Green Party leader to quiz Cuadrilla about emergencies at fracking site

pnr 180614 Jonathan Bartley

Jonathan Bartley (second left) in the entrance of the Cuadrilla site at Preston New Road, 14 June 2018. Photo: Green Party

The Green Party Co-leader, Jonathan Bartley, said today he would be raising community concerns with Cuadrilla about what would happen in an emergency at the company’s fracking site.


During a visit to campaigners outside the Preston New Road site, he said:

“Local people are not being told what to do in the event of an emergency.

“Anywhere else, in any other site or public building, you would have these procedures in place and people would know what to do.

“This is not happening here and it is simply unacceptable.”

He also said people wanted to know about the future of fracking at Preston New Road.

“Are Cuadrilla going to be here five years, 10 years, 20 years.

“Are they going to make this, as I think has said, the fracking capital of Europe.

“If so, local people need to know about it. If they’re not, the investors need to know about but someone doesn’t seem to be telling the whole story.”

Mr Bartley is due to meet Cuadrilla executives at the site tomorrow. He said other community concerns included the impacts of fracking water and what would happen to the waste.  

pnr 180614 Jonathan Bartley Tina Rothery

Jonathan Bartley at Preston New Road, 14 June 2018. Photo: Tina Rothery


Earlier, Mr Bartley had accused Cuadrilla of “bully tactics” and “curtailing dissent” in seeking an injunction against fracking protests at Preston New Road:

“The frackers have tried to stop peaceful protest in Lancashire – but we will not be silenced. Fracking is a dying industry and it is time the Government finished it off for good.

“Across the country we have seen injunctions rolled out in a bid to curtail dissent, from the fracking site at Preston New Road to the tree campaign in Sheffield. But we will not give in to these bully tactics.

“Fracking for gas will wreck our climate targets and risks contaminating local environments. The community in Lancashire said no to fracking here and it is an honour to join them on the front line of this fight.

“Instead of pursing the dirty, dangerous fracking industry the Government should be investing in cheaper, cleaner renewable energy for the future.”

Francis Egan 9 Lancashire for Shale

Francis Egan, Chief Executive of Cuadrilla. Photo: Lancashire for Shale

Cuadrilla issued a statement this afternoon responding to Mr Bartley’s comments. The company’s Chief Executive, Francis Egan, said:

“Our recent High Court injunction has had, and will have, no impact on legal protest. It is in place to protect the legal rights of our workers, suppliers and the people of Lancashire who have been impacted in going about their daily business by an extraordinary level of unlawful protest at Preston New Road over the last year. Illegal protest, peaceful or not, should not be allowed to prevent law abiding workers doing their daily job. The right to work is as important as the right to protest.

“Mr Bartley has requested to visit our Preston New Road site and we have gladly agreed to that and look forward to showing him how shale gas will be safely and responsibly explored for and produced.”

The interim injunction, which was awarded by Judge Pelling QC on 1 June, prohibits obstruction of the Preston New Road Highway or the shale exploration site entrance and also prohibits direct action such as blockades, lorry climbs or against named suppliers to Cuadrilla. Breaching a High Court injunction carries very serious penalties for those found guilty.”

Legal papers on the injunction, including the court order, are online at:


47 replies »

    • Mark Bevis
      The article says it’s energy intensive ( and activity intensive), not that it costs more energy to get it than it produces.
      The bit about a shortage of truck drivers is right in Texas it seems where according to Bloomberg they can earn over $100,000 year hauling for fracking operations.

      • The issue of ‘how much energy is expended to recover the energy’ is one that interests me, particularly given the current 24% efficiency (inefficiency) of Third Energy’s existing generator at Knapton and subsequent line losses. It should interest many more people too if the final figure is too low to remotely approach any sensible definition of ‘sustainable’. Are there any credible studies into the energy input/output figures for fracking, given there will be a range dependent on how relatively productive fracking wells are?

        • Good questions Mike. Generating power at the user end (locally – therefore no transmission losses) seems like and interesting way to go, even with a gas grid which has several years of life left in it which could gradually convert to hydrogen. Many big companies use off grid combined heat and power sytems already – usually with gas turbines – which saves them money). Check out these fuel cells:

        • Mike Potter
          Good point.

