Daily headlines

December 2018 drilling headlines

181202 Tinker Lane TLCLG

IGas Tinker Lane shale gas site at dawn, 2 December 2018. Photo: Tinkerlane.co.uk

Drilling for shale gas is underway at Tinker Lane in Nottinghamshire and site construction has begun at Biscathorpe in Lincolnshire. Rathlin Energy has given notice of work starting at its West Newton-A site. December could see Cuadrilla resume fracking at Preston New Road. There are also High Court hearings on injuntions and judicial reviews.

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

  • Fracking and earth tremors resume at Preston New Road – largest tremor, at 1.5ML, so far
  • But Cuadrilla announces it is moving fracking equipment of the site
  • IGas says it failed to find the Bowland Shale at its Tinker Lane well and begins removing equipment
  • Injunctions on protest at IGas and Angus sites renewed
  • Angus announces the start of its Brockham flow test programme amid questions over consent
  • Financing finalised for Rathlin Energy’s East Yorkshire licence area – first delivery to West Newton-A
  • 8,000+ signature letter calling for halt to fracking handed to Downing Street
  • Lincolnshire County Council approves retrospective permission for security offices at Egdon’s Biscathorpe site
  • Death announced of Tony Almond, who worked on oil and gas policy for the HSE
  • Cuadrilla restores Grange Road at Singleton, the last of its early shale gas sites
  • Campaigners win right to appeal against UKOG protest injunction

31 December 2018

What to watch in 2019. DrillOrDrop’s roundup of the likely action on fracking and onshore oil and gas in the UK in 2019.

PNR fracking tests cut short as Cuadrilla assess options. Frack Off reports on the removal equipment from Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site and what it means for fracking at the site.

Drilling rig being dismantled. Tinker Lane.co.uk reports that IGas began dismantling the drilling rig at the Tinker Lane site in Nottinghamshire after failing to find the Bowland Shale.

30 December 2018

2018 in Numbers. As 2018 concludes, DrillOrDrop compiles some of the key statistics from the past 12 months for the UK onshore oil and gas industry.

Anti-frackers’ expert to argue Ellesmere Port well is in wrong place. Cheshire Live reports on arguments by Frack Free Ellesmere Port and Upton to the forthcoming inquiry on IGas plans.

Business to drill for oil near peaceful village in area of outstanding natural beauty. Lincolnshire Live reports on local concerns about Egdon Resources’ plans to drill at Biscathorpe near Louth, in the Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

29 December 2018

Most viewed posts on DrillOrDrop in 2018. DrillOrDrop report

28 December 2018

2018 montage main

Review of 2018. DrillOrDrop’s review of key events from the past year

26 December 2018

Limit on fracking quakes will stop shale gas development, says Ineos. The Times reports comments by Ineos director, Tom Crotty, that the 0.5ML threshold on seismic activity caused by must be lifted. Global Warming Policy Forum,  Independent (28/12/2018)

24 December 2018

Happy Christmas from DrillOrDrop

22 December 2018

Guest weekend long read: Lancashire Police tipped off benefit officials about disabled anti-fracking protesters. DrillOrDrop guest weekend long read from John Pring of the Disability News Service

21 December 2018

relinquishment montage

Source: UKOGL

Investigation reveals high failure rate for onshore oil and gas licences. Guest post by Ben Dean for DrillOrDrop investigates why so many oil and gas licences don’t survive their term.

Women win right to appeal against UKOG protest injunction. DrillOrDrop report

Plans published for four more wells and 20 years of oil production at Horse Hill, Surrey. DrillOrDrop report, Get Surrey (29/12/2018)

Environment Agency issues revised permit for IGas oilfield at Rempstone. Link to documents

Environment Agency issues revised permit for IGas oilfield at South Leverton. Link to documents

20 December 2018

Councils can use climate change evidence to reject fracking, government lawyer tells High Court. DrillOrDrop report from final day of legal challengers to NPPF

Angus gets permit go-ahead for appraisal but not production. DrillOrDrop report on pre-conditions on permit at Brockham oil site

Two more breaches of permit rules at Cuadrilla fracking site. DrillOrDrop report on Environment Agency update on Preston New Road

181220 Tinker Lane Ross Monaghan

Christmas carols protest outside IGas’s shale gas site at Tinker Lane in Nottinghamshire. Photo: Ross Monaghan

Brass Against Gas protest outside the IGas Tinker Lane shale gas site (see above)

Frack free Kirkhold, Balderstone and Rochdale. Rochdale Online reports that the Lib Dems have launched an anti-fracking campaign.

