Daily headlines

May 2021 headlines

Keep up with May 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

Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-B well site, East Yorkshire, 30 April 2021. Still from drone film, used with the owner’s consent.

Monday 31 May 2021

Climate protest in Glasgow ahead of vote on fossil fuel investments. Friends of the Earth Scotland reports that climate justice activists took part in online and physically-distanced protests in Glasgow to urge the city’s pension fund to end its £508m investments in coal, oil and gas companies.

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Court orders Shell to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030. DrillOrDrop report on a legal landmark challenge that has forced Royal Dutch Shell to cut its carbon emissions to meet global climate goals. Independent, Sky, BBC News, Guardian

MPs reject Labour call for full ban on fracking in England. DrillOrDrop report on debate on a Labour amendment to the Environment Bill.

Fracking fears for Cheshire after outright ban rejected by MPs. Cheshire Live reports that Mike Amesbury, Labour MP for Weaver Vale, has slammed the government for its support of fracking after an outright ban was rejected in a key vote in the House of Commons.

Wressle update – oil storage consent. Egdon Resources reports that it has received consent from North Lincolnshire Council for the storage of crude oil at its Wressle Oil Field. The company said:

“This consent allows full use of the installed oil storage capacity at the site of approximately 2000 barrels and will enable  the full production to be realised following from the proppant squeeze, which is expected to increase overall production to 500 barrels of oil per day (150 barrels net to Egdon). ” 

New Alliance of councillors take control of Isle of Wight council. On the Wight reports that 18 councillors, including Independents and Green Party members, have come together to form a group which, supported by a Liberal Democrat and member of the Vectis Party, have a working majority enabling them to take control of the council

Tuesday 25 May 2021

Environmental campaigner joins gas company board to develop renewables. DrillOrDrop reports on the appointment of Steve Mason to Third Energy board’s to help establish solar and battery storage schemes at the company’s Knapton site in North Yorkshire.

UKOG issues 262m shares to complete Horse Hill equipment purchase. DrillOrDrop report on the latest share issue by UK Oil & Gas plc

Monday 24 May 2021

Mobilisation of equipment begins for West Newton B well test. DrillOrDrop report

Fracking not compatible with human rights law, says Irish study. The Irish Journal reports on a study by the National University of Ireland Galway concludes that extraction of gas through fracking goes against international human rights. It calls for fracking to be banned worldwide as the dangers from the process cannot be offset by regulations.

Sunday 23 May 2021

The battle to stop more oil drilling in the Surrey Hills. The Independent reports on the legal challenge to planning permission at Horse Hill could have profound effects on how environmental planning decisions are made across the UK.

Saturday 22 May 2021

Tributes paid to Max Rosenberg, an opponent of UK onshore oil and gas, who has died. DrillOrDrop report

Friday 21 May 2021

UKOG calls meeting to approve share issue for Turkish operations. DrillOrDrop report

Thursday 20 May 2021

More delay on ministerial ruling on West Newton A wellsite. DrillOrDrop report on decision over EIA on Rathlin Energy planning application.

EA defends permit change at West Newton B. DrillOrDrop report

Alba Minerals downgrades the value of its investment in the Horse Hill oil field in Surrey by more than £1.43m. DrillOrDrop report

UK is pushing for G7 to adopt mandatory climate reporting. Carbon Brief reports that UK is using its current leadership of the G7 group of major economies to push for mandatory corporate reporting of climate risks,

Wednesday 19 May 2021

Shares soar as Hurricane Energy’s activist investor moves to oust firm’s non-executive directors. Energy Voice reports that one of the offshore operator’s biggest shareholders has moved to have several members ousted from the company’s board with “immediate effect”.

Tuesday 18 May 2021

No new oil and gas projects if world is to reach climate goals – IEA report. DrillOrDrop report

Resident calls for suspension of permit changes at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-B wellsite. DrillOrDrop report

Union Jack says all consents for proppant squeeze at Wressle oil site have been received. DrillOrDrop report

Publication of The Road to Kill the Bill: Standing up for our rights to protest. Publication of book by anti-fracking campaign, Joe Boyd, about his experiences on the protest frontline. In it alleges infiltration of the anti-fracking movement by what he describes as actors of the state and industry. This has been disputed by other campaigners.

Monday 17 May 2021

Union Jack accounts confirm proppant squeeze at Wressle oil well in N Lincs is still awaiting consent but well tests at West Newton in E Yorks are imminent. DrillOrDrop report. Company statement

BP’s lobbying for gas shows rifts over path to net-zero emissions. Reuters reports that BP has lobbied for the EU to support natural gas, a move that exposes divergent views among investors and reflects a wider European dispute about the role of the fossil fuel in the transition to a lower-carbon world.

