Picture post: IGas announces spud of Tinker Lane shale gas well after 80+ hour protest

181127 Tinker Lane spudded Tinker Lane clg

Spudding of the Tinker Lane shale gas well, 8am, 27 November 2018, Photo: Tinker Lane Community Liaison Group

The shale gas company, IGas, announced this morning it had begun drilling its well at Tinker Lane near Blyth in north Nottinghamshire.

News of the spud, which came in a brief statement to investors, follows a protest which blocked the site entrance for more than 80 hours over the weekend.

181127 Tinker Lane spud announcement

Two people locked themselves together outside the gate at about 6am on Friday (23 November 2018).

Nottinghamshire Police began removing the lock-on device yesterday morning (26 November 2018).

The protest ended at about 3pm yesterday.

A police spokesperson said a 45-year-old man and a 33-year-old woman had been arrested on suspicion of obstructing the highway. At the time of writing, the police could not confirm whether the two had been charged. Photos below by Eddie Thornton and Tina English

The Tinker Lane site has the first shale gas well to be drilled in Nottinghamshire. IGas describes it as a “vertical multi-core well targeting a number of formations with the primary target being the Bowland Shale geological formation”.

82 replies »

  1. It’s interesting that the high price of gas is driving coal back into the supply stack this last fortnight to a greater extent than I remember from last year. This is as predicted by the National Grid. Expensive gas equals more use of coal to generate electricity. Now clearly shale gas will not immediately increase our but after a while we can become increasingly self sufficient.


    Might as well go out with a bang…..

    I like the bit about “relatively low targets”:

    “Three countries, Brazil, China and Japan are currently on track, while three others, India, Russia and Turkey are set to beat their targets.

    The authors believe that some of these achievements may be down to setting relatively low targets for their national plans.”

    I wonder if this includes all the Chinese coal planned for Africa?

    • If you look at the map for Africa, you will see most of the land mass offers little or no contribution to the carbon emissions that will choke the planet. It is a bold arrogance of nations such as ours to say we are working on clean energy when we puke out such nauseous bile into the atmosphere….

      There is no such thing as clean energy, all have a carbon footprint, some much more than others. To meet our climate targets we have to reduce our consumption of most everything, stop judging where it comes from and work together to bring down the effect now – not in 1,2,5, 10, 50 years time.

      It starts with STOP. It is only delusion that perpetuates the myth that shale is clean, CC or CCUS as it is now re-branded is another ruse; it’s like putting on your clothes for work but leaving off your pants and still claiming to be fully dressed.

      There is a huge cry about ‘intermittent’ renewables and storage not up to speed which halts the progress of cleaner energy; you want to drag up dirty shale with CC in its zygotel stage and billow more shit into the atmosphere – almost as good as Trump’s “clean coal” – refers to technologies deployed at power plants that make coal cleaner to burn, not to the fuel itself.

      Use less, insulate, don’t burn gas for electricity production; stop thinking energy is a right – it’s a privilege. The fossil fuels like shale can stay in the ground until the holy grail is found, then we can look at it all again, if we must – now is not the time…..

      • Not going to happen Sherwulfe. All predictions show global increases in CO2, oil and gas demand, electricity demand and fossil fuel power generation. Figure out how to adapt and stop population growth (the key to halting or reducing demand increase). You are in a very small minority thinking that the UK can change anything.

        Unless you are right and everyone else is wrong??

  3. As the N.Sea has been known about for decades John, please explain why the majors are exiting.

    I will do it for you. Better, and cheaper opportunities elsewhere. Doesn’t mean the N.Sea will cease-for a while anyway-to be a producer, but more agile operators will take the place of many of the majors.

    Your point about cost of UK shale gas is simply speculation. We will find out over the next few years. However, if you take oil as an example, please tell us how N.Sea could compete on cost grounds with Wytch Farm. Absolute no way-but there is only one Wytch Farm, at the moment.

    • Martin I am interested in your take on the communities that will bear the brunt of this initial exploratory part of the shale gas experiment if it turns out to be unviable. Are they just to be considered collateral damage in a failed venture?

      • Crembulle – the only issue for communities is having [edited by moderator] protesters on their doorstep. If Cuadrilla were buliding a hyper market the [edited by moderator] protesters wouldn’t be there

        • [Edited by moderator]

          As one of those locals you appear to be speaking for I have to disagree with you. I would take 100 protestors over [edited by moderator] you Judith.

          • That’s your opinion only crembrule. And you also conflate locals and protestors. Nicola does the same with Scottish people and SNP people, so easily done, but still inaccurate.

            Who is the local MP??

            • You are right Foggy it is my opinion, but as a local it’s one I am qualified to express.

              Not sure where you think I am conflating locals and protestors, suggest you re-read my post. Your Wressle rage is clearly affecting your comprehension skills.

            • You will keep banging on about the local MP. May I remind you that despite the Fylde being a safe Tory seat, Fylde Borough Council turned down Cuadrilla’s applications for PNR and Roseacre back in 2014 and before I get a lecture, I know the final decision didn’t rest with FBC, neither did it rest with LCC as it turns out. So much for democracy

            • Fifi – what don’t you understand about the UK being a parliamentary democracy? The nation votes for a government and they have power over local councils when they decide it’s in the national interest. It’s quite simple really

            • But they haven’t decided it is in the national interest Judith; they are still sitting on fence propped up by the ‘benefactors’, sipping stuff from green bottles and having a whale of a time….but dawn is approaching, complete with that raging headache from over indulgence…….4332 days to go.

