Campaigners close monitoring camp outside Cuadrilla’s fracking site


Preston New Road gate camp monitoring activities at Cuadrilla’s fracking site.

Anti-fracking campaigners have removed their round-the-clock monitoring camp opposite Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road in Lancashire.

The camp has recorded details of operations at the site, 24 hours a day for 812 days, the campaigners said in a statement.

The structure was removed on the day (30 November 2019) that Cuadrilla’s planning permission expired to drill or frack at Preston New Road.

The company still has planning consent to test the two wells at the site. It has previously said it would apply for an extension of permission to drill and frack two further wells.

pnr 191130 Gate camp restored

Site of Preston New Road Gate Camp restored, 30 November 2019. Photo: Gate Camp

The campaigners’ statement said:

“We have recorded every detail and numerous breaches by Cuadrilla and their suppliers.

“We believe that one of the best defences against this dangerous and dirty industry is public scrutiny, and we would encourage other communities in a similar position to do the same.”

The monitoring operation, known as Gate Camp, was visited by politicians, journalists, campaigners and researchers.

pnr 190730 Jeremy Corbyn Refracktion2

Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, meets campaigners at Gate Camp outside Cuadrillla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, 30 July 2019. Photo: Refracktion

A month ago, the government announced a moratorium on fracking in England because of the risk of earth tremors. It said new scientific advice concluded that it was not possible with current technology to predict accurately whether fracking would cause tremors and how big they would be.

The campaigners’ statement added:

“We are aware that the current moratorium on fracking could be temporary depending on the whim of any future government, and will remain vigilant.”

Last month, Cuadrilla announced it had finished the gas flow phase of testing of the second well, PNR2.

It said it would next carry out an extended pressure build up test. This would take place over the next few months and would examine the pressure response of the shale reservoir.

10 replies »

  1. So Cuadrilla still aren’t admitting defeat! Anything to keep the pay cheques rolling in!

    I’m more than slightly worried though about the last part of the report about their ‘extended pressure build up test’ continuing over the next few months!

    Any ‘techies’ like to expand on this please?

    • They artificially increase (build up) the pore pressure in the rocks until it exceeds the overburden and the whole area starts to rise above the current ground level and continues to do so until they terminate the test. This will make sure the wellsite doesn’t flood again in the future. And the Fylde is no longer flat and boring. A good snow fall and skiing will be on the agenda.

  2. Must have had a faulty clock! The round the clock monitoring seemed to miss one or two events, until after the event. Become vigilant rather than remain vigilant may be a little more accurate.

  3. Martin, obviously you were there constantly or had inside Cuadrilla knowledge to make that comment.
    Please educate those of us unable to do 24hrs a day roadside pnr if what was missed?

  4. Check back through DoD, Peter. Quite clear. Or, if you prefer, there are other sources who thought one or two instances were rather comically outside of round the clock.

    You assume a few things and that is the whole picture. Figures.

  5. Martin, I never assume anything. I either deduce or ask a higher authority. That’s why I’m asking you.
    One important point, where are the logs of information painstakedly recorded at Gate Camp over the years? They belong to the Community not any individual or any individual organisation.

    • Don’t worry about the logs Peter. I have it on good authority that they’re being kept very safe. I’m sure whenever they are needed by the whole community they will be available.

  6. Have the EA been out to check whether the re-instatement has been done to their satisfaction? Have there been samples taken to test that no contamination remains? How about selenium levels? Surely such work should be checked to see if it meets Gold Standards?

  7. What’s really odd about this ‘independent journalism’ from Drill or Drop lately is the omission of the campaigners names, who for so long have had their narcissism publicity pills. Therefore this news outlet is not independent at all but very much influenced by these agents these days.

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