          Fracking is not as efficient as drilling into gas reservoir with water drive ( for example ) where you just sit and wait for it to rush of the well. Ditto for fracked oil with gas drive I guess.

          The conversation on this board touching on the subject has generally been about fracking vs gas imports ( re energy use ).

          No fossil fuel source is sustainable, it more about efficiency while we move to renewables I guess.

          Good luck in the search for information.

  1. You would have thought Mr. Bartley would have had the courtesy of having the meeting FIRST before he decided to seek his own publicity!

    The future of fracking at PNR?? Well, all he has to do is wait, without hinderance, whilst that is tested and established. Chicken and egg, Mr. Bartley. Has any research been done regarding oil and gas drilling by the Greens?

    The Greens are not very good at the simplest economical concepts. But then, they have so many leaders, when one makes a monkeys out of it, another steps forward with even stranger concepts.

    Enjoy, Francis. It should be instructive.

  2. Good that the chap is going to find out what the ER plans are.

    But I am not sure his view that at any other site or public building these procedures would be in place and people would know what to do is correct.

    1. Public buildings have ER procedures, but I know of non that require the local community ( not the occupants ) to do anything if there is an emergancy. Anyone know of any?

    2. For other sites, he may be considering petrol stations, caravan Sites ( gas storage areas for example ), chicken farms with LPG heating, any industrial site, and so on.

    I am not aware of any such plans for petrol stations that require the public to do anything in an emergancy ( ie the local inhabitants have been informed of what to do etc etc ), but happy to hear of any. There are ER plans for such sites, but it seems not ones that require the public to do anything, outwith what the Emergancy services may ask them to do on the day.

    For COMAH sites , yes they have plans, and the public are informed what to do, should there be a risk to them from the site ( discoverable on the web ).

    Maybe for the Cuadrilla Site there are at present no events identified that require the locals to do anything outwith to follow what the Emergancy services ask them to do if any event occurs.

    So, good to find out how it goes, and also good to see if he unearths anything in addition to that discussed in the consultation forum.

      • John Harrison
        Yes, I know that the Preston Road Site is not a COMAH Site. I used the term as an example of where plans are in place for the surrounding population and they are informed ( available on the web ).

        It may never be such a site, as the amount of material stored there may not trip the COMAH limits.

  3. Very good points made:
    ” Are Cuadrilla going to be here five years, 10 years, 20 years?
    Are they going to make this, as I think has been said, the fracking capital of Europe?
    If so, local people need to know about it. If they’re not, the investors need to know about but someone doesn’t seem to be telling the whole story.”

    Sorry Martin. Anyone can put expansion plans on the table – calculated for best case, worst case and break-even. It should be transparent to all concerned.

  4. hewes62-up the road at Barrow IF if something goes wrong with firing up a reactor on a nuclear sub., I understand an alarm is sounded and the local residents swallow a tablet!

    Back in the days of the 3 minute warning my brother lived near a target site, and he was told an alarm would sound. He had suggested to the office dolly there was only one thing left for them for the 3 minutes, but it didn’t impress!

    I suspect your last but one paragraph is correct. Perhaps the same if a Biomass site runs into problems?

  5. No, they can’t PhilipP. Twaddle. This is EXPLORATION/TESTING. The clue is there. Will HH “gush”? (And that is a bit more conventional). Tell us, please-we would love to know. If it does, what will it gush at and will it need a bit of costly encouragement to gush? And, for how long? What will be the value of what “gushes”? Then, if Donald stops Iran/Venezuela/Russia exporting what will that do to the value?

    Your own local antis talk from “no economical production” to “thousands of wells spreading across the local countryside totally industrialising the area.”

    You lot really get hooked on speculation. I suspect it is so easy from there to stretch into fabrication. Mr. Bartley has no concept of what an investor needs to know. If they are investors, they know what they wanted to know to get to that stage, but they didn’t expect to have any definitive information at this stage. Perhaps some gas needs to be produced first? Oil and gas exploration is high risk to investors because the outcome is not usually known beforehand. Bit like investing today in Tesla.

    (By the way, investing £75k in IGAS 3 months ago would have returned a profit of £50k, at the end of that period. £6k in Egdon would have returned £5k profit in one month. Were investors expecting to be informed of that?)

