New data on the costs and benefits of shale gas exploration in Lancashire


Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, 10 August 2017. Photo: Roseacre Awareness Group

The shale gas company, Cuadrilla, announced today it had spent a total of £6.8m in the Lancashire economy in the past two years. But new figures show the cost of policing outside the company’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool reached almost £6m for a single year.

Cuadrilla LCT 30 Jan 2018

Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Releasing the latest data from its Putting Lancashire First tracker (above), Cuadrilla said in the final three months of 2017 it had spent more than £2m directly and indirectly in the county’s economy. In the same period, the figures show the company had taken on no new full-time employees but created an extra four contract or temporary jobs and one apprentice or internship.

Cuadrilla quarterly spending 180130

Direct spending, at £1.92m in October-December 2017, was the highest quarterly figure recorded by Cuadrilla so far. This period coincided with continued drilling a vertical well and preparations for horizontal drilling. But during the same period, indirect spending – the money spent by Cuadrilla’s contractors with other Lancashire suppliers – was the lowest recorded.

Also in the final quarter of 2017, Cuadrilla’s figures show it had contributed £61,000 through the shale industry community benefit scheme, £7,000 in local sponsorships and £2,000 in local donations. An extra 29 businesses registered on the company’s supply chain portal.

Policing cost at Preston New Road reaches nearly £6m

New data from Lancashire Constabulary put the cost of policing operations at Preston New Road during 2017 at £5.919m.

There have been anti-fracking protests outside the site entrance since Cuadrilla began work in January 2017. The force said about 100 officers were directly involved each day in policing the operation. It said:

“As has been demonstrated a number of times when campaigners have carried out ‘lock ons’, it is essential to have the number of officers at the site that are currently allocated to the operation.”

2017 PNR total policing costs

Source: Lancashire Police

The latest policing data comprised:

  • Officers plain time – cost of officers scheduled to work that day
  • Officer overtime
  • Non-staff costs – equipment, food, hire cars, welfare vans
  • Mutual aid – spending on support from other forces
  • Consequential costs – time off in lieu for officers working on the operation

Previous figures from Lancashire Police suggested the total cost in 2017 was just over £3m. But this figure comprised only overtime, non-staff costs and mutual aid. The latest data also included officer plain time and consequential costs. The force said:

“This is to provide further information and to ensure that we are being transparent as well as consistent with the information that we provide to the Home Office.”

The Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, Clive Grimshaw, has applied for special grant funding towards the cost of policing. On 12 January 2018, the Home Office Minister, Nick Hurd, said the application was being reviewed and a decision would be made “in due course”. DrillOrDrop report

2017 PNR policing costs by category

According to the new data, police spending at Preston New Road from October-December 2017 was half that of July-September 2017 and the second lowest during the year.

During the final quarter of the year, 11 people were arrested and charged. Five of the charges were obstructing the highway, three under Section 241 of the Trades Union and Labour Relations Act, one for obstructing the police and two for what were classified by the police as other offences. See DrillOrDrop report on arrests throughout 2017.


Francis Egan 9 Lancashire for ShaleCuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, said today:

“Having completed the vertical well through the Bowland shale, where we have acquired very useful data, and started drilling the first horizontal well into UK shale, we are delighted to demonstrate that Lancashire’s economy has benefited by almost £7m to date. Working with Lancashire suppliers remains a priority for us and we are grateful for their high-quality services and support and pleased we have also enabled the creation of so many local jobs.”

Frack Free LancashireFrack Free Lancashire, a group opposed to Cuadrilla’s activities, said:

“From the outset we have seen that Cuadrilla’s claim to be putting Lancashire first has been a sham, with even the main contract for their pad construction going to a company outside the county. It is telling that after 12 months operating they now claim to have 10% less supply chain registrations than they had at the start of 2017, showing that local supply chain businesses are visibly underwhelmed by the claims that they are making.

“The real story here is that, based on the police’s own data, our estimate of the real full cost of the police force facilitating the fracking operations is twice what Cuadrilla claim to have spent in the local economy. Local people should be under no illusions. This industry will cost the community dearly if it is allowed to take hold and no amount of glossy PR handouts can paper over the cracks that are becoming more evident every day.”

