Campaigners promise to fight on after judge refuses permission to appeal on INEOS injunction
  5. Angus Energy submits new planning for Brockham site in Surrey
  6. Planners recommend flow testing plans at Balcombe despite 2,700 objections
  7. Horse Hill operator to seek consent for production and extra wells
  8. Shortage of waste facilities could limit fracking industry – new research
  9. Rule changes for fracking and overnight deliveries at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site
  10. INEOS seeks legal action against National Trust – the Trust denies it has acted unreasonably
  11. Horse Hill protest camp evicted after 60 hours
  12. Nationwide protests against Barclays Bank funding for fracking

31 December 2017

A year in pictures – July 2017. DrillOrDrop report

INEOS Shale to frack in North York Moors, the Heartbeat national park. The Times reports that INEOS is to announce plans to drill for shale gas under one of Britain’s most treasured national parks. It will lodge planning applications to drill up to 10 exporatory boreholes around the southern edge of the North York Moors.  If gas is found then in each sixXsix mile licence area, INEOS would build 10-15 fracking pads and drill up to 10 wells from each pad.

LETTERS: Misleading picture on the risks of fracking. Martin Brampton and John Wilson, writing to The Gazette and Herald, criticise North Yorkshire County Council’s claim that the risk to health from frack is low. Mr Wilson says even though the risks of exposure to products associated with fracking may be low the hazards could be fatal. Mr Brampton, local Green Party candidate in the 2017 general election, said there is already evidence of serious health risks.

LETTERS: Small price to pay. Cllr Paul Andrews, also writing in The Gazette and Herald, says he drives past Third Energy’s KM8 site at Kirby Misperton five or six times a week and only once in the past year has he encountered a road block. He said:

“We should be glad the protesters have decided to raise the profile of this matter both regionally and nationally, and any short-term inconvenience we may suffer is a small price to pay for fighting something which will ruin our beautiful countryside forever if it goes ahead.”

INEOS confirm Forties pipeline now “fully operational”. Energy Voice reports a statement by INEOS that all oil flow restrictions on the Forties pipeline have been lifted and that “virtually all platforms” are now on line. Ineos also confirmed that the Kinneil facility is now up and running and that the Force Majeure, declared in mid-December, has been lifted.

30 December 2017

A year in pictures – June 2017. DrillOrDrop report

Correspondents Look Ahead. On the BBC Radio 4 programme, BBC diplomatic correspondent, James Robbins, said:

“I predict a substantial tipping point over the supply of energy throughout the industrialised world and the wider world too. In other words, I think 2018 is going to be decisively the year of renewables and of batteries. The technologies are advancing so fast. We know from 2017 that the National Grid has been able to rely increasingly on renewables. I think the tide for fracking is running out. I’m not making a political point here, I just think the cost of extracting hydrocarbons is getting too high given the global price. So I think in 2018 we will see a significant reverse for those involved in fracking, particularly in the UK, where it is highly controversial. I think we may see the skids sliding under the whole Hinkley Point C nuclear power station. A complete change of the terms of debate really within Britain and a massive rethink of how we’re going to supply ourselves with energy in the future.”

DrillOrDrop invited the industry body, UKOOG, to comment but it declined.

My Yorkshire: The Reverend James Jones. The former Bishop of Hull and Liverpool, who now lives in a village near Malton, responds to a question from The Yorkshire Post on what one thing he would change about Yorkshire:

“I would stop fracking in Yorkshire. I am seriously worried that the regulation is not coordinated or robust enough. I worry about the impact it will have on our water. The risks are too high. If the water ends up contaminated it could have a disastrous impact on our health, our agriculture, tourism and the whole economy of Yorkshire.”

29 December 2017

A year in pictures – May 2017. DrillOrDrop report

What to watch in 2018? DrillOrDrop review of the likely key events and decisions on fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry in the next 12 months.

