Plans published for new Lancashire fracking site

Altcar Moss planning application Aurora Resources 1

Proposed shale gas wells that Aurora Resources seeks to drill, frack and test near Great Altcar, Lancashire. Source: planning application

Details of plans to frack shale gas wells near Formby in Lancashire were published online today.

Aurora Energy Resources is seeking consent to drill, frack and test vertical and horizontal wells at a site near the village of Great Altcar.

The company’s planning application to Lancashire County Council comprises 70 documents, including a 411-page environmental statement and an 87-page planning statement.

The proposed site is in the Green Belt, within 6.5km of three European designated wildlife sites. It is 100m from a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and within 60m metres of a breeding site for shelduck. The area is home to water vole, bats, threatened bird species, including owl and grey partridge, and wintering wildfowl.

Altcar Moss planning application Aurora Resources 6

Photomontage of the proposed site from the Trans Pennine Trail. Source: planning application

The application is for five years and, if approved, would involve almost one-and-a-half years of 24-hour, seven-days-a-week working. According to the details, there would be up to 55 two-way lorry movements a day to the site during fracking.

The scheme involves constructing a 1.72ha well site and an access track measuring 815m. The vertical bore hole would drilled into the Bowland/Hodder shale formation to a depth of 3,000m. The second borehole would extend horizontally for approximately 1,500m. Both would be stimulated using high volume hydraulic fracturing.

During well tests, any gas extracted would be burned in a flare. There are no plans to pipe the test gas into the mains network.

Aurora said it chose the site, 950m from Great Altcar, partly because it was close to the now abandoned Formby-1 well, which produced oil and encountered gas in the Bowland shale.

The application will be decided by Lancashire County Council’s development control committee.

It will be advertised in the Liverpool Echo and Southport Visitor on Friday 26 July. Site notices and individual letters to residents will be posted the same day, marking the start of a 28-day public consultation process. The deadline for public comments will be Friday 23 August 2019.

Key details

These details are from the Aurora Resources planning application. DrillOrDrop will follow this application through the planning system. We will report on reaction to the proposals, which may challenge some of Aurora’s conclusions.

Application details

Application reference: LCC/2019/0037

Dates: Received – 27 June 2019; validated – 10 July 2019; published – 17 July 2019


Altcar Moss planning application Aurora Resources 3

Location of wellsite and access track (in red). Source: planning application

Address: Sutton’s Lane, Great Altcar

Nearest home: 850m

Nearest village: Great Altcar, 950m away

Current use of site: Farmland

Landscape status: Green Belt

Flood risk: Flood zone 3 (zone with the greatest risk of flooding)

Nearest designated site: 100m from Downholland Moss Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), designated for its geology

Nearest wildlife site: Downholland Biodiversity Heritage Site (60m), breeding habitat for shelduck; Altcar Withins BHS (180m), hunting habitat for barn owl

Nearest public rights of way: Sutton’s Lane runs alongside the route of the proposed access track and meets the corner of the proposed well site. The site is also less than 1km from the Cheshire Lines Path and Trans Pennine Trail.

Exploration details


PEDL164 (yellow) with previously-drilled wells (pink). Source: UK Onshore Geophysical Library

Exploration licence: PEDL164

Target geology: Bowland/Hodder unit

Site selection: Aurora Resources said it wanted to use data from Formby-1 well, drilled to 2,341m in the 1940s, 950m from the proposed site. Cuadrilla’s Becconsall-1z well is 17.3km NNE of Altcar Moss wellsite.

