Daily headlines

December 2020 headlines

You can keep up with December’s 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

Placard from vigil at Horse Hill, Surrey, 17 November 2020. Photo: Helena Smith

Top headlines

  • Surrey campaigner loses legal fight over oil production at Horse Hill
  • UKOG to appeal against refusal of Loxley gas drilling plans in Surrey
  • New research finds fracking earthquakes are unpredictable and could damage buildings
  • Cuadrilla surrenders permits for fracking site and gives up Lancashire HQ
  • IGas seeks to keep Misson open for future fracking and drilling
  • West Newton sidetrack “exceeds expectations”
  • Government publishes Energy White Paper
  • UKOG seeks three more Turkish licences
  • Oil and gas industry warned to face realities of climate change
  • Sixth carbon budget to cut emissions by 78% by 2035 to be on course for net zero
  • Horse Hill production up slightly – but so is waste water and gas

Thursday 31 December 2020

70-year low for 2020 UK onshore oil and gas drilling. DrillOrDrop analysis of this year’s drilling data

Wednesday 30 December 2020

What to watch in 2021. DrillOrDrop’s look at what might happen to UK onshore oil and gas in 2021

Tuesday 29 December 2020

DrillOrDrop review of 2020

Tuesday 22 December 2020

Highways objection dropped on UKOG’s Isle of Wight drilling plans – new consultation begins in 2021. DrillOrDrop report

Oil drops as new coronavirus variant revives demand fears. Reuters reports that oil prices in New York dropped towards $40 as the mutant variant in the UK revived concerns over demand recovery.

Monday 21 December 2020

Breaking: Surrey campaigner loses legal fight over climate effects of 20-years of oil production at Horse Hill. DrillOrDrop report, BBC News, Planning Resource, Energy Voice (22/12/2020), Proactive Investors (22/12/2020), FT (22/12/2020)

Thursday 17 December 2020

UKOG to appeal against refusal of gas drilling plans at Dunsfold in Surrey. DrillOrDrop report

Wednesday 16 December 2020

Supreme Court overturns block on Heathrow’s third runway. An earlier ruling at the Court of Appeal said expansion plans were illegal because the government had not considered its Paris climate commitments. The project can now seek planning permission through a public inquiry. Guardian, BBC News, ITV News, FT

Newdigate earthquake. A 0.0ML earthquake centred at 2km depth on Newdigate is recorded by the British Geological Survey at 49 minutes past midnight.

Tuesday 15 December 2020

Guest post: Fractured fracking ambitions. In a guest post for DrillOrDrop, Professor Stuart Haszeldine of Edinburgh University reviews new research findings on fracking-induced earthquakes, released yesterday by the Oil & Gas Authority.

BP’s former finance chief poised for Ineos role. The FT reports that Brian Gilvary, who retired from BP earlier this year, is set to take a senior position at Ineos.

Monday 14 December 2020

Fracking earthquakes are unpredictable and could damage buildings – new research from Preston New Road. DrillOrDrop report on research for the Oil and Gas Authority on earthquakes caused by Cuadrilla’s fracking in Lancashire.

Energy White Paper challenges oil and gas companies to cut emissions. DrillOrDrop report on the oil and gas chapter. Energy White Paper. Other reporting: Reuters (Britain proposes domestic emissions trading scheme from Jan 1), Business Green (Everything you need to know about the UK’s landmark Energy White Paper), Business Green reaction, Bloomberg (UK targets gas in next fight against fossil fuel pollution), editorials: The Times, The Guardian, FT, Telegraph, Oil & Gas Authority

Friday 11 December 2020

Picture post: Fracking day of action. DrillOrDrop report on protest outside BP headquarters in London.

Thursday 10 December 2020

West Newton B drilling “exceeds expectations with substantial hydrocarbon accumulation”. DrillOrDrop report. Energy voice, Proactive Investors

UKOG seeks three more Turkish licences and promotes oil prospects in south east Turkey over the UK weald basin. DrillOrDrop report, Natural Gas World, Morning Star

Wednesday 9 December 2020

Cuadrilla surrenders consents to drill, frack and flare at Lancashire shale gas site. DrillOrDrop report on announcement from the Environment Agency on Preston New Road permit. BBC News (10/12/2020)

Government advisor warns oil and gas industry to face realities of climate change. DrillOrDrop report on Committee on Climate Change pathway to net zero and sixth carbon budget. Energy Voice

Sixth Carbon Budget: UK must cut emissions by 78% by 2035 to be on course for net zero. Other reports: Guardian, Reuters, Daily Mail, Carbon Brief, New Scientist, The Times, inews, Telegraph, Independent, FT, BBC News

Tuesday 8 December 2020

Shell executives quit amid discord over green push. The FT reports on splits at Shell over how far and fast the oil giant should move away from oil.

