Daily headlines


Work at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, Little Plumpton. Photo: Ros Wills

DrillOrDrop’s daily update of current news about fracking, shale and onshore oil and gas 

At the end of the month, you can view the content by clicking on the links to our headline archive:

2017 headlines

2016 headlines

2015 headlines

2014 headlines

16 February 2017

Is INEOS planning to drill for shale in Sherwood Forest? DrillOrDrop reviews Friends of the Earth’s claim and the INEOS response.

Six-person lock-on outside Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road, Little Plumpton. DrillOrDrop Protest Weekly Update.  BBC News, 2BR Lancashire, The Blackpool Gazette

East Midlands parish councils reject Ineos’ assault on community spaces. An investigation by Spinwatch reveals that town and parish councils in Derbyshire (Whitwell, Langwith, Killamarsh, Hodthorpe and Belph) and South Yorkshire (Harthill with Woodall) had refused access to INEOS for seismic testing on their sports field and recreation grounds. Calow Parish Council in Derbyshire approved the request but with conditions for access to land, which included the village’s war memorial. INEOS later pulled out of plans to survey there due to “time constraints within a designated six month period, driven by planning policy guidelines”.

15 February 2017

National Trust stands firm against INEOS threats of legal action over refusal to allow access for seismic surveying. DrillOrDrop report

West Sussex varies drilling area for UKOG’s Broadford Bridge well. DrillOrDrop report on zone of variation for oil exploration well

Government publishes guidance on securing hydraulic fracturing consent. DrillOrDrop report

Fracking research roundup: February 2017. DrillOrDrop report on recent research, studies and evidence, including acidising, methane emissions, public attitudes to fracking, economics of fossil fuels, impacts of noise on health and dealing with waste.

Why not look for shale gas under London? In this Guest Post on DrillOrDrop, would-be operator, Nick Grealy, makes his pitch for fracking in the capital and questions why his company and a competitor were turned down for a licence in south central London in 2014.

Get your facts right John. David Haythornthwaite, chair of AFC Fylde, writes to the Blackpool Gazette, in reply to John Hobson. He says it is incorrect to suggest Cuadrilla cannot work on Saturdays because police are needed for crowd control at AFC Fylde.

It’s time to speak out against fracking. Barbara Richardson, writing to the Blackpool Gazette, says Cuadrilla’s fracking friends have “mounted a serious letter writing campaign to local papers trying to denigrate anti-fracking protesters and make fracking seem more acceptable to the general public. She says “This is still a democracy and people still have a legal right to peaceful protest….If people If people do not want Lancashire to become the largest gas field in western Europe now is the time for them to speak out.

Fife MSP calls for full fracking ban. Fife Today reports MSP Claire Baker has called for a full ban on onshore unconventional oil and gas extraction in Scotland, claiming that fracking could risk residents in Mid Scotland and Fife.

BP boss says US shale will keep oil price rises in check. Energy Voice reports comments by BP chief executive, Bob Dudley, who says he expects US shale production will keep oil prices from rising above $60 a barrel.

14 February 2017

Protesters are acting legally. Jules Burton, of Roseacre, writing to The Blackpool Gazette, describes a letter by Babs Murphy (see 9 February 2017) as “completely misleading”. He says:

“It is clear that she does no research but simply portrays her view of the world as the truth. It should be remembered that the protesters – most of whom are local contrary to Ms Murphy’s allegations – are acting perfectly legally. The police are aware of their actions and are often consulted before action is taken to ensure that no laws are contravened. So what Babs Murphy, Michael Damms and Lee Petts are actually saying is that the police should take ‘swift action’ against any person pursuing their legal right to protest against an industry that the people, parish, borough and county councils all agree is wrong for this – or any – area, poses a danger to residents and is totally unnecessary for our energy requirements.”

Protesters to gather at Major Oak over Sherwood Forest fracking survey plans. The Nottingham Post reports that protesters will gather around the Major Oak on Saturday to oppose plans by INEOS to carry out surveys for shale gas in Sherwood Forest.

