Keep up with the news with DrillOrDrop’s March 2018 digest of headlines about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas updated daily.
Click here for headlines from previous months
21 March 2018
UK Oil and Gas announces well testing has stopped at Broadford Bridge and focus now moves to Horse Hill. DrillOrDrop report
IGas back in profit predicts 2018 will be “a defining year” for the UK onshore oil and gas industry. DrillOrDrop report on IGas accounts
Details confirmed for inquiry into INEOS Deryshire shale gas plans at Marsh Lane. DrillOrDrop report
Environment Agency confirms new permit application charges and arrangements. Details
Fracking firm could apply for planning permission to drill in East Lancs. The Citizen reports that Osprey Oil and Gas Ltd is expected to apply for planning permission in the next year in a licence area covering Hyndburn, Burnley, Pendle and Whalley in the Ribble Valley.
20 March 2018
Ministers quizzed on fracking, fake news, Russia and UK energy security. DrillOrDrop report on questions in the UK parliament this week
Senior officers to consult public on anti-fracking protest policing. DrillOrDrop report
The shale revolution: is it all a lot of gas? Dominic Walsh, writing in The Times, describes to the UK’s shale industry as “a damp squib” and refers to the Government’s refusal to publish a report on shale implementation because it “could call into question the industry’s viability”.
Union Jack increases interest in Biscathorpe Prospect. Your Oil and Gas News reports that Union Jack has signed a farm-in agreement for a further 10% licence interest in PEDL253, taking its interest to 22%. Union Jack Oil RNS
The UK’s desperate fossil fuels industry is lashing out at human rights – be we won’t let them win. Keith Taylor MEP, writing in Left Foot Forward, reports on an enforcement notice at UKOG’s Markwells Wood site and a delay to an injunction against protests sought by the company.
19 March 2018
High Court adjourns decision on “wide-ranging” injunction against protests at UKOG oil drilling sites. DrillOrDrop report, Morning Star Online, Spirit FM, St Helens Star and Belfast Telegraph and Brighton Argus (via Press Association)
“Shires of England rise up” as oil company UKOG seeks High Court injunction against protests. DrillOrDrop report
Exclusive: Secret Government report questions future of fracking. The Yorkshire Post reports that the Government has refused to publish a confidential Cabinet Office report about fracking on the grounds that doing so could “call into question the industry’s viability”. MP Sir Kevin Barron asked for the release of the Implementation Unit Report on Shale Gas (2016) in a freedom of information act request. A five-page response from the Cabinet Office refused the request. A reference to the report in a previous FOI response reduced the number of predicted wells. Unearthed, Basildon Standard
The Yorkshire Post says: Region deserves the truth on fracking’s future. In an opinion piece, the Yorkshire Post says: ”
“People living close to planned fracking sites deserve to see the evidence that is available about how, and indeed if, the industry can work in this country.”
Nimby MP visits Cheshire farmer concerned with fracking. Farming UK reports on a visit by Labour MP for Weaver Vale, Mike Amesbury to a farmer who reported being door-stepped by INEOS land agents about access for seismic testing. He raised the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions and was accused by Liz Truss of being a Nimby.
Baltimore City Council votes to ban crude oil infrastructure. Clean Technica reports on how citizens in South Baltimore persuaded the city council to ban oil storage facilities and export terminals. The ban was approved on 12 March 2018. and will come into effect when approved by the mayor.
18 March 2018
What’s happening this week? DrillOrDrop weekly listing for 19-25 March 2018.
17 March 2018
Human rights campaigner, Bianca Jagger, urges UK Oil and Gas to withdraw its bid for an injunction against protests about oil drilling in south east England. DrillOrDrop report
16 March 2018
South Downs National Park Authority orders UK Oil and Gas to restore drill site at Markwells Wood after 18 months with no planning consent. DrillOrDrop report
Government energy department tweets that less than 1% of UK gas comes from Russia in response to pro-fracking claims of over-reliance on Russian gas.
Frack Free United criticises the claims about dependence on Russian gas as “disgraceful scaremongering”.
