Live news updates: Day 4 of inquiry into shale gas plans for Marsh Lane

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Photo montage of the view of a rig at Marsh Lane from one of the nearest properties. Montage: Eckington Against Fracking

This post has live updates from the fourth day of the public inquiry into plans by Ineos for shale gas exploration in the Derbyshire village of Marsh Lane. Today’s session will hear from more witnesses for the campaign group, Eckington Against Fracking, including the local Conservative MP, Lee Rowley, and emeritus professor Peter Styles.

Ineos is seeking to drill a 2.4km deep vertical coring well using a 60m rig on land off Bramleymoor Lane. The company appealed against what it said was an unacceptable delay to the decision on the application by Derbyshire County Council. The council voted by nine to one to oppose the application.

The hearing in Chesterfield, is expected to last for eight days. The first section of the inquiry heard evidence from Derbyshire County Council. Next week will hear from representatives of Ineos.

Background post on the inquiry and catch up on news from each day through links on the DrillOrDrop  Marsh Lane inquiry page

Reporting from this inquiry has been made possible by individual donations from DrillOrDrop readers.

Key points from today’s hearing

  • MP Lee Rowley tells the inquiry he stands by his objection on 13 grounds:
  • It conflicts with policies to protect the openness of the Green Belt and local and national policy
  • The Ineos plan is inappropriate for Bramleymoor Lane, Marsh Lane and his constituents, he says
  • Mr Rowley says three weeks of exploratory drilling on the site in 1987 are “not comparable” with what Ineos is planning.
  • Ineos has not demonstrated that there were no other suitable sites outside the Green Belt sites.
  • Mr Rowley says an oil and gas industry executive told MPs that shale gas operations could happen in urban areas. Ineos says this is “extremely prejudicial” and should not have been raised.
  • Ineos barrister, Gordon Steele, says great weight should be given to Government support in a Written Ministerial Statement for shale gas. Mr Rowley says the statement requires decisions to be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Emeritus professor, Peter Styles, gives evidence on risk of operations in coal field areas with pre-existing faults.
  • Ineos says his evidence goes beyond his submitted report. Professor Styles Ineos has received his presentation
  • Ineos to object over “leading” a county council witness


12.36pm: Adjournment

The inquiry resumes at 9.30am on Tuesday 26 June 2018 when it hears from members of the public and the start of the Ineos case.

12.30pm: New document

Richard Kimblin, for Derbyshire County Council, tells the inquiry that Ineos intends to object to him leading a previous witness, county councillor Paul Smith, on site selection. He submits a document on a decision on another proposal in the Green Belt.

12.20pm: Ineos reaction

Gordon Steele, the Ineos barrister, says little of the presentation was included in a report submitted in advance to the inquiry. The report does not include the local site information, he says. This should be provided to Ineos and the company should have time to consider the details and cross-examine Professor Styles on it next week. Professor Styles says he can’t return next week.

The inspector, Elizabeth Hill, says if Professor Styles can’t be cross-examined it will not add weight to his evidence.

Professor Styles says Ineos already has a copy of the presentation slides.

Mr Steele says he has not had a copy off the slides. I need time to consider this new information, he says. Professor Styles says the geologists and senior executives in Ineos already have the information and the slides. This is not my fault, he says. He says he has already made a three-hour journey to attend the inquiry but would be willing to attend again.

11.40am: Professor Peter Styles gives evidence

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Professor Peter Styles giving evidence to the inquiry. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Emeritus Professor Peter Styles says he is making the same presentation to the inquiry about the geology of coal field areas that he has previously given to the House of Lords, the Oil and Gas Authority and others.

Professor Styles describes how even a “good working coal mine” had about 1,000 very small earthquakes in a day. A hall of residence at Keele University had to be demolished because of subsidence prompted by Silverdale Colliery several miles away, he says.

At Clumber Park, in Sherwood Forest, he says the main earthquake activity was at 800m but there was also fracturing the rocks nearer the surface. Mining at 1km depth could have effects at the surface, Professor Styles says.

He says he investigated the earthquakes around Blackpool in 2011 which were linked to fracking at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preese Hall. Professor Styles says researchers identified a pre-existing fault.

A report on the earthquakes, written by Professor Styles and others, was presented to Government, resulting in a traffic light system for seismic monitoring. He tells the inquiry this requires fracking to stop if there was seismic activity of magnitude 0.5.

A fault required to trigger the traffic light system of earthquakes of 0.5M may be only a few metres long, Professor Styles says.

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Professor Peter Styles giving evidence to the inquiry. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Professor Styles says surface seismic surveys do not detect the size of faults that could cause seismic activity that would trigger the traffic light system.

He says the former Prime Minister, David Cameron, asked how far away companies should frack from a fault. Professor Styles says this “respect distance” varies from 120-800+m. He has recommended 850m based on conservative modelling and US experience.

Professor Styles says he superimposed a map of identified faults from mine records to a map of small earthquakes. The earthquakes lie on the small faults, he says. Most of the earthquakes were more than 0.5ML, that would trigger the traffic light system for fracking.

Faults near Marsh Lane

Professor Styles quotes from the planning application for Marsh Lane. This said there were no faults under the site. Two faults are 570m west and 600m north of the site.

He says pre-existing faults stimulated by coal mining led to seismic events up to about 3ML. There are detailed maps made by coal mining engineers, he says.

