Keep up to date with June 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.
Thursday 30 June 2022
Deadline for British Geological Survey review of fracking science to be submitted to government.
UKOG relinquishes oil exploration licence on the Isle of Wight PEDL331. DrillOrDrop report on UKOG interim accounts
UK should ‘have another go’ at fracking, says leading geologist. Sky News reports on comments by Professor Peter Styles that the UK “could have another go” at fracking, which was suspended in England in 2019.
Campaigners say UK fracking firms may be able to claim even more tax relief than offshore oil and gas companies. Energy Live News reports on the suggestion from Uplift about a loophole in the windfall tax.
Wednesday 29 June 2022
CCC warns of climate risk to investment in fracking. DrillOrDrop report on the latest progress report to parliament on cuts to carbon emissions, which concludes that government targets won’t be met without immediate delivery programmes.
Tuesday 28 June 2022
Anti-fracking campaign on “high alert” for government u-turn on fracking moratorium. DrillOrDrop report
Fossil fuel protests disrupt UKOG agm. DrillOrDrop report
Fracking firms could share in UK fossil fuel tax breaks worth billions. The Guardian reports fracking companies are likely to be eligible for tax breaks, potentially worth billions, that the government is extending to oil and gas companies to encourage new exploration of fossil fuel resources.
Extinction Rebellion Youth Cambridge throws paint over bust of Winston Churchill. XR Youth Cambridge announces protesters threw paint on the bust at Church College, Cambridge, as part of the global Debt for Climate weekend of action.
View from the summit: A self-defeating G7 fails on all fronts. Politico reports on results from the G7 summit in Bavaria
Thursday 23 June 2022
Friends of the Earth UK urges Michael Gove to say no to the Cumbrian coal mine. The group, which opposed the mine at a public inquiry, said demand for coking coal was declining, the coal wasn’t needed to replace Russian coal and the mine would increase carbon emissions, damaging the UK’s climate credibility.
Wednesday 22 June 2022
UK fracking industry offers fixed gas price “to cut bills”. DrillOrDrop report on UKOOG appearance before the Environmental Audit Committee where it offers to guarantee prices for industry, transport and homes.
Government claims Rishi Sunak’s £1.9 billion subsidy for fossil fuels is ‘not technically a subsidy’. The Independent reports that environmental groups have criticised the chancellor for “playing semantics” with the planet over new incentives to invest in oil and gas production. The Treasury said it did not define the tax break as a subsidy because it did not reduce the effective price of fossil fuels below world market prices.
Johnson hints that new coal mine for Cumbria will get go-ahead. BBC News reports comments by the prime minister when asked burning different types of coal:
“it makes no sense to be importing coal, particularly for metallurgical purposes, when we have our own domestic resources.”
The decision is due by Thursday 7 July.
Business secretary welcomes UKOG plans for hydrogen storage in Dorset. UK Oil & Gas publishes a response from Kwasi Kwarteng to the company’s proposals for hydrogen-ready storage in Portland.
Tuesday 21 June 2022
Eight new wells for East Yorkshire’s West Newton gasfield – plan unveiled. DrillOrDrop report on conceptual development plan for West Newton, including a horizontal that could be drilled within months.
UKOG refused costs against Surrey County Council in Dunsfold gas drilling appeal. DrillOrDrop report
Young people go to European court to stop treaty that aids fossil fuel investors. The Guardian reports that five people, aged 17-31, who have experienced floods, forest fires and hurricanes, are bringing a case to the European court of human rights against an energy treaty that protests fossil fuel investors.
Public more supportive of climate policies since pandemic, study finds. The Independent reports a study by Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona which found public support for climate policies had risen but people were more pessimistic about the future.
Sunday 19 June 2022
Frackers bid for ‘nationally significant’ status after Michael Gove setback. The Telegraph reports Britain’s fracking industry is preparing to revive efforts to be designated as “nationally significant infrastructure” to stop local planners rejecting gas projects.
