This month sees another public inquiry into Ineos shale gas exploration plans. DrillOrDrop will be reporting live from the eight-day hearing on the proposals for Woodsetts in south Yorkshire.
More details could emerge this month on the prospects for shale gas sites at Preston New Road near Blackpool and Springs Road in Nottinghamshire. We’ll also be following developments at West Newton in East Yorkshire and Brockham in Surrey.
You can keep up with the news here with our digest of headlines about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas, updated daily. Click here for headlines from previous months. Please let us know if we’ve missed something important headline. contact@DrillOrDrop.com
17 June 2019
West Newton “potentially UK’s largest onshore hydrocarbon discovery since 1973” – investor. DrillOrDrop report
More fracking ‘will set bad example’. The Times reports that the Conservative leadership contender, Rory Steward, says Britain should not expand fracking because it needs to set an example to the world on cutting emissions.
Oil rig forced to make U-turn by Greenpeace ship. Energy Voice reports that a Greenpeace ship has blocked the path of an oil rig to the North Sea.
14 June 2019
East Yorkshire Council confirms road closure could last for 18 months. DrillOrDrop update
Protesters climb back onto oil rig. Energy Voice reports Greenpeace activists have climbed aboard a BP-contracted oil rig in the Cromarty Firth again.
13 June 2019
Live news updates from day 3 of the public inquiry into Ineos shale gas plans for Woodsetts in South Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop article
Road closure at West Newton drilling site extended up to 18 months, residents told. DrillOrDrop article
Activists appear in court over oil rig protest. Energy Voice reports two environmentalists have appeared in court in connection with a protest that brought work on an oil rig in the Cromarty Firth to a standstill. Christopher Till and Paula Radley denied causing a breach of the peace on the rig when they appeared at Tain Sheriff Court.
Anti-fracking protester claimed disability payments. The Crown Prosecution Service, BBC News, Manchester Evening News and Click Liverpool report that Catherine Jackson, of Fleetwood, who chained herself to equipment during anti-fracking protests while claiming disability payments has been sentenced to 23 weeks in jail, suspended for two years. She pleaded guilty at Blackpool Magistrates Court to dishonestly claiming £5,392 of personal independence payments.
12 June 2019
Live news updates: Day 2 of public inquiry into Ineos shale gas drilling plans at Woodsetts in south Yorkshire. Cross-examination of Woodsetts Against Fracking transport witness. DrillOrDrop report
Court ruling prompts UKOG to update energy security claim in Dunsfold oil and gas drilling. DrillOrDrop report
Committee chair welcomes legally binding target. Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Committee says:
“Strong, early action on cutting carbon emissions is vital and will help ensure the UK reaps the health, environmental, and business benefits of achieving net zero. This puts the UK firmly at the forefront of tackling climate change. However, this commitment can only be the first step. The Government will now need to come forward with the co-ordinated policies, actions, and regulations needed to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.”
Theresa May’s net-zero emissions target is a lot less impressive than it looks. Green MP Caroline Lucas, writing in the Guardian, says government pledges on climate change are too little too late.
Scotland missed 2017 climate change target, new figures show. Energy Voice reports that official figures show that 2017 adjust emissions rose by 3.7% to 46.410m tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. That is above the 43.946 MtC02e laid down by the Scottish government.
World’s biggest sovereign wealth fund to ditch fossil fuels. The Guardian reports that the fund that manages $11tn of Norway’s assets has been given the go ahead for the largest fossil fuel divestment to date by dropping more than $13bn of investments.
11 June 2019
Live news updates: Day 1 of public inquiry into Ineos shale gas drilling plans at Woodsetts in south Yorkshire. Opening statements by barristers, publich speeches and Woodsetts Against Fracking transport evidence. DrillOrDrop report, ITV, BBC News, Rotherham Advertiser, Guardian, Star, ENDS report (13/6/2019)
Theresa May commits to net zero UK carbon emissions by 2050. The Guardian, among others, reports that Theresa May has enshrined in law a commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, making Britain the first major economy to do so. BBC News (12/6/2019)
Rachel Reeves MP, chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee announces a bill to parliament which would commit the government to reducing UK carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
Global emissions rose the most in seven years, BP review shows. Bloomberg reports that global carbon emissions jumped the most in seven years in 2018 as energy demand surged.
