Daily headlines

January 2020 headlines

PNR 191229 Maxine Gill

Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool, 29 December 2019. Photo: Maxine Gill

You can keep up with the news here with our digest of headlines about UK 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

  • Egdon Resources wins oil production appeal at Wressle
  • Third Energy released from £80m+ loan, accounts reveal
  • Terrorism police list Extinction Rebellion as extremist ideology
  • UK politics too uncertain for fracking, says Third Energy
  • Europa assumes Wressle will produce in 2020 to keep company as a going concern
  • Egdon says it faces joint threat of fracking moratorium, planning delays and weak commodity prices
  • UKOG seeks third extension for permission at Broadford Bridge
  • Cuadrilla applies to retain Elswick site in Fylde
  • Private members bill seeks to ban fracking and hydrocarbon licensing
  • Climate and wildlife objections to 25-year Dorset oil production plans by South Western Energy

Friday 17 January 2020

Baroness Sheehan

Baroness Sheehan. Photo: House of Lords

Breaking: Egdon Resources wins appeal on Wressle oil production – costs awarded against North Lincolnshire Council. DrillOrDrop report

IGas seeks consent to continue reinjecting produced water containing naturally-occurring radioactive material at Singleton oil site in South Downs. DrillOrDrop report

Baroness introduces private members’ bill to ban fracking and hydrocarbon licensing. DrillOrDrop report

Activists warn of ‘fracking by stealth’ and call for acid fracking ban. The Guardian reports on the warning by campaigners that the fracking moratorium does not apply to acid fracking. (See DrillOrDrop report from 3/11/2019)

Treating oil companies as pariahs will kill off any green revolution. The Spectator , referring to BlackRock’s promise to fight on climate issues, says the UK’s net zero target by 2050 can be reached only if technology and the free market work together.

Thursday 16 January 2020

“Serious threat to oil and gas industry’s social licence”, says regulator. DrillOrDrop report on speech by Tim Eggar, chair of the Oil & Gas Authority on how the industry should face the challenge of tackling climate change.

Huge fire rips through Grangemouth Docks petrochemical plan sparking major response at Ineos oil refinery. Scottish Sun, Edinburgh Live, Scotsman, Edinburgh News, Energy Voice

Oil giant targeted in climate protest. Energy Voice reports that climate change protesters blockaded the headquarters of Shell in the first in a series of protests in Aberdeen.

Calls to rule  out fracking in West Berkshire. The Reading Chronicle reports on the council’s new minerals and waste plan

Wednesday 15 January 2020

Puddletown production impression

Impression of production phase of South Western Energy’s Puddletown site in Dorset. Source: South Western Energy Limited planning application

Climate and wildlife objections to 25-year Dorset oil production plans by South Western Energy. DrillOrDrop report

Listing Extinction Rebellion as extremist ideology was error of judgement – home office minister. DrillOrDrop report

East Riding of Yorkshire Council closes roads for 18 months for new Rathlin Energy drilling site. DrillOrDrop report

Non-violent protesters are not terrorists and it’s time the police accepted that. Kevin Blowe, coordinator of the Network for Police Monitoring, writes in the Guardian that decisions about who is labelled as “extremist” are made in secret by police units concerned more their ideas of security and defending public order than about human rights. He says the officers are “often deeply antagonistic towards protesters challenging the corporate and political orthodoxies of the day.”

The trespass trap: this new law could make us strangers in our own land. George Monbiot, in the Guardian, says a government consultation on unauthorised encampments, framed as a crackdown on travelling people, is an assault on all citizens’ freedoms. He says people living on land to protest, such as anti-fracking campaigners, are likely to be criminalised by the law.

Tuesday 14 January 2020

Lancashire Police confirm the policing operation outside Cuadrilla’s fracking site has ended. DrillOrDrop report

BlackRock puts climate at centre of $7 trillion strategy. Bloomberg, the Guardian, Business Insider and others report on the annual letter by BlackRock ceo, Larry Fink, to corporate executives. He promised to  fight on climate issues and quit some thermal coal producers. He threatened to vote out bosses who neglected sustainability. The letter said:

“Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects.

“Awareness is rapidly changing, and I believe we are on the edge of a fundamental reshaping of finance.”

Monday 13 January 2020

Cuadrilla seeks consent to retain Elswick gas site. DrillOrDrop report on Cuadrilla’s application for five more years at the site near Blackpool. Blackpool Gazette (12/1/2019)

UKOG issues 34.9m new shares.UK Oil & Gas plc announces it has converted £250,000 of a loan into shares. This brings the total number of shares in the company to 7.357 billion. The loan now stands at £3.35m.

Half UK universities commit to divesting from fossil fuels. The FT reports student and academic protests has forced the hands of endowment investment committees.

Priti Patel defends inclusion of Extinction Rebellion on terror list. The Guardian reports that the Home Secretary has accepted that XR is not a terror group but says the assessment in a Prevent document (see 10/1/2020) was based on security threats.

Sunday 12 January 2020

Ex-Prevent chief pans terror list’s inclusion of Extinction Rebellion. The Guardian reports on comments by Sir Peter Fahy who says efforts to stop terrorism could be undermined by these mistakes.

