Welcome to Drill Or Drop.com, publisher of independent, evidence-based journalism about the onshore oil and gas business in the UK and the campaign against it.

The name

DrillOrDrop.com is named after the “drill or drop” clause in a petroleum exploration and development licence. This requires an operator to drill a well within a certain length of time or give up the licence area.

We ask whether the UK should drill – “go all out for shale” (and other sources of hydrocarbons) for their benefits to the economy and energy independence. Or should we drop the idea because it carries too great a risk to climate change, environmental damage, human rights and an industrialised countryside.

The content

DrillOrDrop.com chronicles the events of the onshore oil and gas industry across the UK. We follow the regulators, political decision-makers, legal developments and the opposition campaign. We look behind the headlines to investigate what is driving the industry and the campaign against it.

DrillOrDrop.com began life in 2013 as InvestigatingBalcombeAndCuadrilla.com with a particular interest in plans to develop oil fields in southern England. In 2014, we expanded our remit to cover onshore oil and gas developments across the UK and gave the site its current name.

P1020902The authors

The main author is Ruth Hayhurst, an independent reporter with more than 30 years’ experience, specialising in environment, energy and local government.  Profile here

Other journalists, researchers, writers and photographers contribute to this site. Uncredited photographs are by Ruth Hayhurst . All other photographs and artwork on DrillOrDrop are credited.

The site

Regular posts appear on the Posts tab on the menu bar.

DrillOrDrop screen grab1

DrillOrDrop screen grab2To find posts on subjects that interest you, either use the search box in the top right hand corner of each page. Or use the drop-down list in the category box on the right side. 

Daily Headlines on the top menu has an at-a-glance digest of the month’s news. You can also find links here to the news digest for previous months.

To get in touch

We use Twitter and Facebook to alert you to when there’s a new post. Or you can follow the blog by using the box on the right side of each page.

We hope you like the site and please let us know what you think. You can get in touch by using the contact page, comment on the posts or tweet @ruthhayhurst

DrillOrDrop has an independent moderator of posts and a comment policy, which you can read here.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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33 replies »

  1. Extract from Christopher Booker in Telegraph
    “All in all, wherever we look, this pursuit of the dream of “carbon-free energy” is creating an ecological catastrophe. Like so many of the great crimes of history, this one is being perpetrated by people who imagine they are doing something praiseworthy. In this case, possessed by their delusion that they are battling for nature and the future of the planet, they are in fact doing as much as anyone to destroy the very things they kid themselves they are trying to save. ”
    (and assuming as the Greeks did that the economy will take care of itself.)

  2. Ruth – it’s hilarious to read the usual suspects lining up to try to undermine your excellent work whilst trying desperately to appear to remain professional and reasonable. Their collective grinding of teeth is almost audible from Lancashire. And well done for your incisive yet polite responses to the attempts at provocation. I think this is the best resource on the web for finding fracking related information presented clearly and logically. Keep it up!

  3. As usual John Hobson, you bring nothing to any debate except personal slurs. That is why nobody pays you any attention. It try to avoid personal comments, but in this case its seems appropriate.
    I do agree this site is an excellent resource which is why I have thanked Ruth many times.

    • “I do agree this site is an excellent resource which is why I have thanked Ruth many times.”
      I guess that’ll be why your post here starts “This site is supposed to be independent but seems to be just a front for anti fracking alas.”

      Honestly Ken you could at least try to appear consistent. I know you hate it when I and others pull you up for the misleading statements you keep making, but try to remain dignified won’t you? There’s a love 🙂

  4. Living in North Lancashire, the Fylde Coast is often prone to subsidence.
    Why are local people being portrayed as Luddites and anti – progress? Would you want a dirty great big drilling rig pounding the ground all hours with huge HGVS ploughing down B roads that are I’ll equipped for such an industry.

    We have solar, wind and are supportive of a tidal barrage across Morecambe Bay to create electricity.
    Let them frack the South East first and let’s hope earthquakes and huge HGVs rumbling down and round the Home Counties when the Yummy Mummies are driving their Chelsea Tractors with their little darlings on board, let’s hope there’s no accidents or delays or the Tories would be in serious trouble.

    Stop portraying Northerns as self interested NIMBYs. Fracking will not create the jobs claimed by the pro Frackers.

