Daily headlines

August 2018 drilling headlines

prn 180801 Frances Smart 1

Sign outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, 1 August 2018. Photo: Frances Smart

August 2018 sees Cuadrilla prepare to frack its site at Preston New Road. There are meetings to decide  oil site proposals in Surrey and Lincolnshire. The latest government survey results on attitudes to shale gas will be published and the outcome of a legal challenge to UKOG’s protest injunction is also expected.

You can keep up with the news here 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

  • Ineos Upstream granted planning permission after an appeal to explore for shale gas at Bramleymoor Lane, in the village of Marsh Lane, Derbyshire
  • Talk Fracking and the Mayor of Malton begin legal challenges to government fracking policy
  • Cuadrilla applies to frack second horizontal shale gas well near Blackpool
  • Angus Energy granted retrospective permission for disputed oil well at Brockham
  • Is Third Energy’s Vale of Pickering pipeline in the wrong place?
  • Egdon’s Wressle plans refused by North Lincolnshire councillors again
  • Government publishes report on increased air pollution from shale gas three years late
  • And drops question on attitudes to fracking from quarterly poll
  • Cuadrilla breaches another environmental permit condition at Preston New Road – the sixth since operations began
  • Survey finds most Tory councillors oppose government plans to bypass local authorities on shale gas decisions
  • Health professionals call for moratorium on fracking and investigation into health impacts
  • Plans announced for inquiry to hear IGas appeal over Ellesmere Port well test

31 August 2018

Rotherham planners back Ineos shale gas drilling at Woodsetts – decision due at planning board meeting next week. DrillOrDrop report on planners’ conclusions, RothBiz

Picture Post: campaigners are “visionaries”, says shadow minister on visit to shale gas site at Preston New Road and potential site at Alcar Moss in Lancashire. DrillOrDrop report

30 August 2018


Villager hit by tractor during protest at Ineos shale gas site at Marsh Lane in Derbyshire. DrillOrDrop report, Derbyshire Times, Derbyshire Live (3/9/2018), Peak FM (4/9/2018)

Europa seeks another year for protest injunction at Leith Hill oil site – High Court hearing scheduled for next week. DrillOrDrop report

Another oil company sells stake in Horse Hill. Solo Oil sells 15% shareholding in HHDL for £4.5m worth of shares in UKOG. DrillOrDrop report

Grandmother found guilty of obstructing the high over “act of conscience” protest against fracking. DrillOrDrop report

How the US fracking boom almost fell apart. In a long read for the Guardian , Bethany McLean describes how the shale success story nearly became a disaster. She writes:

“Because so few fracking companies actually make money, the most vital ingredient in fracking isn’t chemicals, but capital, with companies relying on Wall Street’s willingness to fund them. It if weren’t for historically low interest rates, it’s not clear there would even have been a fracking boom at all.”

29 August 2018

180824 Manchester report foiResponse to FOI request reveals some details of how Greater Manchester Combined Authority substituted fracking in case study about grooming by extremists. Updated DrillOrDrop report

Police use batons, pepper spray to break up Groningen anti-gas demo. DutchNews.nl reports on police action to move sitting protesters against gas extraction in Groningen province on 28 August 2018. Several hundred people took part in the demonstration.

Scores of environmental groups call for government to abandon support for UK’s largest gas power plant. The Independent reports on 73 environmental groups, including the Green Party and Friends of the Earth, who have written to the government urging it not to support plans by Drax to replace its coal-fired plants near Selby with gas-powered alternatives. the groups say the increased demand for gas would incentivise fracking.

Biscathorpe drilling scheduled for autumn. Union Jack Oil reports that it expects to drill the Biscathorpe 2 well in October or November and complete site construction by September. Proactive Investors

28 August 2018

180308 Pickering Tony Almond edit

Tony Almond of the HSE

Extended interview with Tony Almond of the HSE oil and gas policy team: Planning for emergencies and accidents at oil and gas sites. DrillOrDrop report

The government can’t hide from public opinion on fracking. Green Party peer, Baroness Jenny Jones, writing in the Huffington Post, cites the move to publish public attitudes statistics on fracking as an example of the “full frontal attack on our functioning democracy”.

