Keep up to date with August 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.
Friday 12 August 2022
Truss rejects new UK windfall tax while Sunak’s open to the idea. Energy Voice reports that Conservative leadership front-runner Liz Truss ruled out a fresh windfall tax on energy companies if she becomes prime minister, while her opponent Rishi Sunak vowed to find up to another £10 billion to help Britons pay for soaring power bills.
UK energy tax breaks are at odds with cost of living crisis. The FT says North Sea oil and gas already has ample tax breaks. Investment in oil and gas could receive a tax deduction of 46%, the paper says.
UK energy industry told to help with cost of living or risk windfall tax. The Times reports that UK energy companies have been told to use their “huge” profits to help bill payers or face further windfall taxes during a meeting where prime minister Boris Johnson “unexpectedly” showed up.
Thursday 11 August 2022
Shell launches sale of North Sea Cambo oil prospect – sources. Reuters quotes industry sources that Shell has hired the investment bank, Jefferies, to run the sale process of its 30% stake in the Cambo oilfield off Shetland.
Industry body warns against more stringent windfall tax. City Am reports on a warning from Offshore Energies UK that further changes to the windfall tax would undermine investor confidence and hamper the oil and gas industry.
Burning imported wood in Drax power plant ‘doesn’t make sense’, says Kwarteng. The Guardian reports comments by the business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, at a private meeting of MPs that importing of wood to burn in Drax power station “is not sustainable” and “doesn’t make any sense”.
Wednesday 10 August 2022
Coalmine decision delayed again. Friends of the Earth comment on the government’s decision to delay again the decision on a new coalmine in Cumbria, this time on or before 8 November 2022.
Booming energy giants face tougher windfall tax as bills set ‘to hit £4,400’. The Sun reports the treasury is looking to beef up the 25% levy on record-breaking profits announced in May as the energy price cap is now forecast to reach £4,400 by next spring.
Energy price rises are a looming calamity. The Telegraph comment calls for Tory leadership contenders to prepare an effective policy response.
UK power cuts feared in worst-case scenario for energy supplies. The FT reports that ministers have been drawing up “worst-case” plans “for a bleak winter that could involve gas shortages and power blackouts”.
Wildcat strikes spread across Britain as thousands of workers stage unofficial walkouts over pay. The Telegraph reports workers are staging unofficial walkouts as soaring inflation and pay disputes trigger “a wave of wildcat strikes”. Hundreds of contractors at Ineos’s Grangemouth complex in Scotland blocked roads in a protest over pay.
Tuesday 9 August 2022
Union Jack update on capital reduction exercise. Union Jack Oil plc announces it has applied to High Court over its reduction of capital. The initial hearing is on 12 August 2022. The final hearing is schedule for 30 August 2022.
Lord Frost denies there’s a ‘climate emergency’ and says we should back fracking and nuclear energy. The Sun reports comments by Lord Frost that there is not a climate emergency and the next prime minister should stop hectoring Britons about going green.
How the net zero sceptics’ medieval arguments are being overwhelmed by a very modern reality. Business Green reports critics of the net zero transition are trying to blame it for the UK’s economic woes, but their arguments are looking increasingly detached from the modern world
Monday 8 August 2022
DrillOrDrop factcheck: web articles on IGas shale gas site at Misson, Nottinghamshire. Link
Egdon Resources appeals against refusal of planning permission at North Kelsey. DrillOrDrop report
Fears fracking could re-start in Lancashire as Conservative leadership candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak both back it. The Blackpool Gazette reports comments by a Labour county councillor that the Conservative leadership candidates have committed to backing fracking.
Sunday 7 August 2022
BP to pay lower tax rate this year than before Covid. The Telegraph reports BP expects its global underlying tax rate will be around 35%, down from 36% in 2019 and 38% in 2018.
Saturday 6 August 2022
Revealed: BP’s ‘greenwashing’ social media ads as anger over fuel costs rose. The Guardian reports BP has spent £800,000 on social media influence ads after Labour proposed windfall tax.
Shell and BP to share in huge giveaway that will blow hole in windfall tax gains: £7.5bn taxpayer handout for oil titans. This Is Money reports that oil and gas titans are set to reap a mammoth taxpayer giveaway of up to £7.5billion despite making record profits.
Friday 5 August 2022
Huge fracking site ordered to shut by meddling councillors because it might upset owls – which flew off in 2018. The Sun reports (and comments) on the IGas site at Misson Springs in Nottinghamshire. Also reported by LBC (6/8/22022). See also DrillOrDrop factcheck on the articles
Tories are doomed if they betray Thatcher and retreat from net zero. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, writing in The Times says “the green lady invoked “our collective responsibility as stewards of the earth, leaders must abide by this”.
Thursday 4 August 2022
Sunak pledges to block green belt development. Planning Portal reports that Rishi Sunak has pledged to stop home building on the green belt, arguing that all development should take place on ‘brownfield, brownfield, brownfield’.
UK oil and gas decommissioning cost estimate drops 25% in 5 years. World Oil reports on the latest estimates from the North Sea Transition Authority
Big Oil under fire for ‘grotesque greed’ after record profits as people struggle with cost of living. The Independent reports on congressional hearing on oil profits.
Wednesday 3 August 2022
Anti-green politicians tipped for top roles in Truss government. DeSmog reports on comments by campaigners that action on climate change is in jeopardy if MPs such as climate science denier John Redwood are granted key posts.
Tuesday 2 August 2022
Calls for tougher windfall tax as BP announces tripling of profits. DrillOrDrop report on reaction to BP profits.
BP reports tripling of profits for second quarter of 2022. BP reports a tripling of second quarter profits to nearly £7bn. The company’s preferred measure of profit, the underlying replacement cost profit, rose to £6.92bn between April and June 2022, up from £5.11bn in the first quarter, and three times for the same measure and period of $2.29bn in 2021. Guardian, BBC News
Revealed: Energy crisis has made 30 House of Lords members wealthier. OpenDemocracy reports that 30 peers stand to make thousands from BP’s bumper profits as British households are told average bills could treble
Monday 1 August 2022
Guest post: Yorkshire Landowners question Conservative leadership candidates on fracking. DrillOrDrop guest post by Yorkshire Landowners in which they put key questions to Rishi Sunak and Liz Trust.