“It is critical that this high resolution,  carefully mapped data set should be included in any planning process for unconventional oil and gas activities.”

11.07am: Break

The inquiry resumes at 11.40am

11am: Deborah Gibson

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Ms Gibson, tells the inquiry she is a resident of Harthill, where Ineos has permission for exploratory drilling.

Ms Gibson asks the inspector about frequent references by Ineos to the planning decision to approve shale gas exploration at Harthill. Should these be considered?, she asks. If this planning decision is admissible, Ms Gibson says she would like to raise other decisions and the behaviour of Ineos companies.

She also says the Harthill decision may be subject to further discussions. The differences between Harthill and Marsh Lane are “worlds apart”, she says.

There are moves afoot in Government to re-examine shale gas exploration and production, she says. The government has commissioned research to update the risks and benefits of fracking, she says. I would like to make a request that the inspector should pay great attention to these upcoming discussions.

The inspector, Elizabeth Hill, says where we don’t know the final result, we give them limited weight.

10.47am: More questions to Lee Rowley

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Lee Rowley MP answering questions at the inquiry. Photo: DrillOrDrop

David Kesteven, chair of Eckington Against Fracking, re-examines the evidence of Mr Rowley.

He asks Mr Rowley how he remembers the previous drilling on the site more than 30 years. Mr Rowley says he used to go past it to visit his grandmother.

Mr Rowley says the importance of the Marsh Lane site to his constituents makes him so passionate about the decision. He says:

“It is for the applicant to show why this application is not in conflict with the purposes and openness of the Green Belt. It is for the applicant to demonstrate that there are special circumstances to justify the development in the Green Belt.”

This application clearly  contradicts the openness of the Green Belt, Mr Rowley says. This is a settled agricultural area. Looking at it objectively, openness would be transgressed. Five years has an element of semi-permanence. But within Ineos evidence, the company says the five year duration is a function of the PEDL licence. Mr Rowley says:

If the licence is extended then we could see an extension of the five year duration of the permission.

You don’t stick 2ha of concrete in the countryside and then not expect there to be encroachment of the countryside.

The original purpose of the Green Belt in plans dating from 1977 was to protect this area, Mr Rowley says. The policy says there is a need to protect the attractive landscape around the town, Mr Rowley adds.

The local Green Belt documents say development should be sited to have the least visual impact, he says.

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Eckington Against Fracking plan presented to the inquiry on Ineos shale gas plans at Marsh Lane

The Europa oil exploration at Bury Hill Wood in Surrey does not prove that exploratory drilling is not inappropriate development everywhere in the Green Belt, Mr Rowley says.

Ineos evidence does not demonstrate this is the only place in the PEDL licence where oil and gas can be found.

He adds that at a meeting in parliament this week, the industry body, UKOOG, said urban areas could be drilled. These sections of the PEDL could be considered for suitable sites.

Ineos’s own statement does not prove there are very special circumstances.

Gordon Steele says there has been additional evidence in this part of the hearing and he asks the inspector to disregard it because it has not arisen from questions. He says the reference to drilling in urban areas is “extremely prejudicial” and should not have been raised. Mr Rowley says he is happy to return to be cross-examined later in the inquiry. Mr Steele says an MP should know better.

10.13am: Cross-examination of Lee Rowley

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Gordon Steele QC, Ineos barrister, right, cross-examining Lee Rowley MP. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Gordon Steele, the QC for Ineos, asks whether Mr Rowley is qualified as a planner or lawyer. Mr Rowley replies:

“My opinions have as much weight as anyone else because planning is based on people, not just experts.”

Mr Steele asks whether Mr Rowley wrote the entire statement himself. Mr Rowley says he did.

Written Ministerial Statement

Mr Steele asks Mr Rowley if he is aware of the Written Ministerial Statement from May 2018 on shale gas. Mr Rowley says he is. Mr Steele asks Mr Rowley if he has read all the statement. Mr Rowley says he has. Mr Steele asks if Mr Rowley agrees with it. Mr Rowley says part of the statement says councils should be make appropriate decisions and that appropriate locations needed to be found. Applications must be assessed on a site by site basis in their context. I have done that, Mr Rowley says. He says he has lived in the area for 37 years and representing more than 70,000 people.

Mr Steele asks what weight should be attached to the WMS. Mr Rowley says there should appropriate weight. Great weight should be given to the section which requires case-by-case assessment in the context of the site. This site is entirely inappropriate.

Mr Steele asks whether great weight should be applied to the statement. Mr Rowley says there are many parts to the statement.

Previous drilling

Mr Steele asks if Mr Rowley is aware of previous drilling. Mr Rowley says this drilling lasted for three weeks in 1987 and did not need planning permission. This was not the same significant industrialisation of this site, Mr Rowley says. It is not directly comparable with the Ineos scheme, he says. We are looking at 18 pieces of bulky equipment which will be on site for five years. The development you are talking about was for three weeks.

Mr Steele asks about the duration of the rig. Mr Rowley says it will be on site in stage two. The rig will be as visible as the Chesterfield spire. He says he is concerned about the other pieces of equipment.

Mr Steele asks again how long the rig will be on site. Mr Rowley says he will have to check. Mr Steele asks again. Mr Rowley says it is important that he should check.

The rig would be installed for two weeks, drilling and coring for 12 weeks and removal for two weeks, Mr Rowley states.

