Drilling could get underway this month at Biscathorpe in Lincolnshire, Misson Springs in Nottinghamshire and West Newton in East Yorkshire. There’ll also be keen interest in what happens at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site after fracking ended last month and equipment continues to be moved off the site. Also in January, we’ll be reporting on the public inquiry on IGas plans for Ellesmere Port and a judicial review on Ineos’s Harthill site.
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
- IGas moves equipment of Tinker Lane site
- 68-year low for UK onshore drilling activity in 2018
- Egdon Resources spuds Biscathorpe well in Lincolnshire and first campaigners arrested
- Conductor rig installed at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton A site
- Greater Manchester councils announced a presumption against fracking
- Power struggle to remove Paul Vonk from Angus Energy board
16 January 2019
Campaigners bring double challenge to “draconian” oil and gas protest injunctions. DrillOrDrop report on calls for protesters and senior judges to protect hard-fought rights to protest under threat from powerful and wealthy oil and gas companies.
Live news updates from Day 2 of the public inquiry into IGas plans for test for gas at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. DrillOrDrop report
UKOG plans “near-continuous” oil production from Horse Hill in 2019. DrillOrDrop report
15 January 2019
Fracked gas levels at Cuadrilla’s shale site so low that propane needed to light flare stack, document reveals. DrillOrDrop report
Live news updates: Day 1 of inquiry into IGas test plans at Ellesmere Port. DrillOrDrop report
UK firsts for public inquiry into IGas test plans at Ellesmere Port opening today. DrillOrDrop preview of the IGas inquiry
14 January 2019
How temporary is temporary? Campaigner Ben Dean argues in a DrillOrDrop guest post that a single word has cleared the way for oil and gas development in rural areas.
Minister rejects fracking firm’s call to weaken earthquake rules. Unearthed and the FT report on correspondence, obtained by a freedom of information request, between the energy minister, Claire Perry, and Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla. The minister describes the traffic light system regulations on fracking-induced seismicity as “fit for purpose” and said the government had “no intention of altering it.” Ms Perry said of Cuadrilla:
“at no point did you communicate that it would not be possible to proceed without a change in regulations”
UK revealed as EU champion of fossil fuel subsidies. Euractiv reports on a report by the European Commissioner which concluded that the UK spends the most in the EU on subsidising fossil fuels
13 January 2019
Interview: Francis Egan, boss of controversial shale gas explorer Cuadrilla. He tells The Times his company and the other UK shale operators could go abroad if the UK doesn’t want to frack.
Surge in oil and gas companies using injunctions to block protesters at UK sites. The Independent reports on comments by lawyers that oil companies are taking legal action to scare off local residents from protesting at sites and joining online opposition groups.
11 January 2019
10 January 2019
Cuadrilla focusses on single shale well – with under 11 months left at Preston New Road for more drilling and fracking. DrillOrDrop report
Ineos appeals over Woodsetts shale gas refusal. DrillOrDrop report
Does the UK really need fracked gas? Power Technology investigates and concludes probably not.
9 January 2019
Details published of geological research centre in Cheshire. DrillOrDrop report
Egdon board changes. Egdon Resources reports that Exploration Director Martin Durham, will be appointed to the company board to replace Technical Director, Jerry Field, who is retiring.
8 January 2019
Campaigners begin monitoring Rathlin Energy well site at West Newton north of Hull as conductor rig is installed. DrillOrDrop report
Cheshire sand quarry approved despite dust and fracking concerns. BBC News reports that Cheshire West and Chester Council approved plans by Sibelco for a silica sand quarry on farmland in Cranage. The proposal is to be referred to the local government secretary. They have been opposed by anti-fracking groups who fear the sand could be used as a proppant in the shale gas industry.
Nantwich Mayor joins campaign over fracking planning loophole. Nantwich News reports that David Marren has joined 800 other councillors across the UK to oppose Government proposals to make easier planning regulations for fracking companies.