Europa Oil & Gas seeks extended injunction for Bury Hill Wood exploration site near Leith Hill in Surrey. DrillOrDrop report

Fracking in focus: What will happen at Ince Marshes and Ellesmere Port in 2018. The Chester Standard interviews Kris Bone, of IGas, about its plans for north Cheshire.

First-ever shipment of Russian gas unlikely to remain in UK for long. The Guardian reports that the first shipment of Russian gas to the UK, landed at the Isle of Grain in Kent on Thursday, was likely to head straight back out on another ship, disproving Moscow’s claims that Britain will be reliant on it for supplies this winter.

UK Onshore Oil and Gas, the industry body, said in response to the Russian shipment:

 “Surely it is better for our economy and our environment that instead of relying on others we produce the gas from underneath our feet so that Britain has a secure source of gas to heat the 84% of our homes that depend on it, a source of local jobs, tax and community benefits while also reducing the environmental impact?”

Forties pipeline ‘back to normal’ by new year. Energy Voice reports confirmation by INEOS that it expects the Forties pipeline from the North Sea to be back to normal rates around the New Year period.

28 December 2017

A year in pictures – April 2017. DrillOrDrop report

Former lorry driver who refused to deliver to the Kirby Misperton fracking site halts trucks. The Northern Echo, Minster FM

Public urged to question police meeting. The York Press reports on a meeting of North Yorkshire Police public accountability meeting on 23 January at which policing of anti-fracking protests at Kirby Misperton will be discussed.

YP Letters: We need to have a ‘social licence’ for controversial schemes like fracking. Jim Tucker, of Hovingham, writing to The Yorkshire Post, says “I am left wondering if the time being taken by Business Secretary Greg Clark to approve fracking at Kirby Misperton reflects a desire for a U-turn” on the government’s support for the process.

27 December 2017

UKOG Broadford Bridge update: “unproductive” section, plans for new sites, extended flow test consent and new analysis. DrillOrDrop report, Proactive Investors, Interactive Investor

A year in pictures – March 2017. DrillOrDrop report

Anti-fracking tea lady vows to fight order to move catering van. The Guardian reports that 79-year-old Jackie Brooks has promised to oppose plans by North Yorkshire County Council to move a catering van from which she serves tea and cakes to anti-fracking protesters outside Third Energy’s fracking site. She says the new location, further from the site entrance, is dangerous. Minster FM

“Merry s***mas Barclays” – protesters daub graffiti on bank in Christmas Day protest. The Hull Daily Mail reports anti-fracking protesters filmed themselves spraying windows of a Barclays in Driffield in protest at the bank’s ownership of Third Energy – the company behind drilling at Kirby Misperton.

26 December 2017

A year in pictures – February 2017. DrillOrDrop report

$180bn investment in plastic factories feeds global packaging binge. The Guardian reports that funding in plastics manufacturing plants by fossil fuel companies will increase plastic production by 40%, risking permanent pollution.

Massive increase in plastic production of 40% will have disastrous consequences for world’s oceans, say experts. The Daily Mail reports plastic production is expected to grow by 40% in the next 10 years, fuelled by the fracking boom in the US.

25 December 2017

A year in pictures – January 2017. DrillOrDrop report

UK frackers are running out of time. The Guardian reports that the UK shale gas industry is in a race against time to establish itself before climate change regulations shut it down.

UK fracking to begin in earnest in 2018 after tough year for industry. The Guardian reports firms leading the UK push for shale gas say ‘we will see results next year’ after 12 months of opposition, protests and a ban in Scotland.

24 December 2017

Government points to planning change for major shale applications. DrillOrDrop report on parliamentary questions and speeches about fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry.

Residents say its time to restore UKOG’s Broadford Bridge oil site after flow testing overruns. DrillOrDrop report

Happy Christmas from DrillOrDrop

23 December 2017

Review of 2107. DrillOrDrop report looks back on the key developments of the past 12 months.