Mexico’s President-elect promises to ban fracking. Energy Live news reports that Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said the company would no longer use the method to extract oil and gas.

Jules Marley: Fracking will be kiss of death for rural Yorkshire, and not a magic wand for the economy. Jules Marley, regional chair of CPRE Yorkshire and the Humber, writing in a column in the Yorkshire Post, dismisses comments by fracking campaigner Lorraine Allanson that shale gas will resuscitate Yorkshire’s dying economy. Jules Marley says:

“Quite simply, there just isn’t enough room to manage everything to ensure the viability of existing rural business, build affordable homes, provide food and protect, enhance our valued and valuable countryside and gobble up land for fracking.

“Fracking is being thrust upon the county by people from outside. It’s no wonder the words ‘The Yorkshire Sacrifice Zone’ have been used by some commentators. We need to stop, think and work out a compromise for this generation and the next… and the next.”

27 August 2018

Shadow international trade secretary, Barry Gardiner, to visit current and potential Lancashire shale gas sites – plus listings of other events this week. DrillOrDrop report. Southport online news (4/9/2018), Champion (5/9/2018)

Fall of the ‘Frack Master’: an apostle who briefed parliament lands in Texas jail. The Guardian reports on Chris Faulkner, the self-appointed evangelist of the fracking boom, who is now under arrest for fraud. In the autumn/winter of 2013 he was one of 16 witnesses who appeared before a parliamentary committee.

24 August 2018

Alba Mineral Resources promises rest of the year will be a busy one. Proactive Investors reports comments in Alba’s six month results. The company said there had been “a significant hiatus” in its oil and gas investments in the Weald Basin but it is now “seeing welcome progress” at Horse Hill and Brockham”.

YP Letters: Imposing fracking on us is a form of bullying. Dr Peter Williams, writing to the Yorkshire Post, calls on Ryedale MP, Kevin Hollinrake, to protest at what he describes as bullying by the government in classifying non-fracking shale gas projects as permitted development, without the need for planning permission.

23 August 2018

Tinker Lane anti-fracking campaigners face eviction from council-owned land at Barnby Moor in north Nottinghamshire. DrillOrDrop re;port

Vivienne Michael MVDC

Council leader says Surrey earthquake link to oil operations cannot be “completely ruled out. DrillOrDrop report on statement by Mole Valley District Council leader, Vivienne Michael (left), calling for a halt to oil sites if they are implicated in recent earthquakes. Surrey Live (22/8/2018), Daily Express (28/8/2018)

Marc Willers QC instructed to represent Paul Andrews, Mayor of Malton, in his legal challenge to government policy. Garden House Chambers reports that it is working for Mr Andrews in his judicial review of the Written Ministerial Statement, issued on 17 May 2018, on changes to planning rules for shale gas applications.

Trial date. The Blackpool Gazette reports that five people will go on trial on 30 November before Blackpool’s new district judge, Jane Goodwin. They all deny obstructing the road outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site and offences brought under trades union legislation.

Knight Flight. Private Eye reports on the decision by Jim Ratcliffe, owner of Ineos, to move to Monaco. The magazine speculates whether the Sunday Times, which was given access to unpublished financial figures when compiling its rich list, will get the same access for the 2019 version.

180823 ShTel Inquiry cartoon.jpg

Cartoon from the Sheffield Telegraph, 23 August 2018.

Fracking in Pennsylvania is too close to residents for safety: Study.  Environmental Health News reports that a study from the peer-reviewed journal, PLOS One, found that 16 our of 18 experts consulted said fracking facilities should be at least a quarter of a mile (402m) from the nearest occupied building. Link to research paper

22 August 2018

Jury finds three guilty of public nuisance over lorry surfing protest near Cuadrilla’s shale gas site. DrillOrDrop report

EA grants new permit for Balcombe oil site – but orders work before flow testing can start. DrillOrDrop report

Officials block release details of minister’s talks with fracking industry in the “public interest”. DrillOrDrop report, DeSmogUK (23/8/2018)

UK fracking push could fuel global plastics crisis, say campaigners. The Guardian reports comments by Campaign to Protect Rural England that fracking would not only destroy large areas of countryside but also exacerbate the global plastic binge. Daniel Carey-Dawes, campaigner at CPRE, tells the paper:

“By opening the floodgates to fracking, the government will be fuelling the plastic plague that is already putting our countryside, cities and oceans at risk of irreversible harm.”

