What would it take to end fracking moratorium?, peers told

200109 PNR Maxine Gill 1

Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road near Blackpool, 9 January 2020. Photo: Maxine Gill

The government has given some details of what would be needed to end the moratorium on fracking in England.

The energy minister, Lord Duncan of Springbank, told peers:

“We would need a geo-mechanical survey of the specific basins concerned and the Oil and Gas Authority [the regulator] would have to oversee the determination of the criteria for such an examination.

“We would have to make sure that whatever emerged from that would guarantee the safety and sustainability of the resource and of the local communities.

“At present, it is not the intention of the Government to commission such work, but we understand that certain companies may themselves undertake it. They must do so within the limits set by the Oil and Gas Authority.”

The moratorium was announced on 2 November 2019 following a report by the Oil & Gas Authority on earth tremors induced by fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool.

At the time, the government concluded it was not possible with current technology to predict accurately whether fracking would cause tremors and how big they would be. “Fracking will be paused unless and until further evidence provided that it can be carried out safely”.

Lord Springbank said the government had no plans to turn the moratorium into a ban. He said:

“We will be led by science, will continue to take a precautionary approach and will support shale gas exploration only if it can be ​done in a safe and sustainable way.

“The moratorium is intended to give a clear message to the sector and to local communities that fracking, within the current corpus of scientific evidence, will not be taken forward in England.”

He said the UK had “a number of sources of gas” and was not wholly dependent on any one. But he did agree there was a strategic benefit to producing our own gas. He also said waste would become an important generator of electricity in future.

Lord Duncan said exploratory drilling that did not involve fracking would continue.

On Cuadrilla’s Lancashire site (pictured above), where fracking was suspended in August 2019, he said “no work whatever is anticipated to continue there”.

Reports from a community liaison meeting for the Preston New Road earlier this week said Cuadrilla had “no immediate plans” for the site but was not “giving up” on it.

Both wells, PNR1z and PNR2, had been suspended. PNR1z has been plugged. A pressure test is underway on PNR2.

According to the reports, the whole of 2020 had been scheduled for the analysis of data from fracking in 2018 and 2019, seismic events and the well tests. The company was “in ongoing dialogue” with the Oil & Gas Authority on the data.

Link to Hansard

57 replies »

  1. Seems quite sensible.

    Will a company decide to do the work?

    Suspect that will be dependent upon geo political considerations regarding energy security and the methodology/economics identified for hydrogen production. Can’t see any being bothered unless there is some long term security offered if they do.

    “Alternatively” UK will just increase its consumption of gas from fracking elsewhere in the world. Not accepted by Greta as the right way to go, so she could be abandoned and left to her education, but okay for the Nimbys.

    • To my knowledge, Greta Thunberg does not state ‘the right way to go’ and has never claimed to be ‘an expert’. She merely highlights that the science and expert opinion on anthropogenic global warming is overwhelmingly in agreement and increasingly backed up by climate models as more data is added. That of course doesn’t mean it IS right, but you won’t get very good odds from the bookies on it being wrong and it would appear remarkably risky and even stupid to take that remote chance. Greta also highlights the fact that governments and certain others are talking the talk, but not walking the walk. Some people say ‘why should we listen to kids who have limited experience of the world’. Others may suggest that those with plenty of experience really DO need to listen to the kids to overcome selective deafness (perhaps selected by greed and avarice).

      • Good morning ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, its Sunday the 12th of January 2020 and its another frack free day, it looks like being a frack free year too if the moratorium holds true and isnt overturned by “ongoing dialogue” with the Oil & Gas Authority on the data.
        So will the moratorium on fracking survive the attempts to undermine and overturn it in future months? Perhaps the pending war footing with Iran based upon at the very least highly secretive and dodgy claims, may well put this country in an emergency situation and all such considerations will be ignored under the false flag of “energy security” and to keep the already rising oil prices from falling again.

        You have to either admire such political machinations to raise the price of oil and keep them rising, or deplore them, depending upon your point of view?

        What Greta Thunberg and many others have done, is to highlight the dire circumstances in which we find ourselves, and amount of plain abuse and venom that she has received from that alone is a sure sign of just how much impact she had on those who dont want to hear about climate change, let alone listen to the science that proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

        I find it fascinating that with all the evidence all over the world, fires from Siberia across America and Europe, Africa and right down to Australia, that anyone can seriously say that there is no climate change. But of course, the implications to the fossil fuel industry is what really drives that, they are scared of the blame being laid at their door for decades of climate abuse and pollution, cover ups and denials, and just plain ignorance.

        We should see this as a wake up call, we simply cannot continue as we have done, to trash the entire planet for greed power and profit.

        The writing is not just written on the wall, its burned deeply into it in letters the size of California and Australia, Siberia and Europe, Africa and Asia. We ignore that at all our peril.

        Interesting times ahead it seems, we shall see what emerges from behind all this.

        So here are a couple of songs for your enjoyment that are at least relevant to the discussion. But Hey! Its Sunday and we all need to look at the world situation through different eyes occasionally.