22 December 2017

Survey aims to test oil and gas firms in southern England on their consultation with residents. DrillOrDrop report

21 December 2017

INEOS injunction judge refuses permission to appeal – campaigners say the fight goes on. DrillOrDrop report

Planners recommend approval of Cuadrilla’s oil testing plans for Balcombe, West Sussex, despite 2,700 objections. DrillOrDrop report, The Argus (23/12/2017)

Angus Energy submits new planning application for Brockham oil site – is it testing or production? DrillOrDrop report

Protest update: 18-24 December 2017. DrillOrDrop review of protest activit about UK fracking and onshore oil and gas.

BP chief says shale will have limited effect on global oil market. The FT reports comments by Bob Dudley that there is a limit to how big a role US shale can play in the global market. Traditional producers, such as Saudi Arabia, would continue to exert more influence over crude prices, he said.

Breaking ranks to curb UK’s ‘gas lands’. In a letter to the Blackpool Gazette, Alison Tarpey-Black comments that former Conservative MP, Harold Elletson, has said gas storage and fracking have been allowed against the wishes of people of Lancashire.

Blessing by the Dalai Lama’s Gyoto monks at Third Energy’s fracking site. DrillOrDrop protest update, Yorkshire Post

Insidious gas leaks are casting doubts over Shell’s clean credentials. Bloomberg asks what if constant and insidious leaks of gas into the atmosphere make methane more polluting than coal.

France bans fracking and oil extraction in all of its territories. The Guardian reports that France’s parliament has passed into law a ban on producing oil and gas by 2040. The country produces only 1% of its hydrocarbon use.

Uruguay bans fracking for four years. Telesur reports the Uruguay senate has approved a bill to block fracking for four years.

Anti-fracking protester court case thrown out. The Gazette and Herald reports that a district judge at York Magistrates Court dismissed a case against a 56-year-old man charged with using threatening or abusive words outside Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site.  The court heard that the police inspector who allegedly heard the words didn’t state he had been caused harassment, alarm or distress. Nor did the prosecution have any evidence anyone else within earshot had been caused harassment, alarm or distress. DrillOrDrop protest update

19 December 2017

Oil company to seek consent for production and extra wells at Horse Hill. DrillOrDrop report. Proactive Investors

Businessman considers legal action against police after acquittal for obstructing police at anti-fracking protest near Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. DrillOrDrop report. Blackplool Gazette

A fracking company has been caught using false information to “sway” a council vote in its favour. The Canary picks up the use of an email by planning officers to support Cuadrilla’s application for a change of conditions at Preston New Road. See DrillOrDrop report of 14 December 2017

18 December 2017

UK shortage of fracking waste facilities and cost of treatment at up to £1m per well could limit shale gas industry, says new research. DrillOrDrop report. Independent (17/12/2017) and The National (17/12/2017), Energy Voice, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail

Protest at Springs Road, Misson. Opponents of IGas plans for shale gas exploration at Misson, north Nottinghamshire gather outside the site gate.

171218 Springs Road Misson protest Harriet Kenzie

Opponents of IGas shale gas plans gather at gate of Springs Road, Misson, 18 December 2017. Photo: Still from video by Harriet Kenzie

Boost for fossil fuel divestment as UK eases pension rules. The Guardian reports in an exclusive that pension schemes will be free to dump shares in oil, gas and coal companies more easily after government drops “best returns” legal rules. The paper says the rules are expected to come into force next year.

17 December 2017

L 201711 policing costs

Fracking protest policing: Costs and arrests fall in November 2017 in Lancashire and North Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop report.

Water management at Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking  site “a matter of priority” – Minister. DrillOrDrop report on parliamentary answers about fracking and shale gas.

What’s happening this week? 18-24 December 2017. DrillOrDrop weekly events listing.

The criminals, crackpots and extremists who have poisoned anti-fracking camp protests: How demonstrators are costing taxpayers £4 million as police step up efforts by arresting 400 of them. The Mail on Sunday  reports that anti-fracking protest camps in two areas of the country have been infiltrated by what the paper calls “violent criminals, drug users, wild conspiracy theorists and ‘professional’ political activists. One of the people named in this story has said he has made a complaint to IPSO, the press regulator, about inaccurate content. 