84 replies »

  1. NONE of what I referenced was due to man’s activities. How is that difficult to understand. What were the Vikings doing to influence climate change (for example)? Must do better than that.

    I have no intention of going over ground where there has already been a lot of discussion refracktion. If you want to believe that is because no discussion took place, that’s your choice, but a somewhat myopic one.

    • Martin – OK so now you seem to be going back to your no anthropogenic warming stance having had a bit of a wobble. How funny

      As to going over old ground, it seems you only objection to constantly repeating yourself is when you don’t actually have anything to repeat. OK 🙂 I don’t think you have, or have ever had, any evidence to support your claim and I’m challenging you to provide some. Is that clear enough?

    • Martin. Thermal maximums, and minimums, have existed in the past for reasons other than human activity – why is that so hard to understand? Apart from relatively frequent solar activity cycles there are very long range cycles concerning the variations in the earths elliptical orbit, the domination in the early earth of various forms of different organisms and plant species. Later years (sometimes 100s of years) of intense volcanic activity (globally) led to flood basalt periods triggering severe greenhouse gas overheating – when poles melted and sea levels were well over 100 feet above present levels. So, there’s astronomical forcing (re. Malankovitch Cycles), periods of intense volcanism, adjustments in the biosphere due to early species expansion and so on, but there is nothing apart from huge meteor impacts that can cause such rapid changes in climate, and species extinction that scientists are recording right now – and attributing to the human caused greenhouse effect. Those other causes generate changes over tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of years – but with intermittent peaks and troughs along the way from the solar variation.

      You’re right that we should be entering a cooling period right now but temperatures are overshooting alarmingly. Even 2017 was hotter on average than the 2016 record high when you factor out the el-nino variations. I know, some places have been severely cooler this winter, but even that was anticipated as the Arctic ‘freezer door’ has been left wide open due to the loss of ice mass at the north pole – the polar vortices, no longer contained, are meandering all over the place. I saw a presentation about a year ago suggesting that they could reach almost down to the equator during this winter. Meanwhile there are all-time record highs in Australia, an unheard of 47 deg C in parts of Western Sydney recently.

      The problems aren’t going away quickly – to quote Mike Potter from an earlier post “A couple of hundred years of intense carbon release from burning fossil fuels has already tipped the balance to a dangerous level and like a supertanker, will not turn on a sixpence. “

  2. “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”. Indeed it is PhilipP, and thanks for the advice.

    When you have sorted out which Barclays (Brothers or Bank) own KM let me know, and I will watch out for the next lesson regarding homework. I’m sure it will be worth the wait.

  3. I don’t know why you referenced your post to me PhilipP, it is refracktion who seems to have a problem with it, not me. He seem to think the burning was more popular amongst the Vikings than the raping and pillaging!
    Mind you he has problems with doing any basic research-perhaps he could try The Telegraph 5/7/17, “National Grid to import LNG from US shale for the first time.” (That was not the reference I previously supplied which even included the name of the ship, but it will do.)

    It is really quite interesting how some claim to be so knowledgeable about a subject without some basic research, or even bothered to do so to verify facts before they deny them!

    (One other little inconvenience, this article actually stated this supply would be CHEAPER than other global LNG. So many bubbles, so much bursting!)

    The cold period for the UK I was referring to was from 2030 onwards and is down to solar activity, but as with all forecasts we will just have to wait and see.

    • Martin – Given I asked you a perfectly civil question

      “Really Martin? A genuine question – I understood that the Ineos shipment was ethane destined for cracking at Grangemouth. Can you point me towards a reference to a shipment of gas from USA that has entered our domestic gas supply please?”

      your rudeness is totally unnecessary. Is it trying to cover some defensiveness perhaps?

      I have looked for your link. Can you find me a report which shows the cargo actually arrived and was put into our grid? I can only find things that said it might be on its way and you know how quickly these cargoes get diverted don’t you?

    • Here’s an interesting conundrum for you Martin – WTF is going on in this report?. UK/Russian LNG shipment going to the US!

      Two things that prick my interest, firstly all the who ha in the British press about the LNG shipment originating from Yamal making port in December and how it strengthened the case for Fracking in the UK by not being reliant on dirty Russian gas was bunkum and secondly the US as a final port? I thought it was the land of milk and fracking honey.