Mr Steele asks again how could Mr Rowley say there was no other development when there had been other exploratory drilling. Mr Rowley says the previous drilling was not comparable with what Ineos is planning, in is opinion. He says the rig was on site for a matter days in 1987 is totally different to the five years of severe industrialisation and bulk. The previous drilling did not go through the planning process.

Mr Steele asks if Mr Rowley has been on the site. Mr Rowley says there is an injunction on access to the site. He says if he is allowed on site he would go.

Mr Steele says it is wrong to say there has been no development. Mr Rowley repeats that what Ineos is planning is not comparable. Mr Steele asks the MP to answer the question. Mr Rowley says his answer is pertinent. It has not been industrialised in my lifetime.

Mr Steele asks a third time, it cannot be said there has been no development on or adjacent to the site. Mr Rowley says the former drilling is not comparable. Mr Steele says are you refusing to answer. Mr Rowley says he is refusing to answer in the way Mr Steele wants. In my considered judgement I have answered your question, Mr Rowley says.

The inspector, Elizabeth Hill, says it is customary to give a Yes/No answer and then expand on it.

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Bury Hill Wood and Calow drilling

Mr Steele asks Mr Rowley if he researched the Bury Hill Wood case himself. Mr Rowley says he did. Mr Steele asks Mr Rowley to describe this case. Mr Rowley says you cannot automatically assume that exploratory drilling is appropriate in the Green Belt.

Mr Steele asks again whether this case says oil drilling is not in principle inappropriate development in the Green Belt. Mr Rowley says it must be assessed on a site by site basis.

Mr Steele asks about an application for exploratory borehole at Calow, which was refused permission. Mr Steele asks if this application included electricity generating station. Mr Rowley says this was part of the application. Mr Steele asks if Ineos proposes to install an electricity generating station.

Mr Rowley says it does not. He says he drew comparison with the Calow case because the inspector had described it as having “alien features”. Steele says this was a proposal for 15 years. Mr Rowley says the application was for no longer than 15 years and could have been less. You are asking you semantic questions. I raised this over the “alien feature” aspect of this case, he says.

Car boot sale

Mr Steele asks whether Mr Rowley is comparing the Ineos scheme with a car boot sale. Mr Rowley says the Ineos scheme would be more intrusive than the proposed car boot sale.

Special circumstances

Mr Steele asks whether special circumstances could include the Written Ministerial Statement. Mr Rowley says the WMS requires decisions to be made on a case-by-case basis. Mr Rowley says Ineos has not demonstrated there are special circumstances for the Marsh Lane site to justify development in the Green Belt. Mr Rowley says in the 100+ page planning statement has just six references to special circumstances.

Mr Steele says there is detailed evidence in the statements from the company’s planning experts. Mr Rowley says Ineos has not proved any special circumstances. There is a contention from the Ineos planning expert but I reject that contention, he says. Mr Rowley accepts there is evidence before the inquiry on special circumstances. He says this was correct at the time that he wrote his proof of evidence because he had not seen the statement by Ineos’s planning witness.

Derbyshire County Council recommendation

Mr Steele asks Mr Rowley whether he rejects the advice of professional planners at Derbyshire County Council. Mr Rowley says he has already said that. It is a balance, he says.

Mr Steele asks if Mr Rowley has considered any advantages of the proposal. Mr Rowley says if the scheme went ahead and led to production, there could be benefits to the UK. At this stage, exploration, Mr Rowley says he could not see any benefits to Marsh Lane. It is not for me to argue the benefits of your scheme. It is for me to point out the concerns of my constituents.

It is not appropriate for me to conduct an academic exercise.

Mr Steele puts it to Mr Rowley that he should put forward a balanced view.

Mr Rowley says he is a former oil and gas analyst. He says:

“I come from a place of not objecting to oil and gas drilling.

“Having looked at the proposal, spoken for hundreds of hours to people and considered the 4,000 objections, I consider this proposal as inappropriate for Bramleymoor Lane, Marsh Lane and my constituents.”

9.50am: Lee Rowley MP gives evidence for Eckington Against Fracking

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Lee Rowley MP giving evidence at the inquiry. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Mr Rowley, the Conservative MP of North East Derbyshire, gives evidence to the inquiry.

He says the application is inappropriate for the area and does not comply with local and national planning policy. He says he reconfirms his objection on 13 grounds that he originally stated when Derbyshire County Council opposed the application.

He says he will concentrate on the Green Belt issues.

He says it is inappropriate development, it does not protect the Green Belt and is harmful to the openness of the Green Belt. It  also ignores planning decisions that have been made nearby.

He opposes the removal of hedgerows and concreting large sections of the site, so it does not protect the Green Belt. The rig would blight the area for a number of months. The five-year development would blight the area. It would accommodate 17 different pieces of equipment, including 2m security fencing and additional 4m fencing, acoustic screening of 5m height, lighting rigs up to 9m high, 2.9m power generators, two water tanks up to 3m, a 10m high emergency vent, 4.5m cooling crusher and a blow preventer.

This bulk would be visible from multiple locations across the Moss Valley, Mr Rowley says.

The development does not satisfy the very special circumstances required for an application in the Green Belt, Mr Rowley adds.

The site is 100m from the Moss Valley Conservation Area. The impact of an application should be considered if it is adjacent to a Conservation Area.

It conflicts with the local plan, which says applications should be refused if disturbs a conservation area. This application fails to take account of the Moss Valley Conservation Area.