16 December 2017

“I felt elated that I’d done something”: first-time activists on a year of protest. The Guardian reports on four new protesters, including anti-fracking campaigner, Eddie Thornton.

15 December 2017

Green Party deputy leader, Amelia Womack, visits protesters outside Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site. DrillOrDrop Protest Update

Cost of policing fracking protests in Ryedale released. The cost of policing anti-fracking protests went down last month to £147,800, nearly 40% down on the previous month. The total now stands at about £563,000. The Northern Echo, Yorkshire Post

171215 Third Energy security Steven Spy1

Security staff walking into Third Energy’s fracking site at Kirby Misperton, 15 December 2017. Photo: Steven Spy

Security staff at Third Energy’s site photographed in ski masks. Steven Spy photographs security officers walking towards the Kirby Misperton fracking site dressed in masks, obscuring their faces. The company tells Minister FM:

“Today our crew coming to the site were required to walk the last few hundred metres to the wellsite. Due to the cold weather, they chose to wear warm headgear.”

Tag Barclays campaign continues at branch in SelbyDrillOrDrop Protest Update

Row over “fake” injury claims at Fylde fracking site. The Blackpool Gazette reports anti-fracking protesters have been accused of faking injury and police brutality as well as wasting ambulance crews’ time. See also DrillOrDrop report of 14 December 2017.

£120m national colleges beset by low recruitment and delays. The Times Education Supplement reports only three of the five proposed national colleges have opened and are “national in name only”, sector leaders warn. The National College of Onshore Oil and Gas has not yet opened and has no formal launch date, as DrillOrDrop reported in September 2017.

MPs want to change the world. So why can’t do we do so when it comes to our own money. MP Caroline Lucas, writing in the New Statesman, asks why the MPs’ Pension Fund is being invested in fossil fuel companies

14 December 2017

Council approved overnight deliveries to Cuadrilla fracking site based on “unauthorised” evidence”. DrillOrDrop report

Anti-fracking protest at Ryedale Council meeting secures debate “within weeks”DrillOrDrop Protest Update, Gazette and Herald, Minster FM

Pop-up protest outside Lancashire County Council over Cuadrilla’s shale gas operation near BlackpoolDrillOrDrop Protest Update

Acquittals and convictions. Three women members of North Lancashire Green Party were convicted at Lancaster Magistrates Court of obstructing the highway during a protest outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site. A man was cleared by Preston Magistrates Court of obstructing and assaulting a constable. DrillOrDrop Protest Update, Lancaster Guardian

Europa Oil & Gas annual meeting. In its AGM statement, Europa said it expected “needle-moving” activity in its onshore operations at Wressle and Holmwood. In an  update to shareholders, the company its operations to produce oil at Wressle and drill at Holmwood had taken longer than anticipated. A decision on the appeal over refusal of planning permission at Wressle was expected on or before 10 January. An appeal had been submitted on non determination of the traffic management plan for Holmwod and work was expected to start in the first half of 2018. Proactive investors

MP criticises fracking company for by-passing local decision making on Bramleymoor Lane. Peak FM says Lee Rowley, MP for NE Derbyshire, is “extremely disappointed” at INEOS’s decision to appeal to the planning inspectorate over its shale gas application at Marsh Lane. The MP, who has written a guide to the application (link here) said:

“The application for exploratory drilling is incredibly complex and could have enormous long-term implications for North Derbyshire and local residents.  More time was needed for Derbyshire County Council to understand all aspects of the application and to work through all of the representations received.

“Over 5,000 consultation responses have been received in one of the largest community engagement projects our area has ever seen. This decision should have been made locally.”

“We are winning”, says Green deputy leader before visit to Yorkshire fracking site. The Green Party quotes its deputy leader, Amelia Womack, that a “vital point” has been reached in the fight to stop fracking across the UK. She says:

“We might look back at this moment in future as a time when the tide turned against the frackers.”