        Alanis Morissette Lyrics


        I’ve never been this accountable-less and within
        I’ve never known focuslessness on any form
        I’ve never had this lack of ache for dalliance
        To let go and let god in ways I have never even imagined

        I declare a moratorium on things relationship
        I declare a respite from the toils of liaison
        I do need a breather from the flavors of entanglement
        I declare a full time out from all things commitment

        I’ve never let my grasp soften fingers like this
        I’ve never been careless otherless like autonomy’s twin

        I declare a moratorium on things relationship
        I declare a respite from the toils of liaison
        I do need a breather from the flavors of entanglement
        I declare a full time out from all things commitment

        Ah to breathe
        Stop looking outside
        stop searching in corners of rooms
        Not my business or timing

        I’ve never known freedom from intertwining
        I start again this time for keeps in my skin I’m residing

        I declare a moratorium on things relationship
        I declare a respite from the toils of liaison
        I do need a breather from the flavors of entanglement
        I declare a full time out from all things commitment

        I declare a moratorium on things relationship
        I declare a respite from the toils of liaison
        I do need a breather from the flavors of entanglement
        I declare a full time out from all things commitment


        Bruce Cockburn Lyrics

        “The Trouble With Normal”

        Strikes across the frontier and strikes for higher wage
        Planet lurches to the right as ideologies engage
        Suddenly it’s repression, moratorium on rights
        What did they think the politics of panic would invite?
        Person in the street shrugs, “Energy Security comes first”
        But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse
        But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

        Callous men in business costume speak computerese
        Play pinball with the Third World trying to keep it on its knees
        Their single crop starvation plans put sugar in your tea
        And the local Third World’s kept on reservations you don’t see
        “It’ll all go back to normal if we put our nation first”
        But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse
        But the trouble with normal is it always gets worse

        Fashionable frackism dominates the scene
        When ends don’t meet it’s easier to justify the means
        Tenants get the dregs and landlords get the cream
        As the grinding devolution of the democratic dream
        Brings us men in gas masks dancing while the shells burst
        The trouble with normal is it always gets worse


        That was fun!…..Wasnt it?

        Have a great Sunday with family and friends and maybe spare a thought and send support to the Australians who have lost everything in the raging bush fires that have swept the country. Are we seeing a prescient of what may happen here and everywhere else, if we don’t fundamentally change direction and policies on the use of fossil fuels and further extraction, by what ever means, in favour of all the available alternatives? Or is it to be just business by another name as usual?

        Now that really is a pyro-cumulo-nimbus media firestorm waiting to happen isn’t it.

        • phil c: its called manipulating the facts! An agenda the climate protesters are damn on pushing, there’s no dissuading them you see once the hound sees the hare, then the untaught, unlearned and uneducated will try on pushing this agenda through blind perspective and deaf ears!

          • elie-goth: its called manipulating the facts! An agenda the climate science deniers are damned on pushing, there’s no dissuading them you see once the hound sees the hare, then the untaught, unlearned and uneducated will try on pushing this agenda through blind perspective and deaf ears!

            Once again elie, you only succeed in describing your own condition and mind set. Maybe you will find an outlet for such laughable conspiracy theories elsewhere? However, back in the real world, if you want to actually discuss the facts, rather than those vague abusive and childish unsubstantiated accusations and epithets, then perhaps you can tell us your conspiracy theories about:

            The raging unprecedented raging forest and bush fires across the world.

            The rising of global temperatures to record highs on every continent.

            The 6th major extinction event in the history of the Earth increasing at approximately 1,000 times that of previous extinction rates.

            The rising oceans and the melting of ice caps and glaciers at an unprecedented rate.

            The increase in anthropogenic pollution in the Holocene or rather the Anthropocene.

            The increasing acidification of the oceans and the oceanic life extinction rates increasing even beyond land life extinction rates.

            The failing crops worldwide, the dying off of all insect life including bee colony collapse disorder and the rapid extinctions of pollinating animals and insects.

            The vast pollution of macro and microplastics worldwide choking land and oceanic wildlife.

            The fossil fuel military industrial complex intent on trashing the planet for short term greed power and profit in spite of all the evidence that proves that to be utterly suicidal if not deliberately genocidal.

            Perhaps if you could for one second display some taught, learned and educated knowledge and substantiation of your outlandishly bizarre claims, then i might….just….spare your conspiracy theories a seconds thought.

            However, since you do not, i will not waste my time.

            • The failing crops worldwide, the dying off of all insect life including bee colony collapse disorder and the rapid extinctions of pollinating animals and insects.

              phil c: we are just insects of the world, we don’t own the world. We just try to take care of it for the next generation. Yours and others scaremongering and apocalyptic statements are why there is so much change in the worlds push on the climate debate! Can I ask you how long have you been saving the world?, or have you latched on to others lead.
              I agree we have not been the best care takers if this beautiful earth, we should have understood the more we produce the more we should reduce, reuse, recycle, but there are sayers and doers!
              Awareness is one thing, but making an action change on the world stage is something completely different!
              Which one are you?

              • Interesting survey reported today that shows many people support measures to address climate change when they save them money. Far less likely when they cost them money ie. insulation/double glazing/air sourced heat pumps are one thing, but not to be confused with £1+ billion on a scheme that has no security it will work effectively. Conflating the two aspects of the debate seems to be essential to make the anti argument. Looks as if, once again, the public are not as ignorant as some would like.

