Diary

April 2021 headlines

Keep up with April 2021’s news with our digest of daily updated headlines about the business, regulation and campaigns around UK fracking, shale, and onshore oil and gas.

Click here for headlines from previous months. Please let us know if we’ve missed something important  contact@DrillOrDrop.com

Source: Oil & Gas Authority

Key headlines

  • Growing opposition to plans for oil production at Biscathorpe in the Lincolnshire Wolds AONB
  • Campaigner cleared of trespass after rig-climbing action at Horse Hill
  • HSE responds to MPs’ questions on silica sand management at Preston New Road
  • Companies join research on reusing shale gas boreholes
  • Rathlin Energy prepares for testing at West Newton-A
  • UKOG likens Horse Hill oil site in Surrey to a “talented but troublesome teenager”
  • Study calls for new definition of fracking to close regulatory loopholes
  • First anniversaries of deadline for appeal decisions passes without ministerial ruling
  • IGas accounts reveal the cost of Covid-19
  • Council reveals that Angus Energy has no planning consent for importing waste water to Brockham

Friday 30 April 2021

Extracting new oil at Biscathorpe in the Lincolnshire Wolds is “utterly incompatible” with climate goals – open letter signed by Bishop of Grimsby, academics and business leaders. DrillOrDrop report

Minister’s ruling due in weeks on whether oil production plans at the West Newton-A well site need an environmental impact assessment. DrillOrDrop report

Methodist Church sells entire stake in Shell over climate change policy. Business Insider and the FT (paywall) report that the Methodist Church have sold out of Shell over the oil major’s ‘inadequate’ response to climate change. The stake, worth more than £20 million, was sold after the Methodists wee concerned about Shell’s clean energy strategy.

Thursday 29 April 2021

Warning that Biscathorpe oil production plans would “cause significant and long-term harm” to Lincolnshire Wolds. DrillOrDrop report on response of Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty partnership to Egdon Resources production and drilling plans.

HSE tells MPs it did not inspect the management of silica sand at Cuadrilla’s fracking site near Blackpool. DrillOrDrop report on a reply by the HSE to the Work and Pensions Committee.

Barclays faces shareholder revolt over fossil fuel investments as AGM approaches. CityAm reports Barclays is facing a second consecutive shareholder resolution concerning its position as Europe’s largest fossil fuel financier. Investors are increasingly drawing attention to the shareholder resolution due to be voted on at the bank’s Annual General Meeting next week, on Wednesday 5 May.

Co-founder of Oxford University petrochemical research centre joins UK’s leading climate science denial group. DeSmog reports that the Global Warming Policy Foundation has appointed Professor Peter Edwards, professor in inorganic chemistry at Oxford University to its board of trustees.

Shell reports more than £2bn Q1 profit as fossil fuel demand returns. The Guardian reports better than expected profit at Shell – eight times more than the final quarter in 2020.

Wednesday 28 April 2021

Horse Hill production site in Surrey scales back crude oil storage plans. DrillOrDrop report on changes to an application to Surrey County Council.

Campaigners target fossil fuel whistle breakers. DrillOrDrop report on Extinction Rebellion to attract oil and gas industry staff to blow the whistle on corporate greenwash.

Scottish Parliament Pension Fund has £1million investment in fossil fuels. The Daily Record reports on Friends of the Earth Scotland analysis that found the Scottish Parliament pension fund had invested £923,585 in fossil fuels. £733,000 had been invested in BHP, a coal, oil and gas producers and one of the top 20 companies deemed most responsible for the climate crisis.

Tuesday 27 April 2021

UKOG becomes founder member of Geothermal Energy Advancement Association. UKOG announces is it is one of six found members of the GEAA, whose aim is to advocate increased awareness of and investment in geothermal energy as a key sustainable source for zero-carbon electricity, heat, hot water. UKOG said it is actively scoping two new standalone geothermal projects in the UK, together with a hybrid geothermal, solar and battery storage project at our Horse Hill site.

Monday 26 April 2021

MPs divided on protest policing bill. DrillOrDrop report on debate on government legislation

Saturday 24 April 2021

‘Unacceptable loopholes’ could undermine UK pledge to end overseas fossil fuel funding, campaigners say. The Independent reports that government policy to end overseas fossil fuel projects is ‘rhetoric over substance’, say Labour.