Forties pipeline crack ‘stabilised’, INEOS declares force majeure on North Sea oil. Energy Voice reports INEOS has said the crack which shut down the Forties crude pipeline has stopped widening. The safety cordon has been reduced to 150m. The company had suspended its contractual obligations under force majeure (in situations beyond its control). Major oil companies have shut down their production in the North Sea because of the crack.

13 December 2017

Council allows night-time deliveries at Cuadrilla’s fracking site – residents say it’s a “dilution of conditions”. DrillOrDrop report

Two appeals on INEOS shale gas applications to be heard at public inquiry. DrillOrDrop report

Anti-fracking campaigners join protest in Easingwold in support for fire crews.  DrillOrDrop Protest Update

Protest outside Chester Town Hall against plans by the British Geological Survey to drill 80 observation boreholes on Ince Marshes.  DrillOrDrop Protest Update, Chester Standard

Fracking is a low risk to health. The Gazette and Herald reports comments by North Yorkshire County Council i response to a question raised as the Ryedale Area Committee on 11 December 2017. The council said it had “no significant concerns” about fracking and “the potential risk to health will below”.

12 December 2017

PNR 171203 Ros Wills4

Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, 3-4 December 2017. Photo:  Ros Wills

Rule change allowed for Cuadrilla’s shale gas site despite fears of intensified fracking. DrillOrDrop report, Blackpool Gazette (13/12/2017)

Three people acquitted of charges arising from anti-fracking protests. The case against another is dismissed.  DrillOrDrop Protest Update

World Bank to end financial support for oil and gas exploration. The Guardian reports that the World Bank will end its financial support for oil and gas exploration within the next two years in response to the growing threat posed by climate change.

Insurance giant Axa dumps investments in tar sands pipelines. The Guardian reports Axa is divesting from 25 tar sands companies and from three major pipelines needed to deliver oil to market. It has also ended the insurance it provides. The pipelines are understood to be in North America.

Oil jumps to over $65 per barrel after Forties pipeline shut for emergency repairs. The Guardian is reporting live on implications of the shutdown. Tom Crotty, of INEOS, says the crack is 5-6″ long and has widened over the weekend. a new section of pip will be needed. The shutdown is expected to be 2-3 weeks.  Tom Crotty says this “very expensive for INEOS” and also its suppliers.

Surveillance firms spied on campaign groups for big companies, leak shows. The Guardian reports on how large companies paid corporate intelligence firms to monitor and infiltrate political groups  that challenged their businesses.

The Tories’ rebranding won’t wash: being green is about more than fluffy bunnies. Molly Scott Cato, Green Party MEP, writing in The Guardian, welcomes government policies on animal protection but says they are “easy wins”. She recommends putting Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, in special measures and assess him on key issues including whether he will ban fracking..

11 December 2017

Fracking companies feature on new “climate disinformation database”. DrillOrDrop report

Ministers questioned over Kirby Misperton fracking plans.  DrillOrDrop update on parliamentary questions

Anti-fracking protesters cleared by courts in Chesterfield and Burnley.  DrillOrDrop Protest Update, Derbyshire Times

Campaign to stop investing fossil fuels gains steam. Energy Voice reports the UK Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and the SNP Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, have backed a campaign for the parliament’s £612m pension fund to stop investing in fossil fuels.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner responds to Netpol’s report on policing anti-fracking protests. Netpol prints a letter from Clive Grunshaw to the group’s report on policing of anti-fracking protests.

Greens call for refusal of frack licence change. The Blackpool Gazette reports comments by Friends of the Earth which has urged the Environment Agency to refuse changes to a permit which it said would intensify fracking operations at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site.