Horse Hill production tops 50,000 barrels. UKOG announces that production from the Horse Hill site has passed 50,000 barrels. Proactive Investors. (RNS currently unavailable)
Dunsfold residents urged to reject oil well plan but protesters labelled ‘ill-informed scaremongers’ by UKOG. Surrey Live reports on the latest application for oil and gas drilling at Dunsfold in the county.
10 June 2019
On eve of public inquiry, Sir Kevin Barron MP backs #IamWoodsetts campaign against Ineos shale drilling plans. DrillOrDrop article
East Riding of Yorkshire Council closes road to West Newton oil and gas drilling site. DrillOrDrop article
MPs call for end of taxpayer subsidy for fossil fuel projects in developing countries from 2021. A report by the Environmental Audit Committee reveals that most investments by UK Export Finance is undermining the UK’s climate commitments. Business Green
Almost third of Scotland’s carbon footprint down to firms owned by Ineos boss. The Daily Record and The Times report that companies belonging to St Jim Ratcliffe have been revealed as causing the majority of Scotland’s industrial greenhouse gas pollution, according to data from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency. Falkirk Herald
Over 120 damage reports after latest Groningen quake. NL Times reports there have been 127 damage reports after an earthquake on Sunday morning. Six reports were for acutely dangerous damage.
9 June 2019
Lib Dem contender Ed Davey defends his climate change record as Minister. Common Space reports comments by Ed Davey after a leadership hustings in Edinburgh.
Ineos says sorry for latest black fumes ‘unplanned outage’. The Falkirk Herald reports on black fumes drifting over parts of Grangemouth from the Ineos plant on 8 June.
Peak District protest to protect the planet. Peak District Against Fracking organised a photo-call and protest on Mam Tor in Derbyshire.
Activist occupies BP oil rig. Fran Gobke, a Greenpeace activist occupies a rig, which BP wants to ship to the North Sea
8 June 2019
Fracking doesn’t make sense, says former Cuadrilla chairman. The Observer interviews John Browne, former CEO of BP and ex-chair of Cuadrilla. He tells the paper:
“fracking in the UK doesn’t make much sense. I think it was a test to see if it worked. We probably don’t need to do it.”
7 June 2019
Surrey earthquakes unlikely to be caused by oil activity, say researchers. DrillOrDrop article
Updated: West Newton lorry protest ends after 27 hours. DrillOrDrop article
SNP attacked by opposition parties for repeating ‘fracking ban’ claim. Energy Voice reports opposition parties have again hit out at the Scottish National Party for wrongly claiming it has “banned fracking” in Scotland. A Scottish government spokesperson said ministers were “entering the final stages” of policy making on fracking.
Gearing up for drilling battle. The Rotherham Adveriser reports on the forthcoming public inquiry on Ineos plans for shale gas drilling in Woodsetts.
6 June 2019
17-hour lorry protest outside West Newton drilling site. DrillOrDrop article
Fracking chief rapped by opponents for calling for safety limits to be raised. The Lytham St Anne’s Express reports anti-fracking protesters have hit back at calls by Cuadrilla to relax safety regulations on fracking-induced earthquakes.
5 June 2019
People eat at least 50,000 plastic particles a year, study finds. The Guardian reports on the first study to estimate human ingestion of plastic pollution which found that the average persons eats at least 50,000 particles of microplastic a year, and probably more. The study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, reviewed evidence from studies in microplastic in fish, shellfish, sugar, salt, beer and water, as well as air in cities.
Environmental protest planned for Peak District this weekend. The Ripley and Heanor News reports on a event organised by Peak District Against Fracking at Mam Tor.
“No evidence that government is taking climate emergency seriously”. Rebecca Long Bailey, shadow business secretary, standing in for Jeremy Corbyn at Prime Minister’s questions, tells the Commons:
“The government promote fracking, which is backed by only 12 per cent of the public, yet they effectively block onshore wind, which is backed by 79 per cent of the public.
“New solar is down 94 per cent and home insulation is down 98 per cent. Parliament has declared a climate emergency, yet there is no evidence that this government take it seriously.” Hansard, Independent (6/6/2019)
“I am totally opposed to it and we support the Marsh Lane residents in their battle to stop any fracking.
“To me it is not a tried and tested method of actually producing energy. I know you might say it is elsewhere in America and so on but that is totally different – that is vast tracks of land.
“We are here in a place where we are not far from communities and where people live. We have already heard about some problems as a result of fracking whether it is mini earthquakes and so on and I think until everything really is beyond all doubt we can’t put people’s lives at risk, we can’t put people’s ways of living and the health of their communities and damaging communities at risk, I am just totally opposed to it.”
