Fracking companies feature on new “climate disinformation database”

171211 climate disinformation database web 1

Map of connections on the DeSmog database. Source: DeSmog UK

Two shale gas companies and their executives are on a database launched today which aims to reveal lobbying in favour of fossil fuels and against climate change action.

The database, from the website DeSmog UK, is designed to be a live log of activities and actions by key players who are said to be “pushing climate science denial and disinformation”.

The almost 70 entries include Cuadrilla and INEOS, companies behind shale gas exploration plans in northern England and the East Midlands, along with their executives, Francis Egan and Jim Ratcliffe.

DeSmog said the database was intended to help the public, journalists, researchers and policymakers check who they are dealing with on climate science and policy.

It gives background on companies and individuals, their connections, stance on climate change, quotes on energy and climate issues and climate lobbying activity.

DeSmog said today:

“Despite the UK posturing as a climate change leader on the global stage, there remain many issues on which it needs to move further, faster, if the government is to meet its own high standards.

“Behind each climate policy failure is a network of politicians, corporate lobbyists and shadowy think tanks pushing to preserve the fossil-fuelled status quo.”

DeSmog said many of the actors in the database were connected through funding, business relationships, personal connections and ideological origins. These links are portrayed on an updated map.

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Industry section of the DeSmog UK map of key players

What the database says about shale gas


The database describes Cuadrilla as being “at the vanguard of efforts to exploit Britain’s shale gas resources”.

It charts the progress of the company’s planning applications in Lancashire for shale gas exploration.

It also includes Cuadrilla’s efforts to change rules to suit its activities, revealed in a DeSmog UK investigation.

During the summer, vehicles making deliveries to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site near Blackpool deviated from the preferred route more than 100 times. This week, the company is seeking to bring deliveries into the site outside agreed times. It has also sought to remove the chair of the Preston New Road Community Liaison Group, who it described as not suitably impartial.

Francis Egan

DeSmog lists public statements and actions by Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, related to climate change.

They include his appearance in front of a House of Lords committee when Mr Egan said fracking could be “squared” with the UK’s emissions reduction goals, that it was “remarkably difficult” to get through planning processes to the point of production, and that UK shale gas would largely be competing with imported US liquefied natural gas at around $6 per unit.


INEOS describes itself as “the biggest player in the UK shale gas industry. It has partnerships with other UK shale gas companies, including IGas. In November, it was granted a wide-ranging injunction against anti-fracking protesters although two campaigners have said they are seeking an appeal against it.

The database includes the quote by INEOS Shale’s operations director, Tom Pickering, that Scotland’s decision to ban fracking “beggars belief”.

It also refers to accusations made in April 2017 by Friends of the Earth that the INEOS group was exploiting an opportunity in Brexit to seek further exemptions from environmental regulations.

Also on the database is a meeting in April 2015 between INEOS and Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, on the day the original moratorium on Scottish fracking was announced. A month earlier, according to the database, INEOS and IGas agreed a £30m deal to expand fracking operations in England.

Jim Ratcliffe

Mr Ratcliffe, co-founder and majority owner of INEOS, described shale gas as a “saviour” of the UK economy.

The database said:

“He is known for his aggressive pursuit of industrial assets in the UK, including the Grangemouth petrochemical plant and refinery, Forties pipeline and fracking licences.”

On hearing that Ratcliffe’s INEOS was set to purchase the Forties pipeline from BP, an industry insider told Scotland’s Daily Record:

“Holy sh*t. This would be like giving a monkey a machete … Letting Jim Ratcliffe loose on all the operators who feed into that pipeline is a dangerous, dangerous ploy.”

In 2013, in a comment for the Daily Telegraph, Jim Ratcliffe accuses unions of intimidation, running counter to the values of society, in which freedom of speech is cherished.

In 2017, INEOS Shale sought an interim national injunction against anti-fracking protests to its activities.

28 replies »

  1. Nice positional play GBH. The industry you support has been lying about the O&G impact on climate change since the 80’s and the real religious troublemakers are those useful idiots who (in all ignorance) parrot that information. Now when global climate tipping point have been reached and little can be done to reverse the acceleration of feedbacks in the system you just say ‘haha’ nothing can be done about it anyway. Talk about ‘money making exercise preying on the vulnerable’ that’s exactly what happening now with the extended and unnecessary push for fracking in the UK.

    I’m with James Hanson who proposes that the biggest O&G companies (and the biggest liars) get sued to the max. in attempts to help offset some of the costs of mitigation of climate change impacts. I don’t have a calculator with enough digits to count those likely costs.

      • From your link: “BPs plans to drill for oil near a huge coral reef in the mouth of Amazon river have been dealt a further blow after a regulator questioned the company’s environmental risk assessment.”
        At 10:05 you said the industry was “unregulated”. It seems it is regulated.

        • Well we’ll?

          First Soph….AI, it’s not “my” link, it comes from the greenpeace “unearthed” website.

          Secondly the Amazon is in Brazil, not UK unless of course you have other information?

          Thirdly apparently Ibama (I wondered where Obama went?) is the Brazilian Environmental regulator protecting one of the biggest natural coral reefs so far discovered in the amazon, and Ibama appear to have more regulatory teeth than the pathetic and deliberately tory financially and organisationally crippled EA in UK.

          Fourthly you conveniently avoid and ignore mentioning the obvious and suspiciously incestuous corporate misuse of the UK trade minister Greg Hands on a British tax payer funded jolly to Brazil to be a tax payer funded front man to lobby on behalf of private corporations BP and Esso?

          Have a nice day Soph….AI, I’d get a better programmer if I were you?

          • OK. From the link in your post, the oil industry is regulated in Brazil, which I guess you agree with as you posted it. You also say the oil industry is unregulated in the UK.
            So would you be happy if the UK had similar environmental regulations for the oil industry as Brazil?

            PS I’ve no idea what soph means.

            • How sad? You are still logic chopping words. An AI game is it? What are the three laws?

              You are also still avoiding the issue of Gregg Hands fronting BP and Esso in Brazil with British tax payers money.

              Perhaps you can enlighten us with your thoughts on that.

              If you think UK has in place any sort of gold standard regulations then please do tell us all about them?

              Yeah sure, with an avatar like AI and you don’t know what Sophia is? Look up Sophia and AI…….

  2. Philip P-no one forces you to use oil or gas, or products, or services supplied from those materials. But you seem to enjoy the benefits, as does Refracktion-or any other keyboard “warrior”. “Fossicrites”?

    Another jolly in Paris tomorrow. Wonder if all the ‘planes (rubber band driven?) will make it there through the snow! Hope they are geared up with their thermals, on expenses.

  3. I see the pipeline that brings 40% of UK North Sea oil into UK has been shut down!!

    Pretty good energy security John!!

    And who has the job of repairing that, making good the low investment previously? Oh, Mr. Ratcliffe! Perhaps Queen Nicola will get her spanners out to give a hand?

    Just happens at the time when we are in the middle of an “Arctic Blast”.

    Life is being a little unfair to the antis at the moment. I hope those fake underpants are thermal.

  4. Err, John, why do you think there was a £6billion trade deal with Qatar? Was it for JCBs? No-the clue regarding energy security is in the detail of that deal. Strange, parallel universe you enjoy. Fortunately, others make plans around what is really happening in the real world.

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