Will Cuadrilla resume fracking this month at Preston New Road in Lancashire? Will drilling begin at Horse Hill in Surrey? Will IGas announce plans for Springs Road in Nottinghamshire?
DrillOrDrop will be following developments across the country by industry, regulators and campaigners.
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
- Cuadrilla announces plans to frack second well at Preston New Road and brings in early morning convoy of fracking equipment
- Environment Agency agrees to most rule changes at Lancashire fracking site – five days later new changes sought
- Support for fracking rises from record low
- Government spending watchdog investigates costs of fracking
- Angus Energy director resigns
- Advertising watchdog confirms ruling on Friends of the Earth webpage on fracking and climate change
- Conservative Environment Network calls for ban on fracking
- IGas reveals plans for two new Weald exploration wells in PEDL235
23 July 2019
Verdict on fracking from the FT’s energy commentator. Nick Butler, writing in Business Times, says:
“Fracking may be safe but it is unnecessary; and uncompetitive, in the absence of the reserves of the US.”
UK ‘still backing billions in fossil fuels’ despite climate promises, campaigners claim. Energy Voice reports on analysis by the Overseas Development Institute for Cafod that the UK provided support for energy in the developing world in 2010-2017 with a total value of £7.8bn.
22 July 2019
Fracking ‘industrialisation of countryside’, says former Tory minister. Energy Voice and the Yorkshire Post report comments by Andrew Percy, Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole, who called for fracking to be treated in the same way in the planning system as any other industrial development in open countryside.
Fracking company hopes for seismic change. The Times (paywall), reproduced in full by the Global Warming Policy Formation reports comments by Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, that the shale gas industry is “highly unlikely to be commercial” unless seismic limits are raised.
Ryedale MP Kevin Hollinrake clarifies his stance on fracking to protesters – Yorkshire Post letters. In a letter to the Yorkshire Post, Kevin Hollinrake defends his support for domestically-produced shale gas, despite supporting the Conservative Environment Network manifesto which calls for a ban.
20 July 2019
New UKOG application on Dunsfold drilling site in Surrey creates “impossible challenge” for decision-makers, say villagers. DrillOrDrop article
19 July 2019
Fracking: Victory for Preston New Road protestor as conviction quashed by court. The Blackpool Gazette reports an anti fracking campaigner, Fiona Smith, 46, has succeeded in appealing to have her conviction for obstructing a highway overturned. She had previously been found guilty by magistrates of wilfully obstructing the free passage along a highway during an incident on November 6, 2018.
18 July 2019
Fracking support up and opposition down – government survey of UK attitudes to shale gas. DrillOrDrop report
Tories again block council’s call to protect rules on fracking earth tremors. DrillOrDrop report
Ellesmere Port and Neston MP calls on Secretary of State to reject shale gas test well bid for town. The Chester Standard reports that Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders has called on the man responsible for deciding whether a controversial shale gas test well should be permitted in the town to reject the plans.
17 July 2019
Aurora Energy Resources planning application for Altcar Moss published online. DrillOrDrop report of details
West Lancs council restates opposition to fracking as shale gas plans published. DrillOrDrop report (18/7/2019)
Conservatives criticised over fracking. Opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, said during Theresa May’s final Prime Minister’s Questions:
“The Tories promised the greenest Government ever. They have failed on carbon emissions. They have failed on air pollution. They have failed on solar. The Prime Minister says that she wants action, but she supports fracking and has effectively banned onshore wind.”
Mrs May did not respond on fracking.
Angus Energy investors encouraged by finance director’s recent share purchase. Proactive Investors reports that Angus Energy finance director, Carlos Fernandes, has paid £20,000 for 1.08m shares – the first time he has bought any stock since joining the company six years ago. Shares rose 21% to 1.88p.
16 July 2019
Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius resigns as Angus director. DrillOrDrop article
15 July 2019
“Biscathorpe analysis raises hopes in PEDL253” – Egdon Resources and Union Jack Oil report. DrillOrDrop article
Chancellor to halt plans for overhaul of UK energy industry. Energy Voice reports the chancellor, Philip Hammond, is blocking government proposals to overhaul UK energy, including the long-awaited energy white paper, because of potential spending implications for a new prime minister.
