Politics

Energy minister hasn’t visited a shale gas site

181016 Claire perry

The energy minister who promotes economic benefits of shale gas has not visited a site, she said this week.

She also appears to have back-tracked on hints that she might relax rules on earthquakes induced by fracking.

Claire Perry had been asked by a fellow Conservative how many shale gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing sites she had visited.

Replying to the written question by Lee Rowley, MP for North East Derbyshire, Ms Perry said:

“I have had a number of meetings with stakeholders interested in shale gas exploration, but have not yet had opportunity to visit a site.”

The reply came a day after Ms Perry criticised the shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, for not going into Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site during a meeting with protesters (DrillOrDrop report)

180912 WestHall Planning debate LeeRowley

Lee Rowley MP. Westminster Hall Shale Planning debate, 12/9/18. Source: Parliament TV

In a series of questions, Mr Rowley, who has opposed Ineos plans for shale gas exploration in his constituency, also asked the minister how many shale gas companies she had met.

She replied she had “met with a range of stakeholders, including representatives from shale gas companies”.

Earthquake regulations

Labour’s Louise Haigh (Sheffield Heeley) questioned the minister on reports that she was considering a rise in the threshold for earthquakes induced by fracking.

The regulations, known as the traffic light system, require fracking to stop, at least temporarily, if it induces seismicity at a level of 0.5ML or more.

In a letter to the Conservative MP, Kevin Hollinrake, released earlier this month, Ms Perry said:

“The TLS [traffic light system] is set at an explicitly cautious level but, as we gain experience in applying these measures, the trigger levels can be adjusted upwards without compromising the effectiveness of the controls.”

Ms Haigh asked:

“Will the minister confirm that she is now genuinely considering weakening the controls on earthquakes in relation to fracking companies.”

Ms Perry replied:

“I can absolutely confirm that I am not considering weakening the monitoring controls on seismicity”.

Cuadrilla has published a website which allows people to see seismic monitoring at its fracking site at Preston New Road. According to the charts, which are updated every 24-hours, there has been no induced seismicity since fracking started on 15 October 2018.


 

Transcripts

Question by Lee Rowley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many shale gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing sites the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth has visited since June 2017.

Reply by Ms Perry

I have had a number of meetings with stakeholders interested in shale gas exploration, but have not yet had opportunity to visit a site.

Question by Lee Rowley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, which shale gas companies the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth has met since June 2017.

Reply by Ms Perry

Since June 2017, in my capacity as Minister for Energy and Clean Growth, I have met with a range of stakeholders, including representatives from shale gas companies.

Question by Lee Rowley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many times the Minister for Energy and Clean Growth has met shale gas (a) companies and (b) industry representatives since June 2017.

Reply by Ms Perry

I have met periodically with both shale gas companies and industry representatives.

Question by Lee Rowley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what estimate his Department has made of the number of onshore wells needed to be hydraulically fractured in the UK between 2018-2038 to replace 50 per cent of the UK’s natural gas demand.

Reply by Ms Perry

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has not made any estimates on the proportion of UK gas demand that could be met from UK-sourced shale gas.

Questions by Lee Rowley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many onshore wells the Government aims to be hydraulically fractured for shale gas between 2018-2038.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, how many onshore wells the Government estimates will be hydraulically fractured for shale gas in the UK from 2018-2038.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment has been made of the potential effect of the operation of the shale gas industry in the UK on the level of gas prices from 2018 to 2038.

Reply by Ms Perry

I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave the hon. Member for Southampton, Test on 6th April 2018 response to Question 134603. The Government will continue to monitor progress of the shale gas industry and will revise its estimates, as appropriate, as the industry develops.

Question by Lee Rowley

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment has been made of UK demand for natural gas from 2018 to 2038.

Reply by Ms Perry

This is publicly available information and can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/digest-of-uk-energy-statistics-dukes.

Question by Louise Haigh

Rather than listening to communities where shale gas applications have been made, the Government have continued to dismantle the hurdles over which fracking companies should be forced to jump. Will the Minister confirm that she is now genuinely considering weakening the controls on earthquakes in relation to fracking companies?

Reply by Ms Perry

I can absolutely confirm that I am not considering weakening the monitoring controls on seismicity.

37 replies »

  1. Premier League is a registered name and infers status. Ask the Premier League if it is okay to refer to them as The Premiership and their response will be ‘absolutely not’. Your comment on this occasion is factually incorrect. You are mixing the name of two entirely separate leagues which are under separate management, ownership and identity. The Premier League will never refer to itself as The Premiership.
    You will have to accept that sometimes you just get it wrong as we all do from time to time.

    No deflection, just a true statement. Cheers.

  2. I wonder how many meetings she’s had with protectors. I suspect far less than meetings with ‘interested parties’. I’m sure she’d be welcomed and seen as an opportunity for the protectors to present their views on the industry. And we wouldn’t redact any minutes that resulted from any such meetings.

  3. More Waffle than I have for breakfast!

    How many games do you attend? Sorry, but if you do any time you might find the fans chat about who will win the Premiership. Meanwhile, on Giggle you may find something else the suits talk about. We are funny that way in the UK. I will stick with the fans.

    [That’s enough football – moderator]

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