Daily headlines

February 2022 headlines

Keep up with February 2022’s news with our digest of daily updated headlines about the business, regulation and campaigns around UK fracking, shale, and onshore oil and gas.

Used with the owner’s consent

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


Tuesday 1 March 2022

Third Energy awarded government funding for heat network study using old gas wells. DrillOrDrop report on £50,250 grant to Third Energy for feasibility study in North Yorkshire.

Monday 28 February 2022

UN climate report is an “atlas of human suffering”. DrillOrDrop report on the latest assessment of climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Carbon Brief in-depth Q & A on IPCC sixth assessment of climate change impacts. Other reports include BBC News, Guardian, Climate Home News,

IPCC report calls out vested interests delaying climate action. DeSmog reports that the IPCC has criticised for the first time vested interests obstructing efforts to cut emissions. It also pointed the finger at journalists for providing false balance to contrarian views.

Fracking ruled out again by UK business secretary Kwarteng. Proactive Investors reports on a tweet by Kwasi Kwarteng that Britain will not turn to fracking as a possible answer to its energy crisis and will continue to focus on renewables and nuclear. Also Telegraph and Mail

BP to offload stake in Rosneft. BBC is among many outlets to report BP is to offload its 19.75% stake in Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft after Russia’s “act of aggression in Ukraine”.

Shell becomes latest oil and gas giant to putt out of Russia. Energy Voice reports that Shell has announced it plans to leave joint ventures with Gazprom.

Petrol prices hit £1.51 per litre as cost of living crisis deepens. City Am reports a new record for UK petrol prices.

Saturday 26 February 2022

African countries spending billions to cope with climate crisis. The Guardian reports that African countries are being forced to spend billions of dollars a year coping with the effects of the climate crisis, which is diverting potential investment from schools and hospitals and threatens to drive countries into ever deeper poverty.

Friday 25 February 2022

Cuadrilla spent $900,000 in six months on fracking strategies and licence admin. DrillOrDrop report on Lucas Group half year accounts for 2021.

Activists disrupt oil club dinner in protest against expansion of North Sea oila nd gas production. Extinction Rebellion reports that climate activists blocked the entrance to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre and disrupted a dinner organised by the Scottish Energy Forum for the oil and gas industry.

Thursday 24 February 2022

Climate Change Committee backs limits on UK oil and gas production and a presumption against future exploration. DrillOrDrop report on response from the CCC to government proposals on future oil and gas licences. Other reports from The Times, Independent, New Scientist, Guardian, BBC News, Energy Voice and the FT. Factcheck on whether UK oil and gas licences can ever by climate compatible from Carbon Brief

There is no market argument for domestic fracking. Lewis Preston, writing on Conservative Home, makes a case against UK fracking.

Wednesday 23 February 2022

Frack site flare disappears from view. DrillOrDrop report on the disappearance of a flare stack from the view of Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site.

Government stands firm on fracking moratorium. DrillOrDrop report on parliament responses to questions about fracking for shale gas

Union Jack proposes dividend for investors. Union Jack Oil announces plans to pay a dividend or implement a share repurchase programme.

London gallery ends BP sponsorship under pressure from activists. The FT reports that the National Portrait Gallery has ended a sponsorship deal with BP.

Energy sector methane emissions 70% higher than official figures -IEA. Reuters reports that findings from the International Energy Agency that methane emissions from the global energy sector are 70% higher than officially reported.

Tuesday 22 February 2022

Shale supporters challenged over fracking facts. DrillOrDrop report

“No new fossil fuel projects compatible with stable climate – campaign group. DrillOrDrop report on the Weald Action Group’s response to the government climate compatibility checkpoint for new oil and gas licences

IGas to explore Cornish geothermal. DrillOrDrop report

Union Jack announces oil revenues from Wressle. Union Jack Oil announces $3m in revenues from oil production at Wressle in North Lincolnshire. The company says the site is producing 600-700+ barrels of oil per day from the Ashover Grit formation.

Monday 21 February 2022

We banished fracking once in Lancashire, and we’ll do it again. Barbara Richardson, writing in the Guardian, responds to call for a revival of fracking: “As a campaign veteran, I know people here won’t stand for the latest attempt to use the energy crisis to save a dying industry”.