Windfall tax ‘seriously flawed’, says North Sea oil and gas producer. The Guardian reports that Harbour Energy, the biggest oil and gas producers in the North Sea, has labelled the windfall tax on energy firms “seriously flawed” as it lobbied the chancellor for last-minute changes to the levy.
Friday 17 June 2022
Business secretary rejects climate deniers bid to revive fracking. DeSmog reports that the government has rejected a 17,836 signature petition to restart fracking, backed by the former Brexit Party MEP, Lance Forman, and conservative commentator, Darren Grimes. The website quoted the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, assaying:
“The government does not agree we should lift the pause on hydraulic fracturing at this time given the lack of new, compelling evidence that shale gas extraction can be done safely.”
Fossil fuel firms ‘have humanity by the throat’, says UN head in blistering attack. The Guardian reports a “blistering” attack at the Major Economies Forum by the UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, on the fossil fuel industry. He compared companies to tobacco firms that continued to push addictive products while concealing or attacking health advice of links with cancer.
Thursday 16 June 2022
US climate deniers pump millions into Tory-linked think tanks. Open Democracy reports influential right-wing UK think tanks with close access to ministers have received millions in ‘dark money’ donations from the US.
New red green coalition forms to confront cost of living and climate crisis through a “major wave of mass popular action”. Just Stop Oil reports its has formed a new coalition with Jeremy Corbyn’s Peace and Justice Project.
Government planning to divert £1bn to fund home insulation. Friends of the Earth reacts to plans for a home insulation plan. Head of policy, Mike Childs, says a comprehensive plan to insulate the 5m+ homes that would benefit from basis home warming measures would cost £4-6 billion.
Parliamentary inquiry launched into geothermal technologies. The Environmental Audit Committee launches an inquiry into the role geothermal technology could play in the UK transition to net zero.
Wednesday 15 June 2022
Policing Bill was dreamed up by secretive oil-funded think tank. Open Democracy reports that the government’s legislation which included controversial anti-protest law may have originated in briefing from Policy Exchange, which has been funded by the US oil company, ExxonMobil. In a 2019 report, Policy Exchange said the government should pass legislation to target Extinction Rebellion.
IGas estimates it will pay £2m under the windfall tax on oil and gas company profits. A statement from IGas says it has written to the treasury for clarification on the definition of qualifying expenditure for investment relief.
IGas board changes. IGas announces that its interim non-executive chairman, Cuth McDowell, is to step down from the board. Chris Hopkinson is to take over the role.
Tuesday 14 June 2022
Oil and gas body launches UK’s first ever carbon storage licensing round. CityAm reports that the North Sea Transition Authority has launched the UK’s first every carbon storage licensing round with 13 potential areas available to bidders. The new areas are made up of a mixture of saline aquifers and depleted oil and gas field storage sites, and follow six previously issued licences for domestic carbon storage on the UK’s continental shelf. NSTA press release
Monday 13 June 2022
UKOG rejects MP’s opposition to consent for Dunsfold gas drilling. DrillOrDrop report
Environment Agency seeks views on IGas plans to produce grey hydrogen at its Albury gas site in Surrey. DrillOrDrop report
Extinction Rebellion begins week-long vigil against Cambridge University connections with the oil and gas services company, Schlumberger.
Just Stop Oil supporters spray paint over Treasury to demand an end to new oil and gas. The Just Stop Oil campaign group reports four members sprayed red paint over the Treasury, declaring the government has blood on its hands because of its plans to encourage new oil and gas projects in the UK. Energy Live News (16/6/22)
Friday 10 June 2022
Michael Gove’s block on gas exploration sends Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s frackers ‘apoplectic’. The Telegraph reports on reaction from Ineos to refusal of planning permission at Woodsetts in South Yorkshire
First gas predicted at Saltfleetby. Angus Energy reports that it expects gas flow will resume at its Saltfleetby site in Lincolnshire during the week starting 20 June 2022
Thursday 9 June 2022
UK climate policies “on track to deliver legally-binding carbon cuts”, government tells court . DrillOrDrop report on second day of legal challenge to the UK government’s net zero strategy
MPs examine witnesses on the Public Order Bill. Transcript from TheyWorkForYou
Wednesday 8 June 2022
Government climate policies fall short of legally-binding carbon cuts – High Court told. DrillOrDrop report of opening day of legal challenge to the UK government’s net zero strategy.