Proposed road access to site: via A565 and B5195

Proposed development

Phase 1 – Access track and wellsite construction

Duration: 112 days (16 weeks)
Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-7pm; Saturday 7am-1pm; Sunday and Bank holidays no work
Average two-way HGV movements: 24 per day
Average two-way light car and van movements: 14 per day
Lighting: Daylight hours with temporary lighting during early morning and dusk


  • 5m wide and 815m long access track created from Sutton’s Lane to wellsite entrance
  • Site area levelled then piling rig installs precast concrete driven piles to provide stable base for drilling cellar
  • Drilling cellar constructed in the centre of active area of the wellsite
  • 1m containment ditches excavated around the perimeter to collect surface rainwater
  • Cess tank installed to collect foul water and sewage
  • Impermeable membrane and geotextile liners installed, followed by aggregate layer to provide hard standing
  • 3m high steel mesh security fence installed with interwoven solid panels, followed by secondary security fencing, pole-mounted CCTV cameras and lighting

Phase 2: Drilling and coring vertical borehole

Duration: 150 days (5 months)
Hours: 24-hour working, 7 days a week
Average two-way HGV movements: 8 per day
Average two-way light car and van movements: 50 per day
Lighting: 4 lighting towers around the site; plus lighting on rig floor and catwalk, mud tanks and shakers, derrick and cabins
Waste: Includes 735 tonnes of oil-based drilling fluid, 1,629 tonnes of water-based drilling fluid, 572 tonnes of rock cuttings and 1,520 tonnes of surface run-off water


  • Mobilise conductor rig, temporary offices, welfare facilities, diesel generator, compressor and portable lighting towers
  • Install conductor casings for two boreholes
  • Demobilise conductor rig and mobilise drilling rig, up to 60m, along with diesel generator, switch control rooms, storage tanks, pumps, external lighting, more office accommodation and welfare. Two cranes will be required to erect the rig.
  • Vertical borehole drilled to depth of 3,000m and cased

Phase 3: Drilling horizontal borehole

Second borehole drilled to target zone and then drilled horizontally within zone up to 1,500m using equipment from Phase 2

Duration: 150 days (5 months)
Hours: 24-hour working, 7 days a week
Average two-way HGV movements: 7 per day
Average two-way light car and van movements: 50 per day
Lighting: 4 lighting towers around the site; plus lighting on rig floor and catwalk, mud tanks and shakers, derrick and cabins
Waste: Includes 770 tonnes of oil-based drilling fluid, 1,550 tonnes of water-based drilling fluid, 545 tonnes of rock cuttings and 1,520 tonnes of surface run-off water

Phase 4: Hydraulic fracture stimulation of vertical and horizontal boreholes

Altcar Moss planning application Aurora Resources 2

Proposed site layout for hydraulic fracturing. Source: planning application

Duration: 60 days
Hours: 24-hour working, 7 days a week
Average two-way HGV movements: 55 per day
Average two-way light car and van movements: 42 per day
Lighting: 4 lighting towers around the site; plus flood lighting on primary working areas, site cabins and walkways and fluorescent lighting at intervals on the coil tubing unit
Waste: Includes 21,465 tonnes of fracking fluid, 1,800 tonnes of flowback fluid, 13.5 tonnes of proppant, 600 tonnes of surface run-off

Fracking equipment: Coiled tubing unit, diesel generators, fluid storage tanks, 13m high proppant silos, mixing tanks, fluid pumps, fluid separation and storage, diesel storage, external lighting, control room, office and welfare cabins. Two cranes needed to erect equipment. A 37m high workover rig may be required, along with additional generators, control rooms, tanks, storage, lighting and accommodation.
Well test equipment: Surface safety valve, bath heater, three phase separator, surface flow lines, ground flare, well test lab

Fracking stages: Not finalised but 15 proposed for vertical borehole and 30 for horizontal borehole, each stage using a maximum of 795m3 of fluid and 75 tonnes of proppant
Fracking fluid: Water, sand and fluid which could include pH control, viscosity control, friction reduction, bacterial control and corrosion inhibiter
Proportion of fluid flowback: Estimated at 25%-50%. The remainder will stay in the formation

Phase 5: Initial flow testing

Duration: 60 days
Hours: 24-hour working, 7 days a week. Fracking would be from 7am to 7pm
Average two-way HGV movements: 14 per day
Average two-way light car and van movements: 40 per day
Lighting: 4 lighting towers around the site; plus flood lighting on primary working areas, site cabins and walkways and fluorescent lighting at intervals on the coil tubing unit
Waste: Includes 10,770 tonnes of flowback fluid, 140 tonnes of proppant, 7,410 tonnes of gas; 600 tonnes of surface run-off water