                Yet, there are huge attempts by groups to force high costs upon people on the basis of their morale duty trumping (blame my keyboard for liking American!) their common sense.

                And then we notice advice on sites such as DoD, for helpful hints as to where cars can be parked when visitors come from far and wide to visit PNR! And those who wish to retain their 3 litre BMW diesels! It really is a strange business, this saving the world. (My local bees are doing well. One neighbour has a couple of hives and we help him out with maintaining some good sources of pollen, apart from clover in the lawn which we used to have to remove to prevent the dog getting stung when he lay down on top of the bees. Must be careful though, the clover protection brigade may take offence.)

                So, we have Sky News reporting from Australia about man’s activity with another film crew dispatched to sit at the entrance to Sandringham, to “report” on man’s activity and their presence will be totally meaningless! Strange business.

                • Hmm-Martin, perhaps there was something within that post that had some value. Please excuse me for not being able to identify it.

                • Of course, PhilC.

                  Thanks for signalling it was so worthwhile that you needed to make that comment.

                  Shame that you don’t agree with the UN that as individuals we should take the positive action we are able to do. Hope there are not too many like you, otherwise the bees will be the ones to suffer. Maybe one or two on DoD will follow my lead, and help where it is quite simple to do. So, I have a dead tree to replace. Do I look at how much pollen that new tree may produce, what time of the year, other local pollination sources, and chose accordingly-or do I ignore all of that and just whinge about the bee population? If I follow my approach, working in tandem with my neighbour, I have a good chance of achieving what I want. He may give me some honey one day, meanwhile I shall be a happy bunny, whilst others will refer to me as angry and old-because that is what the anti focus grouping has shown to be a good approach. Strange business.

                • Hmm-Martin, just repeating your own words back to you old thing, but perhaps all that proves is there was not something within your post that had any value at all. But you will always entrap yourself in your own words wont you, so just letting you know that.

                  So what does the FogFather virtue signalling post to no-one in particular going to swathe us in today?

                  Thanks for signalling it was so worthwhile that you needed to make that comment old thing…..you shouldnt have bothered…..no, Martin, no, you really really really shouldn’t have bothered……

                  I see you dont adress any of the questions about climate change yourself though, now why is that not a surprise…..? KatT got your tongue?

                  As for your latest typically irrelevant monologue to no one in particular, lets see what foggy nonsense you swathe us in today:

                  “Shame that you don’t agree with the UN …..etc etc etc etc etc ad nauseam…..” …..Oh, is that the time?

                  No, old fruit, that was elie being a darling as usual wasn’t it. He-she-it just likes to throw around these vacuous little accusations to pretend to be in the slightest bit comprehending. And to avoid actually address anything important when he cant answer the questions.

                  Perhaps you should ask him yourself what he does to follow UN policies, as you seem such “bosom buddy pals”…..and answer each others posts when you’re lost?

                  Which is why you appear to attempt to divert everything to some personal gripe of yours that no one is interested in?

                  Aww! Shame!

                  Fascinating isnt it ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls? That fictional fantasy world is still fogging up Drill or Drop with yet more interminable episodes of “The elie and MC Show”? Otherwise know as “Rant and Fek” Meanwhile the questions of climate change go unanswered, though we know now elie thinks its all conspiracy theory and it was the Koori what done it!

                  What do we say to the new “Rant and Fek Show” ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls? Nooo! Booo! Hisss!! Get Off! There you go, better received than usual anyway.

                  Never mind old things. Reality is coming…..brace yourselves…..or is that already your practice?

                • Okay, so you had no real interest in bees, PhilC. Shame really. More red diesel instead of vegetable oil. Apparently- LOL- they are interchangeable.

                  So many words instead of you just admitting that first sentence of mine.

                  But a lot of interest in generating fog. Good job Eddy Stone was handy to help out.

                  No one interested? Hmm. Rather than try and sit on that very high horse of posting on behalf of the world, try the reality that your opinions are just that. Not convinced that even God could identify what everyone is interested in. Now, he/she was a pretty good engineer.

                  But, you will be pleased, or “no one will be,” to know that my missus has now agreed my tree plan, and our first port of call is to revisit Elms, and resistance to Dutch Elm. Local trials successful so far, but a bit more research required as the investment is pretty substantial, and we wouldn’t want to be mug punters. Someone has to make up for the hundreds of thousands of trees Mr.Musk wants to chop down in Germany, and yes, some are interested in that.

                • Ha! Ha! So that is your little game? More waste of Drill or Drop time and space Martin? You will get a “stop and decease” post from Paul if you go on like that…..

                  Nope! Wrong AGAIN! That is one of your fantasies old thing. And still you prove you dont have any sympathy or empathy for bees, or anything or anyone else on the planet that are suffering from climate change and their countries like Australia, where their country and their homes are burning down around them as we speak Martin. All you seem capable of these days is these strange little fantasy meanderings into fiction? Are you capable of writing anything that is true Martin?