Communities mobilising to resist new fracking threat in Nottinghamshire. Frack Off reports on IGas deliveries of drilling equipment to its shale gas site at Springs Road, Misson. The Canary (9/1/2019), Morning Star
Fracking investments by Lincolnshire County Council. The Sleaford Standard reports on figures by 350.org, Platform and Friends of the Earth that the county has invested more than £50m in fracking companies. The council’s pension has £33.9m in Shell and £20.7m in BP.
7 January 2019
Greater Manchester major shale gas region announces presumption against fracking. DrillOrDrop report on the region’s spatial framework and reaction from the industry and government. Advance reports in other media outlets: Sky News, Guardian, Independent, Energy Voice, ITV, Mail online, pbc today See also Business Green for a report after publication
Egdon’s Biscathorpe oil well spudded. DrillOrDrop report with new pictures of the site.
“Realistic” new model points the way to more efficient and profitable fracking. PhysOrg reports on research at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering which could boost efficiency and profits in natural gas production by better predicting previously hidden fracture mechanics and accounting for known amounts of gas.
6 January 2019
Named: the ‘dirty dozen’ companies that pollute Scotland. The Ferret reports on the Scottish Pollution Release Inventory which sees Ineos, Shell, ExxonMobil, Raytheon, GSK and Texas Instruments as among the most polluting companies in Scotland.
“I have to see it through to the end”: One Lancashire family’s two-year fight against fracking. DeSmogUK reports on a mother and daughter’s campaign against Cuadrilla’s shale gas operation at Preston New Road in Lancashire.
4 January 2019
A 74-year-old man and 60-year-old woman become first people to be arrested outside Egdon Resource’s Biscathorpe oil exploration site near Louth in Lincolnshire. DrillOrDrop report, Lincolnshire Live (10/1/2018)
Equipment delivered to IGas shale gas site at Misson, Nottinghamshire. DrillOrDrop report
Geologist warns of toxic risks from fracking the Bowland shale. DrillOrDrop report
Greater Manchester to announce effective ban on fracking. The Guardian reports that the combined authority will put in place planning measures on Monday to create a presumption against fracking for shale gas.
Application to strike IGas Exploration UK Limited from the companies register. Details
3 January 2019
Deadline approaches for comments on Angus Energy 24-hour oil production at Lidsey in West Sussex. DrillOrDrop report
Diminished case for UK fracking after shaky start, says Fitch. Fitch Solutions, writing in Energy Voice reports that early stoppages to fracking and persisting opposition are “indicative of the wider barriers to the viability of UK shale over the longer term”. The article adds:
“Even with fracking now taking place in the country, the completion of the small drilling schedule will provide an extremely small proportion of the required activity to properly delineate and quantify the existing resource base in the UK.”
It also said: “the urgency for a new domestic source of gas, especially one that is so socially contentious is diminished”.
Man arrested in Exeter after anti-fracking slogan scrawled on Barclays Bank. Devon Live reports that a 39-year-old man from north Devon was charged with criminal damage and will appear at Exeter Magistrates Court on 29 January 2019.
As the government packed up for Christmas, it hoped we’d miss this huge blow to its plans. The Canary reports on December’s judicial review by Talk Fracking on the revised National Planning Policy Framework. See also DrillOrDrop reports from the case here and here
Backlash over ‘disgraceful’ police force that passed video footage to DWP. Disability News Service reports on complaints to the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner after the county’s force confirmed it passed information and footage of disabled protesters to the Department of Work and Pensions in an apparent attempt to have their disability benefits removed.
2 January 2019
Picture post: Rig dismantled and equipment moved off IGas site at Tinker Lane after well fails to find the Bowland Shale. DrillOrDrop report
IGas Ellesmere Port well test is “wrong place at the wrong time”, campaign group will argue at inquiry this month. DrillOrDrop report
Fracking’s secret problem – oil wells aren’t producing as much as forecast. The Wall Street Journal reports that thousands of shale wells drilled in the last five years are pumping less oil and gas than their owners forecast to investors, raising questions about the strength and profitability of the fracking boom that turned the US into an oil superpower.
1 January 2019
Who drilled where in 2018? DrillOrDrop report on 68-year low for UK onshore oil and gas industry.
Events diary – January 2019 and beyond. DrillOrDrop’s monthly events listing
Categories: Daily headlines