14 July 2019
Community group challenges Cuadrilla’s view of geology at fracking site. DrillOrDrop article
Kevin Hollinrake’s green claims undermined by his support for fracking. Dr Peter Williams, writing in the Yorkshire Post, says MP Kevin Hollinrake’s continued support for fracking raises “deep suspicion”.
13 July 2019
Listening panel first for Surrey oil and gas development. DrillOrDrop report
Government needs to show a more ‘joined-up’ approach to climate crisis, says leading scientist. The East Anglian Daily Times reports comments by Dr Phil Williamson, of the University of East Anglia, who says policy on “allowing fracking and a new runway at Heathrow isn’t joined-up Government on the climate front,”
12 July 2019
Villagers oppose Ineos plans for road closures around Harthill shale gas site. DrillOrDrop report
Oil lobby still has the ear of government. The Times (paywall) reports that government officials met oil and gas company representatives about drilling licences on almost 50 occasions in the past two years.
Consultation on NI shale gas proposals extended. The Planner (subscription) reports Northern Ireland’s Department of the Economy has extended the consultation period for two petroleum licences in Fermanagh and around Lough Neagh until the end of this month because of public concern over the proposals. Leitrim Observer (16/7/2019)
Somerset West and Taunton Council to consider making area a ‘frack-free’ zone. The Somerset County Gazette reports that the issue of a frack-free zone is to be discussed at the council’s meeting on Tuesday evening (16 July).
Chester MP calls for minister to reject shale gas well plan in Ellesmere Port. Cheshire Live reports Chester MP Chris Matheson has written to the local government secretary, James Brokenshire, asking hi to uphold a council decision to reject IGas plans to flow test an existing shale gas well in Ellesmere Port.
Fossil fuels offer ‘increasingly poor’ returns on investment, study finds. Energy Voice reports on a study by Leeds University which concluded that investment in oil, gas and coal is providing increasingly poor returns.
Stockbridge oilfield issued with consolidated environmental permit with variations. The Environment Agency has issued IGas an updated permit in the modern permit for its Stockbridge oilfield near Winchester. The permit includes activities previously covered by operating techniques and reinjection of produced water, previously permitted as a directly associated activity.
11 July 2019
Angus conference call: “Kimmeridge oil not mature at Brockham”. DrillorDrop report
Angus conference call: “restrictions on water reinjection limiting UK onshore oil and gas. DrillOrDrop report
Angus conference call: Planning blunder forced company to reapply for Balcombe consent. DrillOrDrop report
US energy firm must come clean over Yorkshire fracking plans – The Yorkshire Post says. The Yorkshire Post says residents of Kirby Misperton deserve to know immediately what is intended with the KM8 site and whether the village will soon be back again on the fracking frontline.
10 July 2019
Restoration underway at Tinker Lane, IGas’s first shale gas site in the East Midlands. DrillOrDrop article
Picture post: 100th women in white gathering at Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road near Blackpool. DrillOrDrop article
Alan Linn appointed ceo of Third Energy’s onshore business. DrillOrDrop update
Advertising watchdog confirms ruling on Friends of the Earth webpage on fracking and climate change. The Advertising Standards Authority has again not upheld a complaint about statements in a FOE webpage about fracking. The ASA dismissed the complaint in October 2018 and has now rejected an appeal against the ruling.
9 July 2019
Conservative Surrey declares climate emergency as campaigners stage “die-in”. DrillOrDrop report.
David Attenborough on climate change: ‘We cannot be radical enough’. New Scientist reports evidence by David Attenborough to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy parliamentary committee.
Pension fund has £8million invested in oil firms. The Argus reports that East Sussex Pension Fund has more than £8m invested in oil and gas companies. They include ExxonMobil and Phillips 66. In 2017, the council voted to end the fund’s investments in fossil fuels but since then the amount invested has risen.