                  No Martin. As you very well know, It was me that raised the point about the extinction of bees in the first place, remember that? But that doesnt fit into that odd little fantasy world of fiction of yours does it?

                  Remember this?

                  “The failing crops worldwide, the dying off of all insect life including bee colony collapse disorder and the rapid extinctions of pollinating animals and insects.

                  The raging unprecedented raging forest and bush fires across the world.

                  The rising of global temperatures to record highs on every continent.

                  The 6th major extinction event in the history of the Earth increasing at approximately 1,000 times that of previous extinction rates.

                  The rising oceans and the melting of ice caps and glaciers at an unprecedented rate.

                  The increase in anthropogenic pollution in the Holocene or rather the Anthropocene.

                  The increasing acidification of the oceans and the oceanic life extinction rates increasing even beyond land life extinction rates.

                  The vast pollution of macro and microplastics worldwide choking land and oceanic wildlife.

                  The fossil fuel military industrial complex intent on trashing the planet for short term greed power and profit in spite of all the evidence that proves that to be utterly suicidal if not deliberately genocidal.”


                  Well that doesnt fit your desperate climate change denial monologue narrative and attempt to accuse me of something you are guilty of yourself, does it?

                  Doesnt work old thing, Is there anyone who believes anything you say anymore? And is anyone in the slightest bit convinced you have anything relevant to say? Nope? Quite the opposite.

                  Aww! Shame! Nice try. But wrong AGAIN!

                  Quite sad really.

                • Oh, there are plenty who agree with me, PhilC, but not everyone. Especially after they discuss things with me they know little about, I help them out-if I can- and they then research to see if I was correct. “Alternatively” there are those happier, for their own reasons, to quote their experience and knowledge, then state some nonsense about something they obviously know nothing about and expect others to accept it blindly.
                  Fortunately, my local chippie is not amongst them and I can happily consume my cod and chips without fear of red diesel, and just the correct amount of salt. Of course, they could have been “advised” by others who knew little about agricultural engineering, and less about marine engineering, and poisoned me twice over. The precautionary principle. Rely upon those who know what they are on about.
                  When I employed engineers, my engineering manager helped for the interviewing. To save time, we had a 2 minute BS test, that decided whether it would be a long interview or a short one. Guess what-we will let you know.

                  Applicants also failed who produced fiction, eg. when have I EVER denied climate change??? We had this strange desire that our engineers stuck to reality. Insurance cover usually relied upon it.

                  Not your War and Peace approach, but then I do not rely upon “others” to be speed readers who digest vast tracts of verbosity and within two minutes have absorbed, and also posted, “that was brilliant, PhilC!” But there are many skills exhibited on DoD, so the education is welcome.

                  Must leave you now, as my research into Elms needs to encompass the specific canopy bugs and beasties that may be assisted, in addition to the bees, and will they integrate with my other garden friends. Afraid the midnight oil and the plastic keyboard will be utilised, although others claim to do so without. Another skill to be “admired”.

                • Whatever you attempted to say there Martin, is lost to your own BS test…..

                  I won’t let you know.

                  Never mind.

                  Better luck next time.

              • Ha! Ha! Well! Well! What do we have here ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls?

                Still manipulating the facts Elie? More conspiracy theories too? So now it’s all the fault of the native Australians?

                For your information the indiginous native Australians call themselves the “Koori” of which there are many tribes and clans. The name “Aboriginal” is the white man’s racist label and has become intentially derogatory and isolating confining the Koori to reservations and stripping away their human rights.

                So now your frantic conspiracy theories blame the Koori for the unprecedented bush firestorms that have ravaged millions of square kilometers of forest and bush, burned out thousands of Australians and Koori, and devastated indigenous wildlife in the countless billions.

                Tell me oh conspiracy theorist guru, elie, how the Koori managed to swim to California, Canada, the Amazon and Europe and Africa and Asia to spread their “controlled bush fires” there?

                Is stating the facts about unprecedented climate change now “scaremongering” in your conspiracy theory world elie? Perhaps you should tell the Australians, the Siberians, the Canadians, the Amazonians, the Californians and the Africans and Asians that have had their forests and homes destroyed by fires, in your conspiracy theory world were caused by the native Australian Koori?

                And while you are about it, perhaps you would like to blame the Koori for all the other issues you conveniently failed to mention?

                Let’s see what your convenient selective memory failed to mention shall we?

                The raging unprecedented raging forest and bush fires across the world.

                The rising of global temperatures to record highs on every continent.

                The 6th major extinction event in the history of the Earth increasing at approximately 1,000 times that of previous extinction rates.

                The rising oceans and the melting of ice caps and glaciers at an unprecedented rate.

                The increase in anthropogenic pollution in the Holocene or rather the Anthropocene.

                The increasing acidification of the oceans and the oceanic life extinction rates increasing even beyond land life extinction rates.

                The failing crops worldwide, the dying off of all insect life including bee colony collapse disorder and the rapid extinctions of pollinating animals and insects.

                The vast pollution of macro and microplastics worldwide choking land and oceanic wildlife.

                The fossil fuel military industrial complex intent on trashing the planet for short term greed power and profit in spite of all the evidence that proves that to be utterly suicidal if not deliberately genocidal.

