Lancashire fracking site looks like an “abandoned ghost town”, says campaign group

pnr 190425 Debs Jackson 5

Drone picture of Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, near Blackpool, 25 April 2019. Photo: Debs Jackson

Anti-fracking campaigners have accused Cuadrilla of leaving local people “in the dark” as more equipment was removed off the company’s Preston New Road site this week.

Frack Free Lancashire described drone images taken yesterday of the site near Blackpool as “more like an abandoned ghost town” than a “flagship fracking site”.

The company told DrillOrDrop there were about 30 people working on the site today, “in line with the work programme”.

The UK’s first horizontal shale gas well was fracked at Preston New Road between October and December 2018.

In March 2019, the company said in a statement it had delivered specialist equipment “designed to get two existing wells ready for further hydraulic fracturing later this year”.

Photos taken this week showed the removal of lighting gear, reinforced site surfacing, hoses and other equipment.


Today, Claire Stephenson, of Frack Free Lancashire said:

“Once again, the community is left in the dark regarding Cuadrilla’s movements at the Preston New Road site. Their communication has always been poor, aside from the glossy press releases they send out to appease investors and give them impression all is well.

“All is not well, clearly. The site is currently being emptied at a rapid rate and drone footage has shown it to be a sparse setting that no longer resembles the “flagship fracking site”, but more like an abandoned ghost town.

“It’s hard to see any positive progress for this non-existent industry in the UK. Not forgetting fracking’s geological issues in this country and health impacts (of which the government and industry have conveniently ignored), there is a clear climate crisis and there is no room for any new fossil fuel extraction.”

In a response, Cuadrilla told DrillOrDrop:

“Today there are about 30 people working on site at our shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road, which is far from an ‘abandoned ghost town’ and in line with the work programme being carried out currently.

“We confirmed last week to you that we were demobilising kit that we don’t own or need, which is simply good business practice. Please be reassured that work is ongoing and both our wells remain ready for hydraulic fracturing.”

The industry regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority, confirmed today that Cuadrilla did not have an approved hydraulic fracturing plan for the second shale gas well at Preston New Road, called PNR-2.

43 replies »

  1. Apparently a warning has been given about a possible earthquake happening tomorrow some where in England. One of the noted bye products from other countries especially USA who allow fracking, was an increase in seismic activity in the areas wherever these fracking companies were allowed to drill.
    Obviously this increase wasn’t due to fracking according to the fracking companies and their supporters in government, but if we were to believe them we would also believe Elvis lives on the moon night doesn’t follow day and Donald Trump is sane.

  2. oute ,( there is a clear climate crisis and there is no room for any new fossil fuel extraction.”) Who writes this rubbish. if that be the case then there is certainly no room for shipping liquefied gas half way round the world. have any of you considered the energy it takes to Liquefy gas the fuel costs in shipping it then more energy expended in turning it back to gas again ? but I suppose you lot won,t think about that so long as your central heating keeps going. bloody hypocrites.

    • So you know me? How do you know about my heating? Gasman isn’t happy so must be losing cash on investment. Beware stranded assets soon.

  3. Still seems to be a big rush to buy into fracking in USA though Paul! Perhaps they are doing so due to the increased exports to some places-like UK! Or, perhaps the “alternative” investors have got fed up with Tesla posting $700m loses for a quarter, and are looking for something a bit more secure.

    As an earthquake occurs somewhere in UK most days, the warning could just strike lucky.

    (Does night follow day? Or is it, day follows night?)

      • Tired again Jono? Looks as if you could do with an energy boost. I’m sure Fracking Francis could help you out.

    • Martina, there doesn’t seem to be much appetite for buying into fracking in the UK is the AJL share price is anything to go by.

      The BEIS wave survey is out again in 2 weeks time. Care to predict which way it will swing?

      [Comment corrected at poster’s request]

        • Too much money being spent on imported diesel cars, and imported diesel, reaction for other investment-including into companies losing $700m/quarter! (Never mind-you will shortly be able to stick to Esso diesel and feel you are probably helping UK workers.)

          However, do keep up. See a new player has bought into UK fracking as announced by DoD. Positively seismic!

          Not into swinging. However, if Igas confirm some data from their latest well you may get a surprise-but probably too early for this one. Benefit side of the equation, if filled in, will certainly get things going.

  4. The 30 workers .. are they specialist from around the world or U.K. residents . How many security guards ect

    • Looking at the drone photos, if Cuadrilla have 30 people working for them they are very well disguised.