Chemical Plant Boom Spurred by Fracking Will Bring Smog, Plastic Glut, and Risks to Workers’ Health, New Report Warns. DeSmog Blog reports on a report from Food and Water Watch, How fracking supports the plastic industry on the impact of fracking a rush for plastic and petrochemical manufacturing in the US. DeSmog says this will make smog worse in communities already breathing air pollution from fracking, sicken workers, and expand the plastic trash gyres in the world’s oceans

Judge denies tribes’ request to block final link in Dakota pipeline. Reuters, posted on OilPro, reports that US federal judge, James Boasberg, sitting in Washington DC, denied a request Standing Rock Sioux and Cheyenne River Sioux tribes for a halt to construction of the final link in the Dakota Access Pipeline. They said the project would prevent them from practising religious ceremonies at a lake they contend is surrounded by sacred ground.

Brexit: environment and climate change. The House of Lords European Union Committee report on the impact of Brexit on environment and climate change warns that environmental and climate change regulations could slip at Brexit. It warns that maintaining existing standards through the Great Repeal Bill will be “an immensely complex task”. It adds: “Environment legislation and policy will be more vulnerable to short term, unpredictable changes after Brexit. Maintaining policy stability will be critical to ensure both investor confidence in the environmental sector and civil society’s ability to engage with these policies.” Link to report and summary

House prices go potty! They’re falling or stagnant in many desirable spots but soaring in the least glamorous. So what’s going on? This is Money says fracking is one cause of falling prices in the picturesque town of Helmsley on the edge of the North York Moors.

13 February 2017

Launch of anti-fracking lobby group, Frack Free United, which is encouraging candidates in upcoming council elections to make their position clear on fracking. DrillOrDrop report. The Gazette and Herald (14/2/2017)

What’s happening this week? DrillOrDrop report on events about fracking, onshore oil and gas and the campaigns about them.

Updated: Eight established UK oil and gas sites apply for environmental permits. DrillOrDrop report

Launch for Frack Free United alliance of campaigners and communities opposed to fracking. The group is expected to promote the anti-fracking cause at this year’s May local elections. DrillOrDrop report (see Monday 13 February)

Putting a stop to town hall boycotts. Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, announced measures to prevent councils from boycotting companies and countries if it is against the government’s position. The plans would require local authorities by law to treat suppliers in line with British government policies. No council could boycott any countries or industry unless the government and put restrictions in place already. The press release does not refer to commitments by some councils to oppose fracking.

Council urges Fifers to fight against fracking. The Dundee Courier reports Fife Council is urging residents to air their views about fracking in a Scottish government consultation.

INEOS to build “uncompromising” 4×4 off-roader. The chemicals and shale gas company, INEOS, says it is preparing to invest many hundreds of millions producing a new off-roader following Jaguar Land Rover’s decision to cease production of the Land Rover Defender. INEOS chairman, Jim Ratcliffe, says: ““This is a fantastically exciting project. We want to build the world’s purest 4 x 4 and are aiming it at explorers, farmers and off-road enthusiasts across the globe”.

US shale oil production to jump by 80,000 barrels a day in March, EIA say. CNBC reports on data from the US Energy Information Administration that US shale oil production in seven major regions will rise by a total of 80,000 barrels a day to 4.87m a day in March. This is the third month in a row the agency has projected output to rise.

Oil poised for biggest drop in nearly 4 weeks despite Opec cut. The FT reports that Brent Crude, the global oil oil benchmark, was poised for its first daily drop in four days and its biggest one day decline in nearly a month despite a deep production cut by Opec. Brent crude slid 2.1 per cent to $55.53 a barrel on Monday, while West Texas Intermediate, the US oil standard, was down 1.8 per cent to $52.89 and if it were to hold on to those losses it would also be on track for its worst daily performance since January 18.

Investor Honeymoon With OPEC Falters as Shale Drilling Booms. Bloomberg Markets reports money managers reduced their bets on rising West Texas Intermediate prices for the first time in a month. US inventories are on the rise and shale drillers keep adding rigs. The US benchmark has traded between $50 and $55 a barrel for the last two months.

Inside the anti-frackers’ protest camp. The Blackpool Gazette reports on an anti-fracking camp at Whitehills Business Park, near Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site.

12 February 2017

What’s happening this week? 13-19 February 2017. DrillOrDrop listing of events about UK fracking, onshore oil and gas and campaigns about them.