                Are all those facts caused by the Koori in your scaremongering conspiracy theory world elie? That’s quite an achievement isn’t it?

                In your scaremongering conspiracy theory world elie, those Koori get about a bit don’t they? Tell me elie, do the Koori carry all that macro and micro plastic in their hands while they are swimming across the world?

                Does all that worldwide swimming cause the atmosphere and oceans to heat up and melt the polar ice caps? Are the Koori behind the fossil fuel corporations and the military industrial complex that are trashing the entire planet for greed power and profit?

                Or is that all in your fevered imagination and climate change denial fantasies elie?

                We know the answer to that don’t we ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls?

                Oh yes we do!

                Have A Nice Day!

  2. Interesting that ‘…….continuing to be led by the Precautionary Principle’ was part of this statement.

    Obviously this is completely different from the basis on which Cameron, May and Savid Javed made decisions!

    Otherwise my family home wouldn’t have been damaged by the hundreds of seismic events that rattled the Fylde over the 12 months and the August Bank Holiday Monday 2.9 Hydrofrac earthquake!

    Obviously I’m still fighting Cuadrilla and my insurance company for compensation and restoration!

    • What exactly is the claim your making?,
      If it is relevant and to be blamed on a third party fault, (seismic activity), no fight should be encountered! Why such a ‘fight’ as you say?
      And how far in miles, (yards, feet) is your residence to the believed fault / cause which you believe occurred? If there is one, there are sure to be others, or is this an isolated case?

  3. We can just continue importing gas from countries in Europe, primarily Norway, by pipeline as this has the important benefit of having lower green house gas emissions than U.K. shale gas. Better for the environment and as gas consumption continues to fall and we use more and more renewables/green energy hopefully Greta will be pleased.

    • Can we KatT??

      I think that going forward the EU will have more than a few problems with gas supply, and that will overlap to the UK. (Nord Stream 2 issue is likely to be the start, not the end, of the problems.) Current “secure” UK sources may become somewhat more insecure than they have in the past.

      I still await the projections for hydrogen use and how it will be provided. That is somewhat different to renewables/green energy, and will most likely be dependant upon gas. UK is already buying gas from USA, many of big oil investing heavily in USA. Gas from USA doesn’t require quite so many £ billions to protect that sea lane and not so many UK sons and daughters to risk their lives. One might even start to think the USA might be positioning to encourage a certain course of action!!

    • Let’s hope KatT we have no more green energy schemes like the one in N.Ireland that resulted in Stormont being closed for 3 years and hardship for all those who live in N. Ireland. Perhaps-FINALLY-today, we will see the cost of that dealt with.

      Then the antis, who also seem to like to pontificate about a few animals being disturbed by a potential on shore well site-usually wrongly-will get on their bikes and trundle off to Germany to protect all those sand lizards that the proposed Tesla factory will displace?

      Really strange (LOL) big negatives are ignored regarding some green initiatives. (And to pre-empt the “seismic” response, when rescuing those lizards, look at thermal energy in Germany!)

      But, I do like the CCC recommendation for 20,000 hectares of tree planting/year. As long as they win the battle against the beaver brigade! (Culverts. No problem? Ask the Norwegians.) Joined up thinking? Don’t hold your breath.

      • What’s this ‘battle against the beaver brigade’ then Martin? Are you saying beavers will fell 20,000 hectares of trees (assuming we plant that many and once they grow to an appropriate size in around 20-25 years)? Glad to know you’re now a beaver expert alongside your many other areas of expertise. Do enlighten us.

        • Ask the Norwegians, Mike.

          I gave one clue regarding “culverts”. Perhaps also check out natural predators? Lynx required? Trapping/shooting??

          Beavers just fell “appropriate sized” trees, do they?? I see some enlightenment is needed in that area. I have no need to waste my time.

          Introduce new animal species and look at ALL the consequences, was the advice given to me from my Norwegian friends, after they finished laughing. Controlled colony is a different issue to uncontrolled mayhem.

          Joined up thinking? Thanks Mike for demonstrating the problem. Or, you could just visit places like New Zealand and see the problems they have to deal with since new animal species were introduced.

          • Ah, quelle surprise Martin. Do I detect your usual modus operandi? Do I need to ask a specific Norwegian or all of them? It would appear you’d rather not enlighten us as requested, but rather point us in the direction of some vague information from alleged friends i.e anonymous evidence of nothing whatsoever.
            New animal species? Natural predators? Beavers were indigenous and widespread in Britain until we competely wiped them out circa 1800’s, so that deals with those two points. I suggest for the rest, ask google rather than all the Norwegians. You might learn something. Perhaps they’ll eat all the fish too? Which problem did I demonstrate when I asked a couple of simple rhetoric questions which, as usual, you competely failed to answer?
            I guess I must be a member of your ‘beaver brigade’, but hopefully a great deal more evidence based and with due caution. A little research of your own, Norwegian or otherwise, might enlighten you too to the significant benefits they can bring to upland water management and ecosystems.

            • Oh dear, Mike.

              More of the non joined up approach.

              Dinosaurs were also indigenous in UK, in years past. So, no, you have not dealt with any points at all, you have just made a totally irrelevant one.