UK net zero target will cost ‘more than £1tn. The FT (firewall) reports that Chancellor Philip Hammond warned Theresa May that her plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero would cost £1tn. Also reported on 6/6/2019 by Guardian, Independent and others. Friends of the Earth responded that we could not afford not to cut emissions.
Love Leitrim call on Leitrim councillors to reassert opposition to fracking. The Leitrim Observer reports on renewed calls by the pressure group to oppose fracking in Ireland
4 June 2019
IGas waterflood project at Scampton. IGas announces that it has received final planning approvals and is moving to the execution phase to convert an existing well to a water injection well at Scampton, Lincolnshire. The company says the work will cost £2m and will increase oil sweep and field estimated ultimate recovery.
Fossil fuel ban “would save 30,000 lives a year in UK”. The Times reports on a report by the European Academies’ Science Advisory Council which said 28,000 premature deaths in the UK and 3.6m globally would be prevented by switching to a zero-carbon economy.
Natural gas flaring hits record high in first quarter in US Permian Basin. Reuters reports producers burned or vented 661 million cubic feet of gas per day in the first quarter of the year in the Permian Basin oil field in West Texas and eastern New Mexico. The figures, based on a report from Rystad Energy, are higher than the Gulf of Mexico’s most productive gas facility, the Mars-Ursa complex.
$3m settlement revealed in high-profile fracking case. National Public Radio reports that a computer error made public a legal settlement in a legal dispute between the gas company, Range Resources, and three families from Washington County, Pennsylvania, who alleged fracking had contaminated their properties and made them sick.
People protesting against fracking in Woodsetts are set to take on Ineos at a public inquiry. The Gainsborough Standard and Worksop Guardian report on the appeal against refusal of planning permission for shale gas exploration at Woodsetts. See DrillOrDrop report from 30 May 2019 on Ineos new plans for a noise barrier at the site
3 June 2019
20 hour lock-on protest at West Newton drill site. DrillOrDrop article
MSPs urge Scottish Parliament to end fossil fuel investments. DrillOrDrop article
More preparatory work at Brockham. Angus Energy announces that preparatory operations for the second stage of work at its Brockham oil site in Surrey will begin in the week of 17 June 2019. The company says the work will ensure the borehole BRX4Z will be in “optimum condition for testing” and “give the best possible communication between the well and fracture system.” Proactive Investors
UKOG completes acquisition of extra interest in PEDL143. UK Oil & Gas plc announces it has completed the acquisition of interests of Europa Oil & Gas Ltd and Union Jack Oil in the Holmwood licence, in Surrey, PEDL143. The deal means UKOG increases its stake by 20% and now holds 67.5% of the licence. ShareCast
Ineos to invest $2bn in Saudi Arabia. Ineos announces it has signed agreements with Saudi Aramco and Total to invest $2bn in its first ever manufacturing plants in Saudi Arabia. The company says this is believed to be one of the largest UK investments ever in Saudi Arabia. Three new plants will produce chemicals for carbon fibre, engineering polymers and synthetic lubricants. BBC News, Guardian
Fracking presentation well-received by Blackpool business leaders. Lancashire Business Review reports on a presentation by Lee Petts, chair of Lancashire for Shale, at the latest gathering of the Blackpool Business Leader’s Group.
Heather Stroud to tell inspirational story at Hovingham talk. The Gazette and Herald reports on a talk by a Ryedale woman, who protested about local fracking plans, on her experience of taking on governments and changing the lives of ordinary people.
The fracking endgame. Food and Water Watch publish a report which argues the fracking industry is trying to lock the world into oil and gas as people aim to break free from fossil fuels.
2 June 2019
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall fights Sir Jim Ratcliffe on the beaches over plastic pellet blight. The Times reports the TV chef is targeting the Ineos owner and billionaire, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, over billions of plastic pellets washed up on Britain’s beaches. More than 300bn pellets, or nurdles, are manufactured every week at the Ineos plant at Grangemouth as raw material for plastic products. City Am (3/6/2019)
Protesters use pedal power in Grangemouth to defy Ineos. Campaigners opposing Ineos plans to close a section of the Bo’ness Road in Grangemouth cycled the route in a protest. Falkirk Herald (4/6/2019)
1 June 2019
Ineos Upstream Ltd director Andrew Pizzey resigns.