Daily headlines

November 2019 headlines

pnr 191002 demob Ros Wills

Banner outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool, 2 October 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

  • UK government announces immediate moratorium on fracking in England because of tremor risks
  • Government survey shows record levels of opposition to fracking
  • Second public inquiry into Egdon plans for oil and gas production at Wressle
  • Call for fracking halt to be extended to acid stimulation in oil and gas industry
  • Increased oil in place at West Newton switches focus from gas to oil
  • Legal challenge launched to Surrey County Council approval of oil production at Horse Hill
  • First oil and gas protest injunction heads for trial at the High Court
  • Dawn eviction of protest camp near Cuadrilla’s fracking site
  • No support for fracking in almost all general election manifestos

30 November 2019

Campaigners close monitoring camp outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site. DrillOrDrop report, Blackpool Gazette (4/12/2019)

29 November 2019

UK Oil and Gas announces drilling plans at two Isle of Wight sites — but says there will be no fracking. The Isle of Wight County Press reports UKO intends to submit planning applications to drill for fossil fuels at Arreton and Godshill on the Isle of Wight. A public notice, published in the paper, said UKOG would hold a public information event next month, before the application was submitted.

28 November 2019

Government breaches judge’s ruling over release of secret fracking report. DrillOrDrop, Unearthed, Guardian, Morning Star online, Yorkshire Post, Ends Report, Mirror(30/11/2019)

Consultation on Dunsfold drilling plans in Surrey extended to early 2020. DrillOrDrop

Follow the leader: Conservative candidates failing to attend climate hustings. Desmog UK report reveals that Conservatives from Glasgow to Hastings are failing to take part in hustings events on climate change.

1909 Horse Hill UKOG

Drilling rig at Horse Hill, Surrey, September 2019. Photo: UK Oil & Gas plc

27 November 2019

Union Jack Oil raises £5m for new wells at West Newton and Biscathorpe. DrillOrDrop report, Proactive Investors, Morning Star

UKOG prepares to flow test new Horse Hill oil well. DrillOrDrop

SNP publishes its election manifesto. DrillOrDropreport

Charges dropped against Extinction Rebellion activists arrested during ‘unlawful’ police order in London. Evening Standard and Independent

Where do our candidates stand on fracking. In an open letter to the Guildford Dragon, resident and campaigner Ada Zaffina says a loophole in the definition of fracking means there is no system for monitoring  seismicity induced by hydrocarbon operations in  the Weald.

26 November 2019

Jo Swinson wins court bid to stop SNP ‘fracking’ leaflet. The Court of Session in Edinburgh has ruled that Royal Mail should not distribute an SNP leaflet in the East Dunbarton constituency of Lib Dem leader, Jo Swinson. It claims she accepted a donation  from “a fracking company”. The court accepted that the statement was defamatory. The money was from a director of Warwick Energy, which has shale gas licences but has not yet fracked. The SNP is considering an appeal BBC News, Guardian, Scotsman, Times, Herald

25 November 2019

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Well plan for UKOG 234’s Loxley wellsite near Dunsfold, Surrey. Source: UKOG 234 environmental permit application

Villagers seek more time to comment on Surrey drilling plans. DrillOrDrop report

Students end occupation after university agrees to consider fossil fuel divestment. DrillOrDropreport

Students threaten hunger strike over university fossil fuel investments. DrillOrDrop report

Greenhouse gas concentrations again break records. BBC Newsreports on evidence from the World Meteorological Organisation which said atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases reached new highs in 2018. Since 1990 there has been an increase of 43% in the warming effect on the climate of long-lived greenhouse gases.

24 November 2019

Conservative Party launches its manifesto with restatement of fracking moratorium and no support for fracking “unless the science shows categorically that it can be done safely.” DrillOrDrop report

Deadline for comments on changes to Horse Hill permit. DrillOrDrop report

22 November 2019

Plaid Cymru launches its manifesto with a promise to ban fracking and make Wales single-use plastic and carbon-free by 2030. DrillOrDrop report, FT

The Brexit Party launches its contract with the people, with no reference to fracking, oil, gas, climate or greenhouse gases. It promises to zero rate VAT on domestic fuel and plant millions of trees. DrillOrDrop report

Government ordered to publish secret fracking report. ENDS reports that the information commissioner has ordered the Cabinet Office to publish parts of a 2016 report on the state of the UK’s fracking industry following an FOI request from Greenpeace.