              So, you believe beaver colonies will stay where they are put, even though there are no predators to control their population? Evidence based? Absolute nonsense. Populations of animals without natural predators will expand, unless you want to castrate them! Good luck with that approach.

              I like beavers. They do indeed bring a load of benefits. So do tigers. So do elephants. However, uncontrolled they all bring problems. I took the interest whilst in Norway to raise the subject over dinner with the Norwegians, as Norwegian beavers were being discussed for introduction into the UK. These were Norwegians who had business in Norway and UK so knew the environment in both, and the other wildlife that made up the ecosystem in both. They also have big problems with water quality problems with their beavers, which is probably not that important in UK but could be in upland areas, where the country is used for recreation similar to Norway.

              But, it seems you are very consistent in your non joined up arguments. Taxation seems to fall into the same category.

              Very easy to adopt that approach. But, I have yet to find an issue that does not have pros and cons. My research indicates more cons than pros on this issue. Others may see a different picture. I see that as myopia, but each to their own.

              • What a relief that I am able to read what I actually wrote Martin, otherwise, from your rambling and incoherent response, I would be seriously doubting what I had said, plus the fact that I’d merely asked you a couple of questions. As per usual, you largely avoided answering. The only point I made was that, contrary to your comment of ‘Introduce new animal species’, beavers were indigenous to Britain until humans wiped them all out, thus meaning that they had, and will still have one very effective predator – man. If this assertion is wrong, kindly supply some factual evidence.

    • KatT, although gas used for electricity generation has fallen as a result of increased output from renewable sources, overall gas demand in the UK continues to increase.

    • KatT, we need to pay for imported gas and I’m not sure how the UK will fund that given the state of its export market. But more importantly, the infrastructure that is required to import gas requires a certain volume to be economically feasible and as our gas usage goes down there will come a point where this isn’t the case. Producing local gas will allow the U.K. to produce far more from renewables with a secure backup that is required for when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow.

      • Good Statement Simon.
        The logistics and emissions in which to import and store our gas inventory is going to be a huge challenge over the next few decades… exploring and producing our own home stock inventory will reduce significantly the burden and will ensure energy security when the rough and tumble happens with our export market. We have a mover 40 years experience in this country producing offshore oil and gas, many people have taken this for granted, how do these people believe we have prospered these last 40 years using home produced energy and over half a trillion US dollars in UK treasury receipts. We need UK industry now more than every before, but let’s not be naive ofcourse Renewables can, and will work in tandem with the Fossil Fuels industry for decades to come…. Renewables are getting better but whether the wind blows or the sun shines or Not!
        Renewables is not a perfect Pill!

      • From your comment, anyone would think the gas belonged to the British people and the fracking companies would be giving it to them for nothing. It’s already been admitted that any gas fracked would be sold to the highest bidder so we would still have to pay for gas wherever it came from. We would also be paying in many other ways in damaging earthquakes, disruption to communities and damage to roads, farming, tourism, water and air quality. It’s highly likely the cost of reinstating the numerous sites required would also fall on the tax payer. Policing costs would always be high, since local people will never accept fracking in their back yards willingly. The alternative to that would be to force fracking onto areas by abolishing the public’s right to participate in planning applications and removing all human rights to protest. Quite a high cost for a fossil fuel that we have to drastically reduce the use of if we are to have any chance of meeting our climate crisis commitments.

        • So, Pauline, we carry on buying gas from others! That is the reality, no fossil fuel being left in the ground. Just different grounds.

          For the third time, where will all the hydrogen come from? Will UK produce it, and how? Or, we forget about that and import it?

          Meanwhile, that coming from different grounds produces taxation for the different ground, UK ground with a few cows, produces next to no taxable income, largely because the UK population is too mean to pay the farmer a realistic price for his milk. Or too poor, after paying the high cost of energy provision. The £500m excess cost per year of ONE wind farm may be ignored by JP, but few others. Three years of NO Stormont as a result of another “good” idea, causing three years of misery. I could go on, because there is an endless supply, except it is totally ignored by the antis who just decide upon another to be the answer. Swansea Bay? Hmm. Ask the people of St. Keverne. Clean ups? Just look at the clean up that is required to even construct the new German Tesla factory. All those poor displaced sand lizards. Collateral damage around anti solutions should be ignored-it has been for a long time, why change?

          Producing your anti economics always seems to rely upon an awful lot of speculation whilst missing the fact that what is produced in a country is TAXED in that country. Yes, tax has to be gathered for any enterprise, which is why some tax goes towards those qualified to do so. Meanwhile, you antis do your best to add cost to these companies and then try and speculate the economics don’t then add up-except most of those costs could be set against the taxation of said companies! Result? Less doctors and nurses. Not a very caring attitude, and somewhat insular.

          “Protectors”??? No, apart from your own interests. No wonder someone decided that mask was needed.

        • Pauline – it seems you have little understanding of material balance or economics. However, you’re very skilled at Nimbyism.