11 February 2017

How did you find out about fracking? DrillOrDrop compilation of answers to a post on Facebook

10 February 2017

Who wants to drill where? February 2017 update of UK fracking, shale gas and onshore oil and gas operations. DrillOrDrop report

Campaigner arrested under trades union legislation. A 31-year-0ld man from Blackpool was arrested at about 10am outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site under section 241 of the Trades Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act. DrillOrDrop update.

UK set to receive first LNG import from Peru. The FT reports the UK is set to import its first ever cargo of liquefied natural gas from Peru as a pricing dispute forces shipments to Europe, with growing supplies of the supercooled fuel carving out new export routes. Peru LNG loaded a vessel this week that has its destination listed as the UK, according to data on Lima-based Perupetro’s website. It is carrying about 61,146 metric tonnes of LNG.

Leith Hill court order “very frightening” for locals offering showers and drinks to anti-drilling campers. BBC Surrey reports that an injunction by Europa Oil and Gas against the protection camp at Leith Hill also applies to people who may help. It says “any other person who knows of this order and does anything with the purpose of helping or permitting the defendants or protesters to breach the order may also be held in contempt of court and may be imprisoned, fined or have their assets seized.” Cllr Clayton Wellman said this would be frightening to local people. He described the breadth of the injunction as “draconian”.

EA spent £2m of taxpayer money clearing abandoned waste sites. The subscription journal, ENDS, reports that the Environment Agency spent £1,989,000 from a contingency fund since August 2104 to partially clear four non-compliant abandoned waste sites. The EA said these were cases where it intervened “as a last resort” because it was unable to recoup the clean-up costs from the operators or landowners. Most of these cases have not been publicised. The actual cost of the work could be higher because the EA said other costs may have been incurred that were not covered by the contingency fund. The sites have been partially cleared only to reduce the immediate short-term risk of fire. One site at Great Heck, Selby, North Yorkshire, was partially cleared at a cost of £934,000 funded jointly with Selby Council.

New call for ban on fracking. The Quakers call for a ban on new and intensive forms of fossil fuel extraction, including fracking for shale gas and oil, and underground coal gasification. The Quakers said: “Quakers said, “The UK needs to be investing in efficient and renewable energy, and reducing demand, not in additional fossil fuels. Fracked gas is not the low-carbon solution some suggest that it is and is incompatible with tackling the climate crisis. It is destructive of the environment, land and communities.”

9 February 2017

New consultation delays decision on IGas shale gas plans for Tinker Lane, Notts. DrillOrDrop report

Small rise in support for fracking in latest government survey of public attitudes. DrillOrDrop report

A photo-journalist was arrested in a protest about the contract held by Bolton firm, A E Yates, at the Preston New Road fracking site.  DrillOrDrop compilation of photos from protests around the UK.

Protesters targeting local small firms. Babs Murphy, of North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Michael Damms East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and Lee Petts IoD Lancashire, write to the Blackpool Gazette. They say:

“Anti-fracking protests targeting small local companies cannot be tolerated In recent days, protesters opposed to shale gas exploration in Lancashire have deliberately targeted small local companies with direct action blockades just because they have chosen to supply goods and services to Cuadrilla at its Preston New Road site.

“Activists know these small firms are unlikely to be able to withstand such disruption for any length of time because of the knock-on impacts it has to the remainder of their business. Such actions, conducted largely by people with little or no connection to the area, are unjust and deeply unfair.

“Small business owners that are simply trying to ply their trade should be allowed to get on with their lawful business without interruption and fear of intimidation.”

In depth: Drilling down into prospect of fracking on Sheffileld’s doorstep. Rob Blackledge, writing for the Sheffield Telegraph, interviews a local person, an academic and an INEOS executive about the plans for shale gas exploration at Marsh Lane in Derbyshire.

Fracking in Scotland is economic marginal. Roy Thompson, emeritus professor of geosciences, Edinburgh University, writes to The Guardian, that his research shows “Scottish shales to be below the thermal maturity needed for effective gas generation, at low reservoir pressures and so geologically faulted that they do not provide a match with even the poorest of the US systems”. He says deeper, structurally simpler and higher carbon content shales in northern England seem to have more potential. But if they are unsuccessful or uncommercial then a US-style shale gas industry in Scotland is unlikely.