  • Flow test five zones in the fracked interval of the vertical borehole – each zone will comprise “a number of fracture stages”
  • Flow test all fracture stages of horizontal borehole
  • Separate gas and liquid hydrocarbons from flowback fluid
  • Gas burned on site in a 12m high ground flare
  • Boreholes suspended after initial flow test
  • Workover rig may be required to suspend boreholes

Phase 6: Extended well tests

If initial flow test indicates gas or liquid hydrocarbons will flow, extended well test will be carried out on horizontal borehole. Gas will be burned in a ground flare

Duration: 90 days
Hours: 24-hour working
Average two-way HGV movements: 3 per day
Average two-way light car and van movements: 36 per day
Lighting: 4 lighting towers around the site
Waste: Includes 1,200 tonnes of flowback fluid, 9 tonnes of proppant, 7,702 tonnes of gas; 900 tonnes of surface run-off water
Equipment: as for initial flow test

Phase 7: Decommissioning and abandonment

If the tests do not confirm commercial hydrocarbon production can be achieved, the boreholes will be decommissioned

Duration: 28 days
Hours: 24-hour working
Average two-way HGV movements: 13 per day
Average two-way light car and van movements: 30 per day
Lighting: 2 lighting towers to light the main working area and fluorescent tubing on workover rig
Waste: Includes 50 tonnes of well suspension brine, 280 tonnes of surface run-off water
Equipment: Workover rig and associated equipment

Phase 8: Site restoration and aftercare

Duration: 56 days
Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-7pm; Saturday 7am-1pm; Sunday and Bank holidays no work
Average two-way HGV movements: 44 per day
Average two-way light car and van movements: 14 per day
Lighting: Temporary lighting may be required in early morning and dusk – 1 8m portable lighting tower with four lights
Waste: Includes 140 tonnes of surface run-off water, 1,406 tonnes of concrete and cement, 12,802 tonnes of stone aggregates plus 673 tonnes of contaminate stone aggregates


  • Concrete hard standings broken up and removed
  • Concrete drilling cellar broken up and removed
  • Surface aggregate and membrane/liners removed
  • Excavated subsoil replaced and top soil reinstated
  • Five-year aftercare programme


Aurora Resources said the scheme, if approved, would bring the following benefits

  • First stage in exploration needed to meet UK energy needs and reduce dependence on imports
  • Direct employment on the site and indirectly in the supply chain, environmental monitoring and services such as hotels and restaurants
  • £100,000 voluntary community benefit paid under the industry community engagement charter
  • Reversible impacts
  • Introduction of mammal ledges in replacement culverts at two ditch crossing points
  • Increased technical understanding of hydrocarbon resources


  • Loss of farm land
  • Change to local landscape
  • Increase in traffic
  • Increase in greenhouse gas emissions

Aurora described all these disbenefits  as temporary

Planning policy

The application says the scheme meets local and national planning policies.


Altcar Moss planning application Aurora Resources 5

Photomontage of the proposed rig from Great Altcar Village Hall. Source: planning application

Air quality

The application identified the main sources of pollution as the use of diesel and flaring of gas.

Emissions at the wellsite boundary would be relatively high, above the Environment Agency’s screening criteria and, in some cases, above air quality standards, it said.

But it added that statutory air quality standards would not apply because of “the infrequency of human exposure”.

Construction would produce dust emissions but the risk, with adequate mitigation, would be negligible, it said.

Increases in road traffic would have a “neutral impact on air quality”.

Cultural heritage

There are 17 buildings and structures described as heritage assets within 1km of the site, the application said. This excluded listed buildings in Great Altcar, which were beyond a 1km study area.

The application concluded:

“there will be no adverse impact on any designated or previously identified heritage assets”

It noted that site traffic would pass close to the Grade II listed church in Great Altcar.