          • Clearly, I too have little understanding of economics as I thought that we, the consumer, paid for gas wherever it is obtained from, based on the price charged to the energy company plus a nice markup – and in hard cash rather than funny money and including a nice tax cut for govt. Perhaps you can explain how this is not so? Neither do I see any sign of nimbyism in Pauline’s general concerns around the future risks of fracking as they are generic to the global industry. I’m sure we all have some concern for negative impacts on our own little lives, but most commentators on DoD appear to very much look at the bigger picture. Still, it’s much easier to make sweeping ad hominem attacks isn’t it.

            • I gave you the required answer just a day earlier, Mike. Your economics, Pauline’s economics and most antis economics avoid the issue of TAX. UK production requires various taxes to be paid in the UK and that revenue is used for lots of goodies-including helping out those who don’t understand taxation as they don’t pay it! It also pays for lots of goodies for other things as well.

              This really is not that difficult. Giggle Norwegian Wealth Fund (others are also available) to see how it works. A larger example of what UK might achieve, but still the same concept.

              Imported gas is significantly taxed in those countries that produce it, and that tax is not handed on to those who buy it. So, you may feel building walls in USA is a better way for UK consumers to spend their money, and you have every right to that choice. I simply think that it would be better for me to spend my money, including that portion, in a way that benefits me, my family and other members of this country. Then that money may plant trees in UK instead of building walls in USA. What it is used for in UK I have a small say in influencing via the ballot box, no say in USA/Norway etc.

              Reminds me of a 17 year old (oops) who received their first weeks money.

              “Dad, why have they taken all this money away from me?”

              “Son, I have explained about tax before, this is what is needed for you to support the country.”

              “Thanks, Dad. That’s okay.”

              Next week:

              “DAD, THEY HAVE DONE IT AGAIN!”

              • I seem to recall pointing out a nice tax receipt for govt from VAT on fuel bills – hard cash, not funny money. There appear to be many tax breaks and largely invisible subsidies on O&G and energy companies, but that is for govts to decide, not me. Of course, if we develop our own unconventional O&G industry, we mustn’t forget that all the evidence points to the likelihood of significant costs to the public purse in the not too distant future from well restoration, climate change, environmental and seismic impacts, which would probably see off any tax receipts and a great deal more, but hey, SEP (someone else’s problem) if pushed beyond the next election. Conventional O&G of other countries is for them to regulate, even if we all suffer the global consequences of AGW.

                • You quickly forget the UK N.Sea oil and gas history, Mike. Maybe speculate about a situation where there is not such recent history, to identify your speculation is just that, and built upon poor foundations?

                  Invisible subsidies? Not applied to alternatives? Oh yes they are. The whole UK energy sector includes subsidies, always has. Every different part of it wants more subsidy for their chunk and less for their competitors. 3 years without Stormont-that was a pretty costly one.

                  I think you may also find some talk around reducing or removing VAT on fuel bills. Wonder how that could be paid for? More corporation tax, without increasing the rate? INEOS paying more corporation tax in UK and less tax in USA? Nice Sir Jim quite keen to do the former, but if necessary, will do the latter.

                  Why avoid the unconventional oil and gas of other countries, Mike? Might it be just to create a narrative that is what you find more convenient, than the reality? Is the oil and gas UK buys from USA controlled in that way? Don’t think so. Could just be that US fracking plus a wall is the reality, instead of UK fracking and trees, and/or VAT removed from UK domestic fuel bills.

          • Simon. My comments on the possible negative effects of fracking on communities, such as disruption and damage to farming, tourism and activities relying on clean air and water were all clearly documented in the government’s own DECC report on fracking, several years ago. Remember, the report that Andrea Leadsom conveniently withheld until after Lancashire County Council’s planning decision on Cuadrilla’s PNR application? My comment on policing only states the obvious that the £millions already spent on policing of anti fracking protest is bound to continue to be needed unless the human right to peaceful protest is removed. Of course, given the present government, this could well be the intention, but surely you must agree we will all be the poorer if that’s the case. Even you, Simon, may one day feel the need to protest about something.
            As far as the removal of local public involvement in planning decisions for the convenience of the fracking industry, that too could be the thin end of a very nasty wedge. If all this makes me a nimby, so be it.

        • PAULINE JONES,

          The only way, UK Fracked gas could EVER compete on the open market, would be for the UK to adopt the USA , Laural and Hardy, nursery school of economics, environmental protection approach .

          THAT IS .

          1 ) Cut Costs …….Strip away ALL human and environmental legal protections.

          2 ) To compete on the open gas market,………Allow Fracking companies to rack up some of the BIGGEST DEBTS in history. (( remember in the USA, a lot of this debt will eventually end up on the toes of the ordinary hard working, good old American Tax Payer.))

          3 ) Make sure your boot licking friends are those who pull the strings of power…………Provide HUGE financial election campaign support and personal sweetners to politicians who adopt the TWO FINGER approach to human and environmental protection…

          4 ) Financially KNEECAP your Environmental Protection Agency.

          THEN and ONLY THEN will UK Fracked gas be able to compete on the open market ..

          • Hello again, Jack!

            Still with the same old record?

            You should look at the new one Jack. Maybe you haven’t noticed that USA fracking companies are now being forced to reduce their debt where that is required? So, as that succeeds, how will that debt end up with the USA tax payer? Why is it any different to Tesla?

