Daily headlines

April 2023 headlines

Keep up to date with April 2023’s news with our digest of daily updated headlines about the business, regulation and campaigns around UK fracking, shale, and onshore oil and gas.

IGas proposed new oil site near Glentworth. Source: Planning application

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

Friday 28 April 2023

Abandoned Crawberry Hill: “exciting appraisal opportunity” – Reabold Resources. DrillOrDrop report on Reabold’s plans for drilling at Crawberry Hill in East Yorkshire, abandoned in 2014 a year after the first well.

West Newton drilling set for autumn 2023. DrillOrDrop reports on Rathlin Energy plans to drill a horizontal well at West Newton-B in the final quarter of 2023. The article also includes plans for West Newton-A and Rathlin Energy’s suggestion that it will reduce its working interest in PEDL183.

UK set to miss 2035 target for green electricity, say MPs. PA reports on a study by the parliamentary business, energy and industrial strategy commmittee which concludes the UK is on track to fail to meet its targets to generate all of its electricity without burning gas by the middle of next decade

Thursday 27 April 2023

Police to get new powers to stop slow walking protests. DrillOrDrop report on new legislation introduced by the home secretary.

End oil extraction at Wytch Farm, say campaigners after Poole Harbour leak. DrillOrDrop reports on a campaign to revoke permissions for Perenco’s oil field, the largest UK onshore oil producer.

Europa Oil & Gas director retires. Europa reports that William Ahlefeldt has retired from the company’s board with immediate effect.

Falling behind: NIC and CCC call on government to close UK infrastructure resilience gap. Business Green reports that the National Infrastructure Commission and Climate Change Committee have written a joint letter urging ministers to protect key infrastructure against the intensifying climate impacts.

BP shareholders reject climate activist resolution but support grows. Reuters reports that an activist resolution urging BP to set tougher climate targets was rejected by shareholders on Thursday, although it enjoyed more support than last year after the energy company rowed back on plans to cut oil and gas output.

BP faces green protest over new climate goals. BBC News reports some of the UK’s biggest pension funds have voted against reappointing BP’s chairman over a decision to weaken its climate plans, but the majority of shareholders backed Helge Lund.

Leaked paper reveals government proposal to relax rules around burning biomass. The Times reports leaked documents show the government is considering having no legal requirement to ensure new energy projects that intend to use trees and crops as fuel do not harm the environment.

UK investment in clean energy transition falls 10%, bucking global trend. The Guardian reports on data that shows investment in clean energy and the low-carbon economy fell sharply in the UK last year.

Drop the ‘natural’ in natural gas, climate activists urge US officials. PhysOrg reports on calls by the advocacy group Gas Leaks which said:

“There’s nothing natural about fracking; there’s nothing natural about thousands of miles of pipelines and there’s nothing natural about the indoor air pollution that is associated with gas,”

Wednesday 26 April 2023

Power giant Drax told by own advisers to stop calling biomass ‘carbon neutral’. Sky News reports the UK’s largest bioenergy supplier has been told by its own scientific advisers to stop calling biomass ‘carbon neutral’ – raising “difficult questions” about the future of the controversial energy form when its subsidies expire in 2027.

National Grid told to hurry up as solar projects face 15 year waiting times. City Am reports comments from the UK’s leading solar industry body that National Grid must speed up waiting times for new energy projects or risk the UK failing to meet its ambitious solar power generation targets.

Tuesday 25 April 2023

Court rules that campaigners can challenge new oil and gas licences. DrillOrDrop report that Uplift and Greenpeace have been granted permission to bring a high court challenge to the oil and gas licensing round, launched by the Liz Truss government. Also reported by Business Green

Tory former net zero tsar calls for halt to Rosebank North Sea oil project. The Guardian reports comments by Chris Skidmore who has urged ministers to half the development of the Rosebank oilfield in the North Sea, or risk destroying the UK’s credibility on the climate crisis.

Shapps: We ‘want and need’ oil and gas sector to reach net zero and protect UK’s energy security. City Am reports comments by the energy secretary, Grant Shapps to the House of Lords environment and climate change committee that the UK “wants and needs” the oil and gas sector to help reach net zero and protect energy security.

John Kerry: relying on technology to remove carbon dioxide is ‘dangerous’. The Guardian reports comments by the US climate envoy, John Kerry, that relying on technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is “dangerous” and a cause for “alarm”. He said new technologies may not prevent the world from passing temperature “tipping points” that could trigger a cascade of unstoppable physical effects.