Campaigners vow to keep fighting after controversial drilling plans approved for Derbyshire village. The Derbyshire Times reports on the decision and reaction to grant planinng permission to Ineos for exploratory shale gas drilling in Marsh Lane. See DrillOrDrop report from 16/8/2018

Action “not in council name”. The Gazette and Herald reports on a statement from Malton Town Council that legal action taken by Cllr Paul Andrews is in a private capacity and not as mayor. Local Government Lawyer

Rosie Cooper MP comments on fracking at Altcar. Local Southport reports comments by the local MP, Rosie Cooper, who says she opposes all plans to frack in the UK, including at Altcar in West Lancashire. She tells the website:

“As part of the campaign, I have invited the Shadow Energy Secretary Barry Gardiner MP to join me on site in Altcar to consider the many, many concerns and hear directly from residents of West Lancashire. This is the tip of the iceberg – if Altcar goes to plan, Ormskirk, Burscough or Skelmersdale could be next.”

Mark Lawrenson visits AFC Fylde’s £5m education sports centre. The Blackpool Gazette reports on the new centre at Wesham, make possible by funding from Cuadrilla Resources.

20 January 2018

Horse Hill oil site blockaded by protesters

Protest outside the Horse Hill site in Surrey, 20 August 2018. Photo: RodHarbinson.com

Picture post: Blockade at Horse Hill and campaign speakers at fracking site. DrillOrDrop report. Surrey Live (24/8/2018)

UKOG acquires further interest in Horse Hill site and licences. UK Oil and Gas plc announces it has acquired the 7% shareholding of Gynsynd and Primorus in Horse Hill Developments Ltd – the operator and 65% interest holder in the Horse Hill site and PEDL licences 137 and 246. Proactive Investors, Stock Market Wire

UK’s richest man Jim Ratcliffe forced out of the shadows. Business Times reports that the Ineos owner has found himself under unusual scrutiny.

Four anti-frackers guilty of obstructing the highway. The Blackpool Gazette reports that Louise Castro, Richard Holloran, Jeanette Porter and Diane Steels were found guilty after taking part in a lock-on protest on the A583 outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Little Plumpton. They said they were not on the highway because a blue line painted by council staff between the road and Cuadrilla’s land was in the wrong place. The court disagreed after hearing evidence from the council’s highways engineer. Louise Castro and Diane Steels received a 12-month conditional discharge, Richard Hollaran 18 months and Jeanette Porter 24 months. They were each ordered to pay £70 costs.

Exclusive: Shell took 16 years to warn shareholders of climate risks, despite knowing in private all along. DeSmog reports an investigation which shows that Shell started commissioning confidential work as early as 1981 on the impact of burning fossil fuels on climate.

19 August 2018

What’s happening this week? DrillOrDrop events listing from 20-26 August 2018.

Comment: Scotland’s fracking is a ‘pseudo-ban’. The Edinburgh Reporter reports on the Scottish government moratorium on fracking and its extension of the exploration licence in central Scotland to Ineos.

Recent sun should “ring political alarm bells”, says Stroud MEP. Stroud News reports comments by Molly Scott Cato says government policy on fracking, third Heathrow runway and support for renewable energy show ministers are “going backwards on policies needed to address the planetary emergency of climate change”.

Need for response. Phil and Chris Rowland, of Pickering, writing to the Gazette and Herald, respond to a letter by Lorraine Allanson earlier this month predicting a new golden age with fracking. They say:

“There is every reason to think that the government and the authorities are putting the interests of big business before those of people.”

