Daily headlines

October 2019 headlines

pnr 190925 Ros Wills

Protest outside Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, 25 September 2019. Photo: Ros Wills

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 contact@DrillOrDrop.com


Key headlines

  • Scottish government continues moratorium on fracking in final policy position
  • Frack pumps leave Preston New Road
  • Campaigners mark 1,000 days of protest at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site
  • Scottish government accidentally reveals it will confirm an effective ban on fracking
  • Angus Energy submits application for extended well test at Balcombe oil site
  • Councils declare frack-free status and climate emergency
  • Group calls for law change to make fracking companies fund surveys of homes near shale gas sites
  • Hundreds arrested at Extinction Rebellion protests in London

16 October 2019

Does the government have faith in fracking? Guest post by Ben Dean for DrillOrDrop on the differences in regulation of the offshore and onshore industries.

New study blames some Permian Basin earthquakes on fracking. Energy Voice reports a new study from University of Texas is blaming hydraulic fracturing activity on some earthquakes in the permian basin of west Texas. So far, researchers have recorded 209 earthquakes across Texas in 2019, the strongest measuring 3.8ML on 1 October. There were 192 recorded in 2018.

Lancaster and Morecambe protesters join Extinction Rebellion action in London. The Lancaster Guardian reports more than 30 people from Lancaster and Morecambe were joined at climate protests in London by north west England MEP Gina Dowding. She said she had been “taken aback” by the policing of peaceful protest at both the actions in London, and at the Preston New Road fracking site recently.

Gloucester MP Richard Graham admits to a change of heart on allowing fracking. Gloucester Business News reports that the city’s  Conservative MP will now oppose fracking for shale gas. He said legislation should now be put in place to stop the process across the country.

15 October 2019

Under half arrests at Cuadrilla’s fracking site have led to convictions – new data. DrillOrDrop report

Completion of Horse Hill coring operations. UK Oil & Gas reports it has successfully completed the programme to take a 241.45ft of core from the Horse Hill-2 well. The company says the core “clearly identified” the Portland reservoir’s most productive zone, which will now be the target of the planned 1,000 horizontal trajectory of HH-2z. Share magazine, Morning Star

No choice but to invest in oil, Shell CEO says. Reuters reports comments by Ben van Beurden, chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell that there are abundant opportunities to make money from oil and gas in coming decades.  He said:

“Despite what a lot of activists say, it is entirely legitimate to invest in oil and gas because the world demands it.”

Central heating boilers ‘put climate change goals at risk’. BBC News reports on a study by the Policy Connect think tank which concludes that the UK will not meet climate change targets without a revolution in home heating. Business Green

Police ban Extinction Rebellion protests from whole of London. The Guardian reports police banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London as they moved to clear protesters from Trafalgar Square.

Extinction Rebellion protests should be embraced, not banned. New Scientist‘s chief reporter, Adam Vaughan, says the move to haul climate change protesters off London’s streets reflects a scientifically and economically illiterate political and media elite in denial about the issue.

Has the peak of the shale revolution come and gone? The Houston Chronicle says the shale industry is facing the prospect that the boom has peaked and the best days are over. New York investment research firm, Evercore ISI, declared this month that the oil shale revolution is over, the paper reports.

14 October 2019

Council calls for ban on fracking in Fylde on safety grounds following Cuadrilla tremors. DrillOrDrop report, BBC News

Welton project update. IGas announces plans to convert a suspended production well to a water injector to increase reservoir sweep and increase field recovery by 340 thousand barrels.

Rise of renewables may see off oil firms decades earlier than they think. The Guardian quotes Michael Liebreich, of the research group Bloomberg New Energy Finance, predicts a far quicker than expected rollout of clean energy technologies, whether politicians increase their ambitions or not. The group expects renewable energy will soon become cheaper than using existing gas or coal electricity plans.

13 October 2019

Don’t fracking with us: meet the victorious activist ‘Nanas’ of Lancashire. The Observer reports on the Lancashire Nanas campaigning against fracking near Blackpool.

Scientists endorse mass civil disobedience to force climate action. Reuters reports that almost 400 scientists have endorsed civil disobedience aimed at forcing governments to tackle climate change. warning that failure could inflict ‘incalculable human suffering’.

12 October 2019

PM warned about electoral risk of growing opposition to fracking – campaigners urge Boris Johnson to announce a ban. DrillOrDrop report

Campaigners accuse regulator of failing to assess fracking risk to Hinkley Point nuclear station. DrillOrDrop report

Cuadrilla packs up in Preston and UK fracking bites the dust. The Sunday Times reports comments by campaigners that fracking in the UK is dead and that Cuadrilla has begun removing equipment from its shale gas site after earthquakes in August. Country Life (14/10/2019)

Cuadrilla restates position on Lancashire. Cuadrilla Resources repeats on its Facebook page a quote from a recent update: “We’re committed to exploring for shale gas to establish a domestic energy supply the UK really needs.” Guardian (14/10/2019), Countrylife (16/10/2019)

11 October 2019

George Lucan Angus Energy

George Lucan, managing director of Angus Energy. Photo: Angus Energy

Interview: Angus Energy oil man backs gas for the future. DrillOrDrop article

Fracking companies should be fund surveys of homes near shale gas sites – call for law change. DrillOrDrop article

IGas board change. IGas announces that Mike McTighe has stepped down as non-executive chairman with immediate effect for personal reasons. He will be replaced as interim chairman by Cuth McDowell.

Court case. Anti-fracking campaigner, Geza Frackman, was found guilty of a public order offence after a trial at Preston Magistrates Court. He was ordered to pay a total of £460 in fines and costs. He was acquitted of a second public order offence.