But it said

“The impact [of increased traffic] will be temporary and limited in significance.”


The area around the site is used by five species of bat (common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle, Daubenton’s, brown long-eared and noctule), the application stated. Three survey periods made 3,903 bat recordings.

A breeding bird survey recorded 49 species, of which eight were at the site itself.

Eight bird species using the area are on the Red List of Birds of Conservation Concern, including skylark, corn bunting, grey partridge, lapwing and linnet. Four of these are confirmed to be breeding locally. Barn owl and western marsh harrier were recorded in the wider  area.

Wintering bird surveys recorded skylark, merlin and pink-footed goose. Flocks of up to 2,500 of the goose were seen within 500m of the site.

The drainage ditches of Altcar Moss are important for water voles. A survey for the application recorded  signs of water voles in five of the seven ditches studied in May 2018. Six of ditches had dried by July 2018 but water vole were expected to recolonise if water levels returned to former levels, the application said.

Surveys also recorded a single red squirrel close to the site, a brown hare and a hedgehog.

There are three European designated wildlife sites (Ribble and Alt Estuaries, Sefton Coast and Liverpool Bay) within 6.2km of the site.

Downholland Moss SSSI is 100m away. But Aurora said this did not require an assessment for ecological impacts because it was designated for its geology.

The application concluded there would be “no significant effects on the nearest statutory designated sites”.

Six other wildlife sites are within 2km of the site. These include Downholland BHS, 60m to the north. No significant impacts had been identified on these sites either, the application concluded.

Greenhouse gases

The application estimated the total maximum contribution to greenhouse gas emissions would be 84,199 tCO2 equivalent or 0.07% of the total UK greenhouse gas emissions from the energy supply sector.

The residual effects were considered to be neutral/slight with a “negligible change in baseline conditions”.


The application admitted the site would “temporarily introduce large industrial type structures, lighting and activity into a relative attractive tranquil landscape, reducing the semi-rural qualities of Altcar Moss”.

But it said there would be no permanent effect on the openness of the Green Belt or land designated as natural areas or areas of landscape history importance.

The application also admitted that the proposed development would be seen from a relatively wide area because of the unrestricted long-distance views. There would be prominent, short-term views from some homes in Great Altcar and from Sutton’s Lane, Cheshire Lines Path, Downholland Moss Lane and Moss Lane.

But the application said:

“the temporary visual changes experienced by these receptors would not be significant and there would be no residual effects”.


The effects of lighting were considered to be neutral or temporary negligible adverse change in current conditions.


Site construction noise would be below the British Standard guidelines and would not have a significant impact on nearby “noise sensitive receptors”, the application said.

Noise levels from drilling rigs and fracking equipment would be below the limits in planning guidance.

Noise during flow testing would not result in a noticeable change during daytime or evening.

There would be an increase in night-time noise levels at the homes nearest to the site but this would be below the noise level in the guidance of 42dba, Aurora said.

The effects from noise were considered to be neutral/slight with possible temporary negligible change in current conditions.

Public health

Aurora described potential health impacts as neutral to neutral/slight.


Fracking could cause induced seismicity, the application conceded. But it said any negative impacts had been assessed as “negligible to slight”.


Altcar Moss planning application Aurora Resources 4

Predicted two-way lorry movements to the site at each phase of the proposed development. Source: planning application

The development would “not significantly impact on nearby residents and highways users”, the application said.

A traffic survey found the current number of daily two-way HGV movements was 127. The peak HGV movements to the site was estimated at 55.

The application concluded:

“the predicated vehicle movements associated with the proposed development will not significantly impact on nearby residents or highway users including in the areas of driver/pedestrian/cyclist delay, severance or road safety”.


Each type of waste from the site represented about 1.56% of less of total available treatment capacity, the application said.

If Naturally-Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM) were present in fracking flowback, it would represent about 3.2% of UK treatment capacity.


Flood risk from surface water was considered very low, provided this was managed appropriately. The site would be designed to protect shallow groundwater and surface water, the application said. Water for fracking would be sourced from the mains water network. Contaminated water would be removed by tanker to a treatment works.