18 August 2018

Anger as ‘fracking’ company wins permission to dig for shale gas in Derbyshire. Derbyshire Live follows up on the announcement on 16/8/2018 that Ineos has permission for shale gas exploration at Marsh Lane.

More Sheffield politicians condemn go-ahead for fracking exploration near city. The Sheffield Star has more reaction to the Ineos go-ahead (see 16/8/2018)

17 August 2018

Friends of the EarthFriends of the Earth calls for ban on acid stimulation of onshore oil and gas wells. The risks are similar to those for fracking, the regulations aren’t strong enough and there are gaps in knowledge, it says. DrillOrDrop report, The Ecologist (27/8/2018)

Fracking: How an industry and the government are working against the people. Natalie Bennett, former Green Party leader, writing in Left Foot Forward, says:

“The government and the companies are fighting a losing battle. Without public consent, this industry cannot go ahead – and the public will not consent to this abuse of our future.”

Earthquakes raise concerns as commercial fracking moves closer. The Ecologist reports on earthquakes in Surrey and fracking in Lancashire.

16 August 2018

Breaking: Ineos gets go-ahead for first shale gas exploration in Derbyshire. DrillOrDrop report, Sheffield Star news story, and reaction PeakFM, BBC News, Derbyshire Times, The Times (17/8/2018), Rigzone (17/8/2018), LocalGov (17/8/2018)

Geologists challenge oil companies’ statements on Surrey earthquakes. DrillOrDrop report

Wave 26 public attitudes

Question on public attitudes to fracking dropped from quarterly government survey for the first time since 2013. DrillOrDrop report, Guardian, Energy Voice, Business Green, DeSmogUK, Morning Star (17/8/2018), Independent (18/8/2018), Oil Price, The Times (17/8/2018), Utility Week (17/8/2018), Planning Resource (17/8/2018 – subscription only)

Officer’s fear at ‘hostile’ protest at Cuadrilla’s site on Preston New Road. The Blackpool Gazette reports on the court case of Sarah Rugden, cleared by magistrates of resisting arrest and convicted of climbing on a truck.

15 August 2018

Government shale gas planning changes a “sad blow to public engagement” – Conservative council leader. DrillOrDrop report on comments by leader of Conservative Derbyshire County Council.

IGas challenge over Ellesmere Port well test heads for public inquiry. DrillOrDrop report

Scientists warn fracking could cause water shortages after usage shoots up by 800% in parts of US. The Independent reports on a study by Duke University which warned that “water could very soon become a limiting factor for the industry”. Link to study in Science Advances

14 August 2018


Cuadrilla warned over another environmental breach at Lancashire fracking site. DrillOrDrop report on breach of waste management at Preston New Road. The Times (16/8/2018), BBC News (15/8/2018), ENDS (16/8/2018 – subscription only), Blackpool Gazette (17/8/2018)

Three councillors on community liaison group for Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site write to ministers to complain that information is not being shared by the regulator and the group is being underminedDrillOrDrop report, Energy Live News

Health experts join calls for investigation into impacts of fracking. Letter seeks inquiry by parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee. DrillOrDrop report, The National (15/8/2018), Blackpool Gazette (21/8/2018)

Aurora Energy Resources: A Ferrari-loving oilman bets on fracking. Corporate Watch reports that Aurora is owned by a multi-millionaire oil magnate through companies registered in the tax haven of Jersey. The website also reports that Managing Director, Ian Roche, stands to gain over £5m if explorations are successful and the company is sold. But Aurora is currently struggling financially and has had to ask for new investment to keep its operations going, Corporate Watch reports.

Nafferton votes to be frack free. In a ballot by Nafferton Against Fracking in East Yorkshire, 97% of participants said they’d like the village to be declared frack free. The parish council has supported the vote and will oppose fracking applications. 34% of ballot papers were returned.

Viewpoint: Why Catholics stand against fracking in Lancashire. Bob Turner, writing in Independent Catholic News, says:

“Fossil fuels must stay in the ground and we need to stop our binge on single use plastic as soon as possible … or the future is very bleak for our grandchildren and their children.”

