Daily headlines

September 2021 headlines

Keep up with September 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.

Proposed hydrogen production at IGas Albury site in Surrey. Image: IGas planning application.

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Thursday 30 September 2021

Breaking: Councillors rejected major expansion of West Newton oil site. DrillOrDrop report. ITV News

Campaigners celebrate West Newton refusal – reaction to rejection of Rathlin Energy’s application for 20 years of oil production and an extra six wells at West Newton-A in East Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop report

Drax, BP and INEOS named among worst UK polluters by climate campaign groups. The National reports the Ineos won the gaslight categories in the Glasgow Call Out Polluters awards for the UK’s biggest polluters.

Climate change: Only a quarter of voters think Boris Johnson is best leader to tackle issue, survey suggests. Sky News reports on a poll which found that a third of the public thought a Labour government led by Kier Starmer would be better at cutting carbon emissions. Only 25% thought a Conservative government led by Boris Johnson was teh best choice to handle climate change and environmental issues.

Major economies must deliver in run-up to Cop26 climate talks – Alok Sharma. The Press Association, via the Belfast Telegraph, reports on comments by the COP 26 president that major polluting countries must deliver on their promise to put forward more ambitious plans to tackle climate change ahead of the climate change summit.

PM urges action on ‘coal, cars, cash and trees’ ahead of Cop26 climate summit. The Press Association reports on comments by Boris Johnson that positive progress had been made on tackling the climate crisis but it was not enough. he called for “bold commitments” on coal, cars, cash and trees” at the UN climate talks.

Climate change: Youth have ‘every right to be angry’ says UK PM. BBC News reports comments by Boris Johnson that you people were paying the price for the “reckless actions of their elders”.

Wednesday 29 September 2021

Ex council executive accuses his former authority of failing to disclose key information about the expansion of oil and gas production in East Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop report

Campaigners block entrance to oil and gas site in protest at expansion plans. ITV Calendar report

UK’s home gas boilers emit twice as much CO2 as all power stations – study. The Guardian reports on research by the climate charity Possible that the millions of gas boilers in the UK’s homes produce twice as much climate-heating carbon emissions as all the nation’s gas-fired power stations combined,

Insulate Britain: M25 protesters released under investigation. BBC News reports that 53 people were arrested in connection with Insulate Britain protests at junction 14 of the M25 on Monday (27 September).

UK ‘too reliant’ on gas says renewables boss as energy crisis continues. Energy Voice reports on comments by Dan McGrail, head of the trade body Renewable UK, who blamed the current energy crisis on the UK’s reliance on gas. This left consumers exposed to market fluctuations, he said.

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Oil prices rise above $80 a barrel for first time in three years. The FT reports a shortfall in global gas production, along with a concerted drive in China to cut down on pollution from heavy industry, is expected to push crude higher as industries shift to using oil to generate power.Monday 27 September 2021

Councillors hear key arguments over expansion of West Newton-A oil site in East Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop report

Details published for IGas plans for hydrogen production at Bletchingley in Surrey. DrillOrDrop report

Sunday 26 September 2021

Rules around fracking to be considered in light of climate crisis. The Belfast Telegraph reports on comments from Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon that the planning system had a key role to play in helping to mitigate and adapt to climate change. She said the review on Monday would include consideration of unconventional hydrocarbon development. ITV (27/9/2021)

Insulate Britain’s protest tactics are irritating but that means they are likely to work. I News reports on the Insulate Britain campaign and says protest isk supposed to be disruptive and research suggests that direct action is more effective than non-disruptive methods.

Saturday 25 September 2021

How the Tories have fuelled Britain’s energy crisis. The Spectator blames high gas prices in the UK on the country passing up on fracking.

Friday 24 September 2021

Green hydrogen’s rapidly falling costs undermine the gas industry’s argument for blue hydrogen. DeSmog reports on research led by the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics which concluded that during this decade solar hydrogen would be globally a less expensive fuel compared with blue hydrogen (hydrogen produced from methane with CCS).

Re-evaluation of Lidsey field. Angus Energy reports that new seismic data of its Lidsey oil field in West Sussex means it is now in a position to remap the reservoir.