      This just points to how worldwide energy markets work and that the UK is acting as an shipping hub for world LNG markets. This will mean regardless of any UK Shale extracted, LNG from Russia, or the States or Qatar etc will still be shipped into the UK only to be shipped on to other destinations. This pretty much pops a hole in the if we extract it here we wont be shipping it half way around the world argument because regardless of whether we buy it for UK usage its being offloaded and reloaded in the UK anyway.,uk-lng-shipment-headed-to-us-likely-originated-from-yamal_50436.htm

      • The anti-gas lobby in the US has prohibited pipelines from being built through NY and has thus choked New England of supplies. Much like the anti-frackers hope to choke the UK of domestic supplies and render it mostly reliant on foreign/high carbon gas.

    • Martin Collyer, the US shale LNG isn’t due to be imported until September 2018, and because Centrica bought it from Cheniere on a ‘free on board’ pass, they can broker it on to a global LNG market, specifically East Asia.

  4. Yes, crembrule, you are correct. Gas does come into UK and then out again. After all, we are (well were) a trading nation. The reason for the Russian shipment being redirected to USA was to do with the infrastructure in the USA being inadequate and gas was in the wrong place and was difficult to move to areas of greatest need quickly, so they were willing to pay a premium for a quick fix. (I think the need was related to the Arctic Storm they had.) Happens-I used to sell internationally and if there was a shortage in one part of the world temporarily you could charge a high premium if you could get product there and fix that shortage.

    Sorry, refracktion, DYOR. Your defence of not doing it in the first place is pretty thread bare. [Edited by moderator]

    • So we are in agreement for once Martin shale gas or no in the UK, shipments of LNG will still be routed via the UK LNG facilities.

  5. Yes, some shipments.
    And I expect with shale gas in the UK, some of those shipments may be UK shale gas through UK LNG facilities.

    In terms of other sources of LNG remember the shipments I referenced also contained the inconvenient quotation “priced lower than any of the other global LNG.” It maybe gives an indication as to what might be the preferred source of the LNG route if that continued. Margin is all about that when trading.

    • I wasn’t really highlighting the exporting of UK shale gas martin but thanks for that. I thought the UK had energy security issues but clearly not if we can afford to export this ‘valuable’ resource.

      In terms of the non UK LNG shipments it was more with regard to shipments making port in the UK, so the argument that UK fracked gas avoids additional shipping of gas and the additional environmental impact of said shipping would appear null and void as the country is already acting as a market hub.

  6. “Is that clear enough?” Yes, it was refracktion, and I gave an answer but because it was clear enough to me, and I replied accordingly, Paul decided to moderate. Hey ho, I will try a different route.

    “National Grid to import LNG from US shale”-if when it arrived in UK they could sell on at a higher price, or they decided not to,what is the issue? Absolutely none. US LNG FROM SHALE PRODUCTION WAS IMPORTED BY THE NATIONAL GRID. (Bold type as it was the headline content.) By trying to deny factual information, that can be sourced by anyone who wants to, weakens rather than strengthens the argument, but, in itself, it has been quite educational.

    There was also a detailed reference in the Times, but I do not subscribe to their archives and they are a difficult and costly system to navigate unless you do so, so anyone who has that ability feel free to check for yourselves.

    • The headline seems to be “National Grid to import LNG from US shale for the first time” note the future tense 🙂 Sorry my friend but you just seem to be blustering. Either provide a reputable link or admit you can’t please.

      • Centrica’s first shipment of US Shale Gas LNG from a 20-year deal to buy 89 billion cubic feet per annum from Cheniere isn’t due until September 2018. The shipments are being bought on a ‘free on board’ pass, which gives Centrica the rights to sell the LNG outside UK if it can get a higher price elsewhere.

  7. Goodness refracktion. The date of the article was given, it clearly showed the first delivery schedule. Do you need a calendar? Blustering is when you ignore the facts and revert to fabrication, rather than making the apology that is required. I suppose it is a movement from speculation. Educational that denial appears to be the default when the facts clearly show.

    What more link do you need than the title, where it appeared and the date? Smoke and mirrors.

  8. Martin. I must admire your knowledge in this area but even more with your patience with the anti frackers and their silly round and round arguements.
    It’s a bit like teaching 5rd grade school kids who haven’t done their homeworks. Respects.

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