Friday 23 April 2021

The XR activists who took on oil giant Shell – and won. Extinction Rebellion reports that six of its activists have been acquitted at Southwark Crown Court. The jury delivered not guilty verdicts for each defendant, despite a ruling from the judge that five of the six had no defence in law. Evening Standard, BBC News, Guardian

Thursday 22 April 2021

Campaigner cleared of trespass at Horse Hill oil site. DrillOrDrop report on the acquittal of Lindsay Parkin, who took part in a 12-hour protest against oil drilling at the site in Surrey. Surrey Comet, BBC News

California governor plans to announce ban on new fracking permits. Politico reports that multiple sources are confirming that California governor, Gavin Newsom is to announce a ban on new hydraulic fracturing permits.

Planet needs can-do spirit, urges Prince William. The Times (paywall) reports Prince William and David Attenborough are among signatories in a letter to the paper, which calls for action on “the most pressing challenge in human history: stopping the climate emergency”. It says: “If we do not act in this decade the damage to our planet will be irreversible, affecting not only those of us alive today but the future of generations to come.”

Brussels faces backlash over delay to decision on whether gas is green. The FT ( paywall ) reports that the European Commission is “facing a political and scientific backlash over its decision to delay part of its landmark classification system for investors in an attempt to resolve a dispute about how to label energy sources such as natural gas and nuclear power”.

Wednesday 21 April 2021


101 Nobel laureates call for global fossil fuel non-proliferation treaty. The Guardian reports that the Dalai Lama was among those to sign a letter to world leaders calling for a rapid shift to renewable energy.

Boris’s big green gamble risks fuelling a new Brexit-style revolt against the elite. The Telegraph (paywall) reports that if new technologies fail to arrive, No 10’s eco plan will devaste the living standards of the Tory base.

Tuesday 20 April 2021

Flow testing due next month at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-B oil site in East Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop report

UK confirms it will set a tougher climate pledge for 2035. Reaction reports by Independent, Business Green, Daily Mail, Telegraph (paywall), i, Guardian

Coal and gas rebound puts carbon emissions on track for 2021 surge. FT report (paywall)

Anti-fracking group questions council’s transparency. The Fermanagh Herald reports that Belcoo Frack Free has questioned the decision by Fermanagh Council to hold an informal meeting with the fracking consultancy Hatch Regeneris.

Labour and Tories under fire for £7.5bn in ‘dirty’ council pension funds. The Independent reports that the leading parties in England are under attack for maintaining stakes in oil, gas and coal companies, despite climate emergency and financial risk

Monday 19 April 2021

Wait for government ruling on environmental study for West Newton-A oil site expansion plans. DrillOrDrop report on ministerial EIA screening.

UK to toughen targets on greenhouse gas emissions for next 15 years. The Guardian reports that the prime minister is to announce carbon dioxide is to be cut by 78% by 2035, compared with 1990 levels.

Companies join research on reusing shale gas boreholes. DrillOrDrop report on research project involving Cuadrilla, Third Energy and IGas.

Sunday 18 April 2021

EU split over delay to decision on classing gas a green investment. FT report (paywall) on a split in the European Commission on whether to postpone a decision on guidance on environmentally-ethical investments.

Hydrogen or heat pump? The Times reports on the battle of the boilers. The paper says the decision on how to heat your home could soon be a choice between a hydrogen boiler and an electric heat pump.

Love Leitrim demand urgent policy statement on fracked gas imports. Leitrim Observer reports that the campaign group, Love Leitrim have joined other groups including Friends Of The Earth Ireland and Safety Before LNG in calling on the Irish  government to urgently deliver their promised policy statement opposing the importation of fracked gas. The policy statement was promised nine months ago but so far the government has failed to deliver it, the paper says.

Saturday 17 April 2021

Gas is the new coal with risks of $100 billion on stranded assets. Bloomberg reports that natural gas is falling out of favour with emissions-wary investors and utilities at a quicker pace than coal did.

Friday 16 April 2021

UKOG annual accounts likens the Horse Hill oil site in Surrey to a “talented but troublesome teenager”. DrillOrDrop report on the companies finances which went into the red with a gross loss of £1.63m in the year to September 2020.