13 August 2018

Cuadrilla: Q & A with boss of energy firm that will carry out Britain’s first frack. Compelo Energy talks to Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, on criticism from environmentalists and why he thinks fracking can reduce the UK’s reliance on imported gas.

Government reports delayed until after fracking authorised by local councils. Owen McDonough, writing to the Mid Sussex Times refers to a publication of a report on air quality impacts of fracking delayed by ministers for three years and a call by four geologists for a moratorium on oil and gas operations in Surrey.

12 August 2018

Paul Andrews

Paul Andrews, Mayor of Malton, who has launched a legal challenge against the government’s Written Ministerial Statement on fracking

N Yorks Mayor launches legal challenge to government plans to fast-track fracking. DrillOrDrop report, Morning Star, The Canary, Energy Live News, Yorkshire Post, BBC News (14/8/2018), Gazette and Herald (15/8/18)

What’s happening this week? 12-19 August 2018. DrillOrDrop weekly diary of events about UK fracking, onshore oil and gas and campaigning.

Earthquake alert: UK could be hit by tremors similar to America, expert warns. The Express reports comments by retired engineer, John Busby, that fracking could cause serious harm to the environment and problems from the difficulty of disposing of wastewater.  He said to make fracking viable, the UK would have to abandon EU regulations.

11 August 2018

Three new applications for Europa’s oil exploration site near Leith Hill in Surrey. DrillOrDrop report

YP Letters: Fracking air pollution data revealed. Dr Peter Williams, writing to the Yorkshire Post and Northern Echo, refers to a three-year-old report on fracking and air pollution, published recently by the government. Dr Williams says:

“The Thirsk and Malton MP, Kevin Hollinrake, has always maintained that environmental quality would be safeguarded, but the scientific evidence of this expert group shows that view to be complacent.”

10 August 2018

Campaign group, Talk Fracking, takes first step in legal challenge to government changes to planning policy on fracking. DrillOrDrop report, Energy Voice (11/8/2018)

Anti-frackers demand energy research centre won’t investigate shale gas. The Chester Chronicle reports calls by Frack Free Dee on the British Geological Survey to drop the shale gas research element of its proposed energy research centre at Ince Marshes near Chester.

Lorraine Allanson: Fracking in Yorkshire can spark a rural revival and help to combat fuel poverty. Here’s how. Pro-fracking B&B owner, Lorraine Allanson, writing in the Yorkshire Post, says community payments from shale gas could fund rural shops, bus services, energy efficiency and heating for vulnerable people. She says:

“No other industry offers the huge benefits that the shale gas industry is doing and we should grasp this extraordinary opportunity with both hands.”

9 August 2018

‘Government is using Lancashire residents as guinea pigs in a fracking impacts experiment, doctors tell energy minister. DrillOrDrop report. BBC News (10/8/2018)

Britain’s wealthiest businessman Jim Ratcliffe is ‘leaving the country and taking his £21bn fortune to Monaco’. The Daily Mail reports that Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the head of Ineos, is moving to Monaco. The reasons are unknown. The Telegraph reports that Ineos headquarters will remain in London. Two other senior executives, Andy Currie and John Reece, are also relocating to the area. The Times

Document suggests SNP ministers did not support a permanent fracking ban. Herald Scotland reports the Scottish Government has distanced itself from an official document which suggests it did not support a permanent ban on fracking just days before it announced it had “effectively” outlawed the controversial practice. Previously unseen papers state ministers did not “support the notion of a permanent ban” because technology could improve and public attitudes may change.

Petition launched against fracking in York. The York Press reports Lberal Democrat councillors have launched a petition calling on energy companies not to frack in York.

Protesters march on Preston New Road over fracking site safety concerns. The Blackpool Gazette reports on yesterday’s weekly “women in white” rally outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site. County Councillor, Gina Dowding, told the paper:

“It is very concerning given that they have now been given the definitive go ahead with fracking by the government. It has made all our worries that much more immediate. “It’s important here that the local community know that if something went wrong on-site here, that there is plan and they would be protected.”

