You can keep up with the news here with our digest of headlines about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas, updated daily.
- 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
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
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
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
North Yorkshire proposal for fracking buffer zones ruled “sound” by inspector. DrillOrDrop report
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
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, BBC, Independent, 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
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 answered 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.
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
Immediate moratorium on fracking in England because of tremor risk. DrillOrDrop report
Reaction to moratorium. DrillOrDrop report
Tremors, protests, challenges – DrillOrDrop review of eight years of UK fracking
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)