Harthill Village tweets “Fencing is being installed around the [Ineos] proposed test drill site off Common Road (see below).

181220 Harthill fencing tweet

19 December 2018

Government ignored new evidence on climate impacts of fracking – court told. DrillOrDrop report on continuing challenge to the government’s National Planning Policy Framework.

Angus begins Brockham test programme amid local questions over consent. DrillOrDrop report, Your Oil and Gas News, UK Investor Magazine, Shares Magazine, Morning Star

181216 Brockham Brockham Protectors

Angus Energy site at Brockham, Surrey, on 16 December 2018. Photo: Brockham Protectors

Residents protest against Biscathorpe oil drill plan. Lincolnshire Reporter says local residents demonstrated at a well site in Biscathorpe as part of an ongoing campaign against plans to drill for oil near the village. See also Louth Leader

18 December 2018

Ministers should have checked environmental effects of its planning policy, High Court told. Friends of the Earth argues that NPPF is unlawful. DrillOrDrop report, The Times, Blackpool Gazette (19/12/2018)

Cuadrlila tight-liped on future of fracking as equipment moved off Preston New Road. DrillOrDrop report, Lancashire Evening Post, Blackpool Gazette

Picture post: Nativity-style protest at government fracking policy. DrillOrDrop report, Independent, Energy Voice, Blackpool Gazette, Metro

Environment Agency issues modern permit for IGas oil and site at Bletchingley, Surrey. Link to documents

17 December 2018

181213 Tinker Lane TLCLG

IGas site at Tinker Lane at sunrise on 13 December 2018. Photo: Tinker Lane Community Liaison Group

Disappointment at IGas as it fails to find Bowland Shale at Tinker Lane. DrillOrDrop report, The Times, Morning Star, Lincolnshire Live (18/12/2018), Worksop Guardian (19/12/2018)

National Trust drops objection to Ineos seismic surveys at Clumber Park. DrillOrDrop report, Nottingham Post, Energy Voice, Guardian, Shropshire Star, Worksop Today

IGas plans for Ellesmere Port “don’t conform to UK climate commitments – expert to tell public inquiry. DrillOrDrop report

Government fracking policy faces more legal challenges. DrillOrDrop preview of judicial reviews sought by Friends of the Earth and Talk Fracking. The Guardian (16/12/2018), Talk Fracking

15 December 2018

Hydraulic fracturing at Preston New Road: Update. The Oil and Gas Authority issues a statement on tremors at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site. The statement says the OGA has been satisfied that these events have been in line with the geological understanding set out in the HFP and that the risk of induced seismicity is being appropriately managed. The organisation’s Director of Regulation, Tom Wheeler, says:

“We are continuing to take a cautious approach and have strict controls in place so that any event over the threshold results in a pause in operations to allow us to review the event and check that the operator’s approved plan is still valid. This pause can be extended if required.”

Climate change: More than 1,000 institutions pledge to withdraw investment from fossil fuels. The Independent reports that a milestone of 1,000 institutions withdrawing investment from coal, oil and gas companies was reached during the climate talks in Poland.

14 December 2018

Angus and IGas protest injunctions renewed at High Court. DrillOrDrop report, Business Desk, Morning Star, IGas statement

Red-level tremor stops fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site as total seismic events top 50. DrillOrDrop report, City AM, Energy Voice, Express, Independent, The Conversation (Mistrust and earthquakes: why Lancashire communities are so shaken by fracking tremors)

Lancashire fracking votes: “watershed moment for shale” or “political manipulation”? DrillOrDrop report on reaction to last night’s Lancashire County Council meeting, Blackpool Gazette

Poole councillors don’t call for a fracking ban – but will write a letter instead. The Bournemouth Eco reports that councillors in Poole failed to support a motion to ban fracking. But the scrutiny committee recommended that the council oppose changes to the planning system for shale gas developments.

Anti-fracking campaigners launch new network to coordinate complaints about police misconduct. Netpol reports campaigners from Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, with support from Netpol and from Green and Black Cross, have set up a network with local Complaints Coordinators to log incidents and help people who feel they have been mistreated or wrongly arrested to complain.