Over 20 agencies abstain from fossil fuel briefs in support of Extinction Rebellion. The Drum reports Upwards of 20 environmentally-conscious advertising agencies have pledged to avoid working on fossil fuel briefs in an industry-wide drive inspired by the Extinction Rebellion movement.
8 July 2019
Deadlines set for report on IGas Ellesmere Port and Ineos Woodsetts appeals. DrillOrDrop article
‘Protesters as terrorists’: growing number of states turn anti-pipeline activism into a crime. The Guardian reports US Conservative lawmakers have put forward laws criminalizing protests in at least 18 states since 2017 that civil liberties advocates say are unconstitutional
7 July 2019
Weekend Long Read: Campaigner Helen Chuntso reports on why lawyers are seeking answers on the sale of would-be fracking company Third Energy. DrillOrDrop report
6 July 2019
Campaigner arrested at Tour de France for “wearing an anti-Ineos T-shirt”. DrillOrDrop report
Danielle Rowley: SNP aren’t serious about opposing fracking. The Scotsman reports comments by Labour’s new shadow climate change minister who has accused the SNP Scottish Government of failing to put its climate change rhetoric into action after a licence to frack for gas in Scotland was renewed this week.
5 July 2019
New study shows public wants renewables – but the government is not listening. Pip Roddis, PhD researcher at Leeds University, writing for The Conversation, says analysis of government data shows that public support for renewables is high and growing, while support for fracking and nuclear is low and decreasing.
4 July 2019
IGas reveals plans for two new Weald exploration wells in PEDL235. DrillOrDrop report
Cuadrilla’s fracking data released. DrillOrDrop report
National Trust to ditch fossil fuel investments from its £1bn portfolio. The Telegraph and the Guardian reports that the National Trust is sell off the 4% of its portfolio, worht £45m, over the next three years. About £25m would be immediately invested in private companies operating in green areas, such as wind energy, battery storage and water efficiency, the paper says.
3 July 2019
Onshore licence moves to production without drilling a successful well. DrillOrDrop article
New work plans, more time for onshore oil and gas operators. DrillOrDrop article
Gas and oil firms reclassified under non-renewables on LSE. The Guardian reports that the London Stock Exchange is to list oil and gas companies as non-renewable energy in a move designed to distinguish between heavily polluting companies and greener producers.
2 July 2019
Ince Marshes: Plans to drill 50 boreholes as part of geoenergy research site given the go ahead. The Chester Standard reports Cheshire West and Chester Council have approved the British Geological Survey’s planning application for a UK Geoenergy Observatory at Ince Marshes.
Public First hires former House of Commons deputy speaker and shale gas commissioner. PR Week reports the former Labour MP and deputy speaker of the House of Commons has joined campaigns and policy consultancy Public First as a partner to head up the agency’s growing specialism in infrastructure and regulation.
1 July 2019
Lincolnshire councillors block plans by Egdon to increase working hours and noise limits at oil exploration site but back bid for security cabins and extended delivery times. DrillOrDrop report from the decision meeting.
Scottish government move to renew Ineos fracking licence ‘disappointing‘. The Ferret reports Scottish ministers have come under fire after extending PEDL 162, the exploration licence for the Grangemouth petrochemical giant, Ineos, to frack for shale gas in the central belt.
This is the tip of the iceberg: MP warning over fracking in West Lancashire. Lancashire Live reports comments by West Lancashire MP, Rosie Cooper, in response to notice by Aurora Energy Resources that it would submit a planning application to Lancashire County Council to frack at Great Altcar.
Nearly half of Londoners ‘think city should stop investing in fossil fuel companies’. The Evening Standard reports on a survey which also found that 54% of Londoners think personal pension funds should give customers the option of investing their money in fossil free investments.
We have too many fossil-fuel power plans to meet climate goals. National Geographic reports on a new study which concludes that fossil-fuel power plans, factories, vehicles and buildings we’ve already built will, if operated normally over their full lifetimes, warm the earth more than the Paris Agreement climate target of 1.5 degrees.