21 November 2019

Labour launches its manifesto with a promise of an immediate and permanent ban on fracking, net zero carbon energy within the 2030s and a windfall tax on oil companies. DrillOrDrop report

The Yorkshire Party manifesto promises a regional total ban on fracking and net zero regional emissions by 2030. DrillOrDropreport

Ineos pursues shale gas scheme at Harthill in South Yorkshire, despite fracking moratorium. DrillOrDrop report

Decision on UKOG plans to drill for oil and gas at Dunsfold in Surrey delayed for fifth time. DrillOrDrop report

Europa changes chief executive. Europa Oil & Gas plc announces that its chief executive, Hugh Mackay, has stepped down from the board with immediate effect. He will remain an employee until 31 December 2019. Simon Oddie becomes interim chief executive until a new chief executive is appointed. Proactive Investors

20 November 2019

Liberal Democrats launch their manifesto, described as “the only party with radical, credible plan to tackle climate emergency”. DrillOrDrop election 2019 review

Anti-fracking group condemns “aggressive eviction” of protest camp near Cuadrilla’s Lancashire shale gas site. DrillOrDrop report, Blackpool Gazette, Morning Star

19 November 2019

Green Party launches manifesto with commitment to ban fracking, remove oil and gas subsidies and apply a progressively increasingly carbon tax on fossil fuel imports and domestic extraction. DrillOrDrop election 2019 review, FT

Dawn eviction of anti-fracking camp near Cuadrilla’s shale gas site. DrillOrDrop report, Blackpool Gazette, Big Issue North (22/11/2019)

Egdon Resources end of year accounts. Egdon announces an increase in production of 117% to 182 barrels of oil equivalent per day in its accounts to the end of July 2019. The company saw gross oil and gas revenues increase by 81% to £2.20m and a loss for the year of £1.72m after write-downs, pre-licence costs and impairment. Morning Star

18 November 2019

191118 no funding for fracking FoE

Campaigners protest outside the Westminster headquarters of UK Export Finance against UK government support for overseas fracking, 18 November 2019. Photo: Friends of the Earth

“Stop government back for overseas fracking” – campaign groups demand. DrillOrDrop report

Voters care more about the environment than the economy, poll finds. The Independent reports on the findings of an Ipsos Mori survey which finds that the environment is listed as being more important than at any time since 1990. 21% of voters said unprompted that the environment and pollution was the biggest issue facing Britain, up from 2% in 2012. Among 18-24 year olds, the figure rises to 29%.

Geologist blasts society’s links oil with oil firms. Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College of London, tells BBC News he has resigned from the Geological Society of London because oil companies, such as Exxon Mobil, sponsor the society.

17 November 2019

Environment Agency water monitoring regime has been cut in half, new data shows. Unearthed reports that the number of samples and sampling points has fallen by nearly 50% since 2013.

Fracked up: How Blackpool became the UK’s earthquake hotspot. Lancs Live reports that Blackpool is the UK’s earthquake hotspot and fracking is the likely cause.

Scottish Lib Dems announce plans for plastic free Scotland on campaign trail. Herald Scotland reports on plans for a ban on non-recyclable single-use plastics in Scotland and a ban on fracking.

15 November 2019

First UK oil and gas protest injunction to go on trial – High Court judge rules. DrillOrDrop report

Cuadrilla hails quality of gas from its second Lancashire fracking well. Blackpool Gazette picks up news that Cuadrilla has completed flow testing on PNR2.  See also DrillOrDrop report from 11 November 2019

To win a climate election, parties need ambition, not compromise with the fossil fuel industry. Mark Hudson, of Manchester University, writing for Business Green, says lessons from Australia suggest that environmental campaigners may need to be careful what they wish for.

Angus Energy sees no delay to West Sussex planning application. Shares Magazine reports on a press release from Angus Energy that it does not expect delays to its Balcombe flow test application because of concerns about groundwater contamination. See DrillOrDrop report of 13 November 2019.