    • Please allow a defence of the South East. Because those of us who support fracking do not hold protests, invade fields, block roads or yell obscenities we do not get much media attention. As a result you up North can perhaps be forgiven for branding us as selfish nimbys. Some are but not all.
      When a poll was held in Balcombe last year on an application to flow test recently drilled well 40% did not bother to vote & 20 % voted in favour. This in spite of relentless propaganda by protest groups, threats of earthquakes,cancer,flammable tap water, falling property prices & ,probably most persuasive, the overt threat of the protesters’ return.
      True 35% voted against but let’s face it to get busy people to vote for being left in peace is not difficult. Those who voted in favour made the difficult decision to put the nation’s interest before their own personal convenience. Such votes are, in my view, worth ten times those of knee-jerk nimbys.
      By the way when the well was drilled, a mile outside the village, the only disturbance was from the protesters. Without them the actual drilling would have passed off virtually unnoticed. If the well goes into production it might involve a tanker a week.
      To their credit West Sussex County Council, who are after all Southerners, ignored protesters & approved the application. Contrast the abject populism of Lancashire Council , admittedly with honourable exceptions from both main parties.
      To suggest this country can pay her way if we saddle ourselves with grossly uncompetitive energy from wind, sun or tide is the economics of Greece. What is more, when manufacturing equipment & the need for conventional back-up is counted the emission saving is minimal.
      If you REALLY want to reduce emissions the answer for the immediate future is to replace as much coal as possible with fracked gas. Much better than saddling our economy with pointless gestures!
      Many here in Balcombe were prepared to put up with the (minor) inconvenience of a local well . Not all of us down south are as soft as you think!

  5. Should we have a moratorium on windfarm development. Latest scientific evidence suggests that gannet foraging altitude is within the height of offshore windfarm rotors (it was assumed that gannets foraged at an altitude below the rotors. Indeed it seems that winfarm impact on birds is still poorly known. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0755hqf

  6. There is no “K” in frac. Frac lines are rigged up, a frac pump is run, a frac job is performed. Surely it’s important to get the details right. Can I just say a hello to Martin Decker – it’s been a while since I’ve seen your big round face.

  7. Dear Anti- Frackers,
    I write with anger and frustration that the Fracking
    potential for this Country is the best thing that has
    happened for many a generation, AND YET the negative
    outpourings about it from extremist fringe elements,
    green campaigners ( possible friends of Putin?) and the
    usual ‘tree huggers’ are all we seem to hear.

    Surely the time has come for the alternative points of view
    to be placed before the media using a robust
    strategy to highlight the weakness in the arguments used by
    these ‘nimbys,’ who, no doubt, all arrive in vehicles and
    enjoy the comfort of heated premises, when lesser folk
    dread the onset of winter and their inability to be able to
    afford the bare minimum of adequate heat- this coupled with
    many long term unemployed similarly affected,
    whose lives have been blighted and damaged by this
    unemployment possibly to be revitalised with the
    prospect of work in a vital new industry introduced to
    the UK for the first time in 30 years!

    Everyone’s fears appear to be verging on the edge
    of hysteria with the Labour Party strangely bowing to their
    arguments, despite the re-assurances of all the experts,
    and the fact that vulnerable people (Labour voters!) would benefit from the
    cheaper fuel bills too, and the UK not being dependant on, and ‘hostage to,’ expensive imports.The industrial revolution in the UK, leading to where we are today, could never have taken place if such protest movements had been allowed a ‘free rein.’

    Finally, in the interests of transparency, Anti Fracking Campaigners should declare if they have
    gas central heating, cars etc., and who finances their cause? It is noted that a lot of them live in very nice middle class ‘NIMBY’ areas, and the big protester, Gezer (British?) Frackman, sends out Youtube messages surrounded by electronics/ computers, flat screen TV in the background, together with a GAS central heating radiator. Also, the protestors mainly arrive at site in reasonable vehicles- they all seem to have a self-motivated agenda, which appears to be against the interests of the British people struggling to be able to pay to keep themselves and families warm in the winter, whilst having to endure the ongoing threat of spiralling price increases from the ‘Thatcher created’ energy utility giants.

    The ideology of ‘no fossil fuel usage’ will always be Utopian until the day comes (and is coming) that the Country can exist purely and sustainably on all Green Energy, but, in the meantime, we still have to survive without the threat of having to rely on being ‘blackmailed’ by the Energy Giants importing expensive gas- safe Fracking is the ideal interim energy for UK in the meantime, and we are lucky to have it as an option along with the skills to extract it

    The genuine Campaigners are well intentioned, but, worryingly, their cause appears to have been
    hijacked by unpleasant extremists with an alternative political agenda



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