Fawley workers ballot as oil giant Exxon risks fuel supplies with ‘insulting’ pay proposal. The Unite union reports fuel supplies to airports and filling stations could be hit this spring if workers at the Fawley refinery in Hampshire take strike action over a 2.5% pay offer for the next two years. A ballot of 100 workers begins today with strike action due to begin in April.

Petition to end fracking. A parliamentary petition opens calling on the government to lift the moratorium on fracking in England.

Sunday 20 February 2022

Oil and gas firms have unlisted links to Westminster. The Observer reports that lobbyists for energy companies help to run parliamentary groups without needing to declare their role

Friday 18 February 2022

If you’re worried about Russia, embrace net zero. Former climate envoy, Rachel Kyte, writing in The Times, says:

“Our vulnerability stems not from a lack of domestic gas, but rather from our gas habit:”

“the most secure growth strategy we have in the 2020s. Affordable energy bills, greater energy security, cleaner air, a stable planet for billions to thrive on.”

Thursday 17 February 2022

Breaking: Appeal court challenge to climate impacts of Horse Hill oil production fails – but judges divided 2-1. DrillOrDrop report

Angus Energy’s appeal underway against unanimous refusal of planning permission for well testing at Balcombe in West Sussex. DrillOrDrop report

Wednesday 16 February 2022

Councillors back local controls on fracking in North Yorkshire. DrillOrDrop report on adoption of the minerals plan.

UK taxpayers are paying BP and Shell to extract: Why we need a more market-based approach in the North Sea. Business Green reports on research by the Green Alliance that it is no longer economic to extract more oil and gas from the North Sea.

Former BP boss Lord Browne fears ‘natural environment does not stand a chance’ as oil nears $100. Energy Voice reports comments by Lord Browne that rising prices mean the incentive for oil and gas firms to divert capital away from renewable is “overwhelming”.

Shell’s Quest blue hydrogen plant emits more carbon than it captures. Energy Monitor reports that Shell’s Quest blue hydrogen plant in Alberta, Canada captured 5m tonnes of carbon over a five-year period but emitted a further 7.5m tonnes at the same time. Research carried out by Global Witness

Tuesday 15 February 2022

Medical leaders urge UK government to end new oil and gas exploration. DrillOrDrop report
New North Sea oil and gas licences ‘incompatible with UK climate goals’. The Guardian reports on a warning from scientists at University College London that new North Sea licences would burst the UK’s carbon budgets.

Experts sound the alarm on oil sector’s blue hydrogen push. Climate Home News reports comments from scientists at Stanford University that hydrogen derived from methane is potentially dirtier than burning fossil gas.

The case against methane emissions keeps getting stronger. Bloomberg reports scientists argue that climate plans should set out clear targets for all types of greenhouse gases because of how potent they are.

Is this it? Are we at risk of over-estimating the neo-climate sceptics? James Murray, of Business Green, says it is  important not to overstate the strength of arguments against climate action that have repeatedly failed to gain traction. He says:

“The reality is this campaign against climate action is less about tactical policy victories now, and more about positioning net zero and climate scepticism to try and secure dominance under the next Conservative leader, whoever they may be and whenever they succeed Johnson.”

Monday 14 February 2022

Mass support for windfall tax on oil and gas companies. DrillOrDrop report on survey for Friends of the Earth

Fracking ban stays to avoid local fury. The Times and Telegraph report comments by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park who said reopening shale wells would be “unpopular” and the UK was not Utah.

UK urged not to abandon climate goals amid net zero row. The Guardian reports comments by senior climate diplomats that attacks falsely linking net zero to energy price rises are undermining UK emissions targets.

Europe’s biggest banks provide £24bn to oil and gas firms despite net zero pledges. The Guardian and UK.investing.com reports that Europe’s biggest banks led by HSBC, Barclays and BNP Paribas have provided £24bn to oil and gas companies that are expanding production less than a year since pledging to target net zero carbon emissions, data shows.

Drilling for more gas and net zero targets do not go hand-in-hand. The Independent reports that the UK needs to move in the opposite direction than ministers are suggesting to reach climate goals.

Sunday 13 February 2022

Fermanagh Anti-fracking groups welcome Minister’s move on fracking ban. The Impartial Reporter comments on the preferred option of Northern Ireland’s economy minister for a moratorium on fracking.

Opinion poll shows majority support for net-zero emissions target in legislation. The Belfast Telegraph reports that more than 60% of the public in Northern Ireland support a net-zero emissions target by 2045 in any climate change legislation passed by the Assembly, according to a new opinion poll.

