Daily headlines

June 2018 drilling headlines

PNR 180531 Ros Wills 2

Delivery to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool, 31 May 2018. Photo: Ros Wills

June 2018 sees the opening of the inquiry into the Ineos scheme to explore for shale gas in the Derbyshire village of Marsh Lane, plus plans for a blockade of Cuadrilla’s Lancashire fracking site.

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


Top headlines this month

  • Public inquiry into Ineos shale gas plans for Marsh Lane, Derbyshire
  • Ineos granted permission for Harthill and submits new Woodsetts application
  • Royal Society/Royal Academy of Engineering report on fracking to be updated
  • Cuadrilla granted interim injunction against fracking protests at Preston New Road
  • Celtique Energie sells final stake in UK onshore oil and gas industry
  • Cheshire Police look into complaint about IGas eviction of gas site
  • Residents uncover regulatory loophole over old-style environmental permits
  • Grandparents lock-on in the lobby of a government department
  • £7.6m of research funding for fracking confirmed

29 June 2018

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Photo montage of the proposed shale gas well site at Bramleymoor Lane, Marsh Lane. Montage: Eckington Against Fracking

Review of eight days of the inquiry into Ineos shale gas plans for Marsh Lane. DrillOrDrop report

Live news updates from final day of the inquiry into Ineos shale gas plans for Marsh Lane. DrillOrDrop report on closing statements

48-hour protest highlights fracking threat to water as wildfires spread to Lancashire. Reclaim the Power says water shortages in Lancashire raise concerns about shortage of water if fracking begins at Preston New Road. Blackpool Gazette

UKOG losses widen. UKOG announces a £4.8m loss in the six months to March 2018, compared with a £1.07m for the same time in the previous year. Part of the difference was a one-off impairment charge related to Kimmeridge Oil & Gas, a UKOG subsidiary. UKOG RNS, Proactive Investors news report and reaction

Solo Oil Annual Report. Solo Oil announced in its annual report it had acquired a further 5% interest in Horse Hill Developments Litd , taking its stake from 7.5$% to 9.75&

Ineos warned over unplanned flaring at chemical plant. Stv News reports on flaring at the Grangemouth chemical plant. The company said an “unplanned event” had occured at the facility. Noise from the flare could reportedly be heard several miles away. the The Scottish Environment Protection Agency warned Ineos that complying with environmental standards was “non-negotiable”.

28 June 2018

Live news updates on Day 7 of the inquiry into Ineos shale gas plans for Marsh Lane. DrillOrDrop report on Ineos planning evidence

Calls for Ineos shale gas licence in Scotland to be revoked. DrillOrDrop report

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Block Around the Clock outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, 28/6/2018. Photo: Reclaim the Power

Picture Post: Mass protest rally at Cuadrilla fracking site. DrillOrDrop report, 2br, Blackpool Gazette

27 June 2018

£10m+ loss for Ineos shale gas company – accounts. DrillOrDrop report on Ineos Upstream accounts and strategic reports for the year ending December 2017.

UKOG announces flow testing operation begins at Horse Hill “Gatwick Gusher” oil site in Surrey. DrillOrDrop report, Proactive Investors, Evening Standard

Live news updates on Day 6 of the inquiry into Ineos shale gas plans for Marsh Lane. DrillOrDrop report on Ineos evidence.

26 June 2018

Live news updates from Day 5 of public inquiry into Ineos shale gas plans for Marsh Lane.  DrillOrDrop post with key points including:

  • Parents threaten to withdraw children from village primary school if scheme goes ahead
  • Shale gas prospects at Marsh Lane best in the area, says Ineos geologist
  • Ineos executive admits local people have been opposed to the scheme from the beginning

Derbyshire Times, Socialist Worker

Campaigners take first steps to challenge Lincolnshire oil drilling. DrillOrDrop report

Picture post: Tour de Frack. Images and words from the cycle ride around Surrey and Sussex oil drilling sites. DrillOrDrop report

Cuadrilla accuses Greens of scaremongering over fracking safety. Mining Technology reports on Cuadrilla’s response to concerns about emergency planning for Cuadrilla’s shale gas sitte at Preston New Road.