            All you demonstrate is the exact same:

            “The fundamentals of the company, such as cash flow, balance sheet and income, are quite poor, but the belief in X, the founder, is extremely powerful. He’s a masterful storyteller. It’s a case of the believers versus the fundamentalists”.

            No, X, was not Mr. Egan.


            • Good morning MARTIN,

              Not sure where or WHO is feeding you such UTTER TOSH , but here are the real facts ……

              The USA I’m talking about, here on planet earth has seen a great number of eye watering bankruptcies within the Fracking industry …… This trend shows NO SIGN of changing .




              HUGE DEBTS are the only way this industry can compete in the open Oil and Gas market and that’s in a country with almost ZERO human and enviourmental health and safety regulations .

              A densley populated UK , with it’s more costly, restrictive operating conditions…………. There’s more chance of me tap dancing with Micheal Flatley on the MOON , than there is of the UK shale industry showing a healthy balance sheet.

              • MARTIN,

                LETS NOT FORGET .

                Who along with the big investment companies will pick up the tab for these HUGE financial failures in the UK, if this industry was ever allowed to get a foot hold ?????????

                ANY IDEAS ???????

                YES , your right , the small private investor and the GOOD OLD UK TAX PAYER.

                • I suspect if the industry ever obtained a foot hold in the UK, it would follow the same pattern as the USA:

                  eg. “Shale plans lie behind Exxon sale in Malaysia.” (You can find many more examples, if you bothered to look.)

                  So, good try, but no cigar.

                  The “trend” you refer to is not what you make it out to be. The real trend in USA is for the big oil companies to shake out the smaller operators, mergers shaking out excess capacity within the merged companies and the market now saying that debt has to be reduced and returns improved to the shareholder. All underway, all perfectly normal.

                  Mr. Putin has seen his fear around the USA coming to pass regarding fracking, that was discussed within the recent impeachment hearing. Now, it seems, he wants to increase the birth rate! If even more Jacks start to appear, then your comments will all fit into place, but failing that they are just more fiction and less reality.

                • MARTIN

                  TALK IS CHEAP

                  And some parts of the Oil and Gas industry are FULL OF IT. As the industry grasps at any available straw to milk the investor, just that little bit longer …

                  Your opinion MARTIN, as that’s all it is , has been duly noted and filed in the appropriate place.

                  The facts still remain clear and present …… The American Fracking industry is nothing more than one great financial debt ridden PONZI scheme .

                  I would also like to add to the above, that it’s a very dangerous PONZI scheme , which has very serious human and ecological risks.

                  If there is ANYTHING that has been said in the above , that you doubt, please make clear ….. I will supply ALL the relevant ” links ” for you to easily click on.

                • SORRY……… MARTIN,

                  I forgot to add to the above,

                  The American Fracking industry is not just continuing to , quote, ” milk the investor, just that little bit longer. ”

                  It will also be well and truly milking the hard working American tax payer . As a lot of the $100 of Billions of unpaid debt will eventually fall on their toes.

                  JUST LIKE , bailing out the banks did in the UK.

                • AND MARTIN,

                  The ongoing environmental and human health costs will continue to land on the Amerian tax payers toes .

  4. Very interesting, JP??!!

    Hmm. For someone who used to regularly quote Statoil, now Equinor, you seem to have “conveniently” missed the recent article from them referring to around 10% margin for their off shore wind, 30%+ for oil and gas.

    Now, for those investors who are happy with their own “ethical” approach, maybe 10% is okay. For those who rely upon higher returns to supply higher income, then the 30%+ is more important. Hence a certain dilemma for Pension Fund Trustees.

    So, those who wish to follow the Ms Abbott school of maths. that may show 10% is bigger than 30%+, yes look away. From a moralistic platform you may be viewed as a sensible punter, but from a mathematical platform you will be the true mug punter. Of course, the exception are those who have a financial interest in wind power, or the same for those in respect of fossil fuel, which can modify either consideration-and often does, in both cases.

    However, looking at the initial approach from the new Government, It could be that sectional lobbying will be less successful than in the past. Cuadrilla may find that a problem, but then, so might others. Huskies may have to show they can do their job, rather than be hugged.

  5. Perhaps Greta should look to her neighbour, Norway? The country with 100% renewables generated electricity, the country whose sovereign wealth fund has divested from oil and gas(?), the country which runs on oil and gas tax revenues….and exports most of the oil and gas it produces.


    “14/01/2020 28 companies have been offered ownership interests in a total of 69 production licences on the Norwegian Shelf in the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2019.

    The authorities assessed applications from a total of 33 companies through autumn 2019.

    Of the 69 production licences, 13 are in the Barents Sea, 23 are in the Norwegian Sea and 33 are in the North Sea. 18 of the production licences are additional acreage to existing production licences or agreement-based areas”

    And DOD antis worry about a few little wells onshore UK and the impact of these on global climate change?

  6. I worry about Greta’s Labrador, Paul. They are very sensitive to human anger, and it causes them considerable anxiety.

    Not sure if such is taught at Swedish schools, but plenty of evidence elsewhere.

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