April 2018 sees inquiries into Cuadrilla and INEOS shale gas plans and the start of a 13-week campaign against fracking in Lancashire. Keep up with the news with DrillOrDrop’s digest of headlines about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas updated daily.
Click here for headlines from previous months
19 April 2018
Rotherham councillors reject INEOS’s last minute changes to traffic management proposals for the shale gas exploration at Harthill. The proposals have been made public less than a week before the start of a public inquiry into the site. DrillOrDrop report
Live updates from Day 7 of the Cuadrilla inquiry into fracking plans for Roseacre Wood near Blackpool – more public testimony. DrillOrDrop report
Safety rules must be the same for all. Frank Rugman, writing in the Lytham St Annes Express, points out that North Yorkshire has adopted 500m setback distances between shale gas sites and homes but properties in Lancashire are within 350m (see cutting below)
18 April 2018
Live updates: Day 6 of reopened public inquiry into Cuadrilla’s Roseacre Wood fracking plans. DrillOrDrop report on evidence from Roseacre Awareness Group on proposed traffic routes and passing places.
Live updates on public statements to public inquiry on Cuadrilla Roseacre Wood fracking plans. DrillOrDrop report
New application for Wressle oil site and £0.85m loss – Egdon accounts. DrillOrDrop report on half year interim results.
Angus Energy statement – response to media speculation. Angus Energy confirms that the Oil and Gas Authority has approved its acquisition of a 25% interest in the Balcombe PEDL244. The company adds that it is in discussions to raise the £2m now due. Evening Standard (17/4/2018), Proactive Investors
Anti-fracking protester who clambered on top of lorry causing a road block rapped by court. The Blackpool Gazette reports that a man who spent four hours on top of a lorry delivering to Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road was given a 12 month conditional discharged and ordered to pay £150 costs.
China is getting better at fracking, the technology that sparked the US natural gas boom. CNBC reports on forecasts by Wood Mackenzie that China will nearly double its natural gas production from shale basins over the next two years.
17 April 2018
Live updates: Day 5 of reopened public inquiry into Cuadrilla’s Roseacre Wood fracking plans. DrillOrDrop report on continued cross-examination of Lancashire County Council and evidence from Roseacre Awareness Group.
Egdon Resources interim results for six months to 31 January 2018. Link to results
At greater risk than Yorkshire. T Froud, writes to the Blackpool Gazette, about 500m setback distances between shale gas sites and homes, adopted in the North Yorkshire joint minerals and waste plan (see DrillOrDrop report). The writer says:
“The Yorkshire plan will be the model forall other county councils and what is evident is that Lancashire residents will be put at greater risk than those in Yorkshire. Clearly this is not acceptable.”
Parents didn’t want fracking near their school. So the oil company chose a poorer school instead. Mother Jones on Extraction Oil and Gas abandoned plans by a subsidiary to frack near a mainly white middle class school in Colorado and filed an application even closer to a school in Denver where most of the students were Latino, HIspanic, African American or other people of colour and most qualified for free or reduced price lunch.
16 April 2018
INEOS expected to issue court documents in the next few days in its legal challenge against the National Trust over access to Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire. DrillOrDrop report
Planners back 10 more years of oil production at Angus Energy’s Lidsey site in West Sussex. DrillOrDrop report
Anti-fracking protest stops lorries leaving Aberdeen yard. Energy Voice reports that protesters disrupted a transport company claiming trucks were delivering fracking equipment to firms in England.
UK Oil & Gas Investments issue 1 million shares on options exercise. UKOG reports it has issued one million shares in the firm after the exercise of options, raising £4,000.