Anti-fracker named “squirrel” bit cop’s hand at protest in Bassetlaw. The Gainsborough Standard reports on a court case involving Ross Monahagn, who locked  himself to a fellow protesters outside the IGas site at Tinker Lane on 14 May  2018. He was ordered to do 80 days unpaid work and pay £300 in costs, £50 in compensation and an £85 government surcharge.

8 August 2018

Breaking: Angus Energy application on Brockham oil well approved – live updates. DrillOrDrop report, BBC News, London South East, Shares Magazine

180808 SCC planning meeting 2

Surrey campaigners shocked by approval of Angus Energy’s “unauthorised” oil well at Brockham. DrillOrDrop report

Angus Energy reports former chairman, Jonathan Tidswell, holds 6.15% of shares. A statement by Angus Energy reveals that Jonathan Tidswell has again cross the threshold for reporting shareholdings in the company. DrillOrDrop reported that he transferred to a company as security for a loan.

History of oil & gas production from shale in pictures and charts: why US shale will crash and UK will fail. Jeremy Leggett, on his website Future Today, explains the background to fracking and why he believes fracking in the UK is doomed to be a costly failure.

Protest over new gas drilling plans. The Gazette and Herald reports on comments by Ryedale anti-fracking campaigners that government plans to make non-fracking shale gas plans permitted development are “undemocratic and silencing local communities”.

7 August 2018

Jenny Jones

Dame and Baroness threaten to breach Cuadrilla’s fracking protest injunction. DrillOrDrop report, Blackpool Gazette (21/8/2018)

UK hit by series of earthquakes – and it is a mystery what is causing them. The Express reports on the 12 earthquakes in a small area of Surrey.

Rebecca Long Bailey: Labour will ban fracking in green energy revolution. This is how. Writing in the Yorkshire Post, the shadow business secretary confirms Labour will ban fracking. She says:

“Building a clean economy for the future is one of the most important things we can do for our children and future generations. This transition can help us tackle climate change, clean up our air and put us at the leading edge of new technologies.”

UK shale players welcome state help, but clock is ticking. Interfax Global Energy reports the UK government’s decision to allow Cuadrilla to frack for shale gas in northwestern England could galvanise industry hopefuls. But companies will need to accelerate development without further delay.

6 August 2018

Oil exploration should halt immediately in Surrey earthquake area, say geologists. DrillOrDrop report including latest OGA data on water injection at Surrey well site. Letter to the Times and article, Telegraph, Independent, Surrey Live, Express (7/8/2018)

“Risk of accidents, explosions and earthquakes” among objections to Brockham oil well application. SurreyLive reports on the application by Angus Energy for part-retrospective permission for the Brockham oil well drilled in January 2017.

Is the local oil company Angus Energy responsible for tremors near Gatwick? An advertorial in SurreyLive by Angus Energy says the epicentre of the Surrey earthquakes is 10km away from the Brockham Oil Field.

5 August 2018

Learn suffragette lessons, say sisters found guilty of obstruction at shale gas site. DrillOrDrop report

What’s happening this week? DrillOrDrop diary of this week’s events about fracking, onshore oil and gas and campaigning

4 August 2018

Shale gas villagers highlight ‘threat’ to owls. DrillOrDrop picture post on owl awareness day outside the IGas site at Springs Road, Misson, north Nottinghamshire.

3 August 2018

Cuadrilla applies to the government for consent to frack second shale gas well. Campaigners say resistance to the company’s plans is ongoing. DrillOrDrop report. Lancashire Evening Post

pnr 180727 Ros Willls2

Dismantling of Cuadrilla’s drilling rig at Preston New Road, 27 July 2018. Photo: Ros Wills

Most Tory councillors oppose government changes to shale gas planning rules – survey. DrillOrDrop report. Energy Voice, Mirror, Independent.. See also Alex Dale column in the Yorkshire Post (short version of previous article for Conservative Home)

Churches switch to clean energy in bid to ‘tackle’ climate change. Energy Voice reports that more than 5,500 churches, including some of the UK’s most famous cathedrals, have converted to renewable energy. They include 15 Anglican cathedrals, such as Salisbury, Southwark, St Albans, Liverpool, Coventry and York Minster, along with Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Quaker and Salvation Army places of worship.