The landscape of the Moss Valley remains essentially rural and intact, Mr Rowley. The site has had the same characteristics as far as we are aware for centuries.

The use of this area contradicts local plans, including a requirement that proposals should be sympathetic to the landscape. Development should only be permitted when it is in keeping of the character of the countryside and does not represent an intrusion into the countryside.

This PEDL licence includes non-Green Belt land. It cannot be argued that not other sites are suitable. Ineos has not released details of other sites it has considered or are more suitable, Mr Rowley.

A 2014 application in Calow for exploratory drilling was refused by the council and an inquiry. The inspector found it would cause significant harm to the character of the area. The industrial equipment would be an alien feature. Similar points apply to this, Mr Rowley says.

Other applications for the area have been refused on grounds of traffic and visual intrusion. A car boot proposal would have been active for 14 days a year while the proposal by Ineos could be for five years.

It contravenes local and national planning policy, the purpose and openness of the Green Belt and fails to demonstrate any special circumstances needed to justify development in the Green Belt. Mr Rowley asks the inspector to refuse the application.

Mr Rowley says he has spent hundreds of hours with residents who are concerned about the development because it does not comply with local planning policy. He adds that he was a former councillor and cabinet member dealing with planning policy.

He adds that the NPPF says people are put off planning by the presence of experts. We need to show people that they can contribute to planning decision.

Mr Rowley says he was disappointed that Derbyshire County Council officers recommended approval of the application. The council said this is “a strategically important area of greenbelt”. The said the purpose of the Green Belt would be compromised and the openness would be harmed. It was a judgement reached on balance. Mr Rowley says he reached a different judgement.

The council accepted that the Green Belt was important and would be compromised by the development, Mr Rowley says.

David Kesteven, of Eckington Against Fracking, asks Mr Rowley is all parts of the Green Belt are the same. Mr Rowley says applications have to be considered on a case by case basis.

If there is a hierarchy of the Green Belt this would be at the top because it has been untouched.

Mr Kesteven asks how important is this decision to the community. Mr Rowley says it is hugely important. The openness of the Moss Valley, the views from Marsh Lane and High Moor, are very important to local people, he says. It would represent a huge intrusion into the Moss Valley. This area has never been developed in this way.

North East Derbyshire has made huge leaps related to tourism, Mr Rowley says. There is specific reference of the importance of tourism to Eckington Parish in the emerging local plan, he says.

It would be nigh on impossible to attract people to this part of the world, to stay in the area, to do the walks and use the horses if you had this kind of industrial activity and bulk in a former agricultural area that is visible for miles around.

Mr Kesteven says 7m structures on the site would be the height of a two-storey house. Mr Rowley says there is a huge amount of bulk that Ineos seeks to put on the site for the entire development. It is not for three weeks but for five long years, he says.

Mr Rowley says he doesn’t know why Ineos has not provided information about alternative sites. The company has not demonstrated that the site is the only place where minerals can be worked in the entire PEDL licence. 49% of the PEDL is not in the Green Belt. I cannot understand why the “very special circumstances” test has been met.

9.39am: Gloria Havenhand gives evidence for Eckington Against Fracking

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Ms Havenhand tells the inquiry she is a biologist, bee farmer, forester and business-owner.

Her business is within half a mile of proposed shale gas site. Her property has the only remaining hay meadow, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, in the Moss Valley. It is visited by millions of insects. Her bees produce high quality honey.

She says any pollution from air, surface water or ground water within four miles of her business could destroy the ecological value of the hay meadow

Ms Havenhand tells the inquiry her key concern is who is liable for any damage. She suggests that Ineos Shale, the company behind the scheme, has limited assets and is dependent on the parent company, Ineos Industries.

She asks: “Who is Ineos?” The traces the company ownership trail. She spent 30 hours looking at company accounts, she says. None of the Ineos companies are plcs, Ms Havenhand. Holders of shares have no entitlement to speak, attend or vote at any general meeting. This is a gagging clause, Ms Havenhand says.

When we confront Ineos, we don’t confront one company, we confront 80 active companies, she says.

Ms Havenhand says Jim Ratcliffe, the owner of Ineos, should provide personal security.

Gordon Steele, the QC for Ineos, says he has no questions. There is laughter from the public in the hall.

9.30am: Inquiry opens

The inspector, Elizabeth Hill, opens this session of the inquiry.

107 replies »

    • Well, its Sunday again folks, and the sun is shining and i’m off out for a long walk.
      This song was on the radio yesterday, and i thought, hmm, why not?

      So here are:

      The Petrol Shop Boys:
      From the original:
      Pet Shop Boys

      “Fracking Opportunities (Let’s Make Lots Of Money)”

      I’ve got the names, you’ve got the books
      Let’s fake lots of money
      You’ve got the banks, I’ve got the games
      Let’s take lots of –


      I’ve had enough of scheming and messing around with jerks
      My rig is parked outside, I’m afraid it doesn’t work
      I’m looking for a partner, someone who gets things fixed
      Ask yourself this question: Do you want to be filthy rich?