Billionaire Ratcliffe’s Ineos drops Wales for France to build new car. Reuters and the Guardian report that Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos is buying a site form Daimler, ditching plans to build the planned off-roader in Wales.

Monday 7 December 2020

Ineos to get £millions in compensation for carbon costs. DrillOrDrop report

Friday 4 December 2020

UK aims to cut emissions by 68% by end of 2030. Boris Johnson announces a target to cut UK emissions faster than any major economy so far. He urges other world leaders to follow his lead at a virtual climate summit on 12 December. BBC News, Guardian, Press Association (via Belfast Telegraph), Reuters, Sky News, Mail Online, Mirror

Radical reassessment needed to hit net zero emissions by 2050, says NAO. The Guardian reports comments by Whitehall’s spending watching, the National Audit Office, that the net zero emissions target of 2050 is a “colossal challenge” that can only be achieved with a radical reassessment of priorities.

Big oil seeks redemption in the hydrogen revolution. Bloomberg reports on plans by big oil companies to join the switch to a hydrogen economy. The report says grey hydrogen, made from methane without carbon capture and storage, typically causes more emissions per unit of energy than coal. Green hydrogen, made using renewable electricity from water with a byproduct of oxygen, still costs much more than dirtier alternatives.

UKOG receives £110,000 in exercise of warrants. UKOG announces it has received warrant exercise notices to subscribe for a total of 68,750,000 new shares at 0.16p. The subscription brings UKOG £110,000. There are now 12,543,135,050 shares in UKOG.

Thursday 3 December 2020

Officials give Rathlin Energy extra time to drill at West Newton-B. DrillOrDrop report

Governments must reduce fossil fuel demand and supply, UN warns. A new report from the UN finds that world governments must wind down fossil fuel production by 6% per year to limit catastrophic warming. This means reducing the supply of fossil fuels as well demand for them. Weald Action Group

Gas boilers in firing line as PM vows to cut emissions. The Times reports that Boris Johnson will promise to cut greenhouse gas pollution at a faster rate than any other big economy as part of an attempt to hit net zero emissions by 2050. The paper quotes a source as saying “the big issue is gas boilers”.

“We mustn’t confuse the public with Extinction Rebellion” – UK Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng sets out case for CCUS. Energy Voice reports comments by Kwasi Kwarteng that it was necessary to set out why CCUS is essential to meeting net zero target in order to get public support for the technology. He said views of the wider public should be separated from those of environmental groups.

Denmark to end oil and gas hunt in North Sea in 2050. Reuters reports that the Danish Government has agreed to end all oil and gas exploration and extraction in the North Sea by 2050 and cancel its latest licensing round.

Crashing’ oil investments wipe £1.75bn from council pension funds. Pensions Age reports that research by Transition Economics found that combined investments of 56 local government pensions funds into nine leading oil companies had collapsed by half from April 2017-November 2020.

Tuesday 1 December 2020

Cuadrilla gives up Lancashire headquarters and a permit for fracking site. DrillOrDrop report

IGas seeks to keep Misson open for future fracking and shale gas drilling. DrillOrDrop report

Horse Hill oil production is up slightly in recent figures – but so are waste water and gas. DrillOrDrop report on August 2020 official data

Wing it with a few press releases”: Claire O’Neill slams UK government’s “cavalier attitude” to COP26. The Guardian, Independent, i newspaper, Business Green and Energy Voice are among outlets which report Ms O’Neill’s appearance before the business, energy and industrial strategy committee.

Climate crisis: UK carbon emissions fell by just 10% over 2020 despite pandemic. The Independent reports the fall in emissions, reported by the industry body Oil and Gas UK, came as UK energy demand decreased by 12% over the first three quarters of 2020. The organisation says 85% of its members are to pursue activities outside fossil fuels over the next two years as the market contracts.

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