Cuadrilla seeks to extend protest injunction at Lancashire fracking site – and applies for fracking consent

180321 PNR Emma Thompson Refracktion10

Actor Emma Thompson at protest outside Preston New Road, 21 March 2018. Photo: Refracktion

Cuadrilla confirmed this morning it was taking further action to prevent protests outside its site at Preston New Road near Blackpool.

The company also said it had submitted an application to the Energy Secretary for hydraulic fracturing consent at the site. If approved, this would be the first high volume frack in the UK since 2011 and would be the UK’s first ever frack on a horizontal shale gas well.

In a press statement this morning, the company and landowners had filed papers to the High Court to replace the injunction currently in place at the site. A hearing is due to take place on 31 May 2018 in Manchester.

The campaign group, Frack Free Lancashire, described the development as “desperate measures” by Cuadrilla and said protests would continue.


Cuadrilla said the proposed injunction would replace and extend the duration of an existing injunction , granted in March 2017, forbidding trespass at the site and surrounding farmland. The new order seeks to prohibit what is described as unlawful obstruction” of the site entrance and the adjacent main road.

If approved, it would prohibit lock-ons”, where protesters chain themselves to objects or together to prevent access. It would also prevent climbing onto, or slow walking in front of, vehicles accessing or leaving the site.

The draft injunction also seeks to prevent protesters combining together to commit unlawful acts to “injure or cause damage to Cuadrilla”.

Unlawful disruption of Cuadrilla’s supply chain by, for example, blockading supplier properties would also be covered by the proposed injunction.

There have been daily protests outside the Preston New Road site since work began in January 2017. Lancashire Police said 341 people had been arrested up to March 2018. Campaigners have also protested outside Cuadrilla suppliers.

Today’s development follows similar applications to the courts by Ineos and UK Oil & Gas.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said:

“Whilst we fully respect the right to peaceful and legal protest, unfortunately over the last 18 months we have seen an extraordinarily high level of unlawful protest activity.

“This has been directed at and impacted not just our workers but also our suppliers and other law abiding citizens using the main road passing our site for their normal daily activities.

“Such unlawful conduct cannot be permitted to continue, and we hope that if we can secure this injunction it will deter this unlawful behaviour which is reckless and continues to cost local taxpayers millions of pounds.”

In the court papers, Cuadrilla said it feared “an imminent escalation” of protests in June 2018. It says the campaign group, Reclaim the Power, is planning a fortnight of direct action between 11-24 June against the fracking industry, supply chain and political support.

The hearing is scheduled to take place at Manchester High Court District Registry, Civil Justice Centre, 1 Bridge Street West, Manchester M60 9DJ at 10:30am on Thursday, 31 May 2018.

All papers regarding the application to the High Court are at this link

On the application for fracking consent, Mr Egan said:

“Following the Government’s very recent announcement which underlined the national importance of shale gas we are very pleased to submit our application for hydraulic fracturing consent to the Secretary of State. We are now very close to demonstrating that Lancashire shale gas can be commercially developed in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. We look forward to receiving consent to progress from the Secretary of State at the earliest opportunity.”

“Desperate lengths”

A spokesperson for the Frack Free Lancashire campaign group said this morning:

“Frack Free Lancashire is wholly unsurprised that Cuadrilla need to resort to the desperate lengths of an injunction that assaults our basic human rights of meaningful protest, under sections 10 and 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998. The only surprise is that it’s taken them so long to attempt to buy the law.

“When you have forced a dirty industry past all manner of democracy and the refusal of local communities, protest and dissent is expected.

“This industry and its inflictors are both toxic and unwanted. Protest will continue, regardless of the fracking industry trying to manipulate the law to benefit their own ailing operations.”

Other reaction

A spokesperson for Lancashire For Shale said:

“We welcome today’s news that Cuadrilla is seeking to provide greater safeguarding for local businesses that want to play a role in the developing shale gas supply chain.