25 June 2018

Government policy “risks unrestricted drilling and fracking”, MPs told. DrillOrDrop report on first evidence session of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Shale Gas Impacts.

Journalist and commentator, George Monbiot urges anti-fracking campaigners not to lose hope during visit to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. Photos: Refracktion

Villagers seek funds to challenge Harthill shale gas approval. DrillOrDrop report on fundraising for judicial review of permission for Ineos exploratory drilling.

What’s happening this week? DrillOrDrop weekly listing of events about onshore oil and gas and campaigns against it.

Fracking firm warns of costs bill if new application prompts a public inquiry. The Star reports Ineos has warned in a new application for exploratory shale gas drilling in Woodsetts that it would seek costs if Rotherham Council refused the scheme and it went to a public inquiry. The council had previously voted against the company on its Woodsetts plans. Ineos said the application was identical to one for Harthill where a planning inspector granted planning permission.

Councillors call for Lothian Pension Fund to be fossil free. 13 councillors from SNP, Labour and the Green Parties have signed a pledge calling on the Lothian Pension Fund, run by City of Edinburgh Council, to divest form fossil fuels.

24 June 2018

Ineos in talks with UK government over Hull plant. The FT reports that Ineos, founded by Sir Jim Ratcliffe (now No.1 on the Sunday Times UK rich list) has asked the British government for financial support to secure a new manufacturing plant in Hull. This could “tilt the scales” against an alternative plan to build the £100m facility in Belgium, the FT says. The facility would be used to turn ethane into ethylene, one of the raw materials for plastics.

US shale companies motor ahead despite Opec. The Wall Street Journal says the US shale industry and Opec countries have a shared interest in preventing overheated prices.

Michael Glackin: SNP’s brave ‘fracking ban’ implodes in the light of Ineos court case. The Times (subscription) has an opinion piece on the Court of Sessions refusal of the Ineos case against the Scottish Government.

23 June 2018

Tour de Frack cycle round round oil sites in Sussex and Surrey. The stops included Horse Hill (below). DrillOrDrop photo post

180623 Tour de Frack Jon O Houston 2

Tour de Frack protest at Horse Hill, Surrey. Photo: Jon O’Houston

‘Robust’ meeting hears concerns over Kirby Misperton anti-fracking protests. The Northern Echo reports on meetings, facilitated by MP Kevin Hollinrake, about protests at Third Energy’s fracking site at Kirby Misperton. Mr Hollinrake said:

“North Yorkshire Police has agreed to review its local neighbourhood policing practices and to keep up a dialogue with protesters in the future.”

22 June 2018

Live news updates from Day 4 of the inquiry into shale gas plans for Marsh Lane, Derbyshire. Includes evidence from MP Lee Rowley, who said the Ineos plans should be refused on 13 grounds, including failure to protect the Green Belt.   DrillOrDrop report

21 June 2018

Royal Society Royal Academy report

Landmark report on fracking to be updated and £7.6m shale gas research confirmed. DrillOrDrop report

More calls to block fracking – over emergency plans, evidence review and legal challenge. DrillOrDrop report

Ineos accused of application errors and treating villagers as “noise-sensitive receptors. Plus news that local airfield could close for 3-6 months if Marsh Lane shale gas plans approved. Live news updates from Day 3 of the public inquiry into Ineos shale gas plans for Marsh Lane. DrillOrDrop report

Protesters get on their bikes against fracking. The Sheffield Star reports on the Wheelies for Water bike ride from Sheffield Town Hall to the Blackburn Meadows wastewater treatment plant.