15 April 2018
What’s happening this week? 16-22 April 2018. DrillOrDrop events listings
Fracking gas pipeline heralded by INEOS closed to prevent “catastrophe“. Rob Edwards, writing in Herald Scotland, reports a fracking gas pipeline, key to the shale gas revolution promised by INEOS, has been closed by US safety regulators. Authorities in Pennsylvania ordered the closure of the 300-mile Mariner East pipeline after three large sinkholes were discovered near drilling for another adjacent pipeline. Continuing to pipe huge amounts of inflammable and explosive gases presented “a clear and present danger to life or property”, a state investigation concluded. Exports from the pipeline terminal at Marcus Hook near Philadelphia have now ceased and it is unclear when they may start again.
Second shale revolution is on the horizon. MRT reports operators are preparing to re-enter initial fracking wells in the Permian Basin to implement secondary recovery projects. This can consist of operators reinjecting gas into the reservoir to restore pressure and then producing the additional crude and natural gas.
14 April 2018
Natalie Bennett: The anti-fracking campaign is stepping up its game. Where’s Corbyn? Former Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, writes for the website Left Foot Forward that anti-fracking campaigners at Preston New Road remain disappointed that Jeremy Corbyn has not visited them. But adds:
“With or without him, this can be the year when we kill off any idea of fracking in England – joining Wales, Scotland, France, Germany, Bulgaria, the US states of Maryland and New York, in banning fracking.”
13 April 2018
Live updates: Inspector backs buffer zones between N Yorks shale gas sites and homes plus local fracking definition. DrillOrDrop report
Updates on day 4 of reopened public inquiry on Cuadrilla’s fracking plans for Roseacre Wood. DrillOrDrop report
Woodsetts fracking protesters keep keen eye on inquiry. The Rotherham Advertising reports that anti-drilling protesters are keeping a close eye on the Roseacre Wood public inquiry in Lancashire. They have drawn parallels between their village, where INEOS wants to drill for shale, and Roseacre, where Cuadrilla is seeking the go-ahead for drilling and fracking.
Oil notches biggest weekly advance in eight months. The FT reports on the biggest price rise for oil in the past eight months and the highest level since late 2014.
Shale oil and gas infrastructure bubble goes flat. The FT comments on investment tools to fund pipelines in the US.
12 April 2018
Live updates on day 3 of the reopened public inquiry on Cuadrilla’s fracking plans for Roseacre Wood. DrillOrDrop report
New satellite to spot planet-warming industrial methane leaks. The Guardian reports on a multi-million dollar project by the Environmental Defense Fund to scan and make public methane leaks from oil and gas plants, regarded as a major contributor to global warming.
Fracking may have political support but it still needs a social licence. Andreas Goldthau, Professor in International Relations, Royal Holloway writing in The Conversation, says shale has not done a great job in selling itself in the UK. He says social licence requires all stakeholders to see the policy process as legitimate and the public to accept the technology.
Are shale and biomethane the future of the gas industry? Oil Voice looks as the sources of gas, how it will be used and the potential for the future.
Oil steady, near three-year highs on Syria tensions, tighter supply. Reuters reports that oil prices held steady at close to a high last reached in late 2014 on tensions over Syria and shrinking global oil inventories.
We should boycott it. Peter Roberts, writing in the Northwich Guardian, urges people to boycott the INEOS-funded Daily Mile scheme to get children running a mile a day.
11 April 2018
OGA appoint interim chairperson. Energy Voice reports that Frances Morris-Jones is to serve as the chair of the OGA until 31 March 2019. She replaces Skr Patrick Brown, who was chair for three years until the end of March
Egdon Resources loses non-executive director. Egdon Resources announces that Paul Jenkinson is to step down from the board with immediate effect. This follows his resignation from the board of the coal bed methane firm, Alkane Energy Ltd, which has a 15.39% stake in Egdon. Alkane has recently been acquired by Infinis Energy Management Ltd.
World may hit 2 degrees of warming in 10-15 years thanks to fracking, says Cornell scientist. DeSmog reports on an online lecture by Dr Anthony Ingraffea, Professor of Engineering at Cornell University. His estimate is based on US energy policy which predicts one million producing gas wells by 2050, up from 100,000 today.