      I’ve got the names, you’ve got the books
      Let’s frack for the money
      You’ve got the gas, I’ve got the flames
      Let’s frack for the money

      You can tell I’m educated, I studied at Babylon
      Doctored in legal gymnastics, I could have been a con
      I can buy a prosecutor, with an injunction anytime
      If you’ve got the disinformation, I’ve got the crime

      Oh, there’s a lot of fracking opportunities
      If you know when to shake them, you know?
      There’s a lot of frigging opportunities
      If there aren’t, we can fake them
      Quake or break them

      I’ve got the names, you’ve got the books
      Let’s frack for the money….
      Let’s frack for the –
      (Aahhhhh) Money
      (Aahhhhh – Drill du da di da bu di ba)

      You can see I’m single-minded, I know what I could be
      How’d you feel about it, come and frack the rock with me?
      I’m looking for a partner, regardless of expense
      Think about it seriously, you know, it makes sense

      Let’s (Got the banks)
      Make (Got the books)
      Let’s fake lots of money (Oohh money)
      (Let’s) We’ll hire the brawn
      (Make) I’ve got the games
      Let’s fake lots of money (Oohh money)

      I’ve got John Maynard Keynes (Got the games)
      You’ve got the books (Got the crooks)
      Let’s frack for the money (Oohh funny!)

      and then this was on the radio this morning, and it needs no changes:

      “This World Today”
      Earth, Wind And Fire

      In this new world
      The world of today
      Now you might think
      That the world has changed
      But boy meets girl
      Same as before
      And they vow their love forever more
      In this world today.

      In this new world
      Of troubled times
      Just you look back
      And I’m sure you’ll find
      Man fighting man
      For no cause at all
      And though it is wrong
      The fighting goes on
      In this world today.

      Why do you say
      We’re in a different bag
      When all the things you did
      Were just as bad.

      In this new world
      Of suffering
      Love, peace of mind
      Should be our thing
      Let man join hands
      The old and the young
      And let every heart
      Now beat as one
      In this world today.

      Love, peace of mind should be our thing
      Love, peace of mind should be our thing
      Love, peace of mind should be our thing.

      Well. have a great Sunday with family and friends, and on this day, perhaps remember that its not the hatred and conflict that changes the world, but love and co-operation and the need to protect future generations from the mistakes of today.

  1. Well Kisheny, that was all very interesting! You will get nowhere with your question. It is just the same as asking about all the “cheap gas and oil sloshing around the world” when wholesale prices increase 22% since March. No answer speaks volumes.

    Top Fun and Wingman keeping you entertained, it seems. (There used to be another Wingman, but we now have a “different” version. Still same technique. No longer original, but that’s the antis for you.)

    A bit like when the tide goes out, the few jagged rocks and the shipwrecks are exposed.

    • Well Martin, it’s very interesting that there are now two posters on here who pose questions but do not really want an answer as it is just a way of saying nothing…..

      So in conclusion:
      In the balance, after 12 months the number of pro fracking comments on Drill or Drop giving conclusive evidence that shale gas extraction is:

      1. Economically viable
      2. Will provide energy security
      3. Is not for plastic
      4. Will replace clean renewable energy production
      5. Won’t cause seismic activity
      6. Won’t pollute ground water
      7. Won’t cause property devaluation
      8. Will stop imports of gas from conflict areas
      9. Is supported by the majority of the UK
      10. Will be better than renewables at slowing climate change

      is…{drum roll]….


      Have a lovely Sunday evening, all 🙂

      p.s. PhilC; love the PSB’s new fracking song!

      • Oil prices low North sea, imported Norweign, and LNG far cheaper than UK shale

        Oil prices high North sea, imported Norweign, and LNG far cheaper than UK shale

        I see an obvious problem with UK shale. It’s not hard to spot unless you have been funding the industry and are wearing blinkers.

        • The North Sea and Canada are the most expensive places to extract oil (I’ve worked both areas many times, you?)

          Norwegian exports of gas are on the decline. As you know the Norwegians have thrown Greenpeace out of court for trying to stop them exploiting the Arctic circle

          LNG is twice as expensive and has a bigger carbon footprint than piped gas, it is also susceptible to price increases at times of high demand. The U.K experienced this during our beast from the East cold snap and we are particularly at risk of this due to our low gas storage capability. We are all now paying for this in our increased energy bills.

          So I wouldn’t worry too much John. Economics and the need for a secure supply will be the end result…

          • A reminder

            North sea, imported Norweign, and LNG far cheaper than UK shale

            I have posted numerous times the costs of North sea gas, Norweign piped gas, and the landed price of LNG. All are cheaper to produce and import than UK shale.

            Please post the actual figures that prove this is incorrect

            You may wish to start with Bloomberg, EY, OIES, and Centrica who have all given their predictions on the cost of UK shale.

            Then post the production costs of North sea gas, Norweign piped gas, and LNG.

            Please use trends to back up your proof as just posting 1 off examples makes you look foolish

            Please post the facts that we do not export large amounts of gas to add weight to your security concerns

            Please confirm that this statement does not originate from our Government and confirm the Government has stated we have an insecure gas supply

            ‘Government security of supply assessments have conservatively assumed no shale contributions during the next 20 years’.

            No worries about my boiler starting up like it has been doing for decades.

            It must be dreadful to live with the insecurities of thinking every day the lights will go out and you may freeze to death.

            • Right from the word go John your argument is flawed…

              Your statement

              “North sea, imported Norweign, and LNG far cheaper than UK shale”

              How can you make such a statement when the U.K won’t start to produce shale gas until a few weeks from now???

              I have worked in the locations You’ve mentioned for many years in the oil, gas and the intermittent renewables sector

              You mentioned you have no worries what so ever about your GAS boiler (noticed you couldn’t even type the word) starting up. That just proves what a good job we are doing in the energy sector to give you such peace of mind. The investment and work with many years of forward thinking to achieve this confidence is incredible.