Isle of Wight oil plans prompt visit from Green peer. IWRadio reports that environmental campaigners welcomed Green Party baroness Jenny Jones to the Isle of Wight.

14 November 2019

“Fossil Fools” day protesters acquitted. DrillOrDrop report on trial of two protesters who locked-on outside the IGas shale gas site at Misson. BBC News (18/11/2019) and Worksop Guardian (18/11/201()

Friends of the Earth chief executive moves to Wildlife Trusts. FoE announces that Craig Bennett is leaving the organisation to take up a new post in April.

Surrey named as one of the UK’s earthquake hot spots after 42 quakes this year. Surrey Live reports on data from the British Geological Survey which shows that the area around Newdigate in the Mole Valley has experienced the second highest number of earthquakes in the UK, after Blackpool.

‘Protecting freedom to protest’ fund. The police monitoring network, Netpol, is seeking to raise £10,000 in the next month to challenge disproportionate or excessive policing in 2020.

Fylde General Election 2019 list of candidates: Who should I vote for? LancsLive.com reports on the views of candidates for the Fylde seat: Gina Dowding (Green); Mark Jewell (Lib Dem); Mark Menzies (Conservative); Martin Mitchell (Labour)

13 November 2019

Aurora Resources asked to update tremor risk in continued bid to frack near Formby. DrillOrDrop report

Environment Agency objects to Angus Energy planning application to test oil well at Balcombe, West Sussex. DrillOrDrop report

Balcombe children speak out against oil testing in village: ‘I don’t want big lorries going past my school’. Mid Sussex Times reports that Balcombe children have spoken out against further oil testing as a public consultation comes to a close.

12 November 2019

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West Newton lock-on protest trial collapses. DrillOrDrop report

Legal challenge issued against council approval of Horse Hill oil production scheme. DrillOrDrop report

UKOG announces end of horizontal drilling of H-2z well. DrillOrDrop report, Proactive Investors

Fracking in the UK was doomed a decade ago – Tories have wasted precious time on a fossil fuel fantasy. The Conversation reports that while the UK has shale gas trapped in rocks in north and southern England, midland Scotland and parts of Wales, “it’s likely that little of it can be extracted by fracking”.

Row over whether fracking could resume in England despite ‘ban’. New Scientist reports on doubts about whether the government’s moratorium could be overturned.

Centrica formally launches sale of Spirit Energy. Energy Voice, quoting Reuters, says Centrica has begun the process of selling its 69% stake in the exploration company, Spirit Energy. Spirit Energy is a backer of Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas project near Blackpool.

A J Lucas shares slammed on funding shortfall. Sharecafe.com reports shares in Cuadrilla investor, A J Lucas, fell 25.5% to 6.7 cents after it revealed a huge shortfall from shareholders to its latest fundraising. The company told the Australian stock exchange that it had raised 70% of the money it wanted from institutional shareholders and it was now looking to raise up to $8.1m from retail shareholders.

11 November 2019

More equipment leaves fracking site as Cuadrilla announces end of gas flow test. DrillOrDrop report

Focus at West Newton exploration site switches to oil with upgraded data on oil in place. DrillOrDrop report, Energy Voice, Hull Live

Anti-fracking group Friends of the Earth says the fracking halt was a victory for the community. The Blackpool Gazette carries a reaction to the fracking moratorium from Jamie Peters of Friends of the Earth.

“Temporary” fracking ban labelled as “cynical” election ploy. The Warrington Guardian reports on local reaction to the moratorium on fracking.

Boris Johnson accused of fracking U-turn as firms ‘could be allowed to drill for shale gas’ just days after Tories announced ban. The i reports on a government document which says future applications for fracking “will be considered on their own merits”, despite a moratorium on fracking. BBC News

“A win for people power”. Big Issue North reports on campaign reaction to the fracking moratorium

10 November 2019

Campaigners call for drilling ban in Balcombe. The Argus reports that villagers in Balcombe have called for oil operations in the village to be stopped after the government’s temporary pause on fracking.

9 November 2019

Guest post: Mind your fracking language. As the dust settles on the government’s fracking U-turn, former ministerial adviser professor Peter Styles explains for DrillOrDrop why definitions matter and how one part of England could be excluded from the moratorium.