Company censured over advert on “home-grown” energy. The Advertising Standards Authority reports it has ordered Good Energy not to repeat claims that 60% of the UK’s energy comes from places like Russia and the Middle East. The ASA did not uphold complaints that customers lived no more than four miles from Good Energy generators and that the company’s energy travelled a shorter distance than that supplied by other companies.
Lock-on protest at Preston New Road. Two pairs of protests locked themselves together at the entrance of Cuadrilla’s site at Preston New Road.
10 April 2018
Fracking: Roseacre Wood public inquiry resumes. BBC News
N Yorkshire village marks reopening of fracking site footpath. DrillOrDrop picture post (13/4/2018) on celebrations in Kirby Misperton to mark the reopening of a footpath alongside Third Energy’s fracking site. The Gazette and Herald and Northern Echo
Lock on at Preston New Road. Anti-fracking campaigners said protesters remained locked together outside the gates to Cuadrilla’s site at Preston New Road, near Blackool, for 13 hours.
9 April 2018
Lincolnshire County Councillors vote for a site visit before deciding Egdon’s oil drilling plans for N Kelsey. DrillOrDrop live updates. Interactive investor, Proactive Investors, Scunthorpe Telegraph, Egdon Resources statement, The Business Desk, East Midlands Business LINK
Inquiry into second Lancashire fracking site – Cuadrilla’s plans for Roseacre Wood – opens tomorrow. DrillOrDrop preview of the planning inquiry in Blackpool
Three weeks of anti-fracking disruption in June 2018. The anti-fracking campaign group, Reclaim the Power, announces direct actions against the fracking industry, its supply chain and political support in three weeks of actions called Block Around the Clock from 27 June to 1 July.
While police struggle in London, here’s how many officers are tackling women protesting fracking in Lancashire. The Canary reports on “dozens of officers tackling a knitting circle of anti-fracking campaigners in Lancashire.
8 April 2018
What’s happening this week? 9-15 April 2018. DrillOrDrop report
Scottish MP questions the government on protecting south east England from shale oil drilling. DrillOrDrop’s Fracking Week in Parliament report
Group of knitting OAPs protesting at the entrance of a fracking site are removed by FIFTY police officers. MailOnline reports that a knitting circle of a dozen grannies were ousted by police as they sat at the entrance to a controversial fracking site at Preston New Road on Wednesday.
Believers keep faith with UK fracking.The FT examines the prospects for a UK shale gas industry.
7 April 2018
Weekend long read: PEDL Power – what you need to know about oil and gas licensing in 2018. DrillOrDrop report
Campaigners take quarry fight to Secretary of State. The Crewe Chronicle reports that campaigners fighting plans for a sand quarry close to their homes are to ask the Secretary of State to make a final decision in the hope he will overrule Cheshire East’s narrow vote in favour of the scheme. The silica sand can be used for fracking but the company behind the project, Sibelco, has denied sand from the quarry would be go to the shale gas industry.
6 April 2018
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service ordered to release information on emergency planning at Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road near Blackpool. DrillOrDrop report
Guest Post by Alan Wright: Why the Wildlife Trusts oppose fracking. DrillOrDrop report
Picture post: hazard suits, funeral procession and a lorry surfer. DrillOrDrop update on protests outside Cuadrilla’s fracking site
“The Gusher” finds itself at epicentre of blame game. The Times reports on calls for operations to cease at the Horse Hill site near Gatwick, following the Surrey earthquake, even though there’s been no work for two years. See DrillorDrop report from 4/4/2018
Fracking Farmhouse – Concerned Health Professionals of New York Compendium. David Kesteven outlines the content of the latest compendium on scientific, medical and media findings on the risks and harms of fracking.