Three campaign organisations are taking the government to the High Court today over what they say is its net zero strategy. DrillOrDrop report
Costly carbon: North Sea to spend $750m on emissions allowances in 2022. Energy Voice reports on research by Westwood Global
Tuesday 7 June 2022
Breaking: Communities’ secretary, Michael Gove, refuses shale gas appeals at Woodsetts, S Yorks and Ellesmere Port, Cheshire but allows UKOG appeal on Dunsfold/Loxley gas drilling scheme in Surrey. Details in DrillOrDrop report. Also reported on 8 June 2022 by Bloomberg, the Guardian, FT, Chester Standard, BBC Liverpool, BBC Surrey
EU faces legal challenge over plan to fast-track gas projects. The Guardian reports that an EU plan to fast-track funding and permits for 30 gas projects is facing a legal challenge from NGOs including Client Earth and Friends of the Earth Europe.
Windfall tax to ‘fall away’ if oil goes below $70, says Chancellor. Energy Voice reports comments by Riski Sunak that the government’s windfall tax measures are likely to fall away if oil prices fall below $70.
Monday 6 June 2022
Sunak’s tax breaks could lead to more than £8bn of North Sea energy projects. The Guardian reports that more than £8bn of North Sea energy projects could now be given the green light rapidly as fossil fuel firms take advantage of a tax break in Rishi Sunak’s windfall tax, analysts have forecast.
Third of cash raised by Rishi Sunak’s windfall levy ‘could be handed back to oil and gas firms’ in tax breaks. The Independent reports analysis by the Labour Party that a third or more of any revenue raised by the chancellor’s new windfall tax on oil and gas profits could be handed back to the firms in tax breaks.
Gas producer Serica to offset ‘large element’ of windfall tax. The Belfast Telegraph, via PA, Serica Energy, one of the UK’s biggest gas producers, has said it will be able to offset a “large element” of the new windfall tax that the Government has put on North Sea explorers.
Environmentalists join forces to fight ‘carbon bomb’ fossil fuel projects. The Guardian reports that a coalition of environmental lawyers, investigative journalists and campaigners has launched a group to challenge the “carbon bomb” fossil fuel projects that could result in at least a billion tonnes of CO2 emissions over their lifetimes.
Carbon dioxide levels are now 50% higher than during the pre-industrial era. The Guardian reports on US government data which suggests the level of carbon dioxide in the world’s atmosphere is now more than 50% higher than during the pre-industrial era, further pushing the planet into conditions not experienced for millions of years.
42% chance of breaching 1.5°C goal even if all carbon emissions cease. New Scientist reports on US research which estimates humanity has pumped so much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that there is now a 42 per cent chance of the world breaching its 1.5°C climate change goal even if global emissions ceased overnight.
Sunday 5 June 2022
Fossil fuel projects that qualify for Rishi Sunak’s tax relief ‘could create 899 million tonnes of CO2’. The Independent reports on Uplift’s estimates that 33-39 planned oil and gas projects, likely to be developed in the next three years, could produce nearly 1.9 billion barrels, which if burnt would emit 899 million tonnes of greenhouse gases.
Thursday 2 June 2022
Climate activists vow to fright as new gasfield gets go-ahead in North Sea. The Guardian reports environmentalists are threatening legal action in an attempt to halt development of the Jackdaw gasfield in the North Sea that has been given the greenlight by the UK government (see May 2022 headlines)
Wednesday 1 June 2022
Angus Energy completes acquisition. Angus Energy reports it has completed the acquisition of Saltfleetby Energy Limited after granting 91 million initial consideration shares to Forum Energy Services Limited.
UKOG gives notice of AGM. UK Oil & Gas plc gives notice of its annual general meeting on Tuesday 28 June 2022 at 8th Floor, the Broadgate Tower, 20 Primrose Street, London EC2A 2EW. The public notice does not give the time of the meeting.