  5. Cuadrilla drill, complete, conduct stimulation i.e. fracking, within the TLS system. We conduct testing and flow the well, they receive great positive indication of the potential of well the flow hydrocarbons. A few earth tremors are indicated as per the BGS monitors although these tremors are not felt, but the anti’s decide to replicate the BGS report online tremors to ones they believed they felt! Unless they feel they maybe had too much of grandpas cough medicine?! All under the watchful eyes of the despicable, vile fanatical and malicious anti’s! Now however Cuadrilla, like their favourite 80’s TV show which has just been cancelled from a new series, they are disappointed that the show is no longer available and no explanation from teletext or the radio times on why this has happened! Maybe go and enjoy your pension, sitting with you feet up at home on the money the state pension has allowed you to enjoy, linked to the FTSE 100 stock exchange and the dividends provided from fossil fuel, and utility companies so you feel comfortable and well off whole sleeping at night! Or the jobless lot who need to queue at the job centre plus tomorrow, as they have nothing to protest about and need to find a living, unless the state is picking up the tab?, which is contributed to by?, yes you got it the FTSE & the fossil fuels and utility companies! Cuadrilla showing with the popcorn front seats is awaiting its next pivot and ready for the sequel!
    And guess what, they pay their TAX, what do the anti’s pay?

    Watch this space Cuadrilla is here to stay!

      • Have a good holiday, reaction?

        Hope you didn’t run the tank dry. Fuel prices on the rise again. Meanwhile, I have bought my last litre of diesel and have moved to new pastures. Not difficult-come on, you know you want to! Just think of all those children that need saving.

    • ‘what do the anti’s pay?’

      Attention to global climate change issues. Attention to the reports on the dangers of fracking. Attention to detail on poorly submitted shale gas applications and planning condition breaches…….springs to mind.

      Still a small amount of time left to move money about and fill those Cayman Isle accounts.

  6. Oh-JohnDefracked:
    There doesn’t seem (SEEM) much appetite from fracking in the UK?, Says WHO?
    Deniers deny!
    83% of Gas and Oil Boiler consumption UK homes seem to disagree with you as they snd probably You use fossil fuels everyday of your week, and less home sourced production is required! Allegedly.
    Chevron is selling up its UK assets to invest in US shale, ConocoPhillips is selling its UK assets to again invest in US shale, the reasons the UK, Poland and Romania have challenged the exploration of shale production and this has facilitated the US to pick up the Thirsty World requirements. Again America bailing out the rest of the world, but it has worked as for the last 20 years they were a net importer of hydrocarbons from the middle east. Now they are a net exporter and world leader in Energising the World with Power!
    Which includes, medicines, transport, financials and business… where as Corbyns Britain is stupid enough to try and say No!!

      • Defracktion: capitalisation thing catching?, are you anti capitalist too, and your betting on a communist Corbyn Britain?, it’ll be Back to our caves and foraging for your dinner! You’d likely be the pooper at the xmas party! Haha…

    • There doesn’t seem (SEEM) much appetite from fracking in the UK?,

      ‘ Says WHO?’

      Have you heard of a company called Statoil? You should look them up. They know the UK gas market inside out as they have been supplying us with gas for decades.

      And why Statoil turned its back on UK shale,

      Another witness to the committee, Tor Martin Anfinnsen, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Trading, Statoil, said his company had interests in shale but only in the US. He explained why:

      “We had a look at the UK sometime back as part of a global survey with Chesapeake, of the US, but we decided against going into the UK.

      “We believed we were operating in a more prolific basin in US than what the UK could offer. But I think it was primarily it was what we call the above ground risk, not so much government policy but it’s a fairly densely populated country this and there have been obstacles, if you will, to our activities in the Marcellus field in the US as well and we thought they may be even tougher to overcome here.”

      • John Pawn Mate: Statoil no longer exists as a name!! Wakey wakey… Equinor has only in the last 5 years entered the UK market with the Mariner Bressay oilfields.
        also cuadrilla is the only company in the UK which has flowed an unconventional oil and gas well in the UK, its them who have the core samples and the i tell you this the UK has enough onshore gas potential to supply the UK for decades, possible 30 years at todays estimated calculated by the BGS even if we are able to extract and produce only 10-20% of hydrocarbon in place.
        Harsh reality eh!! REALITY!

        • Another leaving the sinking ship

          A spokesperson for Total said:

          “Total E&P UK has agreed a deal with INEOS in regard to its interests in UK onshore exploration licenses. Total has sold 30% of working interest in each of the licenses PEDL 273, 305 and 316, so it will retain a 20% interest. It has also sold 40% of working interest in the PEDL 139 and 140 licenses.

          Total’s decision to reduce its holding of UK onshore acreage is in line with its strategy to concentrate on its current British offshore assets.”

          And another

          The former BP boss stepped down from his position as chairman at UK shale gas company Cuadrilla to join the Russian energy company.