Lancashire County Council webpage for the application

Aurora planning statement for Altcar Moss application

Non-technical summary for Altcar Moss application

Environmental statement

Community consultation statement

Updated 18 July 2019 to include details on public consultation

68 replies »

    • Another planning application doomed to failure. Wrong industry, wrong site, wrong time.

      The proposed development is in close proximity to Down Holland Moss SSSI, Sefton Coast SSSI and SAC and the Ribble and Alt Estuaries SSSI, SPA and Ramsar site.

      The application site is also within an area that is considered to be ‘ functionally linked’ to the Ribble and Alt Estuaries SPA and Ramsar site in particular due to the use of the agricultural land by over wintering wildfowl which are one of the special interest features for which the SPA is designated.

      All sounds familiar. Check out how the Becconsall site went from un opposed fracking permission to being shut down by LCC development control and local opposition.

        • [edited by moderator] The problem is that no one will ever take you seriously when you try to argue that wells drilled into the Bowland are intended for rad waste disposal – la la land has never felt such an appropriate phrase. [Edited by moderator]

            • Joe – great link that you provided – did you bother to read it? Did you notice something about the width of the boreholes that they are drilling? That’s not to mention the fact that a key requirement for rad waste storage in the UK is for it to be retrievable, which would not be the case for the technology that you seem so obsessed with.

            • Cut and pasted from the above link:

              ‘Do you pick sites that are suitable for gas and oil recovery?

              The ideal geology for waste isolation has no recoverable natural resources. We prefer to drill in or under shale rock that is high in clay content, making it more ductile, self-healing (so fractures don’t endure), and thus unsuitable for fracking.’

              • Too right I am, I like to keep a close eye on what these cowboys are up to, as you know I don’t miss a trick Ellie

              • In case it has slipped your attention David didn’t IGAS once drill a hole a 1000m deeper than they said they would. Haven’t Cuadrilla moved the goalposts from tankered off to drained into a brook (won’t go down well at Altcar, with fowl) for surface water? Of course, the list is endless with Cuadrilla and I’d be here all night, listing them. However, one of my concerns, which I think should be addressed in my objection is a company drilling a borehole with no intention to frack and then leaving it at the mercy of the Infrastructure Act. I would like to know what legal position the council holds to protect the local community in case of that occurrence. Who is to say the rock at Altcar is stable for fracking? What if it isn’t? These are questions that need asking, and as we have seen no other planning applications highlighting the risk that these cowboys have an alternative agenda, it will be very wise to do so.

      • David – could you share with us the decommissioning plan for wind turbines? I was only at a conference recently where many people were arguing that lots of research needs to be done in developing ways to recycle composites. It turns out that wind turbines aren’t quite as green as many of you lot would like everyone to believe

        • Wind turbines may be less green than some may think. They are though rather more green than fracking.

          • April – have you got a comparative study that proves the your theory? I’d hope it takes into account the environmental conditions in and around the mines where the critical elements are produced that fuel our renewable energy.

            We should base our cost-benefit analysis more widely than CO2 emissions in terms of the debate on where we source our energy. Wind produces energy that is reasonably low carbon once its installed. However, there is a big supply chain associated with manufacturing wind turbines and building wind farms; this is major challenge to any form of energy production that can supply a world population of 7.8 million with a fertility rate of 2.5.

            The people and communities who really contribute to building our Net Zero economy are those such as the miners of critical elements in China and Congo who have zero say in what happens locally and whose environment is being severely polluted by the mining industry. Fracking is probably the safest way of obtaining gas, which every serious minded person agrees will be in our energy mix for a few years to come. Why shouldn’t people in their local community be responsible for producing the energy that they produce?

            It will take many years before our energy generation and storage systems are anywhere need capable of getting to Net Zero. So April, in the period until we get to Net Zero do you really want to bury your head in the sand and think that your obsession against fracking is going to make any difference?.