Drill down and it’s obvious: the fracking debate was lost long ago. Martin Vander Weyer, writing in The Spectator, says the debate was lost – not because science proved the technique toxic – but because “objectors maintained their fervour and renewables raised their claims to viability while ministers ducked”.

8 November 2019

Study of ‘ancient village’ needed before work starts on Rathlin’s new well site. DrillOrDrop report

Who killed fracking? A long read in the Times reports on reaction to the government’s moratorium

Fracking: how the police response is threatening the right to protest. Will Jackson reports for The Conversation on his research on protest policing. See also DrillOrDrop report (5/11/2019)

UK government’s fracking ‘ban’ has a convenient loophole. The Conversation looks at the implications of the moratorium on oil and gas extraction in southern England.

Horse Hill: Environmental activist to take Surrey County Council to court over oil drilling approval. Surrey Live reports that Sarah Finch is trying to raise enough money to take the council to court over its approval of planning permission for 25 years of oil production. See also DrillOrDrop reports here (24 September 2019) and here 26 October 2019)

Why Egdon Resources may finally get what it wants in North Lincolnshire. Local democracy reporter Calvin Robinson, writing for the Lincolnshire Report, looks at the likely outcome of the Wressle inquiry.

7 November 2019

Lancashire tremors push fracking opposition to record high. DrillOrDrop report

Wave 31 summary

Public attitudes to shale gas, Wave 31, September 2019. Source: BEIS

Government quarterly survey of public attitudes to fracking

North Yorkshire proposal for fracking buffer zones ruled “sound” by inspector. DrillOrDrop report

A J Lucas raises funds for fracking site – and the prospect of 72 wells drilled on a single pad. DrillOrDrop report, Energy News Bulletin

Egdon and campaigners clash over fracture plan for Wressle as inquiry ends. DrillOrDrop report

Majority of UK public back 2030 zero-carbon target  –  poll. The Guardian reports on a You Gov poll that found 56% of people back total decarbonisation of the UK economy by 2030. Just under half support public spending to make large parts of public transport free to use.

Investing in fossil fuels is the greatest crime against humanity – MPs should treat it as such. Environmental campaigner Donnachadh McCarthy writing in the Independent urges voters to ask every candidate whether they back criminalisation of fossil fuel investments and then vote tactically for the candidate most likely to win who is  closes to this position.

6 November 2019

News updates from Day 2 of inquiry into Egdon Resources plans for oil and gas production at Wressle near Scunthorpe. DrillOrDrop report, Lincolnshire Reporter piece 1 and piece 2 

Extinction Rebellion protesters may sue Met as ban ruled unlawful. The Guardian and others report on a ruling by the High Court that a section 14 order issued by police under the Public Order Act to halt protest across London was not legitimate, BBCIndependent, Sky News, Daily Mail

The government’s fracking pause is a hollow, hypocritical gesture. Adam McGibbon, writing in the Times, says the government’s moratorium is an election ploy.

Tories’ fracking U-turn treated with caution by community campaigners. The Worksop Guardian reports campaigners fear the fracking pause will not last beyond the election.

Fracking firm says it remains committed to site near Retford despite ban. Lincolnshire Live reports that IGas remains committed to operating a site near Retford (Misson), despite a ban n fracking.

5 November 2019

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Opponents outside the public inquiry into plans by Egdon Resources for 15 years of oil production at the Wressle site near Scunthorpe, 5 November 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop

News updates from Day 1 of inquiry into Egdon Resources plans for oil and gas production at Wressle near Scunthorpe. DrillOrDrop report, ITV News (Calendar), Lincolnshire Reporter

Anti-fracking campaigners “face daily violence” in protest policing – new study. DrillOrDrop report, Guardian

Green Party members celebrate halting of Melton fracking projects. The Melton Times reports on the possible implications of the moratorium on fracking in the Melton area, where a licence was offered four years ago to Hutton Energy.

Fracking is finished in the UK – thanks to the power of public protest. The Guardian carries a comment by Anna Vickerstaff who says creativity, solidarity and determination have stopped the government-based dash for gas

Frack Free Dee welcomes the moratorium on fracking but it says

“We won’t be recycling our leaflets and shutting up shop just yet, as behind the attention-grabbing headline, the wording of the statement clearly leaves the door ajar for this destructive and unnecessary industry to return. It falls far short of the total and unequivocal ban which we’re campaigning for.”