INEOS North Sea oil and gas pipeline to be shut for repairs. The Scotsman reportrs that the Forties Pipeline, which carries 40% of North Sea oil and gas, is to be shut to repair a crack. A 300m cordon was set up when a hairline crack was spotted south of Aberdeen and some residents were placed in temporary accommodation. BBC News

10 December 2017

What’s happening this week? 11-17 December 2017. DrillOrDrop listing

Plastics industry under pressure on pollution. The Sunday Herald reports on growing pressure on the Grangemouth plastics plant, operated by INEOS, because of waste pollution on beaches and in oceans. The Firth of Forth around Grangemouth is a hotspot for tiny plastic nurdles, the building blocks of plastic products. More than half a million were found on Bo’ness beach. The Ferret (11/12/2017)

9 December 2017

Guest Post: A view from the well pad. Lee Petts gives his impressions of Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. DrillOrDrop guest post

171209 Monks blessing at Woodsetts Steve Bramley

Monks bless land at Woodsetts. DrillOrDrop protest update, BBC News

Bank vandalised with anti-fracking gesture. The Lancashire Evening Post reports the Barclays branch in Lytham had the words “ban fracking” sprayed on two of its windows between Friday evening and Saturday morning.

Ask the Energy Secretary to stop fracking. Friends of the Earth Manchester urges people to write to Greg Clark, the Energy Secretary, asking him not to allow fracking in North Yorkshire or Lancashire.

8 December 2017

Campaigner, Joe Corre, seeks appeal against INEOS fracking protest injunction. DrillOrDrop report

Council agrees £160,000 restoration fund for Kirby Misperton fracking site – “deeply worrying” say campaigners. DrillOrDrop report

Derbyshire village votes ‘no’ in debate on role of fracking in UK energy. DrillOrDrop report, including summary of arguments. Derbyshire Times

Cuadrilla Q & A dismisses fears about sour gas at Fylde fracking site. DrillOrDrop report

Monks blessing at Preston New RoadDrillOrDrop protest update

Christmas Party at entrance to Third Energy’s fracking site at Kirby MispertonDrillOrDrop protest update

171208 KM party Helen Chuntso1

Christmas Party at entrance to Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site, 8 December 2017. Photo: Helen Chuntso

Rotherham Council shocked at INEOS tactics. RothBiz reports planners and councillors in Rotherham are shocked, disappointed, disgusted and upset at fracking firm INEOS sidestepping the local planning authority. Cllr Atkin, chair of the planning board, said the council was going to determine the application in November but because a rejection was recommended, INEOS asked for an extension to overcome objections. The board is now set to meet on 25 January 2018 and officers are still expected to recommend refusal.

Move by INEOS shows contempt. Bob Street, writing to The Derbyshire Times on behalf of Coal Aston & Dronfield Against Fracking criticises INEOS’s request for its Derbyshire shale gas application to be decided by a planning inspector because of “unreasonable delays”. He says:

“This is patently false. DCC has been following the correct planning procedures throughout and it continues to do so. Progress is being made and INEOS must accept the due process.

“We feel INEOS is showing a total and utter contempt for all the communities, residents and inhabitants of the areas which they have earmarked with what we think are rapacious plans to inustrialise our homelands.”

Fracking: back frack it or sack it? Property Week reports from Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site.

Understanding future emissions from low-carbon power systems by integration of life-cycle assessment and integrated energy modelling. Nature Energy publishes online a research paper by academics in Germany, Norway and the US. It concludes that cumulative emissions attributable to upscaling low-carbon power, other than hydropower, are small compared with direct sectoral fossil fuel emissions and the total carbon budget.

7 December 2017

Cuadrilla announces plans for seismic testing near Fylde shale gas site. DrillOrDrop report

Anti-fracking protesters found guilty of blocking road near Cuadrilla’s shale siteDrillOrDrop Protest Update and  The Blackpool Gazette

Anti-fracking protester fined. A 31-year-old woman who took part in a lock-on protest outside Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site on 19 October 2017 has been fined £50 and ordered to pay £85 in costs and a £30 surcharge. She also received a conditional discharge. DrillOrDrop Protest Update and Northern Echo (13/12/2017)

Wall Street tells frackers to stop counting barrels, start making profits. The Wall Street Journal reports that 12 major shareholders in US shale oil and gas companies met in September in Manhattan to discuss how to get frackers to make money. The paper says that in the months since, shareholders have put the screws on to shale executives in ways that are changing the financial calculus of hydraulic fracturing.