Shell quits major UK carbon capture project – but venture insists its future is safe. City Am and Reuters report that Shell has pulled out of the UK’s largest carbon capture and storage project, in the Humber region, just days after National Grid walked away from the venture. Shell said it would focus on the Acorn CCS project in Scotland.

Drax brings half a century of coal generation to a close. Business Green reports that Drax has confirmed the official end of coal-fired generation at its Yorkshire power plant, announcing the closure of its last coal-fired unit.

Monday 24 April 2023

Onshore oil and gas production in charts – January 2023. DrillOrDrop review of the latest UK onshore production data.

Wressle boosts Egdon production. DrillOrDrop review of Egdon Resources interim accounts.

Europa oil & Gas records highest interim revenues. Europa reports revenue of £3.7m and gross profit of £1.5m for the six months to 31 January 2023. The company had a pre-tax loss of £1.3m after an exploration impairment charge of £1.7m in Morocco.

Government consults on proposals for making the NSTA the offshore hydrogen transport & storage regulator. The North Sea Transition Authority reports the opening of a consultation on future regulatory arrangements for offshore hydrogen transport and storage.

Extinction Rebellion ‘to step up climate campaigns’ after four-day demonstration. PA reports that Extinction Rebellion and other groups will step up campaigns to force the government to tackle the climate emergency following the end of a four-day demonstration.

Plan to cut use of foreign gas ‘will fail without insulation and heat pumps’. The Evening Standard reports on research from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit which found government plans to make the UK energy independent cannot be met simply by drilling for more gas without reducing demand.

North Sea drilling: Greenpeace prepares to challenge ‘disastrous’ UK decision. The Guardian reports Greenpeace is preparing to challenge the award of new licences for oil and gas drilling in the North Sea. A hearing on Tuesday will determine whether the organisation will be allowed a judicial review of the decision, made during the Liz Truss admininstration.

Europe’s biggest petrochemical plant in 30 years a ‘carbon bomb’, court to hear. The Guardian reports a case brought by ClientEarth and 13 other organisations that Ineos’s planned ethane cracker in Antwerp will be a “carbon bomb” that will worsen the climate crisis and threaten human life. Also reported by the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre

European countries pledge huge expansion of North Sea wind farms. The Guardian reports nine European countries have pledged to multiply the capacity of offshore wind farms in the North Sea by eight times current levels before 2050, turning it into what Belgium’s energy minister called “Europe’s biggest green power plant”.

Supreme Court deals blow to oil companies by turning away climate cases. NBC news reports that the US Supreme Court has allowed lawsuits brought by municipalities seeking to hold energy companies accountable for climate change to move forward in a loss for business interests.

Sunday 23 April 2023

Extinction Rebellion: Climate activists stage Earth Day demonstration. BBC News reports that thousands of activists marked Earth Day with a demonstration in central London organised by Extinction Rebellion.

Oil and gas industry lobbied Scottish government 200+ times under Sturgeon’s “open-door” policy to polluters. Analysis by Friends of the Earth Scotland shows Scottish ministers met oil company lobbyists nearly once a week over four years. The meetings included Equinor during the COP26 climate conference, BP and Shell at the opera in Florence and with Petrochina.

Saturday 22 April 2023

Norway’s oil fund to vote against climate resolution at BP. Reuters reports that Norway’s $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s largest investors, said on Saturday it will vote against a resolution calling on British oil major BP to adopt tougher greenhouse gas targets. The Guardian reports on Monday 24 April that some of UK’s biggest pension funds preparing to demand tougher plans to reduce emissions by 2030

Friday 21 April 2023

Pinarova-1 oil shows and testing. UKOG announces that its ~Pinarova-1 well in Turkey has encountered oil shows in drill cuttings from 358m-400m. The company is to flow test over the zone from 293-400m.

Tufton Street Linked Donors Have Given £630,000 to the Conservatives Since Sunak Became Prime Minister. DeSmog reports that the Conservative Party has received in excess of £600,000 since Rishi Sunak became prime minister from four board members at leading Tufton Street ‘think tanks’

Thursday 20 April 2023

Cut driving by 20% to curb emissions, says think tank. The Independent reports calls by the Green Alliance for a 20% cut in driving in the next seven years to curb emissions.

Analysis: Shell admits 1.5C climate goal means immediate end to fossil fuel growth. Carbon Brief analysis reveals that growth in oil and gas production ends immediately in Shell’s latest pathway to stay below 1.5C.