The gas crisis shows how important net zero is. The Spectator blames the gas crisis on too much reliance on gas and that this is a reason to pursue net zero emissions.

Thursday 23 September 2021

Boris Johnson warns it’s time to “grow up” as world faces turning point in climate crisis. DrillOrDrop report on Boris Johnson’s speech to the UN general assembly.

Tim Eggar, says the gas crisis is a reminder that fossil fuels still matter. The OGA chair said “despite the welcome growth of renewables, the UK is still reliance on oil and gas to keep the lights on, homes heated and the country moving.

Belfast councillor fears Stormont might reverse fracking ban. Belfast Live reports SDLP politician Séamas de Faoite has revealed DfE commissioned Hatch Regeneris to examine fracking in Northern Ireland.

Wednesday 22 September 2021

East Yorkshire planners back major expansion of Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-A oil site, including production and 6 new wells. The application, to be decided next week, has received more than 1,000 objections. DrillOrDrop report

IGas writes off £10m from shale gas exploration but still seeks end to fracking moratorium – interim accounts. DrillOrDrop report, Morning Star

Ineos to convert Grangemouth refinery to run on hydrogen. The FT, Energy Voice and Reuters report Ineos is to spend more than £1 bn to convert its Scottish petrochemicals plan and oil refinery to hydrogen to make it “net zero” by 2045.

Gas flaring: can we rein in the waste and pollution? The FT reports on controlled burning of unwanted natural gas during oil and gas recovery. The paper says the procedure is commonplace but wasteful and damaging to the environment.

ALEX BRUMMER: Why are we facing an energy crisis when we’re sitting on a gold mine? We should consider giving fracking pioneers and North Sea drillers the only ‘green’ light that matters: the one that says ‘Go’. Alex Brummer, writing in the Daily Mail, says “the crisis in energy security” in the UK is “wholly unnecessary because of shale gas and he calls for the moratorium on fracking should be lifted.

Tuesday 21 September 2021

Initial oil production at Wressle tops 884bopd – Egdon. DrillOrDrop report

Courts proving another tool in the arsenal for climate activists and oil firms. Energy Voice reports that police are preparing for major civic disruption during COP26 and there are plans that Scottish criminal courts may be opened for extra sessions to deal with potentially high number of arrests.

Climate activists ‘hack’ more than 200 billboards to protest alleged greenwashing. Vice reports on actions by Brandalism, which says it has hacked billboards across the UK with spoof Barclays adverts.

Extinction Rebellion protestors target Taunton banks. The County Gazette reports Extinction Rebellion activists Extinction Rebellion activists were in Taunton to demonstrate the role Barclays and HSBC banks play in funding fossil fuels.

Monday 20 September 2021

Shares up at IGas on news of geothermal memorandum of understanding for Stoke on Trent district heating scheme – but down at Union Jack following statement last week on placing. DrillOrDrop report

Horse Hill production facilities upgrade completed. UKOG announces that it has completed a planned two-week production facility upgrade at the Horse Hill oil field in Surrey. The company said the work included modifications to prepare the site for automated 24-hour continuous production, along with the first set of permanent facility equipment required by COMAH regulations. Oil production has been re-established.

BP’s joint solar venture Lightsource BP to more than double expansion by 2025. The Guardian reports on a deal worth £1.3bn which will develop enough solar farms to power the equivalent of 8.4m homes. The venture, Lightsource BP, will more than double BP’s solar expansion by 2025.

Climate pledges tough to secure before COP26 summit, PM warns. BBC News reports comments by Boris Johnson that there is a six out of 10 chance of getting other countries to sign up to financial and environmental targets before the COP26 climate conference in November.

‘No question of the lights going out’ Kwarteng tells MPs as gas prices soar. Energy Voice reports comments by the energy secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, that there is “absolutely no question of the lights going out” as gas prices rise across Europe.

THE SUN SAYS: We should have got cracking with fracking to keep Britain powered and not surrender to eco protesters. Sun newspaper editorial says “long ago we should have got cracking with fracking. Shale gas could have powered and heated Britain cheaply for decades. But the sort of scaremongering fanatics now crippling the M25 blocked that too — and the Tories surrendered.”