“Over 700 local businesses have expressed an interest in supplying the industry, and, already, Cuadrilla’s activities at Preston New Road have seen nearly £9m spent with Lancashire firms. The protection that this injunction would provide for local businesses will allow even more to engage without fear of being targeted.

“A successful shale gas industry will be a boon for Lancashire, bringing new contracting opportunities, boosting the jobs market and stimulating inward investment. We need to do everything we can to maximise the potential for local people and businesses to benefit, and an injunction will be a great help with that.”


78 replies »

  1. Well PhilipP, what are you worried about then? As “anyone” will tell you, the whole thing will have nothing to show for all this effort!

    Shame your “anyone” is not “everyone”.

    “Anyone” will tell you if you navigate too far from home you will fall off the edge. “Anyone” will tell you there is no land to the west of Europe. “Anyone” will tell you man can not fly. “Anyone” will tell you Donald Trump can not be elected President of USA.

    And “everyone” who says different will try and place their current account with Barclay Brothers.

    Ahh, I see a problem within your “analyses”.

    By the way-have core samples not been removed from PNR? What were the indications?

    To start with, PhilipP, it is being “goaded along” by someone who knows oil/gas production inside and out, employs the top experts available and has a proven track record of backing winners, who is willing to put £500 millions of his own money behind his assessment. Excuse my judgement, but I suggest, no contest. Maybe he has driven around Scotland, for example, and seen the spoils from previous shale development?

    • Do you have a point Martin? By someone and ‘his money’ do you mean JR – who once said (on record) that there have been no environmental or safety issues raised by fracking (since the early days)? Could it be the same JR whose personal wealth is reckoned to be in the same ball park as the debt that he leverages to run his company? Do you honestly think he is using his personal money to pour into this?

      • JR is right. There never has been any pollution or environmental issues from fracking. Bad drilling a poor well design along with other dodgy procedures have caused a small number of local issues, but that is nothing to do with fracking.

        Good job those bad practices are not permitted in the UK isnt it!!

  2. It’s about time. Cuadrilla should have taken out the injunction earlier. The protesters have enough opportunity to voice and argue their points which are not backed by rationale and common senses. There are ways to protest and blocking people ligit business activity is unacceptable. And caused great financial and economical cost to general public.

    • Congratulations are due to Tina Rothery who by her actions this morning has not only given Cuadrilla all the evidence that they need but has also put her niece in a position that will exclude her from obtaining employment in huge areas of the economy.

    • TW, the people put forward valid arguments, and are still.

      LCC said no on these valid arguments.

      Scotland said no on valid arguments.

      However this governance chose to dismiss the people’s choice in favour of a few people with questionable ethics. So the people stood up and said this is not right, and will continue to say this is not right until the people’s choice is recognized.

      All of the arguments for gas on here do not stand up to the arguments against, even if you repeat them over and over again. 97% of climate scientists will tell you that; 85% have asked for renewables, only 18% [including 2% who admitted to not knowing anything about shale gas] want to overturn the democratic vote; shocking.

      If you want to go against the will of the people, fine, but accept that in the 21st century we will not yield. The soldiers of the planet are awake. It’s time to make a stand.

      • Some content for Martin; hope you can reciprocate:

        Fighting For Fairness

        Liberty is not a synonym for ravenous self-determination.
        For every freedom to grow
        there is a reciprocal freedom from incursion.

        When our individual or national purpose
        reduces self-with-other mutual determination
        and reiterative processes of evolving redetermination
        down to autonomous libertarianism
        as freedom from infringements,
        then our pursuit of happiness
        is no longer concomitant with our hopes for growing health,
        and our pursuit of wealth-hoarding freedoms
        becomes idolatrously removed from unifying roots
        of equal democratic liberties of and for all,
        freedom to optimize wealth of health,
        happiness through mutually nurturing freedoms.

        Selfishly autonomous determination,
        articulating cause for self-justifying violence,
        delineating causes of nationalism’s self-without-other exterminations,
        is not the original intent of democratic healthy purpose,
        is heading toward monoculturing degeneration instead,
        the opposite of multiculturing regenerate freedoms
        to pursue our mutually optimizing wealth
        of health.