4 November 2019

Fracking moratorium – the unanswered questions. DrillOrDrop report on written ministerial statement and company responses.

Other reports: Energy Voice (UK government halts fracking over earthquake fears); FT , Reuters and City Am  (Fracking companies’ shares slide following UK government halt); Cheshire Live (Cheshire anti-fracking campaigners remain vigilant despite government moratorium); Blackpool Gazette, Guardian and BBC News (Cuadrilla aims to find evidence to lift moratorium as campaigners government U-turn on plans to make frack drilling easier)

97%+ rejected government plans to fast-track fracking. DrillOrDrop report on government response to consultation on changes to the planning system for shale gas

Could Wressle inquiry be the first test for government’s fracking U-turn? DrillOrDrop preview of the second public inquiry into oil production plans by Egdon Resources in north Lincolnshire.

Fylde businessman to head legal case against Cuadrilla over fracking quake damage. DrillOrDrop report, Bloomberg, Sunday Times (3/11/2019)

3 November 2019

Australian investor, A J Lucas, backs Cuadrilla over fracking moratorium. DrillOrDrop report

Call for fracking halt to be extended to acid stimulation in oil and gas industry. DrillOrDrop report

Fire at Horse Hill oil site in Surrey. DrillOrDrop report

Shale gas fracking wasted ‘millions of taxpayers’ cash, say scientists. The Observer reports that scientists say research on carbon capture was always a better environmental option.

Government consults on new police powers to criminalise unauthorised encampments. Government statement

2 November 2019

191102 paper front pages

Immediate moratorium on fracking in England because of tremor riskDrillOrDrop report

Reaction to moratorium. DrillOrDrop report

Tremors, protests, challengesDrillOrDrop review of eight years of UK fracking

Government statement

Other announcement coverage: Times (Boris Johnson to ban fracking); FT (UK halts all fracking after report fuels earthquake fears); Metro (Tories perform U-turn and half fracking after earthquakes); Channel 4 (Government calls temporary halt to fracking); Reuters (In seismic shift, Britain orders immediate moratorium on fracking); Daily Mail (Boris Johnson bans fracking in bid to boost green credentials and head of Labour); Guardian (Fracking halted in England in major government u-turn)BBC  (Fracking halted after government pulls support); Bloomberg (Fracking banned in the UK on concern about earthquakes); Sky (Fracking halted ahead of election over earthquake fears); Blackpool Gazette (Government bans fracking in UK after earth tremorsk in Lancashire)

Other reaction coverage:  FT (UK fracking u-turn highlights risk of politicising energy), Metro (Tories perform U-turn and half fracking after earthquakes) Derbyshire Times (Celebrations in Derbyshire as government calls a halt to fracking); Spectator blog (Corbyn is right to condemn Boris’s cynical fracking u-turn); Independent (Election stunt: Labour cries foul over fracking suspension as campaigners push for permanent ban); Blackpool Gazette (Joy from campaign groups as government announces fracking is to stop); Telegraph (Halting fracking is a short-signed political move); Independent (The suspension of fracking gets this climate-crisis election off to a good start); LBC (Business secretary: fracking suspension is ‘very disappointing’); Channel 4 (Fracking halt ‘bluff and bluster’, says Lancashire Labour MP Cat Smith); City AM (Jeremy Corbyn brands the government’s fracking band as an ‘election stunt’); Sky (Jeremy Corbyn accuses Tories of ‘election stunt’ after fracking u-turn); On the Wight Frack Free Isle of Wight respond to moratorium on fracking; Guardian (Jeremy Corbyn decries fracking suspension as election stunt); Yorkshire Post (Why Yorkshire’s fight on fracking is far from over)

1 reply »

  1. Governemnt are tricking people fracking will go and horley nr gatwick 5 wells now November 2019. Want to say a huge well done to all Nanas and people of lancashire protectors all your strength endurance persistence and sheer bloody stubborness to keep our land and water poison frack free is so inspirational . I wish the south here had just as much tenacity. Frances Ocean of Earthy Women & kids and native american dances of life apple crumble balcombe and ex barton moss xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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