Get set to beat the fracking threat

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NI training

We are delighted to be able to tell you that Frack Off UK hosted by Local groups will deliver a series of public meetings across Northern Ireland from 7th-11th July. Frack Off, as you may know, is a grassroots campaigning group aimed at raising awareness and stopping the extraction of unconventional resources in the UK, specifically concentrating on unconventional gas extraction.

Each day brings some of the most beautiful and unspoiled parts of Northern Ireland a step closer to the threat of fracking. Areas under threat include the Fermanagh Lakelands, Rathlin Island and the Giant’s Causeway. However, not one county in Northern Ireland is threat free as the fifth license area includes the shores of Lough Neagh, Holywood, Cultra and even Belfast City Centre. Applications for petroleum licences in Northern Ireland may be made at any time and are not subject to licensing rounds (in accordance with “the open door procedure” described in Article 3 (3) of the Hydrocarbons Directive 94/22/EC). fracturing, or fracking, is a technique designed to recover gas and oil from shale rock. The gas/oil recovered by this method is described as unconventional.  It involves injecting large volumes of water mixed with toxic chemicals down a well under massive pressure, in order to force open cracks in the targeted rock. The fracking fluid also leaches chemicals like arsenic out of the rocks making the fluid that is recovered extremely toxic and a big disposal problem. Fracking in the United States has already resulted in numerous spills of these fluids which in turn gives rise to concerns regarding contamination of our drinking water and our food supply. Air pollution and the contribution to global warming are also high on our list of concerns. We just don’t want fracking here in Northern Ireland as it is an intensely industrial and invasive process which threatens not only our environment but also the health and well-being of the communities who are exposed to it.

Now is the time for communities to get organised to resist this threat and campaigners from the national anti-fracking network Frack Off are going to help us do just that.  Frack Off will deliver a series of public meetings and training across Northern Ireland from 7th-11th July 2014. Meetings will involve:
·         Introduction to the threat to Northern Ireland.
·         What’s happening internationally.
·         Difference between conventional and unconventional gas/oil.
·         Why unconventional gas development/exploration is happening.
·         A detailed look at UK, NI and Republic of Ireland threat.
·         Resistance: What does winning look like?
·         Q & A and Discussion

We need to embrace this opportunity to learn from experienced campaigners so that we will be in a better position to help ourselves in the fight against fracking.
Please come along and share the dates with your friends.
Learn more about Frack Off UK here and

Monday 7th July @ 7pm  Greenisland Football Club 100 Glenkeen ave, Carrickfergus 8th July @ 7pm  Railway Hotel, 32-34 Forthill Street, BT74 6AJ Enniskillen 

Wednesday 9th July @ 7pm  Stranocum Community Hall, Main Street, Ballymoney, County Antrim BT53 8PH

Thursday 10th July @ 7.30pm  Black Box, 18-22 Hill St, Belfast, 
followed by After Party/Fundraiser by Artists Against Fracking Northern Ireland for No Fracking Northern Ireland

Did you know that we get almost 50% of our drinking water from Lough Neagh but that when a pending 5th Petroleum License is granted (could be any day), Lough Neagh will be completely surrounded by Petroleum Licenses? Given that nearly 43% of Northern Ireland drains into the Lough and sewage pollution of the Lough is already a very serious concern, the granting of the 5th license feels like another nail in the coffin of safe drinking water for Northern Ireland.


Just to refresh your memory or for those of you coming to this for the first time here is a summary the current license situation and a brief explanation of fracking.

Northern Ireland Petroleum Licences awarded by DETI (2011)

1.       PL2/10 Tamboran Resources Pty Ltd (Lough Allen Basin North); Fermanagh.

Fracking is explicity mentioned in this license.

2.       PL3/10 Rathlin Energy Ltd (Rathlin Basin);  Antrim including Giant’s Causeway.

3.       PL5/10 Provident Resources plc (Rathlin Island); Antrim.

4.       PL1/10 Infrastrata plc Cairn Energy, Brigantes and Terrain Energy Ltd (Central Larne, Lough Neagh Basin); Antrim & Londonderry/Derry.


DETI advised of their “intention to grant” a 5th Petroleum License PL1/13 to CHx LLC in 2013. It covers parts of Antrim, Down, Tyrone, Londonderry/Derry and Armagh.


Details (excepting Pl1/13) at DETI website:


What is fracking?

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique designed to recover gas and oil from shale rock. The gas/oil recovered by this method is described as unconventional.  It involves injecting large volumes of fluid down a well under massive pressure, in order to force open cracks in the targeted rock. The type of hydraulic fracturing Tamboran etc will use is called HVHF (High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing) and has evolved from a relatively benign process (1947) to an intensely industrial and invasive process today. Four separate technologies are involved: 1. directional drilling which allows drilling in any direction 2. high frac fluid volumes 3. Slickwater 4. Multi-well pads

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