Air pollution: Even ‘safe’ levels may cause serious changes linked to heart failure, study warns. The Independent reports on a study which found even low levels of air pollution may cause heart abnormalities similar to those seen during the early stages of heart failure. The study, by Queen Mary’s University, London, found that people who lived near busy roads had larger hearts on average than those living in less polluted areas, even though pollution levels were below UK guidelines. BBC News, Guardian, British Heart Foundation, ITV News, Sky News

UKOG announces more results from Portland tests at Horse Hill. In a statement to sharholders, UKOG says flow tests on the Horse Hill well in Surrey recorded implied maximum rates of 441-470 barrels of oil per day. This was based on the maximum half-hour flow in tests lasting six and two hours.

York Lib Dems call on government to half fracking. The York Press reports Cllr Andrew Waller, executive member for the environment on York City Council, has written to the energy minister to express concerns about proposals to change planning rules for shale gas. He says it would “erode York’s democratic influence and accelerate fracking”.

Summer fete to raise money for Harthill anti-fracking campaign. The Rotherham Advertiser reports on plans by Woodsetts Against Fracking to host a summer fete to raise campaign funds.

Briefing on government consultation on fracking (permitted development and nationally significant infrastructure. Marc Willers QC and David Neale, of Garden Court Chambers, have published online briefing notes here on the consultation and proposed rule change.

2 August 2018

Government report revealing shale gas extraction increases air pollution was unpublished for three years. DrillOrDrop report, Guardian

IGas reports drilling delay in Notts, postponed fracking plan in Cheshire and setback at Stockbridge.  DrillOrDrop report, Natural Gas World

Absolute discharge for sisters accused of obstructing the highway at Misson Springs. Val Mager and Patsy Harper were given absolute discharges at Mansfield Magistrates Court after being found guilty of obstructing the highway at the IGas site at Springs Road, Misson in Nottinghamshire. They had denied the offences.

180802 Patsy Harper and Val Mager court case

Photo: Ian Crane

Hose pipe ban cancelled. United Utilities, the water company for north west England, including Lancashire, reports it has cancelled its hose pipe ban for households.

Wressle knock-back makes Union Jack Oil’s David Bramhill ‘more resolved’. Executive chairman, David Btramhill, tells Proactive Investors the refusal of permission for another year at the Wressle site near Scunthorpe (see 1 August 2018) is “a battle lost…. but not a war lost.”

Newly elected president of Mexico to ban fracking. EcoWatch, quoting Associated Press, reports that Mexico’s president-elect, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, has said he will end the use of fracking when he enters office on 1 December 2018.

1 August 2018

Breaking: Egdon’s bid for more time at Wressle oil site refused unanimously – livve updates from the meeting. DrillOrDrop report

Councillors hailed as heroes as they refuse fourth bid by Egdon for Wressle site – Egdon says it will appeal. DrillOrDrop report on reaction to the vote. Lincolnshire Reporter, Oil and Gas Journal (2/8/2018)

A pipeline linking Third Energy’s gas production sites in the Vale of Pickering appears to be in the wrong place, North Yorkshire planners have told the company. DrillOrDrop reports

Events about UK fracking, onshore oil and gas and campaigns in August 2018 and beyond. DrillOrDrop report

Future UK gas security. A position paper by Professor Michael Bradshaw of Warwick Business School reviews gas security in the UK taking account of climate change and Brexit. He concludes:

“Gas will continue to flow postBrexit, but consumers may have to pay more for it to guarantee security. Longer term, it is not the outcome of Brexit that poses a threat to UK gas security, but the failure of the Government to provide a clear roadmap for the role of gas in the low carbon transition.”

Reported in Oil & Gas Journal

“Bird table” anti-fracking case dropped. The Gazette and Herald reports that the Crown Prosecution Service has dropped charges against Dr Julia Collings and Christopher Stuart Wilson who were charged with endangering road users after they climbed onto wooden structures like large bird tables on the road to Third Energy’s fracking site. They denied the charges.

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