Petition launched by Greenpeace UK against oil drilling in national parks. Link here
The Sun says: We listened to the eco-fantasists over fracking and now we have hostile Russia heating our homes. The Sun says the current Russian crisis should be the moment “Britain finally wakes up to the need for new power stations and for shale gas – as much as we can possibly extract”.
Nottinghamshire residents call for a ban on fracking in county. Mansfield 103 reports that members of Frack Free Nottingham campaigned in Nottingham’s market square against fracking.
15 March 2018
Campaigners to challenge UK Oil and Gas at High Court over protest injunction. DrillOrDrop report
Home Counties beauty spots are facing a new shale oil rush. Unearthed, the Greenpeace UK investigative news unit, reports that nearly 177,000 acres of protected landscapes and habitats across the South East could be at risk from a new oil rush. It says vast swathes of the South Downs National Park and the Surrey Hills and High Weald areas of outstanding natural beauty could be affected by new plans to drill for oil. The Guardian, Left Foot Forward (19/3/2018)
Costs of policing protests in Kirby Misperton published – February 2018. North Yorkshire Police says the cost of policing protests outside Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site fell to £30,772 in February 2018, down 36% on the previous month. The Police and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan, says she will make an application to government to recover “as much of our costs as possible”. Darlington and Stockton Times, York Press, Minster FM, Yorkshire Post
Council chiefs launches petition opposing fracking in Hyndburn. The Accrington Observer reports that a petition has been launched opposing fracking Hyndburn by the council’s cabinet member for parks and open spaces.
Thanks to the anti-fracking lobby, Britain can’t avoid Russian gas. Ross Clark, in The Spectator blog, opposition to UK fracked shale gas means we will import increasing quantities of gas from Russia.
UK looks to ditch Russian gas after spy scandal. OilPrice.com reports the Russian spy poisoning row threatens to spill over into energy issues after the UK Prime Minister said Britain was looking to other countries for its gas supplies.
Fossil Free NI: Call for withdrawal of local government pensions from fossil fuel investments. The Impartial Reporter says Sinn Fein councillor John Fely has pledged his party’s support for an initiative by Friends of the Earth for a Fossil Free Northern Ireland and divestment of local government pensions.
14 March 2018
Disputed Brockham sidetrack well highlights “discrepancies” over onshore oil and gas rules – Surrey planner. DrillOrDrop report
Appointment of oil & gas consultant. Alba Minerals reports it has appointed geologist and geoscientist Sue Corrigan as technical consultant. The company says she has worked across the world with posts with Tullow Oil, Shell and Amoco. Alba has an 18.1% interest in Horse Hill Developments Ltd and 5% in the Brockham licence, both in Surrey.
Take Back the Tap: The Bug Business Hustle of Bottled Water. A study by Food and Water Watch examines what it calls the bottled water industry’s predatory marketing, extraction of communities’ water resources, powerhouse lobbying and the dependence of plastics production on fracking. EcoWatch
US shale to propel oil production growth beyond rising demand, admits Opec. The Telegraph reports that Opec has confirmed fears that the US shale resurgence will inflate world oil supplies beyond the rising demand this year.
Residents can hear just what INEOS has in store for Grangemouth. The Falkirk Herald reports on plans for a public meeting on Tuesday 20 March 2018 from 7pml-9pm about future plans by Falkirk Council and INEOS. The meeting is at Grangemouth High School.
Green-Russian anti-fracking campaign paying off: Britain becomes more dependent on Putin’s gas. The Global Warming Policy Forum reports that half of Britain’s imports of liquefied natural gas (three of six LNG shipments) have come from Russia.
MP supports call for pension fund to divest from fossil fuel investment. The Telegraph and Argus reports that Bradford East MP, Imran Hussain, has signed a petition calling on West Yorkshire Pension Fund to divest its fossil fuel investments.
Church Warsop dog-walker used fracking firm’s devices as bait boxes. The Eastwood Advertiser reports that a dog-walker who picked up seismic testing equipment belonging to INEOS was given a conditional discharge for six months and ordered to pay £100 compensation to the company. He sold two of the boxes on Ebay and used the other to store bait, the court heard. He admitted theft by finding.
MP’s warning ahead of fracking site hearing. The Blackpool Gazette reports on comments by the Blackpool South MP, Gordon Marsden (Lab) that people will not forgive the government if it overrides the council again and allows fracking at Roseacre Wood.