10 October 2019

Europa accounts for year to 31 July 2019. Europa’s chief executive, Hugh Mackay, says in the annual accounts that development of the Wressle oil field in Lincolnshire (in which Europa has a 30% stake) would double the company’s UK onshore production to around 240bopd and at current prices increase revenue to £3-4m a year.

Ryedale District Council declares a climate emergency. Lib Dem councillors got backing from the authority for their motion to declare a climate emergency and look at employing a climate change and environment officer.

Fossil fuel industry sees the future of their product in hard-to-recycle plastic. PhysOrg reports that cheap polyethylene from fracking has created a glut of plastic packaging with few global facilities can recycle efficiently.

Campaigners demand council stops investing £36m in fossil fuels. The Manchester Evening News reports on Green Party research that Trafford Council has put at least £36m of public money into oil and gas companies through the Greater Manchester Pension Fund.

Fossil fuel firms’ social media fightback against climate action. The Guardian reports that oil and gas companies are spending millions of dollars on campaigns to fight climate regulations while talking about their dedication to a low-carbon future.

Fires, explosions and toxic releases: Front Range residents fight fracking boom. The Guardian reports on how oil and gas companies are devastating Colorado communities and endangering the climate.

9 October 2019

Campaigners reject Surrey’s description of anti-fracking protests as “extremism”. DrillOrDrop report, Netpol

191009 Balcombe application section

Proposed equipment required for extended well test at Balcombe oil exploration site. Image: Angus Energy planning application

Angus Energy’s plans for extended well test at Balcombe, West Sussex, published and consultation opens. DrillOrDrop report

Second public inquiry into Egdon Resources’ plans for oil production at Wressle scheduled for six days. DrillOrDrop report

Extinction Rebellion London protests: Demonstration enters third day after 600 arrested in capital. The Evening Standard reports a police warning that demonstrators must go to Trafalgar Square or risk arrest. Nearly 600 people were arrested on the first two days of a two-week protest.

Sim-ops flow test update. UKOG announces it has successfully implemented its simultaneous drilling and test production operations. Continuous Kimmeridge oil production from HH-1 has been maintained since the start of the Horse Hill 2/2z horizontal drilling campaign on 29 September 2019, the company said.

Results of placing. Reabold Resources announces it has successfully completed the placing of 2,666,666,666 new shares at a price of 0.9p. The company has said it will invest £16m in its partnership with Rathlin Energy at West Newton in East Yorkshire.

Frack Free zone vote. Sedgemoor District Council votes unanimously to become a frack free zone.

8 October 2019

Extinction Rebellion second day of London protests. BBC News and The Guardian (PM calls protesters ‘uncooperative crusties’), Telegraph (Protests shut down London’s Smithfield Market), Evening Standard (30,000 climate change activists set to descend on capital)

Greenpeace activists crash the stage a a major oil industry gala. Greenpeace tweet, Energy Voice (9/10/2019)

Does fracking post a risk to your commercial property interests? LegalFutures, an associated of Thames Water Property Searches, recommends businesses should “thorough research any planned or current fracking-related activity which may have an impact on your commercial property venture”.

Horse Hill drilling update. UKOG announces that is completed the 12 1/4″ diameter hole in the Horse Hill-2 well and has set and cemented the 9″ casing from surface to 2,019ft below the rig floor. Proactive Investors

7 October 2019

Reabold outlines drilling plans at second West Newton site in early 2020. DrillOrDrop report

Reabold Resources confirms share placing to fund West Newton wells. Sharecast, Guerilla investing

Extinction Rebellion: 280 arrested in central London protests. The Guardian reports that Westminster and Trafalgar Square are among sites targeted as climate protesters take to the streets. BBC News

6 October 2019

Falkirk West MSP applauds formal ban on fracking. The Falkirk Herald reports a welcome by Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson of the Scottish government’s decision not to allow fracking to take place in Scotland.

3 October 2019

Scottish government confirms ‘no support for fracking’ but steps back from ban. DrillOrDrop report on continuing moratorium on unconventional oil and gas in Scotland, Guardian, BBC News, Herald Scotland, Energy Live News, Business Green, The National, Times

Campaigner launches crowdfund for legal challenge over oil and gas clean-up costs. DrillOrDrop report

IGas signs new debt facility. IGas announces it has singed a US$40 million senior secured reserve based lending facility with BMO Capital Markets. A further US$20 accordion facility is available on an uncommitted basis, the company said. The facility matures in September 2024 with an interest rate of LIBOR plus 4%. Business Desk

An end to fracking in Lancashire? The Ecologist reports on Cuadrilla’s 30 September statement that fracking will not resume until after the end of November.

2 October 2019

pnr 191002 demob Ros Wills

Banner outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool, 2 October 2019. Photo: Ros Wills

Frack pumps leave Preston New Road as campaigners mark 1,000 days of protest. DrillOrDrop report

Fracking ban ‘accidentally’ revealed by Scottish government officials. The Scotsman, The National, and BBC News, among others, reported that the Scottish government has revealed it won’t support future fracking in Scotland after accidentally leaking the move a day early.

BP dismayed as Royal Shakespeare Company ends sponsorship deal. the FT, Energy Voice and others report comments by the RSC that it cannot ignore the message from young people that “BP sponsorship is putting a barrier between them and their wish to engage with the RSC”. BP had sponsored the RSC for eight years, supporting a £5 ticket scheme for 16-25 year olds.

Angus Energy announces submission of Balcombe planning application for extended flow test.

1 October 2019

Ministerial statement due on fracking in Scotland – time to ban once and for all, say campaigners. DrillOrDrop report, Scotsman, Herald Scotland, Energy Voice

October 2019 diary. DrillOrDrop listing of events about fracking, onshore oil and gas and campaigns.

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