Scaled-back UKOG protest injunction heads to trial after more than three years. DrillOrDrop report

Extinction Rebellion protesters pour fake oil on themselves protesting Cambridge banks. The Cambridge News reports that activists, dressed in white (representing earth) led a funeral procession to Barclays and HSBC banks. They lay on the ground while campaigners dressed as the banks’ directors poured fake oil over the bodies.

Thursday 15 April 2021

MPs to debate petition against protest policing bill. DrillOrDrop report

Groundswell review – the fight against fracking in Ireland. The Guardian reports on Groundswell, a new documentary from Johnny Gogan about the anti-fracking campaign in Ireland. The film is released on 16 April on digital platforms.

How Texas’s zombie oil wells are creating an environmental disaster zone. The Guardian reports on how thousands of abandoned oil wells in the Permian Basin of west Texas and New Mexico are endangering humans and wildlife.

Cuadrilla founder appointed to mineral exploration company. Street Insider reports that Golden Birch, which operates in Papua New Guinea, has appointed Chris Cornelius, the founder of Cuadrilla Resources in 2007 and its former chief executive.

Wednesday 14 April 2021

Study calls for new definition of fracking to close regulatory loopholes. DrillOrDrop report

Tuesday 13 April 2021

East Riding of Yorkshire Council to close roads to Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-A wellsite again. DrillOrDrop report

Saturday 10 April 2021

Views sought on Biscathorpe oil production plans in Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. DrillOrDrop report

Friday 9 April 2021

Well evaluation underway at West Newton-B. DrillOrDrop report

Thursday 8 April 2021

Government misses own deadline on shale gas decision by one year. DrillOrDrop report on the anniversary of the decision dates for Woodsetts and Ellesmere Port.

Record rise in global methane emissions in 2020. The FT (paywall) reports that scientists are concerned about how levels of methane, as well as carbon dioxide will affect global warming.

Wednesday 7 April 2021

IGas 2020 accounts reveal cost of Covid-19 . DrillOrDrop report on falling revenue, production and earnings.

Drilling consent for UKOG’s Turkish well. DrillOrDrop on UKOG’s contrasting fortunes onshore and in Turkey.

Extinction Rebellion protest Barclays fossil fuel investments at London HQ. Proactive Investors reports on a protest outside Barclays headquarters in Canary Wharf. The website says: “A group of seven women carefully hit the glass with hammers and chisels to avoid hurting bank staff, fellow activists and passersby. They then sat down next to the broken windows and waited to be arrested.”

Friday 2 April 2021

Horse Hill production continues slide. DrillOrDrop report on oil production volumes from UKOG’s Horse Hill site in Surrey

Thursday 1 April 2021

“No planning consent for importing waste water to Angus Energy’s Brockham oil site”. DrillOrDrop report on confirmation by Surrey County Council that Angus Energy would need planning permission for its proposal to inject formation water from Weald hydrocarbon sites.

UK onshore oil production drops again. DrillOrDrop report on 2020 production figures.

Picture post: Ad campaign targets fracking industry. DrillOrDrop report on advertising campaign against shale gas in European cities.

10th anniversary of Preese Hall earthquake. Anti-fracking campaigner, Bob Dennett, reports:

“10 years ago today at 2.32 am I was woken up by an earthquake measuring 2.3 on the Richter scale. That earthquake was caused by Cuadrilla’s fracking activity at Preese Hall farm, Weeton in Lancashire. A 10 year battle with the industry and government followed. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by the current lack of activity the war is not yet won.”

Issue of equity. Angus Energy announces it has issued 15 million ordinary shares. This increases the shares in the company to more than 951.5 million. The issue follows approval of a resolution at the company’s annual general meeting.

Police chief in charge of Preston New Road anti-fracking protests retires. Wigan Today reports the retirement of Andy Rhodes as chief constable of Lancashire. He spent his entire career with the force and was responsible for overseeing the high profile policing operation at the shale gas site. He hands over to Chris Rowley, who was previously deputy chief constable of Humberside Police.

2 replies »

    • I too remember being woken up by the Preese Hall earthquake and lived over 10 miles away from the site. It was scary as the bed shook and I thought there was an intruder in the house. Cuadrilla then took over my life with protesting at their nearby Preston New Road site. Have to hope the government never allow them to come back and start up again – harmful for local people and disastrous for the climate.

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