          Statoil, Total, and Lord Browne. Centrica next perhaps.

          The UK shale deposits and the gas content have been known about for decades. The big players won’t touch it. The worst always get left till the last.

          A start up company is unlikely to succeed where professionals have rejected and this appears to have been correct as it is nearly a decade since the first fracking applications of the Bowland shale were passed unopposed and still no viable commercial gas.

  7. MARTIN’S, stuck record about Tesla .

    What next MARTIN ??????? You’ll be trying to blame Tesla for your burnt toast in the morning .

    Well I have some news for you,

    TESLA booming sales in China ( April 2019. )

    I assume you are pleased that a US company is driving sales forward in China and continuing to employ American people paying US TAX .

    NOW let’s continue , why is MARTIN so against TESLA ?????? Could it be that they produce electric vehicles, which is a threat to the fossil fuel industry and its investors ?????? What do you think ladies and gentlemen ??????

    Well I’m happy to inform you MARTIN that production and sales of electric cars are BOOMING around the world .

    TESLA ……BOOM lifts Norway’s electric car sales to record market share

    MOVING ON …….

    ( 1 ) SHALL WE TALK about other electric car manufacturers???????
    ( 2 ) Shall we talk about world leading car manufacturing brands that are NOW fully embracing the electric car idea???????
    ( 3 ) Shall we talk about the growung demand for electric vehicles, worldwide?????

  8. Don’t think we have exhausted Tesla yet Jack!

    You forgot to mention the recent one that exploded somewhere. Oh yes, it was China! Yep, BOOMING around the world!

    I’m not against Tesla, Jack but I enjoy the way a company unable to produce a product and make a profit is hailed as a great success! Goodness, you antis get excited if an exploration company doesn’t make a profit. Mug punters sound familiar?

    Continuing to employ LESS US people, Jack. Some recently made redundant to try and reduce costs.

    By the way, Jack, the ladies and gentlemen have been told several times Martin has invested in TWO hybrids and, having tried, rejected. Maybe not what you feel is required, but certainly a step-or two-further than some antis are willing to take.

    You might also like to look at the growing demand for other vehicles worldwide, Jack. Somewhat dwarfs electric. That’s what comes when the poor become middle class, and then families want two vehicles. Some might understand there are vast parts of the world still without a secure electric supply, so quite a way to go. Also parts of the world where natural disasters occur frequently and then electricity supplies are immediately flattened.

    By the way Jack, the same ladies and gentlemen have also been told that lithium investments are also possible and some people might just do both! Either/or is not compulsory.

  9. Don’t you just love the foot stamping about the ‘local community’ not being kept informed. For Local Community read over entitled anti fracking nosy protesters. In case you hadn’t noticed, the local community is going about its business as usual and has no real care about whats happening at PNR. Has the frack free Lancashire spokeswoman been on a few flagship fracking sites then? She
    seems such an expert on what they should look like.

      • MARTIN ,

        YES , I agree a windfall is what it is .

        With 90% of local residents being offered an eye watering £ 150 .

        With such vast smounts of hard cash, I’m sure the locals have been far to pre-occupied, no doubt busy booking their Caribbean Cruises and dinning out on fine Beluga Caviar 😂 .

        • You need to DYOR Jack-AGAIN!

          I think others have and recognise the reality rather than your continued attempts at misinformation even when the facts have been given to you-over and over again. (The “hoping for more” was all others will have needed to direct their grey cells.)

          But, always of use to get you to show how simple pieces of information are misrepresented by some for their own ends.

          • OK MARTIN ,

            Were 90% of residents at Cuadrillas PNR site offered £150 per household ????

            YES or NO

            Where is the ” misinformation ” there ????

            • Cuadrilla trying to divide and conquer the nearest households to their test fracking site using the only product they understand, investor’s cash!
              Sadly but not surprisingly in today’s world, it would appear some residents actually accepted the pittance on offer, although it was supposed to be ‘no strings attached’.

              • Wonder who was amongst those who categorically stated the “blood money” would not be accepted, Peter? Someone who turned out to be speaking for a minority not a majority.

                The clock ticks on, but a record is left on (anti)social media. Sometimes rather revealing.

            • Jack-you know the answer. For what? 1 or 15 (ish).

              You know that, as we have discussed it many times. Too many Jacks, or the memory going?

      • The only windfall the community around PNR is thinking about is where the gaseous fracking emissions have fallen after the admitted 19 instances of unspecified quantities of unspecified byproduct being released by flaring last autumn and winter.

  10. JP. Of course Statoil/Equinor is not interested in seeing UK shale gas materialized. They are the one that supplies most of imported gas for UK.

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