Pre-fracking tests to start in Nottinghamshire soon, says drilling firm boss. Tom Pickering, operations director of INEOS Shale tells the Nottingham Post it will begin seismic surveys in the coming months and will submit 10 planning applications in its licences across England this year. He confirmed that the company could take legal action against the National Trust which has refused permission for seismic surveys at Clumber Park. Drilling could begin in mid 2018.

PeakFM speaks to fracking company INEOS in detail. PeakFM reports that it spoke to Operations Director, Tom Pickering, and Commercial Director, Lynn Calder, about its plans for a well at Marsh Lane in Derbyshire. Includes link to the audio interview.

Campaigners from Skipton visit fracking protest in North Yorkshire. The Craven Herald reports a representative from the Skipton branch of the campaign group 38 degrees visited the Kirby Misperton protection camp.

Jane Fonda supports Leitrim campaign. The Leitrim Observer reports that Hollywood actor, Jane Fonda, has supported a bill going through the Dail to ban fracking. The bill, also supported by Americans Susan Sarandon, Sean Lennon, Shailene Woodley, while Robert F Kennedy Junior, received unanimous cross-party support when it was introduced. It was put out for consultation until 10 February, causing supporters to worry that this might be a stalling measure.

We said NO! Dvid Beethoven song opposing fracking, with a new video on YouTube.

Methane levels have increased in Marcellus Shale region despite dip in well installation. PhysOrg reports that research from Drexel University has found that atmospheric methane levels in the Marcellus Shale in north east Pennsylvania are increasing, despite a slow down in the number of new gas wells. Measurements showed a substantial increase from 2012-2015. Peter DeCarlo, who led the study, said “Methane is increasing globally, but the rate of increase for this region is much more rapid than global increases”. He ascribes the rapid increase to increased gas production. He said: “With the increased background levels of methane, the relative climate benefit of natural gas over coal for power production is reduced.”

Dakota Access pipeline work restarts amid tribe’s legal challenge: ‘It’s not over’The Guardian reports that the Dakota Access Pipeline workers have begun the final phase of drilling across the Missouri river despite massive international protests and a legal challenge from the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. The restarting of the drilling operation, which a pipeline spokeswoman confirmed on Thursday morning, began soon after the US government gave the oil corporation the green light to proceed on Wednesday. The controversial pipeline could be transporting crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois within three months.

Proof that chemical fracking harms fish. Anglers Mail reports on a study by University of Alberta which found liquids released from fracked oil and gas wells can harm fish at very low concentrations. Researcher, Greg Goss, tells the magazine: “The real risk comes from the disposal process where there is a danger of spills as they truck it or pipeline it to a new site and Alberta has experienced more than 2,500 such spills between 2011 and 2014.

Green energy is evolving, so why aren’t the attitudes of ministers? At the end of an editorial about investment in renewables, the Independent writes Fracking is merely a way of reinventing fossil fuels; it may be cheap, but it can never be clean. Green energy is developing faster than the minds of Treasury officials seem able to comprehend, and it can make a disproportionate difference to the diversity and environmental soundness of how we fuel our homes and transport.

EU needs to shut all coal plants by 2030, or will vastly overshoot Paris Agreement – report. Climate Analytics reports on its new study that the EU must phase out CO2 emissions from all its coal plants in the next 15 years to meeting Paris Agreement temperature goals. A quarter need to switch off before 2020 and a further 47% by 2025.

8 February 2017

Pro-shale group invites businesses to comment on protests at Cuadrilla’s fracking site. DrillOrDrop report

Third Cheshire village opposes fracking – survey. DrillOrDrop report on a survey in Frodsham

Breached traffic rules at Cuadrilla fracking site led to two-car crash DrillOrDrop report. Blackpool Gazette (Collision near frack site sparks rumpus)

Security guard is knocked over by reversing truck during anti-fracking demonstration as police investigate ‘threats made against workers’. The Daily Mail reports on last Friday’s incident outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site. The paper also says police have confirmed they are looking into alleged threats made against contractors.

