Daily headlines

December 2019 headlines

pnr 190821 Clare Stephenson

Banner outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, 21 August 2019. Photo: Claire Stephenson

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

  • Redacted version of secret government report on shale gas released – public opposition blamed for slow progress
  • Fifth consecutive year that the number of UK onshore wells is in single figures.
  • Appeal against first contempt of court ruling in a UK fracking injunction case
  • Day of action in Surrey over fossil fuel contribution to climate change
  • UKOG announces meeting over oil drilling plans on the Isle of Wight
  • OGA approves Angus Energy acquisition of stake in Saltfleetby
  • Shares fall as UKOG raises £2m to fund Horse Hill
  • Cuadrilla staff leave the company as it scales back fracking site

31 December 2019

What to watch in 2020? DrillOrDrop review of what to look out for in UK fracking and onshore oil and gas in the coming year: the moratorium, decisions, operations, new sites and legal challenges.

2019 – disappointing year for many onshore oil and gas investors. DrillOrDrop review of how shares in UK onshore oil and gas companies fared in 2019.

Protest court appearance. Two people who locked themselves together in front of UKOG’s Horse Hill site on 10 December pleaded not guilty at a hearing at South West Surrey Magistrates Court in Guildford to obstructing the highway. They will now appear before a district judge at Staines on 15 January at 1.30pm.

191231 HH lock on court appearance XR Surrey

Climate change campaigners outside South West Surrey Magistrates Court, 31 December 2019. Photo: XR Surrey

Extinction Rebellion protesters organise ‘die-in’ protest event in Staines town centre. Get Surrey reports on a funeral-themed protest featuring campaigners taking part in an 11-minute “die-in” and procession.

30 December 2019

The New year will be crucial for fracking in Lancashire. The Lancashire Evening Post reports on what next for fracking in the county.

29 December 2019

Who drilled where in 2019? Fifth consecutive year that the number of UK onshore wells is in single figures. DrillOrDropreport

28 December 2019

DrillOrDrop review of the year.

24 December 2019

Cuadrilla lobbies regulators for progress on UK fracking. The FTreports that emails released under a freedom of information act request show Cuadrilla sought a meeting with the Oil & Gas Authority to discuss how to reach “a workable” oversight system under which shale gas could be produced commercially. The meeting was due to take place on 20 November, nearly three weeks after the government announced a moratorium on fracking based on a report to the OGA that it was impossible to predict magnitude of earth tremors caused by the operation.

23 December 2019

UKOG shares fall on news of Horse Hill well test. DrillOrDrop report, Proactive Investors

Campaigners question statements on West Newton well test. DrillOrDrop report

Ineos launches clean air technology in London. Energy Global reports that Ineos has announced it has installed air filters at its London HQ to address poor air quality levels in the area. The new technology now means its staff enjoy some of the cleanest air in London.

Scientists discover methane leaks are likely more widespread than first thought. Hydrogen Fuel News reports on a study in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which used space technology to detect methane leaks at oil and gas sites. They said measurements from the largest leak in the US, in Ohio in 2018, suggests other large leaks have occurred and not yet been detected.

22 December 2019

A fracking explosion in Ohio leaked more methane in 20 days than some countries emit in year.Interesting Engineering reports on an explosion at a fracking site in Ohio in 2018 released 60,000 tons of methane in 20 days. This is now considered the largest leak in US history emitted more methane than countries emit in a year.

The fracking industry’s methane problem is a climate problem. Desmogreports that addressing methane emissions is critical to stopping additional warming. It says methane levels in the atmosphere began increasing again in the past 10 years, after a pause in 2000.

20 December 2019

Mayor of London stands firm against fracking in planning policy. DrillOrDrop report

19 December 2019

Cuadrilla to examine licences in preparation for exploration, says Australian partner. DrillOrDrop report

Cuadrilla breaches another environmental permit condition. DrillOrDrop report, ENDS

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Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, 18 December 2019. Photo: Maxine Gill

Regulator reports that Cuadrilla vented 155kg of methane during recent nitrogen lifting at Preston New Road. DrillOrDrop report

Queen’s Speech clears way for reform of judicial review. DrillOrDrop report

17 December 2019

UKOG considers contempt of court action against Horse Hill climate protesters. DrillOrDrop report

16 December 2019

UKOG unveils Isle of Wight drilling plans on fields near Arreton and Godshill. DrillOrDrop report, Isle of Wight County Press (17/12/2019) and On the Wight(17/12/2019)

13 December 2019

Election results round-up. DrillOrDrop review of results from key oil and gas areas and involving leading figures in the fracking debate.