              • April – did you bother to read the article in the link that you posted? It doesn’t seem to address a single point that I made.

                Electricity makes up around 20% of the energy consumed in the UK. The fact that the price of renewables is coming down doesn’t get away from the problem of their intermittency. Other sources of green energy that the article mentions such as geothermal and hydroelectric have many of the same issues that people use to criticize shale gas (e.g. water disposal, seismicity etc.).

                The bottom line is that until we have developed better methods for storing energy we will still need energy sources to provide back-up for when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining. There are also massive issues with the supply of critical elements for many of the renewables.

      • You also need pylons with wind turbines – unfortunately they are there 100% of the time but if supporting wind turbines not in use for much of the time……

        • Not only are pylons and substations required for wind turbines Paul, but where a large offshore windfarm connects to the grid in East Yorkshire there are also a number of very large diesel powered generators.
          Perhaps someone could explain why they need to be there?

  1. I suspect there are disbenefits to the local wildlife and ecology and how is increasing GHG temporary? They are harming the climate long after the five year consent. Most species don’t just exist within the boundaries of protected areas, they forage and fly in the areas that border these sites. I find it very sad.

    • Kate: do you find it sad that every mile of transport you take each day, every meal and cup of tea you are contributing to climate change! Its a calculated mathematical fact humans are not good for the environment! But industry and innovation has sustained us thus far, and will continue to do so, but we need energy and we need to look for cleaner alternatives to energy, one of those is gas! Please could you let me know the carbon footprint of renewables to place before creation of power and energy!

      • How very condescending Eli. I am extremely conscious of my carbon footprint and environmental impacts. And I do whatever I can to minimise all my impacts. We live in a world where species are fast disappearing due to manmade climate change. This includes insects essential in the pollination of all plants including food production. Yes I’m very sad we are destroying the planet and species are increasing becoming endangered and are disappearing makes me very sad. Humans are not good for the environment, on that we are agreed and particularly those who selfishly continue destructive behaviours. And I consider those that blindly believe industry and innovation alone can sustain us through the biggest emergency our world is facing are naive and underestimate the scale of the problem. And most of all I believe those that support extracting even more new reserves of fossil fuels, the actual cause of climate change, as being acceptable – are the humans that are most harmful to the environment. And I don’t understand your last point I’m afraid so perhaps you might like to answer you’re own question.

        • KatT are fossil fuels and manmade climate change the sole reasons for the loss of species, do you not think that loss of habitat due to human population growth could be a major factor?

  2. Isn’t it interesting that the pro-frackers here only focus on how a fracking well looks from a distance? That is the very least of the concerns of those opposed to fracking.
    How about the fact that this is being proposed just 100 metres from a Site of Special Scientific Interest – which means it would destroy anything special or of scientific interest in the area that is legally protected?
    Or that emissions at the wellsite boundary would be relatively high, above the Environment Agency’s screening criteria and, in some cases, above air quality standards?
    Or that it would involve almost one-and-a-half years of 24-hour, seven-days-a-week working, with up to 55 two-way lorry movements a day to the site during fracking?
    Or that the proposed site is in the Green Belt and within 6.5km of three European designated wildlife sites?
    Or that the area is home to water voles, bats, threatened bird species and wintering wildfowl?
    Or that there will be air, noise and light pollution for anyone living nearby?
    Still, as long as it doesn’t look any worse than an electricity pylon, then nothing to worry about.

      • Eli-goth,
        [Edited by moderator]
        This plan is so wrong, for so many reasons!
        Do your own research and get a grip man! (Or woman, who knows)
        Use your own name to gain some credibility!

        • [Edited by moderator] It always seems to me to be a propensity of the antis that they need a name to grasp on to so that they don’t need to argue with the facts that they post but instead can write them off as being funding by industry or some other great evil. [Edited by moderator] Come on Peter you can do it – present an evidence-based argument in which you’ve critically appraised the evidence.

    • Ever visited Europes largest on shore oilfield, Ellie? Been operating for decades without your fears being demonstrated and often cited as one of the best examples of oil extraction working within an area of SSI with no adverse impact.