Europa Oiland Gas to focus on Inishkea prospects close to Corrib gas field. Proactive Investors reports that Europa Oil and Gas says it intends to fast-track ongoing technical work on the Licensing Option 16/20, an exploration area in the vicinity of the Corrib gas field, offshore Ireland.
13 March 2018
Regulator “won’t be seen” receiving 100,000+ petition on Surrey oil drilling. DrillOrDrop report
Anti-fracking protest went too far. The York Press reports on a court case (12/3/2018) in which two women were convicted of obstructing the highway at Kirby Misperton. An environmental expert and a fellow campaigner stayed on a wooden tower outside Third Energy’s fracking site for nine hours, preventing eight lorries from entering. They were conditionally discharged for six months, and ordered to pay £220 each in costs and surcharges. BBC News, Minster FM, Gazette and Herald (14/3/2018)
Man who had lock knife in York court sentenced. Minster FM reports on an anti-fracking campaigner who was ordered to do 160 hours of unpaid work and pay costs of £170 after he brought a knife to York Magistrates Court on an earlier appearance. York Mix
Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking. Concerned Health Professionals of New York and Physicians for Social Responsibility publish the fifth edition of their compendium of evidence about the impacts of fracking. The compendium concludes that there is growing evidence that regulations are incapable of preventing harm, that natural gas is a threat to the climate and fracking and disposal of fracking waste threatens drinking water. Other conclusions include: drilling and fracking contribute to air pollution, associated health problems include poor birth outcomes, reproductive and respiratory impacts and cancer risks. EcoWatch
The most authoritative study of its kind reveals how fracking is contaminating the air and water – and imperiling the health of millions of Americans. Rolling Stone reports the latest report by Concerned Health Professionals of New York and Physicians for Social Responsibility.
Ash from dinosaur-era volcanoes linked with shale oil, gas. PhysOrg reports on the conclusions of a study by Rice University, published in Scientific Reports, that nutrient-rich ash from an enormous flare-up of volcanic eruptions towards the end of the dinosaurs’ era kicked off a chain of events that led to the formation of shale oil and gas fields from Texas to Montana.
Fracking ban is priority, Labour says to activists. Socialist Worker reports comments by Labour shadow international development minister, Barry Gardiner (left):
“If I’m in government my top priority is banning fracking”
Visitors can still show care. York resident, Christine Daker, writing to the Yorkshire Post, says she wants to see North Yorkshire “safeguarded for future and no handed over to some greedy energy corporation that ultimately will do nothing for the people of this wonderful county”.
12 March 2018
Will US shale give the refining industry indigestion. The FT predicts the US oil industry will be pumping 11m barrels a day of crude oil by the end of the year, the highest volume in its history and more than either Russia and Saudi Arabia. The paper says a debate is growing about how well suited US shale oil is for meeting the rising demand for diesel, jet fuel and petrochemicals.
Shale boom lifts US dominance in liquids for plastics, cooking Bloomberg reports on Merrill Lynch analysis which describes America’s rise in the global market for natural gas liquids as “extraordinary.”
Oil prices fall on relentless rise in US crude output. Reuters reports April’s US shale output is estimated to be 6.95 million barrels per day.
YP letters: Fracking will have minimal visual impact. David Bate, writing to the Yorkshire Post, says he is at a loss to understand why fracking is industrialisation while “forests of wind turbines” are acceptable.
11 March 2018
What’s happening this week? 12-18 March 2018. DrillOrDrop weekly diary of events about UK fracking, onshore oil and gas and campaigns.
10 March 2018
Picture post: Six months at KM8. DrillOrDrop report on drone photos taken by opponents of the Third Energy operation from October 2017 and March 2018 showing the arrival and departure of fracking equipment.
9 March 2018
Statements by Aurora Resources about impacts on wildlife of fracking at Altcar Moss in Lancashire are “not backed up by evidence”, say experts and residents. DrillOrDrop report
What’s been approved and what’s been opposed? Updated information from DrillOrDrop on the latest planning decisions on UK fracking and onshore oil and gas schemes plus the proposals currently in the planning system.