Investigation into fracking camp complaints. The Gazette and Herald reports that Ryedale District Council is looking into 12 complaints in the past three weeks about the anti-fracking camp at Kirby Misperton. The council’s head of planning Gary Housden, said most were about highway issues, the number of visitors and parking on the roadside.

Frack off! Frack on! INEOS shale CEO rattled in Notts. Greenpeace Greenwire reports on a debate on fracking hosted by the Secular Society in Nottingham. Gary Haywood, chief executive of INEOS Shale spoke for the motion (Fracking is intrinsically safe and will be of great benefit to the country) and Dennis May, of Frack Free Notts against.

YP Letters: Way too much hot air in row over fracking. Dave Roberts, writing to The Yorkshire Post encourages correspondence to rely on the strength of their argument, rather than what he calls terms that unreasonably can subconsciously persuade readers of their argument. He takes issue with letters from Lorraine Allanson, who said “undeniably gas is an essential commodity and will be for decades. Ms Allanson’s letter is also criticised by David Cragg-James, Michael Tanner  and Jon Mager. Jordan Brooke, in the same paper, appears to urge opponents of fracking to stand for election.

Government urged to reverse policy on fracking. Rebecca Newsom, political adviser to Greenpeace UK, tells the APPG on Climate Change the government should reverse its policy of “forcing fracking on communities across the UK” and stop the sale of the Green Investment Bank to an “asset-stripping firm that supports fracking and coal”

7 February 2017

Second supplier pulls out of Cuadrilla contract for fracking site at Preston New Road. DrillOrDrop report. BBC News (Fracking protests: Supplier ends contract in ‘bullying’ row); 2BR (Anti-fracking protestor hit by a vehicle); Blackpool Gazette (Video: Police probe ‘collision’ during anti-fracking protests outside business). Blackpool Gazette (Fracking furore as firm quits scheme after protests 8/2/2017)

Reaction from Cuadrilla, Frack Free Lancashire and Lancashire for Shale to suppliers quitting fracking contracts. DrillorDrop report

Threats force firms to quit fracking site. The Times reports police are investigating threats made against workers at a fracking site and protests which forced local companies to stop supplying the project. The paper says notes were left for construction workers at Cuadrilla’s site near Blackpool saying “watch out, we know where you live” and giving their names and home towns.

Fracking company seeks relaxation of planning conditions for restoration at Becconsall. DrillOrDrop report

Egdon to appeal over Wressle refusal. DrillOrDrop report

Police investigating fracking truck incident. The Blackpool Gazette reports police are investigating an incident at the Preston New Road fracking site which saw a security guard hit by a reversing truck on Friday. Lancashire Police said the 49-year-old driver from Manchester had been reported for summons for careless and inconsiderate driving.

2015 UK greenhouse gas emissions, final figures. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy reports that UK emissions of seven greenhouse gases were estimated at 495.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), a decrease of 3.8% compared to the 2014 figure of 515.1 million tonnes. BEIS said the fall was mainly caused by: replacement of coal by nuclear and renewables in electricity generation; closure of three integrated steelworks in September 2015; decreased emissions from landfill waste.

Final phase of Dakota Access pipeline to be approved, a major blow to Standing Rock Sioux. The Guardian reports the US government is set to allow the final phase of construction of the Dakota Access pipeline to begin early on Wednesday.

Upgrade to Portland Oil Resources at Horse Hill. UK Oil & Gas Investments reports Xodus has calculated Portland sandstone P50 oil in place at 32 million barrels, a 53% increase from the 21 million barrels previously reported. Proactive Investors

Fracking tests to be carried out in Staveley. The Derbyshire Times reports that INEOS has permission from the Chatsworth Settlement Trustees to conduct a seismic survey on the Scarcliffe and Staveley estates between Chesterfield and Worksop.

LETTER: Fracking supplement did little to allay my fears and some suspicions. Roger Pendleton, writing to The Derbyshire Times said he welcomed the provision of some clarity on the issue of fracking. But he said the INEOS supplement in last week’s paper was “deficient in my view in providing data on the financial vicissitudes of the industry”. He also said “The stated fact that the UK Government has the most stringent safeguards on operations is open to question, for an industry new to the UK.”