13 December 2018

Fracking earth tremor felt like a car hitting a building – council told. DrillOrDrop report

Lancashire calls for government funding of anti-fracking protest policing. DrillOrDrop report, 2BR (15/12/2018)

IGas injunction on anti-fracking protests is most restrictive yet – High Court told. DrillOrDrop report

181213 Sudama Das Ross Monaghan

Sudama Das (third from the right) with supporters after the verdict at Nottinghamshire Crown Court. Photo: Ross Monaghan

Anti-fracking protester accused of interfering with Ineos Upstream’s equipment used to explore for shale gas in Nottinghamshire has been acquitted by a jury of offences under the Computer Misuse Act. DrillOrDrop report

“Embarrassed” energy minister Claire Perry heckled by anti-fracking campaigners at UN climate talks event. DeSmog UK reports that four climate protesters interrupted the energy minister during an event at which she announced the UK had formally requested to host climate talks in 202.

12 December 2018

Injunctions mean that people who trespass on a UK fracking site face a bigger maximum penalty than if they committed the same offence at Buckingham Palace, High Court told. DrillOrDrop report on challenge to Angus and IGas injunctions

Barclaycard dropped as sponsor of Neil Young’s Hyde Park concert in row over investment in fracking. DrillOrDrop report, BBC News

Acquisition of interest in Arreton oil discovery. UK Oil & Gas plc announces it has entered into talks with Solo Oil to acquire its 30% shareholding in PEDL331 licence at Arreton in the Isle of Wight. The deal for £90,450 in cash and 17.989M shares would give UKOG 95% stake in the PEDL. Island Echo

11 December 2018

Largest earth tremor so far at Cuadrilla’s fracking site – 1.5ML – following series of micro-seismic events DrillOrDrop report, Energy Voice, The Guardian, Shropshire Star, BBC News, Reuters, FT, Times, Independent, Visitor, City Am, Daily Express

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Extract from British Geological Survey record of seismic activity in the UK, 11 December 2018

Lancashire councillors call for halt to Cuadrilla fracking operations to carry out an inquiry into earth tremors. DrillOrDrop report, Blackpool Gazette (Fracking supporters rejected calls for halt to testing in Lancashire)

Criminal law won’t work with anti-fracking protests, High Court told in Angus and IGas injunction cases. DrillOrDrop report

Government clarifies controversial Claire Perry fracking industry meeting. Business Green reports that BEIS has included Claire Perry’s industry round-table on the quarterly transparency data.

Rhiannon Adam takes us inside the fracking debate. The British Journal of Photography reports on a competition commission, sponsored by Ecotricity, photographing UK fracking

10 December 2018

Cuadrilla resumes fracking – first seismic activity recorded at site for five weeks. DrillOrDrop report, Lancashire Evening Post

Secret cameras used to protest Ineos seismic testing equipment”, trial told. DrillOrDrop report of trial of fracking opponent under the Computer Misuse Act

181210 Ellesmere Port map

Map compiled by Frack Free Ellesmere Port and Upton showing the location of the IGas site and local amenities

IGas exploration plans in Ellesmere Port are in “the heart of a community”, campaigners warn. DrillOrDrop report on how residents of new homes complain they were not told about testing plans for the Portside well.

Anti-fracking protesters are found guilty of aggravated trespassing at a Derbyshire drilling company site. Ripley and Heanor News reports that Scott Breen and Rosalyn Massey were found guilty of aggravated trespass after they took part in a lock-on protest preventing a lorry entering PR Marriott Ltd at Danesmoor in Derbyshire.

Public health body completely divests from fossil fuels over climate concerns.  Energy Voice reports the UK charity and member organisation has said it has now fully divested from oil, gas and coal companies.

Friends of the Earth welcomes environmental rights recommendation. The organisation welcomes the recommendation of the First Minister’s expert advisory group on human rights that the right to a health and safe environment is enshrined in Scots law.

9 December 2018

Inside the Dutch province where gas extraction tremors left houses crumbling. The Telegraph reports on the impact of earthquakes triggered by gas extraction.

Mexico to cancel February auctions for oil and gas blocks. Reuters reports that Mexico’s energy secretary, Rocio Nahle, said the new president would cancel two bidding rounds for oil and gas blocks, including Mexico’s first shale areas on offer.

8 December 2018

Guest weekend long read: Frack Free United makes the case in this DrillOrDrop guest post against the government’s policy on shale gas and hydraulic fracturing

7 December 2018

Nearly 300 tonnes of oil and chemicals “accidentally released” into North Sea in 2017. Energy Voice reports on assessment by the industry body Oil and Gas UK, which said 279 of hazardous material, of which 23 tonnes was oil, was accidentally released in 2017 into the North Sea. There were 451 accidental oil and chemical releases, with more than half reaching the marine environment.