Solo Oil completes Horse Hill stake acquisition. Solo Oil PLC confirms it has completed the deal to acquire an extra 5% stake in the Horse Hill site from Primorus Investments for £650,000. Proactive Investors
YP Letters: Why were fracking firm’s finances not scrutinised sooner? Christine Daker, writing to the Yorkshire Post, asks:
“Wouldn’t it have been more prudent to establish whether this company, backed by Barclays Bank, was in a financial position to proceed with its plans before allowing it to move its raft of equipment onto the well site, and then off again, to the distress of locals and protectors alike?”
8 March 2018
Live updates: Rotherham councillors vote against INEOS shale gas plans for Woodsetts. DrillOrDrop live reporting from the planning board meeting
PIckering debate between Kevin Hollinrake MP and engineer Mike Hill overwhelmingly rejects motion that regulation can keep fracking save. Live updates from the debate DrillOrDrop report, Gazette and Herald, Rotherham Advertiser
Government explains why data on shale gas sites are out-of-date. In response to a parliamentary question by Caroline Lucas, the Energy Minister Claire Perry, says:
“We consider the estimate to be out of date based on progress of the industry to date and the number of sites currently going through planning.”
DrillOrDrop update to Fracking Week in Parliament
Fossil fuel groups risk wasting $1.6tn on projects. The FT reports on a study by Carbon Tracker, a climate think-tank, which found this was the value of projects that will become uneconomic if the Paris Agreement on reducing carbon emissions was fully implemented.
Fracking farmhouse – fracking by stealth. David Kesteven discusses how he believes the planning system is used in a way that enables the fracking industry to become established,
7 March 2018
Fracking at Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site in North Yorkshire could be delayed until autumn. DrillOrDrop report, Gazette and Herald, Energy Live News, Minster FM, Yorkshire Post, BBC News, Energy Voice
Angus Energy made no money from oil production in 2016-2017 – but will 2018 be different? DrillOrDrop looks at the annual report and Brockham planning application both published this week Intreractive Investor
Decision due on INEOS shale gas plans for Woodsetts. DrillOrDrop post
New meeting date and deadline for permit consultation on oil drilling near Leith Hill, Surrey. DrillOrDrop post
Fylde Borough Council votes unanimously against an officer’s recommendation to support plans to take fracking decisions out of local control. The council voted instead to recommend to a parliamentary inquiry to keep the current system of decision-making. See DrillOrDrop report
6 March 2018
No further action on ill dog. North Yorkshire Police reports that two men who were arrested following an incident in which a guard dog became ill at Kirby Misperton will face no further action because of insufficient evidence. The force said the dog made a full recovery. BBC News , Yorkshire Post
Flow testing consent extended at Broadford Bridge. UKOG announces that the Oil and Gas Authority has extended permission for flow testing at the West Sussex well until the end of March 2018.
BP CEO Bob Dudley says oil prices will range from $50-$65 ‘fairway’. The chief executive of BP, Bob Dudley, tells CNBC the oil price is likely to be $50-$65 a barrel for a couple of years.
5 March 2018
Third Energy removes sound screen from Kirby Misperton fracking site. DrillOrDrop picture post
“Planning errors will delay KM8 fracking decision further”. DrillOrDrop report on comments by Frack Free Ryedale that Greg Clark cannot give fracking consent for Third Energy’s well at Kirby Misperton because planning consent on the gas pipeline expires in May 2018. (see second half of post)
What’s happening this week? 5-11 March 2018. DrillOrDrop weekly diary of events about fracking and onshore oil and gas.
Why bailiffs who demolished ‘Great Escape’-style protest camp may soon be involved in Yorkshire’s fracking fight. The Yorkshire Post reports on Able Investigations and Enforcement, the company contracted to evict the Leith Hill Protection Camp last year. The managing director, Steve Wood, a former police officer, said an oil and gas company, a local council and “a number of private landowners” in contact with his firm.