6 December 2017

Lorry delayed by slow walk at Kirby Misperton fracking protest. DrillOrDrop’s protest update. Darlington and Stockton Times, Minster FM

171206 National Trust letter to TimesNational Trust denies it has acted unreasonably in refusing to allow INEOS to carry out geological tests on historic parkland. DrillOrDrop updated report

Alan Whitehead MP asks question about criteria for decision on fracking at Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site. DrillOrDrop report

Louise Haigh asks parliamentary question about funding for policing of anti-frackng protestsDrillOrDrop report

“Tens of thousands of pounds” spent on 40 security guards and bailiffs to evict Horse Hill protesters. Get Surrey reports dozens of security guards and bailiffs were used to evict campaigners at the Horse Hill oil site at the weekend, following a three-day protest. One of the investors in the site, UKOG, said it had cost tens of thousands of pounds to carry out the eviction.

UKOG loan conversion and completion of acquisition of 10% of PEDL143. UKOG announces in a statement to shareholders that Cuart Investments PCC Ltd and YaII PN Ltd had converted another £500,000 of the £10m loan into shares. UKOG has also received final consent on its acquisition of a further 10% interest in the Weald Basin licence PEDL143 from Warwick Energy. This takes UKOG’s interest in the PEDL to 40%. PEDL143 is immediately west of the Horse Hill licence PEDL137 in which UKOG has a 32.435% interest.

Scientist’s gas fears over Fylde fracking. The Blackpool Gazette reports on comments by geologist Robin Grayson that the hydrogen sulphide content, known as sour gas, in  shale gas in the Fylde could be a problem for the industry. Cuadrilla said there only trace levels of H2S gas in the Bowland shale gas.

Decision by former MP to link up with fracking firm criticised. The Derbyshire Times follows up the INEOS announcement that it had commissioned Natascha Engel to write a leaflet on fracking.

Fracking protest tea lady gets a new canteen. Minster FM reports that the famous tea stall at Kirby Misperton fracking site has moved into a new caravan.

Chester man ‘s model bid for renewable energy. The Chester Leader reports that Bryan Lipscombe took his interactive mobile display of green energy alternatives to the recent anti-fracking rally at Ellesmere Port.  He told the paper:

“We hadn’t been to a fracking rally before, but we had a really positive reception there. It just seems expanding our fossil fuel resources is a bit of a dead end.”

5 December 2017

Free to Frack? DrillOrDrop Guest Post As the Infrastructure Act unexpectedly makes news again, barrister Paul Stafford examines the consequences for landowners of the fracking provisions in the legislation.

Court clears anti-fracking campaigners of aggravated trespass after protest at Derbyshire depot. DrillOrDrop report (posted 6/12/2017)

Climate change protest at Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. DrillOrDrop protest update

2017 – Help us build a year in pictures. DrillOrDrop appeal for suggestions for our pictures of the year posts

Bury Hill Wood oil site traffic management decision. The agenda for the next scheduled meeting of Surrey County Council’s planning committee, on 13 December 2017, does not include the traffic management plan for the site. The following meeting is on 24 January 2018.

Award for Lancashire business group’s pro-fracking campaign. The Lancashire Evening Post reports that North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce won the Most Effective Campaigning award at the British Chambers of Commerce annual Chamber Business Awards for its support for fracking int he county. Babs Murphy, the chamber’s chief executive, said:

“Never in our wildest imagination did we expect the twists and turns that this campaign presented since the Chamber took a position to support the establishment of a shale gas industry in Lancashire. Our support was based on the premise that if shale extraction is found to be commercially viable in Lancashire then we want local companies to be at the forefront of supply chains, and local residents to have first choice of employment opportunities. “

4 December 2017

171204 Leith Hill

Lock-on and lorry protest at Bury Hill Wood oil site near Leith Hill. Photo: still from live video by Ross Monaghan