Fracking: Life on the frontline of Kirby Misperton protest camp. Emily Flanagan, reporting in The Northern Echo, describes her stay at the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp

Derbyshire Against Fracking petition. Petition launched by Liberal Democrats

INEOS Seismic Surveys. Bagshaws property specialists offers to act for landowners in the East Midlands approached by INEOS for access to carry out seismic surveying.

6 February 2017

Bolton company quits supply contract to Cuadrilla fracking site at Preston New Road. DrillOrDrop report. Bolton Rise and Bolton News

Angus Energy takes a stake in Europa’s Leith Hill Surrey licence. DrillOrDrop report. Energy Voice, Proactive Investors

Forestry Commission refuses to drop oil drilling deal with Europa for land at Bury Hill Wood, near Leith Hill in Surrey. DrillOrDrop report

Response to fracking protest was an “overraction” says Labour leader. The Scunthorpe Telegraph reports comments by the Labour leader of Lincolnshire North Council, Len Foster after it was revealed the council spent £452 on six security guards for a planning meeting to decide an application by Egdon Resources last month. Cllr Foster said: “I do think it turned out to be an overreaction. We have to trust our residents in the future instead of totally relying on mixed messages from the police”. The council said it had hired security following advice from Humberside Police.

Nothing to Fear? Terry Jones, writing to the Sheffield Star, says he is not reassured about the safety of fracking made in INEOS’s eight-page supplement.

“We are fortunate to live in a beautiful, generally peaceful, part of the country. This could change very rapidly if INEOS is granted planning permission for exploratory drilling followed by fracking. The very essence of our countryside could be damaged irreparably. Let’s not be fooled by reassurances from INEOS. If there were nothing to fear, this expenditure would not be necessary.”

YP Letters: Fracking opponents cannot call on MP for help. Edward Grainger, writing to the Yorkshire Post, says he was disappointed that Scarborough MP, Robert Goodwill, failed to voice is opposition to fracking in Ryedale.

Protesters at Letchwoth Barclays call on bank to dump investments in fracking companies. The Hertfordshire Mercury reports that around 15 campaigners gathered outside the Letchworth branch of Barclays with placards, accusing the bank of cheating the planet. The bank has a 97% stake in Third Energy, which has permission to frack a well at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire.

5 February 2017

INEOS accused of bullying landowners to gain access for fracking surveys. DrillOrDrop report. Sunday Times  (Shale giant looms over National Trust Parkland). Greenpeace EnergyDesk (Fracking firm INEOS accused of threatening landowners to allow exploration), Herald Scotland 

What’s happening this week? 6-11 February 2017. DrillOrDrop listing of events about fracking, shale gas and onshore operations


Fracked! Or Please don’t use the F-word.
Tour dates released for performances in Guildford, Malvern, Brighton, Richmond and Bath, 12 April-20 May 2017.
More details on the play

4 February 2017

Fracking Week in Parliament 30 January-3 February 2017. DrillOrDrop report on what politicians said about fracking, shale gas and onshore drilling.

January 20117 drilling headlines. DrillOrDrop’s monthly digest of news

MSP urges public to speak up about fracking. The Milngavie Herald reports that MSP Rona Mackay is appealing to the public to make their views heard about fracking in the Scottish Government consultation. The deadline for submissions is 31 May 2017.

YP Letters: No excuse for abusive comments on fracking. Michael Farman, writing in The Yorkshire Post apologises to another newspaper’s correspondent, Lorraine Allanson, who said she had received insults from people opposed to fracking. He encourages her to continue to express her opinions but also would “gently suggest that she would benefit from reading some of the many peer-reviewed papers that clearly warn of the dangers from shale exploration”. Wendy Cross, also writing to the paper, says Ms Allanson’s letter reads “like an advert for the oil and gas industry” but she misses the point that “fracking is proven to be unsafe”.

3 February 2017

proposed-springs-road-misson-shale-site-aerial-pictureLegal agreement on Nottinghamshire’s first shale gas site at Springs Road, Misson (left), is delayed again. DrillOrDrop report. Worksop Guardian, NottsTV, Gainsborough Standard, Nottingham Post, West Bridgford Wire

Boy, 8, writes to Theresa May to object to Derbyshire fracking plans. The Sheffield Star picks up the story covered by DrillOrDrop on 19 January 2017.