SNP accused of “climate hypocrisy” over North Sea support. Energy Voice reports that environmental campaigners have accused the SNP of “climate hypocrisy” after an Aberdeen MP backed new tax breaks for the North Sea oil industry.

6 December 2018

Obituary: Tony Almond of the Health and Safety Executive. DrillOrDrop report

Public meeting over Ellesmere Port fracking plan. Cheshire Live reports on a public meeting about IGas  plans for gas testing at a site in Ellesmere Port. See also DrillOrDrop December events

Egdon Resources expect to complete Biscathorpe in February. Morning Star reports that the drilling company has updated its timetable for the Biscathorpe well in Lincolnshire.

5 December 2018

Shale gas “not compatible with decarbonisation targets” – Welsh planning policy. DrillOrDrop report, Business Green, South Wales Argus, Upstream Online (1/12/2018)

Grange Hill Cuadrilla

Cuadrilla’s Grange Hill site at Singleton returned to farmland, December 2018. Photo: Cuadrilla Resources

Chapter closes on Cuadrilla’s early fracking plans – shale gas site restored nearly seven hears after original deadline. DrillOrDrop report, Blackpool Gazette (4/12/2018), Lancashire Business View

Egdon declares £321K loss. Accounts for the year to 31 July 2018 show Egdon Resources UK Ltd recorded a loss of £321,000, compared with a loss of £1,138,622 for the year before. The company wrote off £1,038,000 in exploration costs and waived a loan from group companies of £1,282,964

Doriemus raises $308,750 to fund oil testing in the UK. Doriemus reports the result of a placing of 4.7m shares to fund its share of well testing at Horse Hill and Brockham.

4 December 2018

200 MPs call for parliamentary pension fund to divest from fossil fuels. DrillOrDrop report, Energy Voice

Bank increases stake in IGas. DrillOrDrop report

First delivery to Rathlin’s West Newton oil and gas site – plus company reveals details of work plans. DrillOrDrop report

Indigenous gas production vital, IOG says. Energy Voice reports comments by Andrew Hockey, chief executive of the London-listed North Sea company, Independent Oil and Gas. He says:

 “With cold snaps you can get spikes in the price of gas, so it’s important for wholesalers and planners to have more indigenous gas to avoid volatility in the market.”

3 December 2018

Minister’s attendance at shale industry roundtable was not “dropping in” – Labour spokesman tells MPs. DrillOrDrop report

Completion of West Newton farm-in. Union Jack Oil announces that the OGA has approved its farm-in agreement with Rathlin Energy for PEDL183 in East Yorkshire. The agreement gives Union Jack and Humber Oil a 16.665% interest each in the PEDL.

Ink dries on Reabold’s swoop for Rathlin shares. Energy Voice reports that the investment company, Reabold Resources, has completed its £3m acquisition of 37% of Rathlin Energy UK.

Biscathorpe security cabins approved. Lincolnshire County Council approves, with two abstentions, retrospective planning application for security cabins at Egdon’s Biscathorpe drilling site.

181203 LCC retrospective permission Ross Monaghan

Small protest outside Lincolnshire County Council after approval of retrospective planning permission for security cabins at Egdon’s Biscathorpe site. Photo: still from video by Ross Monaghan

David Attenborough: collapse of civilisation is on the horizon. The Guardian reports on Sir David Attenborough’s speech to the UN climate change summit in Poland. He says:

“The world’s people have spoken. Time is running out. They want you, the decision-makers, to act now. Leaders of the world, you must lead. The continuation of civilisations and the natural world upon which we depend is in your hands.”

Lee Rowley: Fracking will concrete over the countryside and impact local communities. And for what? North East Derbyshire Conservative MP, Lee Rowley, writing for Politics Home, questions the impact on local communities and the scale off shale gas

Natascha Engel: Energy security and our climate are of crucial importance. They deserve a calm and rational debate. The new shale gas commissioner, writing for Politics Home, says she is keen to establish the facts around fracking and encourage calm, rational debate.

Opec summit: cut expected to balance price fall and global slowdown. The Guardian previews the Opec meeting on Thursday which could cut production by 500,000 barrels a day.

1 December 2018

Picture post: 8,000+ sign letter urging PM to ban fracking. DrillOrDrop report on hand-in and climate march and rally.

Events diary. DrillOrDrop listings of events in December 2018

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