Frack Master sentenced to 15 years and fined $92,446,376. Reports from the US say the Breitling Energy chief executive and fracking commentator, Chris Faulkner was sentenced by a court in Texas to fines and prison terms for fraud.

Sunday 19 September 2021

The main obstacle to hydrogen becoming the green fuel of the future is cost – but maybe not for long. The Independent reports that the production cost of green hydrogen is still unusually high, but it doesn’t have to be.

Saturday 18 September 2021

‘A huge cause for concern’: Countries’ latest climate pledges not enough to meet Paris goals, says UN. The Independent reports on a UN analysis which finds that the latest climate pledges put forward by governments would put the world on course for 2.7C of global heating by the end of the century – far above the goals set by the Paris Agreement.

Yorkshire will will set hugely ambitious 50-point action plan to tackle climate change. An exclusive in the Yorkshire Post reports that the county will set out its stall to lead national efforts to tackle climate change – and transform life in the county – by publishing a hugely ambitious 50-point action plan for the region to coincide with the global COP26 conference. The recommendations will be revealed at the paper’s climate change summit in Leeds on 9 November 2021.

Friday 17 September 2021

Lee Rowley, who opposed Ineos plans for shale as exploration in his constituency, is appointed junior minister at Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The reshuffle also sees Greg Hands appointed as the new energy and climate change minister. DrillOrDrop profile

Compulsory strike-off action discontinued for UKOG(234) Ltd

Lukewarm: rich states set to fall short of $100 bln climate funding goal. Reuters reports comments by the head of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) that wealthy countries likely missed a goal to contribute $100 billion last year to helping developing nations deal with climate change.

Thursday 16 September 2021

IGas signs agreement for geothermal projects in existing oil and gas wells. DrillOrDrop report

Fossil fuel firms sue governments across the world for £13bn as climate policies threaten profits. Sky News reports exclusively on research by the campaign group, Global Justice, which found five energy companies are using a legal process that allows commercial entities to sue governments under international laws governing trade agreements and treaties. The corporate arbitration courts operate outside a country’s domestic legal system.

MPs urge Bank of England to step up green investment and regulate fossil finance. Business Green reports that more than 50 MPs and peers from across Britain’s political parties have written to the central bank’s governor, Andrew Bailey, calling for tougher regulations on “fossil finance” and more active support for the green economy.   

Wednesday 15 September 2021

Oil company and council refuse to disclose initial expansion plans for East Yorkshire hydrocarbon sites. DrillOrDrop report

Michael Gove to decide Woodsetts and Ellesmere Port shale gas plans as new local government secretary. DrillOrDrop report

New report says UK oil production increased since the government declared a climate emergency. DrillOrDrop report

New climate plans fall far short of limiting global warming to 1.5C. New Scientist reports on new analysis which concludes that countries have failed to come forward with enough bold plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions under the Paris Agreement. It predicts that emissions in nine years time are expected to be roughly double the level needed to meet the treaty’s goal of holding global temperature rise to 1.5C.

M25 protests: Activists return to Hertfordshire, Surrey and Kent. BBC News, and others, report disruption by climate change protesters on three sections of the M25. Police said 71 arrests had been made.

Tuesday 14 September 2021

Decision on major expansion of East Yorkshire oil site due this month. Five local parish councils object to the scheme. DrillOrDrop report

Four in 10 young people fear having children due to climate crisis. The Guardian and others reports on a study that found six in 10 young people, aged 16-25, were very or extremely worried about climate change. A similar proportion said governments were not protecting them, the planet or future generations. Four in 10 were hesitant about having children as a result of the climate crisis. Link to study

Monday 13 September 2021

Wressle well test nets Union Jack $300,000, the company reports. DrillOrDrop report on Union Jack interim results

2,185 scientists and academics call for a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Initiative by FossilFreeTreaty.org

M25 junctions blocked by Insulate Britain campaigners. BBC News and others report that climate change protesters blocked five junctions of the M25 causing long tailbacks and disruption for motorists. Police said more than 80 people had been arrested. The protest, by Insulate Britain, called for a meaningful government commitment to insulate 29 million leaky homes.