YP Letters: Our beautiful coast in fracking’s danger zone. Sylvia Milner, writing to The Yorkshire Post, says she was shocked to learn that fracking could occur close to the internationally-important RSPB Bempton Cliffs nature reserve where thousands of seabirds nest each year.

There is no guarantee that fracking is safe. Helen Hartnell, writing to the letters pages of The Worksop Guardian and Gainsborough Standard, describes INEOS’s paid-for supplement on fracking as “propaganda exercise intended to influence the people of Nottinghamshire into believing fracking is safe and good for the country”. She says “In my view, fracking is dangerous to health, the global climate, water supplies and it will blight the local environment.” She adds that she doesn’t believe fracking is of national importance and that local people should decide the future of the environment in which they live.

Take action to ban fracking now. Friends of the Earth Scotland has launched a petition calling on the Scottish Government to ban fracking. At 3pm on 4 February 2017, the petition at 11,482 signatures.

House overturns Obama Administration’s methane gas emission rule. Time reports that the Republican-controlled House voted by 221-191 on Friday to overturn an Obama administration rule that sought to reduce harmful methane emissions into the environment, part of the Democratic president’s campaign to combat climate change. The Interior Department rule had clamped down on oil companies that burn off natural gas during drilling operations on public lands. Three Democrats voted in favor of repealing the rule, which was finalized in November, while 11 Republicans opposed repeal.

2 February 2017

wrea-green-mtr-170201-1Residents demand stricter regulation and monitoring of Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road near Blackpool. DrillOrDrop report on a Meet the Regulators event. Blackpool Gazette (Farce claims over frack info summit)

Brockham could open up oil exploration in the Weald – Lenigas. DrillOrDrop report

Police step up presence at Blackpool court as anti-fracking protestor granted bail. The Blackpool Gazette reports on the previous day’s court appearance of people arrested at a lock-on at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site. Louise Hammond, 52, formerly of Scunthrope, pleaded guilty to breaching a bail condition not to enter the borough of Fylde. Along with Jared Dunne, 22 of Warrington, Edward Thornton, 33, of Pickering and Joseph Boyd, 43 of Bootle, denied failing to comply with a prohibited assembly police direction. They are due to appear at Blackpool Magistrates Court on 3 March 2017.

Over 70 arrested at Standing Rock as Dakota Access aims to finish pipeline. The Guardian reports that North Dakota police arrested 76 people one day after federal officials suggested that the government could soon approve the final stage of pipeline construction.

The Big Challenge: Fracking will never be the answer. Cate Dixon, of Sheffield Against Fracking, writes a column in the Sheffield Telegraph addressing points made by INEOS in its advertising supplement last week. She questions INEOS’s comments on the UK’s regulatory system, the conclusions of the Committee on Climate Change on the compatibility of fracking and carbon reduction, the characteristics of shale gas, job creation and energy prices.

£700m energy hub near Ellesmere Port could create 15,000 jobs. The Chester Standard reports that Northern Powerhouse minister, Andrew Percy, opened the Peel Environment Protos energy project at Thornton Science Park, Thornton-le-Moors. The paper says the site, which is closely linked to the University of Chester, aims to be a leader in energy production and research in the UK.

YP Letters: Bury the hatchet and make fracking work for Ryedale. Shale gas supporter Lorraine Allanson, writing to The Yorkshire Post, says “now is the time for the council to engage, communicate and work with the gas companies rather than battle against them. Far more can be achieved by opening lines of communication…. History tells us that councils who work with companies rather than against, create the best outcomes for all.” She says councillors need to ensure the companies observe their promises of local jobs and contracts for local businesses in the supply chain.

Cheaper electric vehicles and solar panels ‘may leave fossil fuels’ stranded. The Press Association, quoted by various outlets, reports on a study by the Grantham Institute and Carbon Tracker Initiative. This concluded that falling costs of electric vehicles and solar panels could halt worldwide growth in demand for oil and coal by 2020. The study claims big energy companies are seriously underestimating the low-carbon transition by sticking to their “business as usual” scenarios which expect continued growth of fossil fuels and could see their assets stranded. The study predicts solar panels could supply 29% of global power generation by 2050, phasing out coal entirely and leaving gas with a 1% share.