60% more methane emissions from gas production than previous estimates – new study. The journal, Science, has a paper on a study headed by the Environmental Defense Fund, which estimates methane emissions from US gas production is 60% higher than official estimates. The official inventory methods miss emissions released during abnormal operating conditions, the study says. The climate impact of the emissions is roughly equal the annual CO2 emissions from all US coal-fired power plants operating in 2015. ScienceMag.org, Environmental Defense Fund, State Impact

20 June 2018

Derbyshire County Council planning expert tells the inquiry the Ineos Marsh Lane shale gas plans will damage the Green Belt and have no special circumstances. DrillOrDrop live updates from Day 2 of the inquiry

Anger after anti-fracking banners are removed near Fylde drill site. The Blackpool Gazette reports campaigners reacted angrily after banners and art work were removed near Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road. They said this and a temporary injunction banning obstruction of the site left them with no means of peaceful protest. Local councils said the art was distracting drivers and there were complaints that the area was untidy. Freedom of Information request

Fracking chemicals make you fatter. Ends Report (subscription) reports that fracking chemicals are implicated in weight gain.

Herald View: The ground is shaky under the SNP on fracking. Herald Scotland reflects on yesterday’s decision on fracking policy in Scotland by the Court of Session and the paper has an opinion piece by Angela Haggerty: How the Scottish Government beat the big boys of Ineos 

The papers: Fall-out from fracking ‘ban’ legal case. BBC News reviews newspaper coverage to the Scottish court decision.

19 June 2018

Ineos loses challenge against Scottish Government fracking “ban”. DrillOrDrop report, BBCNews, Telegraph, Energy VoiceE and P magazineThe National

Live news updates – Day 1 of inquiry into Ineos shale gas plans for Marsh Lane. DrillOrDrop report, Derby Telegraph, ITV NewsBBC News

Ineos pleas to keep “dangerous” US fracking pipeline open. The Ferret reports that Ineos has successfully pleaded with US authorities to reopen the 300 mile Mariner East 1 pipeline that supplies fracking gas to Grangemouth, complaining that regulation was “unpredictable and disconcerting”.

18 June 2018

Photography magazine offers £5,000 commission on UK fracking. DrillOrDrop report

Ineos and Burston-Marsteller part company amid fracking controversy. PR Week reports that Ineos, which recently used Burso-Marsteller for public affairs support, has been in the headlines over exploratory shale gas drilling. Ineos was among the major clients to move to Burson after Stephen Day joined the agency in 2014. PR Week says the UK’s ORCL lobbying register lists Burson-Marsteller was representing Ineos in the UK in the first three months of 2018. Information for the second quarter of the year has not yet been published, either under the Burson-Marsteller or Burson Cohn & Wolfe name, although PRWeek understands that Ineos is no longer a client.

Why we’re challenging UK Oil and Gas. Vicki Elcoate reports for New Internationalist on behalf of six women from Sussex and Surrey who are challenging UKOG’s injunction against protest outside its offices and oil sites.

UK pension funds get green light to dump fossil fuel investments. The Guardian reports managers of the £1.5tn invested in Britain’sworkplace pension schemes are to be given new powers to dump shares in oil, gas and coal companies in favour of long-term investment in green and “social impact” opportunities. The paper says government proposals published on Monday are designed to give pension fund trustees more confidence to divest from environmentally damaging fossil fuels and put their cash in green alternatives if it meets their members’ wishes.

17 June 2018

What’s happening this week? 18-24 June 2018. DrillOrDrop events about UK onshore oil and gas and campaigns

Inquiry into Ineos shale gas plans for Marsh Lane opens this week. DrillOrDrop

16 June 2018

Weekend Long Read: Fracking – what is a legitimate decision? Guest Post for DrillOrDrop from Dr Joanne Hawkins on research into the role of “experts” and legitimacy of decisions about shale gas

15 June 2018

Minister urged to delay fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site in Lancashire until emergency plans are made public. DrillOrDrop report

Update on legal challenges. DrillOrDrop details of challenges against Ineos, Cuadrilla and UKOG injunctions and Preston New Road planning permission.

UKOG announces £5.5m share placing. UK Onshore Oil and Gas reports that it has raised £5.5m from a share placing. DrillOrDrop report, Proactive Investors

UKOG trading down 25%. Stock News Times and Realist Investor (17/6/2018) reports that UKOG shares fell 25% on Friday (15 June) to close 1.13p. The volume of trades was up 705% on the average session.