        Beware economists and politicians who speak of growing freedoms
        yet remain silent about both personal and public prerequisite investments
        in history’s nondual development
        of healthy wealth
        as wealth for regenerating health
        of multi-generations.

        Beware of those who advocate your freedom
        to self-optimize,
        freed of cooperative mutual tax investments
        while hiding our collective responsibilities
        to cooperatively own healthy authorities
        for recycling Earth’s most deeply resonant integrity
        of health-wealthing democratic values,
        Yang’s ego-centric freedom to love
        Yin’s eco-centric freedom from oppression,
        sunk by patriarchal hubris
        of anthro self-determination.

        Pursuit of global liberty
        is not a safe cover story,
        much less a synonym,
        for self with other interdependent determinations
        of and for cooperatively growing wealth,
        further investing in Earth’s culture of integral health.

        Elitist pursuits of self-determination
        disguised as synonymous with complex freedom networks
        thrusting anthro-authority over eco-responsibility,
        has brought us to this precipice of climate pathology,
        and not shared integrity
        of healthy global climates.

        Gerald Dillenbeck 2017

        • LCC said no based on a refusal to follow legal instruction and clear planning advice. It was an illegal act.

          The Scottish Govt said no based on no science at all. Their own investigation said it was safe. Thats why when INEOS challenged the Scottish Govt they backed down and said there was no ban is Scotland. Having a tiny percentage of the population ticking a petition is hardly a way to run a country.

          • Sorry again Johnson; the ‘legal instruction’ was itself illegal; check it out. The casting vote to refuse was actually from a Conservative Councillor who is also a lawyer.

            Where do they get these call centre numptys from?

    • Hello TW ,

      I would of thought that an endless amount of Peer Reviewed studies from some of the world’s leading scientists; warning us all of the dangers of Fracking give just cause and reason as to why these people are out there protesting each and every day on behalf of their children’s and children’s children’s future ..

      I’m more than happy to supply you with a list of reputable highly respected scientists and organisations that are warning us of the dangers associated with fracking , if you need convincing .

        • SHERWULFE

          Do you think sending my extensive list would make an ounce of difference ??

          Going of past experience on here, I’ve found it’s usually totally ignored by the Pro-frackers.

          In the words of John Heywood 1546

          THERE ARE NONE SO BLIND AS THOSE WHO WILL NOT SEE …. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.

          • Send copies, recorded delivery, personally addressed to Claire Perry and also to James Brokenshire who is determining the outcome of the Roseacre Wood Inquiry and Greg Clark who has to sign off Cuadrilla’s permission to frack. If it can be shown they have received this information but have chosen to ignore it and something later goes wrong, they cannot claim they had no knowledge of all those warnings.

  3. Yes, I mean the JR who runs a successful, profitable business PhilipP. And, like most successful businesses, he takes on debt to fund expansion. Can his business sustain that debt? Well, so far, no problem.

    If that’s the best the antis can do in an attempt to “rubbish” INEOS, you really have run out of ideas. But, there has never been any real attempt to understand true economics amongst the antis since you pursued the anti capitalist support.

    Meanwhile, warnings today concerning fuel prices in the UK to impact upon household spending, as USA starts to apply sanctions against Iran.

    • Why the confusion? My criticism is related to this business of goading our powers that be into believing that the fracking initiative is going to somehow be risk free by somebody in a position of power and responsibility who should make it their business to know better. To say “there haven’t been safety issues and environmental issues in America” as JR did on radio – is amazingly deluded or deceptive, or both. Your twist Martin – to make my questions look like its a criticism targeting anyone making a success at business is just a typically craven attempt by ‘pros’ to make this look like anti business, anti, profit, and anti success. I’m surprised you didn’t trot out the commie line as well. If anyone can make a success and profit at business, by legally, socially, economically and environmentally responsible means I’d say good luck to them – just don’t try and manipulate and delude when you’re in a position of such power. And I’m not criticising INEOS per se.