Farmout of interests in PEDL253 Biscathorpe. Egdon Resources announced it had reached agreement over the farm-out of interests in PEDL253 to Union Jack Oil and Humber Oil and Gas Ltd. PEDL253, in Lincolnshire, includes the Biscathorpe Prospect, scheduled for drilling in mid 2018, Egdon said. The company added that mean gross prospective resources at Biscathorpe are estimated at 14 million barrels of oil
4 March 2018
Fracking research update – March 2018. DrillOrDrop compilation of research studies and reports on fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry from the past six months.
UK energy grid warns that political risks threaten investment. The FT reports on comments by the chief executive of National Grid, John Pettigrew, that foreign investment needed to modernise Britain’s ageing energy infrastructure is threatened by rising political and regulatory risks.
We can’t wait for hell to freeze over before we change energy policy. Michael Glackin, in the Sunday Times, says the Scottish Government’s dash to renewables and ban on fracking have put households and businesses at risk of price in creases and shortages.
Cambridge to defy students and academics on shunning fossil fuels. The FT reports on a leaked document which shows that Cambridge University is planning to reject divesting its £6.3bn endowment fund from oil companies, despite pressure from students and staff.
3 March 2018
No government information of impact of projected shale gas wells on employment, flow back waste or treatment methods – Ministerial answer to parliamentary question. DrillOrDrop update on Fracking Week in Parliament
Fears for shale industry even as the UK faces gas shortage. The Telegraph picks up the parliamentary written answer by Claire Perry to Caroline Lucas that there had been no new estimates of shale gas wells up to 2025. See DrillOrDrop report of 1/3/2018.
2 March 2018
Parliamentary answers to questions by Totnes MP, Sarah Wollaston, on impact of shale gas developments on employment, fracking waste and treatment methods. See DrillOrDrop update on Fracking Week in Parliament
Government guidance on fracking decisions and who should make the decisions. Detailed article and discussion by the Fylde-based website Counterbalance
Termination of joint broker. Solo Oil reports its joint broker, Beaufort Securities, has been placed into insolvency.
Petition to National Police Chiefs Council. A 38 Degrees petition is launched by Kevin Blowe, of the policing monitoring group, Netpol. it calls on senior police officers to “properly consult with and listen to campaigners about the conduct of policing operations in response to protests against fracking and other onshore oil and gas exploration in the UK”.
National Grid withdraws gas deficit warning issued for extreme weather conditions. The Independent reports the National Grid has withdrawn its gas deficit warning one day after issuing it over fears that supplies could run out as the temperature across the UK continues to linger below freezing. In a short statement early on Friday morning, the operator of the UK’s power network said that it had withdrawn the warning with immediate effect and that more information, both on the initial warning and the withdrawal would be issued in due course.
Progress theme of Fylde women’s day event. The Blackpool Gazette reports on a gathering of business women. They included Melanie Doyle, of MelVic Make Up Academy, who designed the make up and hair for Dame Vivienne Westwood’s recent anti-fracking protest catwalk opposite the INEOS offices in London.
1 March 2018
Estimates of UK shale gas wells “out of date”, says minister. This and other reports from Westminster in DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament
Drilling diary – March 2018. 70+ events about fracking, onshore oil and gas and campaigns in DrillOrDrop’s monthly diary
100+ organisations from across the world urge Pennsylvania Governor to block pipeline. Food and Water Watch reports on the letter from organisations including UK frack free groups, Friends of the Earth Scotland and Talk Fracking, urging Tom Wolf to stop construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline. They also called for a full ban on fracking. The letter concludes:
“It is time to put a stop to this dangerous pipeline, and to move to a full ban on fracking. Your decision to do this will benefit our communities and our health, and it would protect residents of the state of Pennsylvania.”
UKOOG responds to the current deficit in UK gas supplies. Ken Cronin, Chief Executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas, says:
“The onshore oil and gas industry this morning notes the current deficit in the UK’s gas supplies, a result of cold seasonal weather conditions and infrastructure issues in and outside the UK.
The UK is worryingly dependent on gas imports and this is forecast to increase to 80% by 2035. Given that nearly 50% of our electricity is produced by gas and 84% of our homes are heated with it, the need to ensure we have our own homegrown source of gas rather than pursuing this continued over-reliance on imports has today become very evident.
We believe that the right way forward is to produce British natural gas from shale onshore and we are working hard to achieve this goal.”
Categories: Daily headlines