            • Sherwulfe- you haven’t seemed to explain how buying gas off another country is going to help reduce climate change

  4. If it turns out to be unviable then where will the damage be, crembrule? (Apart from the companies themselves and their investors.) The sites will be restored, just as they will be one day if they are viable. The industry as a whole has the systems to do this, even if the individual company fails to meet it’s obligations. Plenty of restored sites around the country. Just as there are restored coal mine sites. N.E will be able to provide you with more details.

    What about the income to the communities if viable? Not talking about initial compensation for initial inconvenience, or new kitchens, but the possibility of much more significant income if and when operating commercially. I suspect N.E will not be in a position to provide you with details on that yet, but it has been looked at and she may be able to provide some details of initial concepts.

    Perhaps you might like to take a look at Spark failure, where the cost will be largely covered by the general consumer. Why did it collapse? Couldn’t cover it’s costs under the renewables obligation scheme! Now that really is collateral damage. Consumers who pay a premium already for the renewables obligation scheme via an existing supplier will pay an extra chunk to pay for a failed company’s cost of the renewables obligation scheme! Hungry beasts some of these renewables, that consume the tax payers money with gusto.

    • So you appear to be indicating that shale sites appear and disappear as if by magic and have no material impact on the communities that surround them either that or that the impact on transport, amenity, air quality etc are so small that they are in your opinion acceptable. Lots of locals with or without new fitted kitchens courtesy of Fracking Francis would disagree with you there Martin.

      I am also interested in your comments about site reinstatement, Markwells Wood although a conventional extraction site would appear to indicate the O&G operators go out of their way to avoid reinstatement of sites with in the initially agreed planning timescales Caudrilla also have a checkered track record in this respect at Becconsall, Anna’s Road, Grange Hill and Preese Hall all subject to ever shifting reinstatement dates. Do you think this consistent shifting of the goal posts in relation to planning conditions and timescales endears the company’s to local communities or does it increase tensions and distrust?

      Regarding Ms Engel I am less interested in her take on the situation than I am yours at this particular moment, but as you correctly state she will no doubt share with affected communities her thoughts on the matter in due course. If I was to hazard a guess I would imaging NE wil condescend to concerned locals at how lucky they are to be living in shale extraction areas and how all the lovely indirect bonuses they will not feel any benefits of will make their lives much more liveable in spite of the encumberance imposed by the industry.

      • Crembulle- you should join UKIP – they don’t like things affecting the community either. I wounder how much emissions and traffic increases due to international students in cities. Of course there are few local jobs for universities because our education system is so bad we have to import academics. Why not bad universities?

        • UKIP, Universities, international students – flipping heck Judith [edited by moderator] you are veering about wildly. Please avoid driving or operating machinery in your current condition.

          You also apppear a little bitter towards your local higher learning establishment, did you get a knock back for a research position?

          • Crembulle- sorry you can’t follow simple arguments – it seems to back up what I was saying about UK education. Anyhow, to make things simple for you, if you’re going to ban something based on a certain criteria then other things should also be banned if they fail those criteria. So for example, no geothermal or hydroelectric if fracking is banned due to seismicity. No students to university towns if we are worried about increased traffic.

  5. You raise Markwells Wood, but you simply grab an example which is somewhat out of place.

    The Weald is being examined, and one of the issues is where the optimum positions are to develop the resource, if that proves economic. Of course a company will retain sites as long as possible whilst awaiting data to indicate whether to apply to do more at that site, or whether their money would be better spent at another site. Whilst a bit frustrating for locals who want more certainty, not frustrating for locals-or others-who recognise this is fairly standard practice across industry and can mean less disruption in the longer term.

    Maybe they could reinstate sites if their work elsewhere to produce that data was not held up by antis? Those same antis who think little of visiting the sites daily and causing pollution-transport, amenity, air quality etc. Have a look at the “events” calendar. OPEC must be rubbing their hands with glee.

    Unless there has been a bulk buy, I think there has only been one kitchen. I don’t think it was Francis.

  6. Who voted for Sellafield, Fifi?? Was that local democracy not being recognised? Don’t think so. It was decided the national interest was more important.

    I know that is not liked, but it happens thousands of times a year in this country. Always has, always will. The majority recognise that, which is why MPs with a declared set of policies get elected, although some would not support them.

    Strange how some of the antis were so supportive of the Swansea Lagoon which would have dictated to the people of the Lizard their environment would be blown up, to produce the granite blocks, even after “local democracy” had said NO. Bit selective this local democracy.

    • Martin – interesting that you mention Sellafield. The government seem to be pushing nuclear waste disposal to that area because the locals are likely to be less resistant to the idea than they would in other parts of the country. My view is that fractured basement is not the best place and ductile shales would be better (for the ill-educated that doesn’t mean gas shales). But to appease the plebs we are potentially going down the wrong route. We should be looking at the national interest instead of being dictated to by [edited by moderator] chaining themselves to gates.

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