  4. Well, PhilipP, I’m sure Jim is really concerned about your concerns.
    However, I will still take more notice of someone who knows the international oil/gas business inside out, employees a host of the world’s top experts and is able thereby to develop an extremely successful, and profitable business.

    I think it was you, PhilipP, who was trying to make a spurious point about debt. That “stuff” that the vast majority of householders have when they take out a mortgage, all the Premiership football clubs, etc. etc. Debt at 2-3% interest is no problem if you make 10% return. If it is the other way round that’s different. Jim represents the first category, Mr. Musk the second. You seem to be confused between the two.

    The proof of the pudding is not within Giggle.

    • So selling guns to a spurious regime at a 10% return is okay if you are only paying 2-3% interest? How about polluting a planet, cost to borrow 5% return a house or two at the expense of the taxpayer; £540 million in unpaid taxes, lives lost due to less investment of said taxes into the NHS and social care. How about we make more plastic, cost to borrow ethane from the planet ?% return, another yacht to sail on a plastic sea.

  5. Carry on in the fantasy world Sherwulfe and do a bit more research while you are there.

    “Giggle has imagined a future where it uses enormous quantities of data it collects on individuals to manipulate their behaviour and achieve “desired results” for the whole species”.

    Seems the future has arrived for some.

    By the way-your sums for the tax bill are totally incorrect and nonsense. A business that disappears from existence ceases to contribute any taxation. But, good job some businessmen are better at sums than either yourself, or Gordon Brown.

    • ‘A business that disappears from existence’ – aka moved to a tax haven. Yes indeed, creative accounting is alive and well.

      I see you could not address the philosophical moral dilemma I posed for you….

      Not sure who your provider is but, shh, ‘Giggle’ does not exist [only in your mind].

      The future can never arrive, by its very nature it is always in the future.

      Not sure you actually know what the definition of research is; you keep bandying it around like you participate in its complexities;
      for the avoidance of doubt:

      the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions:
      “we are fighting fracking by raising money for environmental research”

      investigate systematically:
      “they have spent the last five years researching the adverse affects of fracking”

  6. Giggle is the use of a search engine to have a laugh at others expense. Keep up.

    And then moved back. Keep up.

    Antis are now philosophers!! That’s the phil bit, is it?

    Goodness, it all takes me back-more than 50 years. Then it was whether you supported a particular football team, or chose the Rolling Stones over the Beatles that made you more intelligent, a better person, a “philosopher”, more in tune with the planet. Used to be a favourite game in the playground until we left for big school. Good to see such ancient heritage is alive and well.

    Still found in a minority though. That pattern continues.

    Just off to “research” how many chip suppers to produce enough cooking oil to fuel enough combine harvesters to harvest 13 million tonnes of grain. I may be a while.

    • At least you’re consistent Martin. Keep patronising & shooting the messenger…. your only remaining defence.

      So you think you’re the only one who understands research and assumes everyone else relies on Giggle, and we can’t tell the difference between a refereed paper, a government memo and an industry report. No, for us all those thimgs are written by your imagined scapegoat Mr Giggle. Just as the queen writes all your royal mail eh.

    • ‘Giggle is the use of a search engine to have a laugh at others expense.’ – again just made up by you and so therefore ‘in your head; keep up.
      The rest is waffle and not worth the digital ink…

  7. And where did you research the ownership of Third Energy, PhilipP?? Sorry to keep using that example, there are plenty of others but yours was rather classical, in it’s own way. When you extract the dubious “links”, the copy and pasting of Ruth’s text with a bit of commentary, the vast “poetical” nonsense, the attempts to outlaw comment because it may be from some foreign person, there really is not a lot left that could be classified as research, yet within that left it is apparent that many have not bothered to check facts but still think it vital to impart that they have!

    That to me is true patronising. If you feel other antis do not warrant better, so be it. Some may find my posts ridiculous and offer some mild ridicule-as I would expect down the pub. If it is justified, it adds grist to the mill. Don’t expect it to be a one way street though.

  8. I made a general statement PhilipP. Someone seems too sensitive. No wonder you had a row with your buddies!

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