    It really is educational, that in a country that is renowned around the world for having a population that exhibits a great deal of common sense, that there is still a pocket of one third, or part of one third, who refuse to see the merits of that. No wonder Mr. Bartley moved from a Progressive Alliance to losing 500k voters in a matter of days. Did he set a best case, worst case and break even?

    • Correction Martin… YOU lot are hooked on speculation. If plunging millions into testing and exploration is not called speculating then I don’t know what is. Please sort yourself out. Those millions are based on plans involving best/worst scenarios etc. Please be more honest.

    • MARTIN ,

      MOST of the long term, private investors in IGAS Energy, will have seen a complete and utter wipeout of their investment ….

      From a HIGH of about £1.60 per share in 2014 they went down to a paltry 4.5 PENCE , ( yes four and half pence.)

      The shares were then DILUTED in to OBLIVION and then were re-issued at about £ 0.76 pence per share.

      Of the original investors, there WILL BE NO champagne corks popping for IGAS as most will of lost the SHIRTS of their backs.

      • FOR ANYONE interested in the IGAS Energy share price graph for the last 5 years……….

        ( 1 ) Just type in to Google………. Igas share price .

        ( 2 ) At the TOP of the graph in the Google search results , you will see 1D, , 5D , 1Y , 5Y , MAX …….. Just click on the 5Y to see the magnitude of the share price FALL .

        It would appear that Igas is still scrapping along the bottom .

  6. By the way. Has anyone else noticed the big smile on the face of Francis?

    What about the antis? Goodness, the body language speaks volumes. They could do with some training in the art of showing some energy (whoops) and positivity.

    Lovely sunny day. Come on photographers, shout “solar panels” before you take the picture.

    On a more serious note. Did the Green Party have the driver’s permission to show his/her registration number, and not respect the right to privacy?

  7. Jack. You’re right to keep pointing out the climate change impacts but it will just be called alarmism or fearmongering by the gas-heads.

    Speaking of icebergs do you think anyone on board the Titanic who might have alerted them to a large iceberg ahead would have been dismissed as a fearmongerer? Highest (average) May temps on recorded in several places in the world have just been recorded. OK, that’s average, and there was the recent Beast from the East. But the thing is, more higher-than-average anomalies are being recorded than lower-than-average anomalies, globally and consistently, at a ratio of between 2 and 4 to one, and have done so for several years now.

  8. Weather is being reported instantly and constantly from around the world today. It wasn’t a few years ago.

    A “small” factor which is excluded from many assessments of change.

    By the way, PhilipP-they had been alerted to icebergs ahead on the Titanic, and warned to slow speed to allow time to alter course. Not too good on the history, you antis.

    Yes, Sherwulfe, two interesting ‘photos. Before and after the core samples? Or, the injunction?

    What BOOM Jack?
    Oil and gas accounted for a combined 27% for electricity generation last year, up from 25% in 1997. Perhaps there just could be other factors involved? Maybe population increase in certain parts of the world, who want to have the use of power (check out global copper demand for electrifying vast parts of the world?) Unfortunately, climate change deals tend to exclude these areas from having to comply as they must be allowed “to catch up”. Maybe a similar reason why we already know where the majority of plastic is entering the worlds oceans but we concentrate on removing plastic straws from fast food chains? More gesture politics to give the impression something is being done, even if it will not alter the overall situation.

    Here’s a novel idea. Deal with the core of the issues and the public will be much more inclined to make their small contribution to add the final bit. (Before you are tempted-Paris did no such thing.) Meanwhile, we will continue to ship oil in from the Middle East supplying revenue for the Saudi factions and the Iranian factions to blast each other apart, and many more innocent by-standers. Perhaps Brockham Oil Watch should have a day out to the Solent and check the oil tankers coming in and then, rather than calculate ice, calculate how many human lives in the Yemen have been ruined by their attempted activities? Good job Wytch Farm are still doing their bit.

    See, sometimes my normal good humour finds it difficult to forgive the real consequences of some other’s activities.

    • You have my sympathies Martin. Your feet do at least, have been shot so many times. The Titanic lesson from history hasn’t been learned then. Altering course radically enough when the warning signs were clear, would have been a very good idea.

    • Ah but the Titanic was ‘unsinkable’…well, that’s how they sold it to the investors….ring any bells?
      The fact that it had a major design flaw [nothing to do with the ice bergs really] was just an aside…..

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