 14 June 2018

Residents uncover regulatory loophole at Surrey oil site. DrillOrDrop report on what is allowed under the old style environmental permits, still in place at 38 sites.

pnr 180614 Jonathan Bartley Tina Rotheryedit

Photo: Tina Rothery

Green Party leader to quiz Cuadrilla about emergencies at Preston New Road fracking site. DrillOrDrop report

150-day flow tests expected to start soon at Horse Hill oil exploration site. DrillOrDrop report, Evening Standard, Proactive Investors, Upstream Online (subscription), Regulatory News Service

Oil company seeks extension of planning consents at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex. DrillOrDrop report

Who really owns UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc? SimplyWallStreet reports that 85% of UKOG is owned by institutional investors. This could be enough to cause large share price movements, the website says.

Tell us the plan for an emergency evacuation. In letters to the Blackpool Gazette and Lancashire Evening Post (15/6/2018), Sarah Crane, raises the issue of refusals of FOI requests for information about emergency planning at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site.

13 June 2018

Cheshire Police looking into complaint over eviction of protest camp from IGas Dutton’s Lane coal bed methane site at Upton near Chester. DrillOrDrop report

Statements on “dog poisoning” sought to smear fracking opponents – campaigners. DrillOrDrop 

The curious case of the guard dog, anti-fracking protesters and North Yorkshire police. Andy Rowell, writing for Open Democracy UK, reports how an FOI response tells a different story about the alleged poisoning of a guard dog at Third Energy’s fracking site from the one told by North Yorkshire police, Third Energy and the local MP. A vet’s report found no evidence of poisoning. Link to FOI response, SpinWatch, DeSmogUk

180613 Beis lock on Reclaim The Power2

Photo: Reclaim the Power

Grandparents in anti-fracking lock-on protest at Government department. DrillOrDrop report, Bristol Post, SW Londoner, Blackpool Gazette, Bristol Live

MP hands over anti-protest petition. The Gazette and Herald reports that Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake handed over a 650 signature petition by Ryedale Against Anti-Social Protesters to the policing minister, Nick Hurd. The petition raises concerns over what the signatories describe as “the recent disruptive behaviour of some of the anti-fracking protesters in the Kirby Misperton area”. Northern Echo, DrillOrDrop 

The cost of policing fracking site will grow. In an open letter in the Blackpool Gazette, Green Party peer, Baroness Jones, invites the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, to visit campaigners outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road.

12 June 2018

Lock-on protest outside the Tinker Lane shale gas site in north Nottinghamshire.

180612 Tinker Lane Deborah Hodson

Lock-on protest outside Tinker Lane, 12 June 2018. Photo: Deborah Hodson

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Lock-on protest outside Tinker Lane, 12 June 2018. Photo: Julie Field

Fracking row between council and Sheffield MP. The Sheffield Star reports Sheffield councillors have unanimously spoken out against fracking – but there is strong criticism of the Labour MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge, Angela Smith, who supports fracking.

11 June 2018

2015 Balcombe DoD

Police surveillance at anti-fracking protests in Balcombe, West Sussex, 2015. Photo: DrillOrDrp

Netpol claims victory in challenge over police information on anti-fracking campaigners. DrillOrDrop report. Netpol report and Information Tribunal ruling, The Canary

Cuadrilla protest warning as fortnight of action begins against fracking industry. DrillOrDrop report, Blackpool Gazette, Upstream Online, Energy Voice, The Canary, 2BR

Picture post: Protesters shut IGas shale gas site at Tinker Lane, North Notts. DrillOrDrop report, Lincolnshire Live

Lancashire campaigners want to Reclaim the Road. 2BR reports on a new campaign which is calling on fracking opponents to protest peacefully outside Preston New Road or move on.