Shale gas developments in England: social impacts and comparisons. Report by Anna Szolucha documenting the social impacts of fracking and natural as across five locations in England.

Friday 10 September 2021

Operator of Horse Hill oil site declares £17.8m loss. DrillOrDrop report on HHDL’s annual accounts.

Compulsory strike-off notice for Horse Hill Developments Limited discontinued.

Thursday 9 September 2021

Angus Energy seeks environmental permit consent for gas refining at Saltfleetby, Lincolnshire. DrillOrDrop report

Government seeks views on update to energy national policy statements. DrillOrDrop report

Adapt to survive: why oil companies must plan for net zero and avoid stranded assets. Carbon Tracker analysis on the risk of investing in oil and gas producers.

Wednesday 8 September 2021

“Bleak” outlook for fossil fuels as study finds 60% of oil and gas must stay in the ground to meet climate targets. DrillOrDrop report on research that says oil and gas production must fall by 3% a year from now until 2050.

Glasgow City Council pensions committee approves new policy which allows for continued investment in fossil fuels. DrillOrDrop update

Angus Energy application for permit to carry out gas processing at Saltfleetby. Link to documents

Tuesday 7 September 2021

Councillors urged to refuse Rathlin Energy’s “fundamentally flawed” expansion plans for West Newton-A. DrillOrDrop report on Fossil Free East Yorkshire objection to planning application.

HHDL and UKOG(234) compulsory strike-off notices published. Companies House has published First Gazette notices for compulsory strike-off of Horse Hill Developments Limited and UKOG (234).

Three new OGA directors announced. The Oil & Gas Authority announces the appointment of Sarah Vaughan and Malcolm Brown as non-executive directors and Helena Charlton as a shareholder director.

Monday 6 September 2021

COP26 host city criticised for fossil fuel investment policy. DrillOrDrop report on new proposals for Strathclyde Pension Fund condemned as “morally repugnant” and “banking on the failure” of the climate summit.

Latest UK monthly onshore oil production – May 2021. DrillOrDrop review of the latest figures.

Saturday 4 September 2021

Villagers stage “dirty duck race” as 1,200+ oppose Egdon Resources’ oil production plans at Biscathorpe in AONB. DrillOrDrop report

Thursday 2 September 2021

COP26 hires law firm that defended fossil fuel giants over environmental disasters. DeSmog reports that DLA Piper, whose clients have included Shell, ExxonMobil, and BP, will provide legal services to the UN climate change summit.

Emissions from burning oil ‘not relevant’ to North Sea BP permit, Says UK government. DeSmog reports that Greenpeace has taken the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to court over the Vorlich oilfield permit granted to the oil company in 2018. In the landmark case brought by Greenpeace, the UK government argued that assessing emissions from burning oil would be “unachievable” because they “can’t be properly measured”.

Wednesday 1 September 2021

IGas seeks planning permission for Surrey hydrogen production. DrillOrDrop report

Waverley Friends of the Earth wins environmental activism award. The group won the award from the People’s Lottery for its campaign against plans by UK Oil & Gas to drill at Dunsfold in Surrey.

Waverley Friends of the Earth campaigners Patrick Haveron, Kathy Smyth, and Kirsty Clough. Photo: Friends of the Earth

2 replies »

  1. From the BBC’s Business News – The UK has opened up an old coal plant to meet its electricity demand.

    Warm, still weather has produced negligible output from wind farms (but very good output from solar during daylight hours) while soaring prices have made it too costly to use gas.

    On Tuesday, the use of coal returned to 2.2% of the UK’s electricity generation.

    So two trends…
    1. Higher gas demand worldwide, and supply and exploration partly constrained by “keep it in the ground” sentiment will increase price and reduce affordability and paradoxically might produce a return to high carbon coal use.
    2. Low wind speeds in the coldest months of Jan & Feb with reduced back-up electricity supply from nuclear increases the risk of the National Grid needing to have intermittent industry black-outs to maintain domestic supply.

    Keep safe.

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