Lock-on and lorry protest block entrance to Leith Hill oil site. DrillOrDrop report

Campaigner reaches Cuadrilla’s Fylde fracking site after 750-mile awareness-raising cycle ride. DrillOrDrop’s Protest update, Blackpool Gazette

East Yorkshire rally at Kirby MispertonDrillOrDrop’s Protest update

Two slow walk protests at Kirby MispertonDrillOrDrop’s Protest update, Northern Echo (5/12/2017)

Caroline Lucas asks parliamentary questions about Health and Safety Executive certificate for fracking at Third Energy’s KM8 well in North Yorkshire and chemical use in a neighbouring wellDrillOrDrop report

Kevin Barron asks parliamentary question about INEOS request for decisions on East Midlands shale applications to be decided by a planning inspectorDrillOrDrop report

3 December 2017

Police are “glorified security guards” of the fracking industry. WideOpenRoads reports the response by Arfon Jones, North Wales Police and Crime Commissioners to its questions about anti-fracking protests. Mr Jones tells the website:

 “All forces are under pressure and we can ill afford to provide glorified security guards to police a practice that many of the public we represent oppose. I oppose providing security to a well-funded private enterprise free of charge.”

Letters: Meeting was a sad day for democracy. Janet Sanderson writes to The Gazette and Herald about the suspension of a committee of North Yorkshire County Council following a protest by anti-fracking campaigners. (DrillOrDrop report, 15 November 2017)  She says:

“This is not an issue about fracking but about being equitable to everyone. The churlish behaviour of the anti-fracking lobby prevented the hearing of those who had followed the accepted protocol in submitting their questions.”

2 December 2017

National Trust stands firm against INEOS seismic surveys as company seeks court order. DrillOrDrop report. The Times, Nottingham Post (4/12/2017), Lincolnshire Live (5/12/2017)

Updates: Protest camp at Horse Hill oil site near Gatwick evicted DrillOrDrop report

Anti-fracking march through Pickering town centre. DrillOrDrop protest update, Gazette and Herald (6/12/2017)

Protesters on Frack Free Pickering march and rallyPickering, North Yorkshire

Protesters on Frack Free Pickering march and rally Pickering, North Yorkshire. Photo: Frack Free Pickering

Barclays Bank protests across England. Protests from Exeter to Pickering against the bank’s 97% ownership of Third Energy which is waiting to frack at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop protest update

YP Letters: Political backing for fracking is fracturing. Russell Scott, writing to The Yorkshire Post, suggests it is time for a UK-wide ban on fracking as London joins Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland turning their backs on fracking and members of the Conservative Party speaking against the practice.

1 December 2017

Campaigners head for a second night at Horse Hill oil site. DrillOrDrop report. Get Surrey

Former Labour MP for Derbyshire shale village to work for INEOS. DrillOrDrop report. Derbyshire Times, Peak FM (5/12/2017)

Police facilitate blockade at Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton fracking site. DrillOrDrop protest update

Drilling diary – December 2017. DrillOrDrop’s monthly listing of events about fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry.

Warrants issue for two on anti-fracking charges. The York Press reports two people are wanted on warrant after they failed to attend court in connection with anti-fracking protests at Kirby Misperton.

Protests will continue as fracking firm attempts to ban some tactics. The Rotherham Advertiser reports campaigners have pledged to continue protests despite a judge backing INEOS’s move to ban certain tactics. A spokesperson for Woodsetts Against Fracking said:

“The bullies appear to have won, backed by their friends and allies, namely the Government.

“Or could this be the day the rest of England wakes up to the killer that is fracking and the threat to their freedom that big business has planned for us all.

“What has happened today is a huge undemocratic erosion of our civil liberties and our right to peacefully and legally express our opinions.”

Not in my back yard. Cllr David Hancock, writing for North East Derbyshire Liberal Democracts website, responds to the news that the constituency’s former MP had been commissioned to write a leaflet for INEOS.

Click here for headlines from previous months

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