Saturday 12 February 2022

Tory grandees urge Boris Johnson to lift ‘unconservative’ ban on fracking. The Telegraph reports 30 senior MPs and peers appeal to the PM for a U-turn on the fracking moratorium and Francis Egan of Cuadrilla argues that fracking will deliver long-term benefits for Britain. Independent (13/2/22)

Friday 11 February 2022

Facts give lie to claim record oil money is being poured into green projects. The Guardian reports  little of record profits is going to UK taxpayers as fossil firms claim cash is needed for move to low carbon

See also reaction to plugging of Lancashire fracking wells below.

Architects call for mass insulation of England’s interwar suburbs. The Guardian reports calls by the Royal Institute of British Architects for a scheme targeting efficiency and heating of older 20th-century housing that could cut emissions by 4%

Thursday 10 February 2022

Residents welcome plugging of Cuadrilla’s “doomed” fracked wells. DrillOrDrop and Lancashre Live. More reaction: Blackpool Gazette (11/2/22), Express (11/2/22), Times (11/2/22)

Fracking company Cuadrilla snooped on protestors on Facebook and sent intel to police. inews reports that Cuadrilla carried out Facebook surveillance on anti-fracking protestors and forwarded a stream of intelligence to police, it can be revealed, with lawyers warning the “deeply troubling” monitoring could lead to a legal challenge. Netpol reaction

UK must move faster to insulate homes – climate chief. BBC News reports comments by Chris Stark, head of the UK’s Climate Change Committee, that government policy on insulation is “very poor”. He said insulation and renewable power were the way out of the current energy crisis.

Mark Ruffalo applauds ‘unexpected’ DUP move on fracking in Northern Ireland. Belfast live reports the Hollywood star Mark Ruffalo has applauded an “unexpected turn of events” that saw Northern Ireland’s DUP Economy Minister reveal his opposition to fracking.

The end of natural gas has to start with its name. Vox.com reports that the oil and gas industry didn’t invent the name. But it invented the myth of a clean fuel.

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Cuadrilla to plug and abandon Lancashire fracked wells. DrillOrDrop report, Daily Telegraph. Other reports on 10/2/22: ITV, Guardian, BBC News, Sky News, Independent, Daily Mail (11/2/22)

Northern Ireland minister back moratorium on all onshore oil and gas. DrillOrDrop report

Most Conservative MPs support net zero, says Tory environment group. The Guardian reports that the Conservative Environment Network, which represents 123 MPs and 15 peers, insisted the party’s rank and file remained committed to the government’s climate agenda. On Tuesday, the Net Zero Scrutiny Group (NZSG) of 19 Conservatives was accused to trying to derail green policy by calling for an increase in fossil fuel production.

Tory backbenchers form alliance try force Boris Johnson to ditch Carrie’s green plans. The Daily Mail reports ‘We cannot sacrifice families on the altar of climate change’: Tory backbenchers form alliance to try to force Boris Johnson to ditch Carrie’s ‘elitist and out of touch’ Net Zero green plans – as minister Jacob Rees-Mogg tells PM to bring back fracking.

UK PM Johnson: We need to encourage energy companies to “go for more gas”. Reuters reports comments by Boris Johnson that oil and gas companies should be encouraged to “go for more gas” as the country transitions to cleaner fuels.

EXCLUSIVE New York pension fund to divest half its shale companies. Reuters reports that New York’s state pension fund will sell $238 million worth of stock and debt it holds across 21 shale oil and gas companies including Chesapeake Energy Corp, Hess Corp and Pioneer Natural Resources, saying they have not shown they are ready to move to a low-emissions economy.

Tuesday 8 February 2022

BP fuels calls for windfall tax as oil giant posts £11 billion profits in 2021 results. Energy Voice reports BP has pledged to spend double what it earns in the UK in the coming years – but huge profits in its 2021 results and pressure on consumers have strengthened calls for a North Sea windfall tax

‘Cash machine’ BP dismisses calls for windfall tax as profits hit eight-year high. The Guardian reports that BP’s chief executive has dismissed calls for a windfall tax on fossil fuel companies to help UK households weather the record surge in global gas prices after his company made its biggest profits in eight years.

Boris Johnson tells Cabinet North Sea oil and gas production MUST continue during Net Zero transition – as BP warns windfall tax to cut energy bills would just slash investment. Mail Online

Britain needs a new dash for gas to save us from the lunacy of net zero. Philip Johnston, writing in the Telegraph, says Boris will be to blame if energy policy continues down the route of surging prices and rationing.