              So leave it to the people who know what they are doing

              So John if you are so engaged in this issue get an ASHP installed, solar on your roof…

              How much! Errrrrr… What John you’re going to stick with your gas boiler… o.k…

            • I wonder how often the industry politely asks the pro frackers on this site to stop posting?

              Their comments seem to be supported by either a friends mothers uncle or a weird obsession to non windy days.

              Hardly presenting the pro shale argument in a professional way now is it?

      • Hi Sher, it’s no problem, it’s interesting to see these disgruntled anti anti recidivists desperately trying to divert away from the fracking debacle subject in hand, back into into a sputtering venom spitting flamefest? Which appears to be their only “skill” (one “s” too many there?)

        Ignore them they are a spent false.

        I saw that Jack Reacher dvd movie last night, a bit violent for my tastes, but there was a scene where two idiots try to beat up Jack in a bathroom, and the result is much like the utter failure of these anti anti flamers to reduce everything about this fracking debacle to personal attacks? Self defeating.

        I won’t provide a link, but look up “Jack Reacher house fight”, it’s quite violent, so parental guidance is advised, the anti antis should be having their grotesque frack nap now?

        I think I will rename that scene:

        Frack Preacher Grouse Flight??

        I liked the summarised list of failures of the PR protagonists btw Sher? Quite accurate, nothing is proved here or anywhere else, and in attempting to cover up the awful truth about fracking, they have unwittingly revealed the glaring gaping voids in the process and the operation and the complicity of government.

        It’s 6 England vs 1 Panama all over again? Except Panama did better?

        Let’s get back to the subject of this fracking debacle now that petty little anti anti flurry of self aggrandisement has exhausted itself?

        • Phil I think your analogy between a Tom Cruise fight scene and the differences of opinions of pro and anti u.k shale is spot on.

          You honestly believe a 5 foot 7 inch 55 year old man is capable of beating off multiple attackers?

          Reminds me of the time I posted last night, solar obviously supplying none of our energy needs and wind couldn’t even provide 3%

          The difference between fantasy and reality…

          The electricity you used last night to watch Tom Cruise was provided by gas…

          Right now solar is heating up at 9.65% & wind now dropped to 1.26%

          Gas is providing 51% of our electricity…

          • ‘You honestly believe a 5 foot 7 inch 55 year old man is capable of beating off multiple attackers?’ Hah Tom [ego trip and vertically challenged] Cruise is just an actor; he is NOT Jack Reacher.

            Now the ‘real’ Jack Reacher is 6 ft 5, 250-pounds and built like a brick ‘poo’ [just in case you are an older conservative who may be offended] house; multiple attackers, no probs!

            ‘The electricity you used last night to watch Tom Cruise was provided by gas…’ – incorrect, it was a mix, and for some no gas at all.

            Now let’s get to business. The real price of fossil fuel:
            ‘Grassroots schemes can slash electricity bills in half at a time when the “big six” energy companies have raised their prices so that the average household is paying £1,150 to £1,200 a year.’

            ‘Subsidies can hedge the risks, but in 2015 the government cut them for green energy, including the “feed-in tariff” households get for supplying excess energy back to the national grid, capping the total at £100m by 2019. Fossil fuel subsidies are more than 30 times higher – companies running oil or coal-fired power stations received more than £3bn last year through the capacity market, funded partly by household fuel bills.’

            So, should we drop the subsidies on all, show the consumer the real price of energy; stand back and watch what happens?

    • Thanks Martin the antis are getting very frustrated as the reality of U.K shale is now weeks away

      They seem to be hoping one of Ian R Cranes conspiracys come true…

      The latest news Sir Jim Ratcliffe is putting big business into Hull, the Government will rip his hand off with Brexit on the horizon and Airbus etc threatening to pull the plug. Looks like the SNP pressured by the green party have shot themselves massively in the foot trying to gloss over the truth. Pretty sure Grangemouth workers will be quite annoyed to say the least…

      Ineos in Hull, shale gas feeding the plant from Ineos sites. Teesside Freeport… I’m just joining the dots here…

  2. “Far cheaper than UK shale”

    Nice to see John still speculating. He didn’t do very well (excuse the pun) with his past speculation regarding “cheap oil and gas” but he must think he is a new Vince Cable, and eventually he will get one right and be pronounced an economic “expert”.

    I think I will be more inclined to go with someone who spends $10 billion to bring US shale gas to Europe and then calculates it may be economic to produce it within Europe. His recent track record in calculating investment economics is somewhat better.

    By the way, John, have you added in the £billions required to protect vulnerable pipelines?

    • Well its a beautiful day in the garden, the flowers are buzzing with bees the birds were singing at 5.00am this morning and its hot weeding and watering.

      So as I sit under the awning and sip an ice cold juice, and look at Drill Or Drop and what do I see?

      PR still labouring……torying…..under a hot PR desk?

      I think you miss the point as usual kish, deliberately so i guess, its analogous, all movies are analogous, much as the two analogous Jack Reacher dumbass crazies totally miss their target, the analogy is, the way in which a normal person of any age needs no special ability if the self declared opponents are incompetent, unfortunately it is an accurate analogy of the PR fracking disaster.

      Let’s look at “fantasy” shall we? A lot of that flung around here without any substantiation just as an epithet, just one more on the growing silly list, as if that somehow has any relevance?