      Oh, and also very close to one of the most expensive housing areas in UK.

      So, the reality is that it can be done without the impact you fear, and has been done.

      Isn’t it interesting that anti frackers seem to think others are unaware of reality and scaremongering will be lapped up when there are good examples that exist to identify the fact it is scaremongering.

        • David – what do you see has the big differences between oil and gas production and it’s impact on the environment?

        • David – actually it is oil and gas. Not many oil fields produce only oil; most produce associated gas. Wytch Farm was producing 3million scf/d natural gas with it’s 17,000 BOPD in 2013.

          Personally I would much rather have a gas “spill” than an oil spill. OIl tends to cause a bit of a mess in water and on land. Gas tends to be, well gas…..

          • Paul – I couldn’t agree more. Which is easier to clean up? A tanker of oil that has no gas, a deep water well that has oil with a high gas to oil ratio of a shale gas well? Not much contest really. Shale gas – the safest way to get hydrocarbons out of the ground.

      • Oh really, Martin?
        Is that Gronnigan that’s caused the Dutch to close it down Asap?
        Repeated earthquakes causing serious property damage?

        • Peter – could you explain to everyone what Groningen has got to do with fracking??? I won’t hold my breath

        • No, it isn’t Peter. It is Wytch Farm in UK where we do things well. Perhaps do some research and you will know how the UK do operate on shore in areas close to SSis and still have very expensive housing close by and loads of happy neighbours.

          Or, you can continue in attempts to mislead people either through poor research or just a desire to mislead people. I suspect I know the outcome.

          • Something in common for Furzey Island (Wytch Farm drilling pad / well locations) and Formby = Red Squirrels. Is there something about the oil and gas industry that attracts red squirrels? After all there have been oil wells at Formby since the war….

            • How many breeding pairs of red squirrels can be added to a population with a £100k community voluntary donation?

    • Have a look at the photographs Ellie – ploughed fields, electricity pylons and no hedges in the fields. Please explain how being within 6.5km of three European designated wildlife sites can impact those sites? Jono notes below that “the same industry trolls here….”.

      Perhaps we are also seeing the same antis who have no idea what they are talking about?

      Ironically I have just returned from three days in Formby photographing the unique sand dune flora and fauna, in particular butterflies. Will I be able to do this again after Aurora drill their wells – of course I will because nothing will have changed; there will be no impact on the dunes or any of the other SPAs or SACs (look them up).

      Explain the laws of physics how a drilling operation can destroy a SSSI 100m away? Are they going to launch some sort of explosive bombardment of the SSSI?

      The farming methods used to produce what you see in the photos have done, and will continue to do, more damage than a drilling operation.

    • You should be more concerned about the latest outbreak of squirrel pox in Formby Ellie. Decimating the Red Suirrel population.

    • Ellie – I’ve very recently visited an old coal mining area where the waters are still pumped out of the mines into ponds. These waters will have a similar composition to flow back water. Apparently a massive number of migratory birds pass through there every year and other wildlife is totally thriving. It would be interesting to see the evidence on which you base your apocalyptic views of what fracking will cause.

  3. Strange though that with such sadness regarding wildlife and ecology the roaming, noisy hoards of antis have to visit these sites, also delaying the work so any disturbance is prolonged.

    However, I recall Ruth reporting from a Weald exploration site of buzzards and butterflies flying around. Not sure how the constant use of anti drones helps them and what wildlife and ecology work is undertaken before they are flown.

      • Careful David, you will be excommunicated for implying fracking could be such an economical success that thousands of sites could spring up. That seems to be a no no for many antis.

    • Correct Jono, from both sides. Why not shut down DOD, we all cease to comment and we let the oil company go about their legitimate business? Most people won’t even notice. If their proposal is in line with planning law, subsurface meets OGA/HSE and EA requirements then it will happen whatever rubbish we write on here.