Grunshaw calls for Home Office rethink over Preston New Road fracking costs. Radio Wave reports that Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner has called on the government to think again after being faced with a multi-million pound bill to police the fracking site on Preston New Road.

Anti-fracking protester acquitted. The York Press reports that an anti-fracking protester was cleared of obstructing Habton Road, near Kirby Misperton in October last year. Three others were convicted, the paper says in a report on their trial at York Magistrates Court.

9 June 2018

Climate change risk of fracking outweighs benefits – BMJ editorial. DrillOrDrop report

Queen’s Birthday Honours for fracking opponent and supporter. DrillOrDrop report

8 June 2018

OGA seeks views on assessing financial health of oil and gas companies. DrillOrDrop report

Weald-based UK Oil and Gas Investments plc confirms it is fundraising. DrillOrDrop report. Proactive Investors, London South East, City Am

Involving the public in fracking decisions – minister quizzed. DrillOrDrop review of questions and debates in parliament on fracking and the onshore oil and gas industry.

We’ve slowed the fracking industry down. Now we’re gearing up to stop it completely. Chris Saltmarsh, of Reclaim the Power, reports for Left Foot Forward on the group’s Block Around the Clock campaign from 27 June-1 July at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site.

Anti-fracking protests to continue despite High Court injunction. Allan Todd, writing for London Green Left, advises anti-fracking supporters how to react to the Cuadrilla injunction.

Kelsey oil drilling plan: ‘Considerable problems’ to come. The Market Rasen Mail reports on comments by North Kelsey county council Lewis Strange that he tried to do his best to block a controversial planning application by Egdon Resources to drill for oil in the area.

7 June 2018

Planning inspector approves Ineos shale gas plans for Harthill. DrillOrDrop reports on breaking news and reaction. Also: RothBiz, The Star, BBC

More Government support needed for Lancashire police. 2Br reports on another call by Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner for a government review of funding by the Home Office for the county’s police. The force faced a shortfall of £5.4m for policing anti-fracking protests at Preston New Road and £1.6m for policing the Champions League final.

Carbon dioxide could be locked underground in hunt for natural gas. The Engineer reports on plans to capture and store carbon dioxide while enhancing the recovering of gas from shale rocks.

The SNP’s environmental policies reveal a fascinating muddle of contradictions. Holyrood reports that the SNPs approach to the environment reveals a mixed record on energy efficiency, air pollution and climate change

6 June 2018

180605 Ineos application Woodsetts WAFIneos to submit new shale gas application at Woodsetts in South Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop report

UKOG releases oil resource estimates as it considers change in company status. DrillOrDrop report, Proactive Investors, The Times, London South East

Fracking causes harm and violates human rights – interim opinion of international tribunal. DrillOrDrop report, Herald Scotland (10/6/2018), The Ferret (11/6/2018)

Police are encouraging shale gas industry to go to court to disrupt anti-fracking protests. Netpol reports on a strategy by the shale gas industry to portray anti-fracking activists as violent militants.

5 June 2018

180605 Downing Street Ineos plastics FWE1

Dame Vivienne Westwood and Joe Corre at 10 Downing Street, 5 June 2018. Photo: Food and Water Watch Europe

Picture post: Dame Vivienne Westwood and Joe Corre in Downing Street protest over fracking and plastics. DrillOrDrop report

University of Chester told to dismantle £120m site. The Chester Chronicle reports that Chester West and Chester Council planning committee has rejected a retrospective application to the science and engineering department to continue at Thornton Science Park. It follows advice from the Health and Safety Executive, which felt students would be at risk if there was a toxic gas release or explosion from the Stanlow refinery next door.

Council support for Sheffield’s anti-fracking campaigners. The Star reports on a motion to the full meeting of Sheffield City Council on 6 June 2018 to support communities opposing fracking.

EA issues mining waste permit for West Firsby well. The Environment Agency has granted a variation to the environmental permit for the site near Market Rasen. The new permit implements the mining waste directive and adds permission for groundwater and oil storage activities.