Thursday 13 May 2021

Latest government survey of attitudes to fracking shows support falls and opposition rises. DrillOrDrop report

Angus Energy announces it has signed loan for work at Saltfleetby gas site in Lincolnshire. DrillOrDrop report

Wednesday 12 May 2021

Rathlin Energy seeks second 18-month road closure around West Newton-B well site in East Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop report

Picture post: anti-fracking campaigners join BP protest as AGM rejects tougher emission cuts. DrillOrDrop report

Campaigners bring legal challenge to UK Government on North Sea oil plans. Energy Voice reports on a legal challenge by the “Paid to Pollute” campaign, led by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth Scotland and 350.org, to the Oil & Gas Authority’s strategy on North Sea oil and gas production.

Tuesday 11 May 2021

Queen’s speech: Government presses ahead with protest policing bill, the much-delayed Environment Bill and changes to judicial review and planning systems. DrillOrDrop report

Environment Agency approves permit changes for well testing at West Newton-B oil and gas site in East Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop report

Egdon Resources seeks environmental permit for discharge of effluent to surface or groundwater at Wressle oil site in North Lincolnshire. No public consultation. Link to notice

Peterhead plans for gas-fired power station with carbon capture storage will delay move away from fossil fuels, says Friends of the Earth Scotland. DrillOrDrop report, SSE, Friends of the Earth Scotland

Monday 10 May 2021

Union Jack Oil hires for West Newton CPR. Union Jack Oil tells investors in a statement it has appointed Gaffney, Cline & Associates to prepare a Competent Person’s Report for PEDL183, which includes the West Newton A and B sites in East Yorkshire. The report will be prepared after the completion of well tests on the WNB-1z and WNA-2 wells.

Clive Grunshaw loses Lancashire PCC. The Labour Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire at the time of the anti-fracking protests at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site has lost his post. The Conservtive’s Andrew Snowdon, who won with a margin of 51.3% to Mr Grunshaw’s 48.7%. BBC News, Lancashire Post

Salford Star closure – the battle of Barton Moss. To mark the closure of the Salford Star, Steven Speed reflects on the campaign, covered by the magazine, against drilling for coal bed methane at Barton Moss in Salford.

Saturday 8 May 2020

Extinction Rebellion climate protest in central London, 8 May 2021. Photo: Extinction Rebellion

Extinction Rebellion protest in London. Members of Extinction Rebellion dressed in black pushed white prams to draw attention to the vulnerability of children and infants to climate change. The organisation said it disrupted traffic in central London.

Consultants left in no doubt of fracking opposition. The Fermanagh Herald reports that Hatch Regeneris, a consultancy appointed by the Northern Ireland Department of Economy to research fracking viability, heard a united voice against the technology during a special meeting of councillors.

Thursday 6 May 2021

Fossil fuel sector has greatest scope for methane cuts to tackle climate crisis – UN. DrillOrDrop report on assessment by the UN Environment Programme and Climate and Clean Air Coalition which concludes plugging leaks in oil and gas infrastructure would significantly cut methane emissions at little or no cost. It also says expansion of the use of natural gas was not compatible with climate targets without “massive-scale deployment of unproven carbon removal technologies”. Guardian, UN, BBC News

Wednesday 5 May 2021

Ineos fined £400,000 over Grangemouth gas leak. Petrochemical firm Ineos is fined £400,000 after a leak from a cracked pipe created a 17 tonne-cloud of flammable gas at its Grangemouth plant. BBC News, The Scotsman, The Courier

Just 14% vote in favour of Barclays’ climate resolution. ESG Clarity reports an investor campaign calling for Barclays, the biggest financier of fossil fuels in Europe, to tighten its policies on supporting these companies has expressed its disappointment after just 14% of the bank’s shareholders voted in favour at the company’s AGM.

Tuesday 4 May 2021

Latest UK onshore oil production data – January 2021. DrillOrDrop report

Banks must stop funding new fossil fuel projects and phase out current production as fast as possible. In an opinion piece, The Independent says the failure to include a moratorium on all new fossil fuel investments in the UN’s new climate initiative is disastrous.

Poll: Two-thirds of UK savers keen to make climate-friendly pension switch. Business Green reports on a YouGov survey of UK pension savers, which found 61% wanted their retirement savings to help fight climate change. More than half said they would switch their pension if they knew it was funding oil and gas companies, arm production, deforestation or child labour.

Sunday 2 May 2021

Nine arrests in London as climate activists glue themselves to bridges. The Guardian reports nine people were arrested on Saturday, including activists who glued themselves to bridges in London in protest at a lack of government action two years after parliament declared a climate emergency.

The government’s embrace of ‘clean hydrogen’ helps no one but the fossil fuel industry. In an opinion piece in The Guardian, Richard Denniss, chief economist at the think tank The Australia Institute, says nothing captures prime minister Scott Morrison’s approach to climate change better than his embrace of “clean hydrogen” – “a BS marketing term that delivers nothing but obfuscation and helps no one but the fossil fuel industry”. 

UK university pension fund proposes net zero investment strategy. The FT reports the UK universities’ pension scheme has pledged to pursue an investment strategy consistent with net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but its plan has sparked criticism from academics seeking a rapid exit from fossil fuels.

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