Extinction Rebellion guidance raises fresh concerns over Prevent. The Guardian reviews problems for the UK’s counter-terrorism Prevent strategy

Saturday 11 January 2020

Extinction Rebellion could sue police over extremist ideology listing. The Guardian reports that Extinction Rebellion is threatening legal action against counter-terrorist police over what it says is an illegal listing of the group in a guide designed to stop terrorism violence.

Friday 10 January 2020

Terrorism police list Extinction Rebellion as extremist ideology. The Guardian reports that police recalled a guide issued to teachers which put climate activists alongside far right groups.

Greta Thunberg tells world leaders to end fossil fuel ‘madness’. The Guardian reports that climate activists have said they will tell tycoons gathering in Davos that they must dismantle the fossil fuel economy.

Thursday 9 January 2020

Government gives some details on what it would take to end the fracking moratorium in England. DrillOrDrop report

Government’s next move on shale gas significant for companies like PR Marriott Drilling. The Parliamentary Review reports on the impact of the moratorium on PR Marriott Drilling.

New US oil and gas emissions could nearly erase environmental gains from decline in coal. Eco Watchreports on a study by the Environmental Integrity Project which found that 157 oil and gas plants planned for the next five years could release greenhouse gases of 50 new coal fired plants by 2025.

Wednesday 8 January 2020

Barclays investors tell bank to stop backing fossil fuel. The Times, Guardian and the FT report climate activist investors in Barclays are bringing a formal shareholder challenge to try to force it to phase out financing fossil fuel companies – the first move of its kind at a European bank.

Tuesday 7 January 2020

1901 Horse Hill tanker turning.jpg

Vehicle crossing onto opposite carriageway to enter Horse Hill site. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

Lorries delivering to Horse Hill oil site will be ordered to “stay in lane” – opponents question whether it is possible to enter the site without swinging out onto the opposite carriageway. DrillOrDropreport on the site’s traffic management plan.

Date set for decision by local government secretary on Ellesmere Port and Woodsetts shale gas appeals – on or before 8 April 2020. DrillOrDrop report

Balcombe flow test decision due next month. West Sussex County Council announced it would consider Angus Energy’s application for an extended flow test at Balcombe on 25 February 2020.

OGA appoints head of decommissioning and director of operations. The Oil & Gas Authority announces it has promoted Scott Robertson to be director of operations with responsibility for exploration, production, decommissioning and technology. Pauline Innes has been appointed head of decommissioning.

Activists bid to make citizens arrest on East Riding council leader. The Bridlington Free Press reports that environmental activists will attempt to stage a ‘citizens arrest’ on Richard Burton, the leader of East Riding Council. The group says the authority has failed to declare a climate emergency and has taken decisions which create additional and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions.

Analysis: UK low-carbon electricity generation stalls in 2019. Carbon Brief reports low-carbon electricity output from wind, solar, nuclear, hydro and biomass rose by just 1 terawatt hour (TWh) or less than 1% in 2019. This is the smallest annual increase in a decade, where annual growth averaged 9TWh. Low carbon generation would need to increase by 15TWh each year until 2030 to meet emissions targets.

Repayment of former director’s loan. Angus Energy reports that Jonathan Tidswell has now fully repaid a loan of £200,000. Morning Star

Mayors and physicians latest to join fossil fuel divestment drive. Business Greenreports that the Royal College of Physicians is joining a growing number of UK health organisations that are divesting from fossil fuel companies. The move was followed by a fresh call from mayors of London and New York for other mayors to join them in divesting their city pension funds from fossil fuel assets.

Monday 6 January 2020

Third time extension sought for Broadford Bridge oil site. DrillOrDrop reports that Kimmeridge Oil & Gas Ltd is seeking wo more years at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex, to allow more time to analyse results from other wells, two of which has not got planning permission or been drilled.

First Catholic dioceses in England divest from fossil fuels. Independent Catholic News reports that the Diocese of Middlesbrough and Lancaster have announced their commitment to divest from fossil fuels – the first Catholic dioceses in England and Wales. The Tablet(7/1/2020)

Saturday 4 January 2020

Third Energy “forgiven” £80m+ loan before sale, accounts reveal. DrillOrDrop report

UK politics too uncertain for fracking, says Third Energy. DrillOrDrop report of the company’s accounts

Egdon faces joint threat of fracking moratorium, planning delays and weak commodity prices. DrillOrDrop report on company accounts.

Thursday 2 January  2020

ukog slider

UKOG issues 1/3 billion new shares in past week. DrillOrDrop reports that total shares in UKOG is now nearly enough to give one to every person on the planet.

IGas permit application for Singleton. The Environment Agency reports it has received an application for a radioactive substances permit for the IGas oil site at Singleton, West Sussex. The deadline for comments is 30 January 2020.

Wednesday 1 January 2020

Europa counts on Wressle oil production in 2020. DrillOrDrop report

January 2020 diary. DrillOrDrop listings of events about UK fracking, onshore oil and gas and campaigning.

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