      Let’s see what the Frack Preacher analogy or “fantasy” if you prefer, is really about shall we?
      The entire fracking debacle is built on “fantasy”.

      1. Economically viable, proven to be “fantasy”,
      2. Will provide energy security, proven to be “fantasy”,
      3. Is not for plastic, proven to be “fantasy”,
      4. Will replace clean renewable energy production, proven to be “fantasy”,
      5. Won’t cause seismic activity, proven to be “fantasy”,
      6. Won’t pollute ground water, proven to be “fantasy”,
      7. Won’t cause property devaluation, proven to be “fantasy”,
      8. Will stop imports of gas from conflict areas, proven to be “fantasy”,
      9. Is supported by the majority of the UK, proven to be “fantasy”
      10. Will be better than renewables at slowing climate change, proven to be “fantasy”,
      11. Safe operation, proven to be “fantasy”,
      12. World class gold standard regulations, proven to be “fantasy”,
      13. Public safety, proven to be “fantasy”,
      14. Benefit to tax payers, proven to be “fantasy”,
      15. Operational competence, proven to be “fantasy”,
      16. National significant infrastructure contribution, proven to be “fantasy”,
      17. Governmental independence, proven to be “fantasy”,
      18. Freedom of peaceful protest and demonstration, proven to be “fantasy”,
      19. Russian influence, proven to be “fantasy”,
      20. Professional protesters, proven to be “fantasy”,
      21. Dog poisoning by protesters, proven to be “fantasy”,
      22. Rig damage by protesters, proven to be “fantasy”,
      23. Compliance with planning regulations and conditions, proven to be “fantasy”,
      24. Compliance with regulations of any kind, proven to be “fantasy”,
      25. No land pollution, proven to be “fantasy”,
      26. No “significant” health effects, proven to be “fantasy”,
      27. No danger to local communities, proven to be “fantasy”,
      28. No “significant” impact on unsuitable rural roads, proven to be “fantasy”,
      29. No “significant” danger to local drivers, equestrians and children, proven to be “fantasy”,
      30. No “significant” noise, proven to be “fantasy”,
      31. No escape of chemicals and gasses, proven to be “fantasy”,
      32. No dangers from toxic fracking waste disposal, proven to be “fantasy”,
      33. Declared locations of disposal plants capable of dealing with the volumes of toxic fracking waste, proven to be “top secret” or inaccurate or downright evasive,
      34. Number of vehicles carrying fresh water one way and toxic waste the other, proven to be “top secret” or inaccurate or downright evasive,
      35. Long term safety, proven to be “fantasy”,
      36. Emergency procedures, proven to be “secret” or inaccurate or downright evasive,
      37. Capable of long term stop gap from other Fossil fuels, proven to be “fantasy”,
      38. Capable of competing with renewable energy sources for both economy and efficiency and long term reliability, Proven to be “fantasy”,
      39. Capable of replacing or competing with renewable energy sources, proven to be “fantasy”,
      40. Any long term benefits to tax payer at all, proven to be “fantasy”,
      41. Viability for investment, proven to be “fantasy”,

      42. And, Oh, yes, rip off by scam merchants running away to offshore tax haven bank accounts whilst leaving the tax payer with the bill to clean up the fracking debacle devastated polluted country, proven to be…..right…..

      41:1 Even Panama did better than that!

      A Fracking Fantasy debacle isn’t it?

      get out more, its a lovely SUNny day!

  3. Desperation setting in now!

    OK then John. We have a grain harvest starting in a few weeks time. We have had one every year for centuries and yet the actual price for that grain will be uncertain until it is in the barn, dried, quality is determined and national volumes also determined. Then, you can add in world harvest statistics on top of that. (Missed out a number of other factors, but good for starters.)

    But with UK shale gas, which has yet to be produced for the first time, you know what it will cost!!

    The return of Mystic Meg, or classic fake news?

    Common sense exam result-fail.

    • Out of all Phil’s rambling nonsense, not one fact

      1.Sir Jim Ratcliffe is so sure it WILL be economically viable he is setting up a new Ineos Operation in Hull on his shale gas doorstep.

      £Billions of investment from local Hull boy done good…

      [Edited by moderator]

      • [Edited by moderator] Ideologically flawed fantasy fracking world. Just empty words [edited by moderator] , no justification, no substantiation whatsoever. Proof absent, no fracking way. Just deny deny deny.

        As for your “poster boy” fantasy pseudoscience alchemists? Ha!Ha! 41:1 against, no contest!

        Well, I will waste no more valuable gardening time on PR fantasy alchemical pseudoscience space wasters.

        Have a nice day in the PR office!

        Back to the real world of nature.

        • Angry Phil C, angry That’s all you seem to focus on when the universe has so much more to offer!

          After reading your post, to be honest I stopped at 1 which keeps me in a calm zone, I Don’t understand your motivation for other numbers. If as you state u.k shale gas is not economically viable it would stop in a second. So why worry, sit back relax and find the inner you, safe in the knowledge that because of your unabiding belief it would cost too much it won’t happen.

          I take it that what your saying is that is your last post, You’ve explained what will happen. DOD will just stop as u.k shale gas won’t happen because of money. O.K. see ya…

            • Come on Kish, 100% evidence shale gas extraction won’t cause seismic activity; am waiting…..