Train like a pro returns four times bigger with Cuadrilla and Centrica’s support. Lancashire Chamber of Commerce reports that AFC Fylde Community Foundation is celebrating the return of its Train Like A Pro football development programme for young people. The Chamber says the programme had been funded by a £16,500 grant from Cuadrilla and Centrica

1 February 2017

Drilling Diary – February 2017. DrillOrDrop listing of events about UK fracking and onshore oil and gas in February and beyond.

Seattle council committee votes to divest from Wells Fargo over DAPL. The news network K5 reports Seattle is on track to end ties with Wells Fargo over the Dakota Access Oil Pipeline. The city council’s finance committee voted 8-0 on Wednesday to divest $3bn in City of Seattle money out of Wells Fargo over the bank’s role as a lender for the pipeline. It is to seek what it describes as a more socially responsible bank to manage the city’s money.


Four people charged pictured with their solicitor (left). Photo: Ian Crane

Little Plumpton fracking protest: four charged over lock-in.  BBC News reports that people have been charged with failing to comply with a prohibited assembly police direction. The charges followed a lock-on outside Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. Two men of no fixed address, aged 22 and 33, another man, 43, from Bootle and a 53-year-old woman from Scunthorpe were arrested at about 13:00 on Tuesday. DrillorDrop weekly protest update and Blackpool Gazette

POLL: Should fracking take place in Yorkshire? The Yorkshire Post invites readers to vote on whether fracking for shale gas should take place in the county.

Get talking: Fracking – a lesson in bad PR? Mike Turner, from Lancashire, writing in Materials World, explains why the public in potential fracking areas are reluctant to believe either the government or the operator. “It is going to be very hard, if not impossible, for the fracking industry to row back from a PR disaster of its own making.”

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2014 headlines

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  1. Ruth. In the headlines you posted “UK government’s fracking definition ‘could allow drilling without safeguards’. The Guardian reports accusations by Professor Stuart Haszeldine, of Edinburgh University, that the government has included a large loophole in its legal definition of fracking which could allow companies to bypass safety regulations. He said analysis of more than 20,000 thousand US wells fracked from 2000-2010 showed that 43% of gas and 89% of oil wells would not qualify as fracking under the definition. More details at What’s in a name: The risks from re-defining fracking, Stuart Gilfillan and Stuart Haszeldine, EnergyAndCarbon.com”

    Can Stuart please explain why he is so upset about this. In the CCS Directive there is a threshold about the amount of CO2 that can be injected before a CO2 storage licence is required. Stuart has spent much of his latter career promoting injecting megatons of CO2 storage underground (as I have) – so why is he now so nervous about injection for fracking (where the release the pressure occurs within a few hours, unlike CO2 storage injection?????)

    As Private Eye would claim “we must be told!”

  2. I actually do take into account most of the ideas you have supplied for ones write-up. They are really convincing all of which will unquestionably do the job. Nevertheless, this blogposts are way too shorter for freshies. May perhaps you please increase them just a little via following time frame? Appreciation for the particular post.. energie alternativa, electrica, ENEL, energie ieftina, curent ieftin, energie regenerabila, furnizori energie privata, energie electrica, gaz metan

  3. Thanks for your comment. The headlines are designed to be an at-a-glance look at what is being reported about fracking. All the headlines have links (the text in red) to the original articles if you want to find out more. I hope the longer articles (see Posts on the menu bar) give you more detail. Best wishes, Ruth

  4. Interesting – https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/450302/DUKES_2015.pdf which is latest set of stats for annual UK energy production/consumption/export (2016 will be released in July 2017) shows gas picking up the slack for power generation as coal declines and nuclear is delayed. Note also the domestic heating demand for gas. Note also that electricity generation from gas does not fall nearly as much in the summer as domestic heating does. One reason for this is the need for gas to back up renewable intermittency and inability for renewables to anticipate and deliver load demand- even in summer. So – if FOE & Greens & the Labour Party wish to even get anywhere close to their aspiration of a zero carbon electricity system in the UK during the 2030’s they will have to use a hell of lot of underground storage of high volume, high pressure gas (air, methane, or hydrogen), or huge batteries which are made from exceedingly toxic materials and mining and mnaufacturing processes. I rest my case!

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