Anti-fracking protester handed fine for climbing on top of HGV. The Blackpool Gazette reports that John Knox was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £195 after admitting he climbed onto a truck as it slowed down to enter Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road.

4 June 2018

Multi-million dollar payment from Centrica puts Cuadrilla in profit for the first time. DrillOrDrop report on the shale gas company’s annual accounts. The Times (subscription), Natural Gas World (subscription)

Celtique Energie sells final stakes in UK onshore oil and gas industry. DrillOrDrop report on deal with Union Jack Oil, Humber Oil and Gas and Egdon Resources. Regulatory News Service, Proactive Investors, Rigzone, Energy Voice, Upstream Online, Kallanish Energy

What’s happening this week? DrillOrDrop weekly diary of events from 4-10 June 2018.

Applications open for Angus Energy’s community scholarship scheme in West Sussex. Angus Energy press release

“Bat girls” blocked road at Third Energy’s Ryedale fracking site. The York Press reports that four women were convicted of obstructing the highway outside Third Energy’s Kirby Misperton site on 25 September 2017. They all denied the charges. The paper says Michelle Easton and Sue Gough were given 12-month conditional discharges. Louise Hammond was conditionally-discharged for two years. Becky Bostock is to be sentenced later.

Loan conversion. UKOG announces that Cuart Investments PCC Ltd and YA II PN Ltd had given notice to convert part of their loan worth £250,000 into equity. UKOG said it allotted 19,251,502 new ordinary shares to investors.

Why we need Lush’s Spycop campaign. Green peer, Jenny Jones, writing for New Internationalist, says there are links between the Lush campaign and modern protests including those against fracking.

Mansfield woman sabotaged fracking gear while wearing her daughter’s hoodie. The Eastwood Advertiser reports that dog walker, Fiona Radford, snipped a cable linking underground probes to a seismic monitor. Ineos, which owned the equipment put CCTV footage on social media and tracked her down because of the distinctive hoodie she was wearing. Ms Radford said she did it because people were upset about damage caused to local fields by seismic testying. She was conditionally discharged for six months. Ineos intends to pursue her for civil costs.

MP and Cheshire Wildlife Trust CEO discuss Weaver Vale. The Northwich Guardian reports that fracking was one of the issues discussed when Mike Amesbury MP met Charlotte Harris, head of Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

Early Day Motion on nurdles pollution. Six MPs have sponsored an EDM on pollution from plastic nurdles on a beach in Fife less than 15 miles from the Ineos Polymers plant.

2 June 2018

“Save the planet” message in new children’s book by York author. The York Press reports on a book by local environmental campaigner and expert, Gary Haq, whose book My Dad the Earth Warrior, is published on 5 June 2018. The villain of the story is an energy tycoon determined to frack under the local recreation ground.

1 June 2018

180531 Cuadrilla injunction 1 Steve SpeedJudge grants temporary injunction against protests at Lancashire fracking site. DrillOrDrop report. The Guardian, The Ecologist (4/6/2018), Blackpool Gazette (4/6/2018), Energy Live News (4/6/2018), The Salford Star

MP Rowley says he will oppose fracking changes. The Derbyshire Times reports that NE Derbyshire Conservative MP, Lee Rowley, will oppose his own Government’s plans to speed up fracking applications in England.

Anti-fracking protesters return outside Danesmoor drilling firm. The Derbyshire Times reports on protesters attached to a lock-on device outside the PR Marriott Drilling Ltd depot.

Reasons behind the plastic bottle display. D M Kelk, of Central Lancashire Friends of the Earth, writing to the Lancashire Evening Post, responded to complaints about the string of plastic bottles along the hedgerow of Preston New Road, opposite Cuadrilla’s fracking site. The writer said the “display was to encourage all of us to reduce our usage of plastic”.

Breach of bail.  The Blackpool Gazette reports that a woman appeared before magistrates accused of breaching bail conditions by going to the Preston New Road fracking site. She admitted the offence.  She said she had appealed against the bail condition and believed they no longer applied. She was rebailed on condition that she does not enter Fylde except to attend court.

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