ITV and INEOS launch TV campaign to get every primary school in the UK running the Daily Mile. ITV announces in a press release that it will broadcast the first of a series of commercials highlighting the importance of the daily mile for its positive impact on children’s fitness, health and concentration. INEOS, which has the largest number of shale licences among its interests, has supported the initiative for the last three years. It was launched in 2012 by a former head teacher.
Fight the power of the frackers by changing energy supplier. Howard Hardman, writing to The Guardian, recommends thwarting fracking cmpanies by changing to smaller local energy companies that supply gas from renewable or unfracked sources. Austen Lynch, also writing to The Guardian, says the four wells Cuadrilla wants to drill at Preston New Road would provide about a year’s worth of gas from the 650,000 homes in Lancashire.
Villagers say no to fracking to start up small Groningen gas field. O&G Links reports that dozens of angry villagers from Pieterzijl in Groningen have taken part in a protest at government plans to allow gas company NAM to use fracking technology to extract gas from a small field near their homes. The consent for fracking coincided with news that the main Groningen gas fields would be closed by 2030.
5 April 2018
UKOG withdraws key clauses in protest injunction. DrillOrDrop report
Fracking, Brexit and an oil and shale gas bonanza. The pro-fossil fuel Global Warming Policy Forum reports that the UK is on the brink of a major boost to its economy and prosperity as it awaits the first economic benefit from rich oiil and gas shales.
Councillors recommended to approve further oil drilling in Lincolnshire. Lincolnshire Reporters reports on the application for North Kelsey which goes before councillors on Monday 9 April. Scunthorpe Telegraph. See also DrillOrDrop report from 2/4/2018
Re-opening of footpath. North Yorkshire County Council confirms that the public footpath which borders Third Energy fracking site will re-open from Tuesday 10 April 2018.
4 April 2018
Oil company says “We’re not to blame for Surrey earthquake” – but local concerns remain. DrillorDrop report
Second review criticises Europa’s oil drilling plans at Leith Hill in consultation over environmental permit. DrillOrDrop report
Malton and Norton Golf Club rejects INEOS approach to carry out seismic tests. The Gazette and Herald reports the club’s committee told members it had turned down an offer of £1,000 to conduct seismic testing. The Times (5/4/2018)
Protest petition against anti-fracking camps in Ryedale. The Northern Echo reports that a group called Ryedale Against Anti-Social Protesters handed a petition with 650 signatures to Thirsk and Malton MP, Kevin Hollinrake, calling for a ban on anti-fracking protest camps. The petition calls on the authorities to evict protest camps outside the Third Energy well site at Kirby Misperton.
Europa issues interim results. Europa Oil and Gas (Holdings) PLC issued results for the six months to 31 January 2018. The company made a £500,000 pre-tax loss (up from £200,000 on the previous year). Cash balances were down £1.3m on the previous year at £2.3m. The company says it continues to believe there is a strong case for developing the Wressle site in north Lincolnshire. It says the Holmwood prospect (Bury Hill Wood) is one of the best UK onshore drill opportunities.
Question on the impact of shale. Tim Farron asks a parliamentary question about what discussions the Energy Secretary has had on the impact of fracking on farming and tourism. The Energy Minister, Claire Perry, replies that there are “regular discussions with Cabinet Ministers on matters relating to energy policy”.
Save The Planet: Inject Acid Under A National Park? Shadow Energy Secretary, Barry Gardiner, writing in the HuffPost, raises concerns that controls on fracking do not apply to matrix acidisation to extract oil in areas like the South Downs and Weald. He concludes:
“Doing nothing to stop national parks being drilled for oil isn’t what climate leadership looks like.”
Shell threatened with legal action over climate change contributions. The Guardian reports that Friends of the Earth Netherlands has demanded that Royal Dutch Shell revise its plans to invest only 5% in sustainable energy or face legal action.
