Regulation

Cheshire anti-fracking groups team up to fight Ellesmere Port appeal

180125 Ellesmere Port CWAC Frack Free Upton

Campaign groups outside Cheshire West and Chester Council when the IGas application for Ellesmere Port was decided. Photo: Frack Free Upton, 25/1/2018

Campaign groups Ellesmere Port Frack Free and Frack Free Upton have joined forces to defend the decision to refuse planning permission for testing a gas well at Ellesmere Port.

The scheme, proposed by IGas, was rejected in January 2018 by Cheshire West and Chester Council planning committee. The committee said the scheme did not comply with local planning policy, which required applications to address climate change and make the best of opportunities for renewable energy.

In July 2018, IGas appealed against the refusal and a public inquiry is due to start on 15 January 2019.

The campaign groups have been granted Rule 6 status, which means they have a right to legal representation, present evidence to the inquiry and cross-examine witnesses. Their case has been backed by the local MP.

A spokesperson for the groups said today:

“Clearly we are disappointed that IGas has appealed this decision, it is both a waste of public money and people’s time when a democratic view has been expressed.

“However we are pleased that the Inspector has recognised the strength of feeling locally on this issue, reflected by the high number of objections to the original proposal, and granted a public hearing.

“There are many reasons for opposing this proposal from local air pollution and noise, to the need to reduce our gas consumption to mitigate the climate change which is being seen this week in record storms around the world.”

The groups said they were assembling “a team of experienced and committed professional experts to support the case for refusal”. This included a barrister with experience of unconventional gas development and experts on climate change, environmental protection and geology, they said.

Chester MP Chris Matheson said:

“I have been an enthusiastic supporter of the anti-fracking movement in Cheshire, but it has always been the people as well as politics that has stopped the frackers so far.

“Now IGas have appealed against a clear decision made by democratically elected councillors, we find ourselves asking again for the support of the people.”

The groups have set up a fundraising webpage (link here)

After January’s refusal of the Ellesmere Port scheme, the IGas chief executive, Stephen Bowler, said:

“We are very disappointed by the Committee decision that goes against the recommendation of their Planning Officer and is an application that accords with both national and local planning policy as set out in our planning statement and has the necessary environmental permits in place.

Our businesses have been operating exploration and production sites in a safe and environmentally sensitive manner across Britain for many years, engaging with communities and employing local people and investing in the local supply chain.

“We are at a critical juncture in the future of our energy mix and supply, as we move away from coal towards lower carbon energy sources. We are currently importing c. 50% of gas and that is set to rise to nearly 80% by 2035.”

Inquiry details

The inquiry is scheduled to last six days.

Interested parties had until today to submit their case. The council must submit it case by 28 September and the two campaign groups by 11 October 2018.

Planning Inspectorate page for the inquiry

40 replies »

  1. You do realise that no more funding is required yet, John. And, yet, you keep trotting out this piece of fake news. The real news has been given within the last week. Keep it going, you are doing a great job at undermining any credibility left. If anyone is interested, check Reuters.

    BP obviously have less concerns having recently bought into onshore shale holdings.

    And there they are, sat on Blackpool Beach, playing Canute.

    • Let’s look a bit deeper at the facts. Look what we find.

      BP state that BHP had a ‘disasterous 7 years’ needing ‘$19 billion of shareholders funds’

      So the facts are that shale is a massive loss maker if the prices are not very high. BHP failure tells us that.

      So if the prices are high and the production costs are low it may be viable.

      Let’s see what the IEA says about UK production costs.

      The IEA estimates that production costs for US shale gas range from $3/MBtu to $7/MBtu, while estimates from a number of organizations indicate that average production costs in Europe could be between $8/MBtu and $12/MBtu

      https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/Shale_gas_in_Europe_revolution_or_evolution/$File/EY-Shale_gas_in_Europe-revolution_or_evolution.pdf

      You would therefore need double the highest market price to make UK shale viable.

      Even then because home grown North sea gas, piped gas from Norway, LNG from Norway, and LNG from other sources, are all far cheaper to produce than UK shale, there never could be a viable market for UK shale.

      Basic maths. Common sense. Doomed industry.

      And to think you thought an article saying BP has bought into US shale means UK shale is viable.

      My how we laughed.

  2. Pathetic John. What a total confused tp-ing!

    Shale oil was made to be economic at $40/barrel. OPEC couldn’t match it. Do you really think other people are not aware of oil and gas production in USA? Keep insulting them but they can educate themselves, so not a wise move.

    Basic maths.? No-not that. You state yourself-estimates, ie.speculation.

    And, you might learn to read. When you continue to use speculation as your foundation and then misrepresent what is in print, to enable your proposals to add up, they still don’t and you merely draw attention to it. More like an investor in other energy sources who is trying to rubbish competition that is a worry to you.

  3. By the way, John, shame you couldn’t have backed INEOS.

    Glendronach, major new gas find, announced. Looks as if INEOS are quite astute where to invest their money. I think I might give them a little more credit for their maths.

  4. Yep, and serious talk around oil breaking the $100/barrel level again.

    Some people’s idea of cheap oil sloshing around the world seems a little exposed! Just goes to show how volatile energy prices are, even without Sterling dropping through the floor, and how important it is for major economies to control their own energy resources. Donald knew that, and we should know it if anyone bothers to check the lessons of history eg. the 1970s.

    • Just to rub salt into aching wounds

      Oil prices low…….Home grown North sea oil and gas, piped gas from Norway, LNG from Norway, LNG from other destinations, all far cheaper than UK shale says energy experts.

      Oil prices high….. Home grown North sea oil and gas, piped gas from Norway, LNG from Norway, LNG from other destinations, all far cheaper than UK shale says energy experts.

      High prices will obviously attract more investment into our home grown North sea and add employment to the 300,000 plus workers who work everyday to keep our houses heated and the lights on.

      That said the reason we have the most advanced and largest LNG ports in Europe is to accept imports from places like Qatar whom we have annual trade deals worth £1.5 billion. I doubt the Government would do anything to upset that apple cart.

      Factual, consistent, and obvious.

      • Donald cap in hand,

        Oil producers led by OPEC refused this weekend to agree to a production hike, despite President Donald Trump calling on them to take action last week.

        US importing 3,700,000 barrels of oil a day in 2017.

        All very well selling the stuff at high price. What about the costs of what you have to import. Then of course there is the obvious reason why OPEC are not increasing output which would drive the price down.

        All of the USA are having to pay more for everything as energy prices climb higher. Can you imagine what effect that is having on the US economy?

        OPEC can as they have made it happen.

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