            • The traffic light system Sher that you know full well about…

              Let’s work at a higher level please…

            • Ahh; so this is low level?
              The ‘answer’ you have given, without any evidence, is not the answer. The traffic light ‘system’ is a monitoring system, not 100% evidence that shale gas extraction won’t cause seismic activity;
              nope, will have to do better than that….still waiting.

        • Sorry Phil P or Phil C, the same I take it. Not very pc…

          I didn’t get past number 1

          The bit were it states U.K shale gas will not be economically viable…

          How do you know Phil???

          Oh I’ve just looked at number 2, energy security. Wouldn’t you agree that having many decades worth of energy, becoming self sufficient with said supply a couple of hundred metres from the main grid system is second to none when talking about energy security?

          • Cool , so on the evidence of one point you claim there is not one fact there? Great powers of deduction you have. Shows how statements and claims get made to deceive.

            • I didn’t put economic viability at the top of the list you !

              And seeing that your top No.1 & No.2 are incorrect by a long mark, we need to address this before moving down the list.

              Do you stand by your top 2 statements as being a fantasy?

            • I’ve got a fact for you Phil

              Swansea tidal lagoon living up to your No.1 point

              Greg Clark has just announced that the Swansea tidal lagoon is not economically viable for the intermittent energy produced…

            • We are not the same Phil. When have I ever attacked you with a rhyming couplet? If you address me as Philip or PhilipP it will be plainer to get your point across.

    • One for Martin and his stats…
      100% evidence that shale gas extraction Is supported by the majority of the UK; this should be fun.

      • Come on Sher the antis are a minority movement out of the whole U.K you also know through this site that support for shale is rising…

        • Nope, try again; you can refer to latest government stats if you need; the question was asked of MC, but perhaps you two are one and the same?
          Remember the requirement is for 100% evidence that shale gas extraction is supported by the majority of the UK….

          New ‘balls’ please.

  4. That’s the trouble with this sun stuff, Kisheny. Direct action in terms of sun stroke or indirect in terms of too many libations! (“The pouring out of a drink offering to a god”-synonymous with antidepressant-for the benefit of PhilipP.)

    Back to my good book.

    (Good to see the Daily Mile is scheduled for expansion.)

    • Why do you bother with these ‘numpties’ guys? They are not even real people…..

      Shale has already failed; no fracking today, or tomorrow.

      Boris off to Afghanistan, maybe Greg has gone to carry his bags? Holiday perhaps or maybe to sell more guns? I wonder, did they flew out of Heathrow; Bo’s constituents well pleased. Close the door behind you blues.

      • Just watching Greg on tv

        £1.3 Billion for an intermittent white elephant that would produce 0.not very much of our energy needs…

        Common sense prevails

        Green gangsters fail, no family business quarrying stone in Cornwall…

      • Gotta love Greg saying how much offshore wind is great

        Right now as he speaks Offshore wind isn’t even producing 1% of our energy needs…


        • And love how he [doesn’t] love shale as he still hasn’t given the all clear [ironic statement].
          Right now shale 0% of our energy needs.
          You are slipping.

          • Cheap shot Sher.

            Greg and Brokenshire on the same song sheet

            You know It’s coming and this is a good indicator…

            • Not an answer; diversion; still no evidence?
              Coming to the end of the game? You have used up all but one of your players. Last chance; roll the dice.

          • Sir Ed Davey lib dems guessing it will come down in price after the first project

            Lib dems happy to gamble with £Billions of tax payers money…


          • Angry people

            Greg tells them it would cost £30 Billion more for the same electricity going down the lagoon route…

            • Lagoon costs versus nuclear

              The developers had previously asked for a 90-year contract with the UK government with an average strike price – a guaranteed price for the electricity generated – of £89.90 per megawatt hour.

              The new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C in Somerset was given a strike price of £92.50/MWh for 35 years.

              Lead the world in Lagoon power or get shafted with nuclear nightmare which has huge waste issues.

              I have to pinch myself to prove this nonsense is actually happening.

              Well Greg if it’s just about value for money you best get on with onshore wind which is the cheapest form of energy generation.

            • So the additional cost would work out over 19 years as 10p per day per household. A small price for a clean planet.

              ‘the move was immediately criticised by MPs and local politicians from across south-west Wales, who described the news as “devastating” for the region which would have benefited from an economic boost’

              ‘Plaid Cymru tabled a vote of no confidence in the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns at the National Assembly for Wales following the Government announcement’

              ‘Emma Gibson, Senior Campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said: “A government that styles itself as an international leader in tackling climate change has just rejected the opportunity to become the international leader in developing tidal lagoons that produce clean energy day and night, and whose prices would have fallen after this first demonstration project.”


      • I agree Sherwulfe, we should not bother with just a few multiple I.D PR merchants filling out space with diversions to prevent the real issues being discussed.

        I suggest we converse with each other on the important subjects, and ignore the PR hot (at least overheated) deskers.

        Clearly they have nothing less to say and anything controversial is forbidden.

  5. Well, the voters in Cornwall should be happy now!

    Interesting how many idiots in Westminster are still calling for the scheme to proceed even when it has been explained this project is not marginal, but totally uneconomic by a country mile. Tax payers money seems to be a sweety jar to pay for their own opinions.

    • Frightening to see and hear so many MPs ignorant to not only the technology, supply chain jobs produced (Just over 2000 for a couple of years) but most importantly the cost to the bill payer which would increase bills to crazy levels, by that stage way too late…

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