12 December 2019

Guest post: What’s the fracking problem with the moratorium? In a guest post for DrillOrDrop, campaigner Ada Zaffina sets out for the new government what she thinks is wrong with the moratorium on fracking

Conservative election campaign received hundreds of thousands of pounds from investors in the global fossil fuels industry. Unearthedinvestigation.

11 December 2019

Judgement postponed in challenge to Cuadrilla’s fracking injunction. DrillOrDrop report

180308 Pickering Alan Linn 15 (2)

Alan Linn speaking at a meeting in Pickering on 8 March 2018. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Alan Linn resigns as chief executive and director of Third Energy. DrillOrDrop report

Anti-fracking campaigners gear up to oppose Isle of Wight oil drilling plans. The County Pressreports that Islanders are being urged by Frack Free of Isle of Wight to object to oil drilling plans at Arreton and Godshill.

Backpool College still has crucial role in energy sector despite halt to fracking. The Blackpool Gazette reports that the £9.8m Lancashire Energy Headquarters, designated as a national training centre for the fracking industry, still has a role, despite the moratorium on fracking.

Wressle approval would more than double Europa’s onshore oil production. A statement to the Europa Oil & Gas AGM said approval of planning permission at the Wressle site in north Lincolnshire would increase the company’s onshore production to around 240 barrels of oil per day.  Proactive Investors

Plastics firm link to public funded bike race questioned. The Darlington and Stockton Times and the Yorkshire Post report challenges to Richmondshire District Council over links between the Tour de Yorkshire, which is publicly-funded and Ineos, Europe’s leading manufacturer of PVC compounds.

10 December 2019

Campaigners challenge contempt of court ruling over injunction at Cuadrilla’s fracking site. DrillOrDrop report

Climate campaigners block Horse Hill oil site in Surrey. DrillOrDrop report

Fossil fuels protest at Surrey County Council. DrillOrDrop report, Surrey Comet, Farnham Herald

Campaigner criticises health organisation’s “free pass” for fracking industry.


9 December 2019

Ineos posts new injunction notices at proposed Woodsetts shale gas site, plus election news on fracking from Woodsetts constituency of Rother Valley and £100K donation to Labour by anti-fracking campaigner Joe Corre. DrillOrDrop report

6 December 2019

Don’t underestimate fracking in the election, says campaign group as it publishes list of candidates who support a ban. DrillOrDrop report

Oil and gas expansion “makes a mockery” of UK climate boasts. The Herald reports on a report by a coalition of environmental charities which argues that the UK’s contribution to tackling climate change is being undermined by expanding oil and gas production. Link to report: Oil, gas and the climate – an analysis of oil and gas industry plans for expansion and compatibility with global emission limits

5 December 2019

Protesters meet to plan campaign against drilling for oil on the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight County Press reports on a meeting hosted by the Green Party following a notice of a UK Oil & Gas public meeting on its plans for Arreton and Godshill. On the Wight

Dig in for fracking fight. Jeremy Cresswell, in an opinion piece for Energy Voice, predicts that the moratorium on fracking will be lifted if the Conservatives win the general election.

4 December 2019

Angus share holdings update. Angus Energy reports that the shareholding by Rupert Labrum has passed the 7% threshold.

3 December 2019

191203 shale gas doc2

Key staff quit Cuadrilla as company scales down fracking site. DrillOrDropreport

Public opposition root causes of slow progress of UK fracking – secret government report concludes. DrillOrDrop report, Guardian (2/12/2019), Unearthed (2/12/2019), Independent, Bloomberg, Ends, World Oil, Country Life

2 December 2019

OGA approves transfer of Saltfleetby to Angus Energy. DrillOrDrop report, Morning Star

UKOG shares fall on £2m fundraising for Horse Hill. DrillOrDrop report, Shares Magazine, Evening Standard

Two sides plan meetings on Isle of Wight drilling. DrillOrDrop report

1 December 2019

December 2019 diary. DrillOrDrop events listing for December and beyond

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