Tories fighting net zero plans are dragging climate into new culture war, experts say. The Guardian reports that more than half the members of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group were also in a group that promote Brexit.

Second stage of the Onshore Fracking (Prohibition) Bill. Debate on private member bill in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Scientists raise alarm over ‘dangerously fast’ growth in atmospheric methane. Nature reports that as global methane concentrations soar over 1,900 parts per billion, some researchers fear that global warming itself is behind the rapid rise.

Earthquakes in Texas doubled in 2021. Scientists cite years of oil companies injecting sludgy water underground. The Texas Tribune reports on a surge in seismic activity from increased underground pressure that is shaking the West Texas ground and rattling longtime residents.

UCalgary research uncovers first ‘slow-slip’ earthquakes related to fracking, equivalent to magnitude 5.0. University of Calgary researchers have discovered evidence of two “slow-slip” earthquakes in northeastern British Columbia, which appear to appear to correlate with hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations.

As oil nears $100 a barrel, U.S. drillers get busy in costly shale basins. Reuters reports producers in some high-cost shale basins are buying properties and adding rigs and frack crews in places that fell silent when prices crashed early in the pandemic two years ago.

Monday 7 February 2022

Latest onshore oil production data – October 2021. DrillOrDrop report

UKOG sends casings to Turkey. UKOG announces it is preparing to send its casing stock to Turkey for the Basur-3 sidetrack to reduce its drilling costs and capital spending.

Board change at IGas. IGas announces that Kate Coppinger, formerly of Standard Chartered Bank, has joined the board as an independent non-executive director.

Sunday 6 February 2022

World’s biggest firms failing over net-zero claims, research suggests. The Guardian reports that Amazon, Ikea, Nestle and others will fall short of promises to cut carbon by 100%, says the New Climate Institute.

Our government must legislate to end new fossil fuel investments – for good. Donnachadh McCarthy, writing in the Independent, says to have any hope of cutting emissions, we must stop investing in fossil fuels – hence The Independent’s Stop Fuelling The Climate Crisis campaign,

Why the cost of net zero is too high for the country – and for Boris too. The Telegraph questions whether the means of achieving net zero justifies the end.

A Conservative free-market approach is the solution to our energy woes. Craig MacKinlay, of the Net Zero Scrutiny Group writes in the Telegraph says the UK’s net zero commitment is “having disastrous implications for the cost of living”.

Saturday 5 February 2022

Energy companies make billions while families are shivering – we need to tax one to help the other. Caroline Lucas, writing in the Independent, calls for a windfall tax on those producers together with measures that treat energy as an essential public good

BP bumper profits set to renew calls for North Sea windfall tax. The Times reports that BP is expected to announce bumper annual profits of almost $13 billion after soaring oil and gas prices turned it into a “cash machine”, fuelling calls for a windfall tax.

Friday 4 February 2022

Angus Energy raises £1.4m in shares placing and delays deadline for prospective buyer. DrillOrDrop report

The Hulk takes a swipe at Sinn Féin over fracking stance. The Irish Examiner reports that Mark Ruffalo has called on Sinn Fein to fight a DUP petroleum licensing policy that campaigners say would lead to fracking in Northern Ireland.

So, you want to take a slow stroll to net zero? OK, but how exactly? James Murray, of Business Green, questions the facts behind political attacks on the government’s net zero agenda.

Are COP26 promises on coal being broken? Alex Thomson, of ITV, reports on the expansion of a Welsh coal mine to produce fuel for traditional purposes.

Climate change: Satellites map huge methane plumes from oil and gas. BBC News reports that huge  plumes of the warming gas methane have been mapped globally for the first time from oil and gas fields using satellites.

Thursday 3 February 2022

Egdon accused of “planning by stealth” with third bid for more time at North Kelsey. DrillOrDrop report.

15 UK onshore oil and gas schemes await planning decisions. DrillOrDrop report

Angus Energy proposed placing. Angus Energy reports after the closure of the stock market that it proposes to raise up to £1.4m with a share placing at 0.8p per share. It said the money would be used for “increased contingency at Saltfleetby, geothermal subsurface and site acquisition work and for general working capital purposes”.