Wednesday 19 April 2023

Angus Energy management changes. Angus Energy reports it has finalised the appointment of Richard Herbert as chief executive director, George Lucan as executive chairman and Patrick Clanwilliam as non-executive director. The company also announced the appointment of Tim Kaye as director of UK operations.

MPs laugh at Graham Stuart’s net zero comments. Energy Voice reports the energy minister was met with laughter from opposition benches when he told the Commons the rest of the world is “playing catch-up” with the UK when it comes to net zero.

Tuesday 18 April 2023

Saltfleetby sidetrack test results. Angus Energy reports that its new gas sidetrack at Saltfleetby is capable of 4-5mmscfd (million standard cubic feet per day)

150 groups sign open letter to Eamon Ryan over fracked gas ban. The Irish Independent reports more than 150 environmental groups, academics, politicians and members of the public have signed an open letter to Environment Minister Eamon Ryan asking him to restate his commitment to a ban on fracked gas imports. It comes after he appeared to row back on his stand against any development of a commercial liquified natural gas (LNG) terminal.

UKOG Pinarova-1 casing set. UKOG announces its Turkish Pinarova-1’s 9⅝ inch casing is now set and cemented down to 287 metres below surface.

Monday 17 April 2023

Councillors vote for new Lincolnshire oil site. DrillOrDrop report on the approval of a new IGas site near the village of Glentworth, despite local opposition.

Sunday 16 April 2023

G7 ministers agree to speed up phaseout of fossil fuels . The FT reports G7 nations have pledged to accelerate a gradual phaseout of fossil fuels and the shift towards renewable energy, the Financial Times reports. Agreement was reached in Japan’s northern city of Sapporo yesterday following “weeks of fraught negotiations” between the world’s seven most advanced economies

Friday 14 April 2023

NGOs urge UK leaders to ban venting and flaring in the oil and gas sector by 2025. The Clean Air Task Force and 24 other NGOs urge peers to support an amendment to the Energy Bill to ban venting and flaring in the oil and gas sector by 2025.

Biden approves Alaska gas exports as critics condemn another ‘carbon bomb’. The Guardian reports the US energy department has approved exports from a liquified natural gas programme, after the Willow project got the green light last month.

Thursday 13 April 2023

Supreme court allows OEP to intervene in challenge over Surrey oil extraction. DrillOrDrop report on case brought against Surrey County Council by campaigner, Sarah Finch.

Date set for Dunsfold legal challenge. DrillOrDrop report on date set for High Court challenge by Protect Dunsfold and Waverley Borough Council against approval of planning permission to UK Oil & Gas for gas drilling at the company’s Loxley site.

“Bombshell” 1989 Shell memo features in new court filing alleging climate deception. DeSmog reports that a confidential report from Shell researchers – warning that climate-fuelled migration could swamp borders in the US – now features in a new court brief alleging that Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP knowingly concealed climate hazards of fossil fuel products for decades.

UK accused of ‘backward step’ for axing top climate diplomat role. The Guardian reports the UK government has axed its most senior climate diplomat post. The last special representative for climate change stood down recently after six years in the post and has not been replaced.

Wednesday 12 April 2023

Climate groups to contest High Court refusal to hear legal challenge against Cumbria coalmine. Friends  of the Earth and South Lakes Action on Climate Change will ask the High Court to reconsider its refusal to hear a legal challenge over the government’s decision to grant planning permission for a new coal mine in Cumbria.

Record clean-power growth in 2023 to spark ‘new era’ of fossil fuel decline. CarbonBrief reports on analysis by the climate thinktank, Ember, that the power sector is about to enter a “new era of falling fossil generation” as coal, oil and gas are pushed out of the grid by a record expansion of wind and solar power, according to new analysis by climate thinktank Ember. 

Emissions from global electricity generation may have now peaked. New Scientist reports that wind and solar reached a record 12% of global electricity generation in 2022 and look set to continue growing.

Road-building spree will derail UK’s net zero targets, warn campaigners. The Guardian reports on comments by campaigners that the UK’s net zero targets will be missed because of planned road building.

BP bets on carbon capture with Harbour Energy deal. The Times reports that the oil company has bought a 40% stake in a proposed carbon capture and storage (CCS) project on the Humber estuary in northeast England.

Dreams of a low-carbon future caught in tangle of red tape. The Times also reports that companies trying to deliver Britain’s green ambitions are struggling against the practical realities of red tape and of policy and regulatory delays.”