  4. Don’t give up Jono. There may come an opportunity where you can actually offer some factually based comments to support your viewpoint rather than plant labels upon other people. I think that is the purpose of the comment section.

    • Martin – sadly that is unlikely – the antis tend to be motivated by feelings and stay well clear of facts

        • David – it’s actually not such an unfactual thing to write because it’s based on solid research. I’ve seen survey after survey that profiles those against fracking, GM foods, fluoride in water, vaccinations etc etc – you all have very similar traits. The one differential is the difference between people who view the world in terms of science and evidence against those who view it based on values. The things that I read will be a bit beyond you. However, I think that Iain Stewart, the BBC presenter and prof of geology, has put things out that you might be able to understand

          • Judith,
            [Edited by moderator]
            Nothing better to do for a job than reads lots of surveys and their conclusions?
            You don’t work for that shower of xxxxx communication outfit that do Cuadrilla’s propaganda dirty work by any chance?
            Don’t bother replying, I won’t believe you anyway?

            • [edited by moderator] I can read and distill quite a lot of information very quickly. I’ve had a good two days – four flights – three countries and three very happy clients [edited by moderator]

          • Judith so sorry but classifying those opposed to fracking as being some kind of species or group, that have traits and base things on values and not on science or evidence is not scientific at all, despite what you claim. In fact it is incredibly small minded. Surveys and opinions can only go so far. Go argue with James Hansen he is very scientific and very anti fracking!

            • KatK – the thinks is KatK this time it’s not my opinion – the results that I’ve seen are where people have applied a machine learning technique called unsupervised clustering to the results of surveys and they definitely show that most people who are anti fracking have certain traits. So it’s a computer algorithm that shows those traits and not my opinion. Of course it is not 100% accurate but it’s pretty close. The difficult ones to classify are the 60% who don’t have strong opinions either way.

            • Having spent a fair amount of time on DoD, KatT, the evidence from anti posts would tend to support Judith. I know there will always be a smattering of those with particular agendas and they will not bother with research to push that, but there is a very regular event of some who claim to be really knowledgeable about fracking and its evils, yet, over time it becomes clear they are not. Grabbing a dubious reference off Giggle and posting it to create excitement soon becomes exposed.

              I do believe the Tracking Survey tends to show that the vast majority of those who stated they were against fracking showed very little knowledge of the subject. Anxiety seems to be pretty widespread these days but interestingly on many subjects if they are fully explored, many people then can see there was no need for the anxiety that they felt. Always those who are not happy unless they are anxious, so a fertile area for those who recognise that.

              So, I will try and point out reality to those who may be anxious, as did Professor Sir David McKay (late government chief scientific adviser) who stated that:

              “Humanity really does need to pay attention to arithmetic and the laws of physics.”

              Then, they would realise the nice little section from the BBC yesterday about fast charging of electric vehicles was missing one of those when it categorically quoted that purchases of electric vehicles was rising in the UK. I can understand if people are fed such guff they may become anxious but the way around that is to be able to see quickly it is guff and the agenda behind that guff.

          • I find your comments incongruent. Generalisations and assumptions such as you have made in your comments are subjective. Scientific statements on the other hand are objective.

  5. Really April? Was that around the FACTS I quoted that are supported in the DATA from the Tracking Survey detailed today??

    Or, the FACTUAL statement regarding sales of electric vehicles in UK??

    “Humanity really does need to pay attention to arithmetic and the laws of physics”. Seems pretty scientifically accurate.

    But thanks for your scientific statements April-whenever they arrive, I will take a look at them.

    • April – electricity makes up around 20% of the energy consumed in the UK. The fact that the price of renewables is coming down doesn’t get away from the problem of their intermittency. Until we have developed better methods for storing energy we will still need energy sources to provide back up for when the wind isn’t blowing and the sun isn’t shining.

  6. Thanks April. Not really that worthwhile was it?

    However, lets see what happens to costs next week if the problem in the Gulf continues.

    You may find scientific statements are sometimes trumped (oops) by economics.

    Do you really think UK will be immune to that because of alternatives?

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