Cheshire East approves Cranage sand quarry despite 260 objections. The Knutsford Guardian reports that plans by Sibelco to extract 3.3m tonnes of silica sand from Rudheath Lodge Farm over the next 12 years were approved by Cheshire East council’s strategic planning board by six votes to five. Some campaigners had been concerned that the quarry would supply fracking sand but the company has denied this. The scheme must also be approved by Cheshire West and Chester Council because it straddles the boundary between the authorities.
Dumbing down information. T Froud, writng to the Lancashire Evening Post, expresses disappointment in Cuadrilla’s engineer on a webcast for likening fracking sand to beach sand. The writer says fracking sand is silica sand, a high-purity quartz sand with uniform, rounded grains hat is quite different from beach sand, the writer
3 April 2018
Cuadrilla announces that drilling of the UK’s first horizontal shale gas well has been completed at Preston New Road. Fracking due to start July-September 2018. DrillOrDrop report, Mirror, Telegraph, North West Place, BBC News, Guardian, Rigzone, Times (4/4/2018)
Picture post: Women march to fracking site to launch 3-month campaign. DrillOrDrop report, The Canary
Oil company claims Markwells Wood notice is “not valid”. The Chichester Observer picks up comments in UKOG’s annual report that the South Downs National Park Authority breach of condition notice is invalid. See DrillOrDrop report from 29/3/2018
Egdon farm-out in PEDL253, Biscathorpe. Egdon Resources reports it has signed a farm-out agreement for 5% interest in PEDL253 with Humber Oil & Gas. The PEDL includes the Biscathorpe prospect, which Egdon says is scheduled for drilling in mid 2018. Humber will acquire a further 5% interest in the PEDL by playing the cost of drilling the Biscathorpe-2 well.
To prevent a troubling reliance on Russian gas we must start fracking. Juliet Samuel, writing in The Telegraph , says “like it or not, Europe still relies kon Russian gas.”
2 April 2018
Lincolnshire planners back another three years for Egdon Resources’ North Kelsey oil site. DrillOrDrop report
Ministers questioned on oil drilling risks and job estimates. DrillOrDrop report on last week’s parliamentary questions and answers about the onshore oil and gas industry
Wary shale investors warn against drilling at all costs. The FT reports that the oil and gas industry is being urged to focus on capital discipline and shareholder returns. Kevin Holt, of the fund management group, Invesco, tells the paper the message to the industry is:
“Don’t just drill, drill, drill.”
“You have got to have a value proposition.”
A fracking firm’s return to Balcombe could be one of the industry’s last mistakes. Adam McGibbon, writing for Earth Island Journal, says residents in Balcombe are getting ready to fight off the threat of oil exploration again.
1 April 2018
Picture Post: Nearly all gone. Third Energy empties Kirby Msperton fracking site. DrillOrDrop report
Events diary – April 2018 onward. DrillOrDrop listing of events about UK fracking, onshore oil and gas, and campaign activity
Wildlife Trusts oppose fracking. Lapwing, the magazine of the NW Wildlife Trusts, explains why the English Wildlife Trusts oppose fracking.
2.7 magnitude earthquake in Surrey centred about one mile from Horse Hill oil exploration site. A local resident said:
“I would like to know who would pay for damage caused to my house if it this happens and is confirmed to be associated with the acidization of wells that is happening in this part of the country.
“I’m really worried that the govt. is trying to push through changes to planning guidance (what council planning officers have to refer to when deciding whether to approve an application or not) when we really don’t have the geological knowledge to fully understand the risks.
“The NPPF is out for public consultation at the moment, until 14th May, but I really think there is a huge potential risk to thousands of homes in our area if well drilling and acidisation is done to the extent that the oil companies are telling their investors they intend to do (drilling wells back to back across our countryside).”
See also Get Surrey report on the earthquake
Letters: What do you want? Lorraine Allanson, writing to the Gazette and Herald defends plans for shale gas extraction saying 60% of UK gas consumption is for raw materials. She asks: “Just how do waves, wind and solar provide those products?”
Categories: Daily headlines