World’s Biggest Banks Poured $673 Billion Into Fossil Fuels Last Year. DeSmog reports on a study by Rainforest Action Network that the global banking sector continues to funnel huge sums each year into fossil fuels.

It is time for a rooftop solar revolution. Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, writing in Business Green, calls for making rooftop solar mandatory on new homes to create jobs, cut energy bills, and bring down emissions.

UK still well off track on pledge to cut methane emissions, study says. The Guardian reports on a study by the Green Alliance thinktank that the UK is still well off track on meeting its international commitments to cut methane emissions, analysis has shown, despite moves to stop cows from belching out so much of it.

Tuesday 11 April 2023

Planners back new oil site in Lincolnshire. DrillOrDrop report on recommendation to approve a new oil site by IGas at Glentworth, to be decided on 17 Api

Blending hydrogen into gas heating ‘could add almost £200’ to UK bills. The Guardian reports on analysis which suggests that government plans to blend methane with about 20% hydrogen for use in home heating systems could raise consumer bills by about £200 for an average household.

Petroleum Association and Controversial Waste Management Firm Sponsoring Events at Flagship Environmental Journalism Conference. DeSmog reports on campaigners comments that there is “no excuse” for allowing Veolia North America and the Western States Petroleum Association to sponsor events at the Society of Environmental Journalists gathering.

Monday 10 April 2023

UK spent almost £500,000 on unused support scheme for energy firms. The Guardian reports exclusively that the Treasury spent almost half a million pounds on the energy markets financing scheme, an unused emergency scheme for energy traders launched by Liz Truss, that was quietly closed earlier this year.

Thursday 6 April 2023

Greenhouse gas emissions rose at ‘alarming’ rate last year, US data shows. The Guardian reports on US data that shows record temperatures, devastating floods and superstorms are causing death and destruction across the planet but humans are failing to cut greenhouse gas emissions fueling the climate emergency.

UK council backs drilling for disused coal mine geothermal project. Mining Technology reports Sunderland City Council has backed an exploratory drilling for a scheme to heat homes and businesses using water from the Wearmouth disused coal mine.

Wednesday 5 April 2023

Gas Company in PR Offensive Ahead of Decision on Hydrogen Trial. DeSmog reports that Northern Gas Networks has been accused of “greenwashing” in a North Yorkshire community ahead of a crunch decision on the UK’s first ‘hydrogen village’.

Seven Just Stop Oil activists convicted over London road blockade. The Guardian reports that seven climate activists who glued themselves to the road outside the Natural History Museum in south-west London have been convicted of obstructing a highway.

Tuesday 4 April 2023

Revealed: UAE plans huge oil and gas expansion as it hosts UN climate summit. The Guardian reports the host nation of COP28 climate summit has the third biggest net zero-busting plans for oil and gas expansion in the world, surpassed only by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Nigel Lawson’s economic ‘success’ was an oil-fuelled illusion. Open Democracy reports that Lawson’s legacy is of a climate sceptic indebted to Big Oil. Refusal to accept that is making the UK poorer.

Carbon dioxide removal is not a current climate solution — we need to change the narrative. Nature has an article by David Ho, who writes:

“Drastically reduce emissions first, or carbon dioxide removal will be next to useless.”

Just Stop Oil: Climate change pair found guilty over Dartford crossing protest. BBC News reports two protesters who scaled the Dartford Crossing bridge have been found guilty of causing a public nuisance.

Sunday 2 April 2023

British cows could be given ‘methane blockers’ to cut climate emissions. The Observer reports cows in the UK could be given “methane blockers” to reduce their emissions of the greenhouse gas as part of plans to achieve the country’s climate goals.

The Guardian view on carbon offsetting: an overhaul is overdue. In an editorial, the Guardian says the carbon offsetting industry has not delivered what it promised and critics are right to be sceptical.

Saturday 1 April 2023

New oilfield in the North Sea would blow the UK’s carbon budget. The Guardian reports comments by campaigners that the Rosebank oil and gas field that could potentially yield 500m barrels, would seriously undermine legal commitment to net zero.

UAE climate event organisers warn speakers not to ‘criticise corporations’. The FT reports speakers at a climate and health conference in the United Arab Emirates were told not to protest or “criticise corporations” in a warning that cited the Gulf state’s laws. This has raised concerns about the COP28 climate summit to be held in Dubai later this year

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