Environmental group says analysis shows oil and gas companies have used ‘forever chemicals’ to frack wells across Colorado. CPR News reports on a report by Physicians for Social Responsibility that companies used potentially toxic and persistent chemicals to extract oil and gas in Colorado since 2008.

OGA chief executive to step down. The OGA reports that Andy Samuel will step down as chief executive in December after eight years.

Wednesday 2 February 2022

MPs call for reform of Companies House. The Treasury Select Committee calls for a reform of Companies House to dissuade the creation of shell companies.

Hutton Energy Limited applies to be struck of the companies’ register.

Sinn Fein signals support for fracking ban as international campaign group targets party. The Irish Times reports the International Solidarity Campaign to Ban Fracking in Northern Ireland has taken a double page ad in The Irish News today urging the Sinn Féin deputy first minister to block any granting of petroleum exploration licences to Tamboran Resources and EHA Exploration. Sinn Fein said it supported a ban on licensing in thenorth.

Tuesday 1 February 2022

South Downs National Park orders UKOG to replant abandoned oil site after trees died in failed restoration scheme. DrillOrDrop

Another UK onshore oil company closes – Hutton Energy UK Limited was dissolved today DrillOrDrop report

Lincolnshire Wolds residents say they have forgot what life was like without cloud of oil drilling plans. Lincolnshire Live reports on the campaign against oil drilling near North Kelsey.

UKOG pauses Turkish seismic survey to focus on sidetrack well. The company said drilling the sidetrack, needed because equipment became stuck in the main wellbore, would begin in the first quarter of the year.

Government gives the green light to new North Sea oil and gas field. City AM reports the government approved the Abigail oil and gas field, 233km off Aberdeenshire.

Julian Ball becomes a director of Cuadrilla Resources Holdings Limited. Mr Ball, managing director of Kerogen Capital, was appointed to the boards of other Cuadrilla companies in 2020.

5 replies »

  1. People are having to choose between eating or Heating yet these selfish barstewards still won’t let us access the gas beneath our feet. words fail me.

    • Perhaps we should tax the the oil and gas companies more during the projected two years of high energy prices instead? And help consumers with their bills from the taxes raised?

      Shell and BP paid no corporation tax for three years yet paid £44 billion out in dividends.

      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/oct/30/shell-and-bp-paid-zero-tax-on-north-sea-gas-and-oil-for-three-years

      Words fail me.

      The oil and gas industry makes billions every year and their operations are causing huge damage to the climate and the environment. The answer is not more of the same. The answer is to help people through this difficult time, many other countries in Europe have already put plans in place to do just that. And we must continue to reduce our reliance on planet destroying fossil fuels as quickly as possible. The sooner we are free of the market influence, geopolitics and the harmful effects of fossil fuels the better.

      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/oct/30/shell-and-bp-paid-zero-tax-on-north-sea-gas-and-oil-for-three-years

      • But your happy not to live in a mud hut, and have to twist two sticks to keep you warm?

        It’s ironic the entitlement of what’s on your doorstep, without the energy industry the UK as a whole would be in a lot worse financial situation, but you want to retain your comfortable life and challenge climate change, I assure you climate change cannot be overcome overnight!!

        Can I ask, as we in the developed world we’re evolving did anyone complain?,

        I suggest you buy some Shell Total and BP shares and invest in the NEW renewable companies of the future; and stop complaining, most subsidies are now being invested in Renewables than ever before: FACT!!
        https://e360.yale.edu/digest/oil-majors-bet-big-on-wind-in-the-north-sea

    • Gasman the selfishness of these anti’s and nimby’s!, and to think that some were gp’s / doctors and surgeons who are protesting against fracking, (ahem onshore gas prospecting). It astounds me so doctors are now against the very needs for energy, heat, food, light at an affordable rate… maybe they were paid too much in their careers, and now they like politicians don’t care about the average Joe in the country, choosing between food and heat!!
      The anti fracking agenda is a middle class predicament which is in its self also lunacy!
      Gas is not a transitional fuel to carbon net zero but the fuel to the nation for at least 30 more decades until renewables which are hugely government and tax payer subsidised are proven! We have had more storms this year in the UK, than we have had in the last ten years at least combined, how to we recover? We consume fossil fuels! Fact!

  2. Thanks, KatT! Taxing the polluters rather than the polluted offers a possible solution. Doubts remain over the willingness and capacity of this last-gasp repugnant regime to enact such progressive measures.

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