Ban fracking on the island of Ireland

Fracking Matters Newsletter 20-14 (151)

25 November 2014

Frogs, Farmers or Frackers?!
To be a source of information about the invasion of fracking, in Ireland, in Europe,... all over the World!


In this newsletter:

(our 155th newsletter since our start in October 2011, incl. the Fracking Ireland News Alert Newsletter)

- last chance to vote, we need some more votes for the Save Our
  Planet Awards, voting ends TODAY
- fracking + water
- fracking + TTIP (all ttip info at the end of the newsletter)
- fracking companies:  update on the situation in the North, Infrastrata and a leaflet from Rathlin energy

and more....

Fracking Free Ireland

This might be the last newsletter of this year.
Please note: Next week we are out of fracking office due to business commitments.

 some more votes needed

LAST CHANCE - CAST YOUR VOTE - ENDS today 25 NOVEMBER - to keep the FROGS in and the FRACKERS out!!
The competition is tough so every unique vote counts!

Thanks to everyone who did vote and pushing this nomination.

But we are still a bit behind, so if you haven't voted yet, feel free to do so and if you did already, please pass on to someone you know who did not.

We are a strong campaign with a lot of solidarity!

Thank you so much!
Fracking Free Ireland

Some pics:


Upcoming events - National


Peoples Energy Charter

Taking it to the Next Level

Read more.

We hope you can send a representative to this meeting

10 December - Water Charges demo in Dublin - Busses will be organised.

Fracking Free Ireland did join No Fracking Ireland on the Right2Water March/Global Frack Down Day. It is a good opportunity to link Fracking to Water and get the message out


water protests

Right2Water finalising plans for December 10th event

It is regrettable that, having effectively ignored the massive resistance to these water charges until October 11, some media outlets have now turned on those protesters with scurrilous pieces alleging ‘infiltration’ by ‘sinister’ elements.

Between October 11 and November 1st upwards of 300,000 citizens took part in 109 demonstrations against this regressive double tax. These people are members of many political parties and none. Some are Trade Union members, some are not. Some have protested before, many have not.

Read more.

Submissions - Letters

INFRASTRATA - letter to Arlene Foster

Letter to Arlene Foster (by a campaigner) NOTE: email to Arlene Foster has come back within 15 MINUTES with me being placed on an FOI Dear Ms. Foster, I note that Infrastrata reached their drill-or-drop clause in their PL1/10 licence in March 2014, yet in their own publicity materials they state that DETI have given them an extension that would …

Read more.

Did you know that...


• Tamboran is intending to sue two Departments of Stormont

• Infrastrata was granted an extension of their licence (by Arlene Foster) until March 2015

• Richard Bruton,  TD, wants to keep the ISDS(companies can sue governemnts) in TTIP

• Irishman David O’Sullivan has formally taken up his new role as European Union ambassador to the United States, he is pro TTIP

• fracking and the right2water march were mentioned in Russia Today (see global news)

• Martina Anderson welcomes Pope Francis' visit tothe  EP

fracking - water - TTIP - democracy - privatisation

TTIP will wider open the doors for the fracking companies, it is easier to sue the governments. (like Tamboran is doing now in NI)
The international Stop TTIP campaign was intending to organise a European Citizens Initiative, but it was rejected. They took the EC to court, see below and started a sECI (self organised European Citizens Initiative.
Europe collected almost 1 million signatures yet and we wish to have reached this target early December, so we can give Claude Juncker a nice present!
More info here:



Nexas Magazine - the privatisation of water

The Privatisation of Water
The trend towards privatising the world's water supplies and applying full-cost pricing policies means that millions of people are losing access to an already scarce resource.

Read more.


The new Water Barons!
A disturbing trend in the water sector is accelerating worldwide. The new “water barons” — the Wall Street banks and elitist multibillionaires — are buying up water all over the world at unprecedented pace.

Read more.


Waste Water from Oil Fracking Injected into Clean Aquifers

State officials allowed oil and gas companies to pump nearly three billion gallons of waste water into underground aquifers that could have been used for drinking water or irrigation.

Those aquifers are supposed to be off-limits to that kind of activity, protected by the EPA.

Read more.

fracking and waste water

Fracking vs Water

The vast quantities of water needed to release oil and gas by fracturing rock formations are not available in large areas with the richest deposits—posing major challenges to the future viability of fracking.

Read more.



WATER CHARGES - opinion - how much you will pay - why we need democracy

Opinion: Is it any wonder protests turn nasty when they make fools out of those who believe?

Like many, events of last week and last weekend have shaken my certainty in Irish democracy. The wicked go unpunished and the good go unrewarded.

Oliver Moran
THE PEOPLE WHO blocked the Tánaiste in at the weekend have no respect for democracy, I heard the Taoiseach say. And I won’t disagree with him. Speaking personally, my belief in democracy has been tested greatly over the past seven days. It’s difficult to maintain respect for something that is treated with contempt and a word that is a prostitute to everyone’s service, even though I retain a naive belief.

Read more.


Geert DeCock Food and Water Watch

I would like to share first of all our latest report, The Urgent Case for a Ban on Fracking, which gives a detailed overview of the state of play on the impacts of fracking.

The issue of water consumption by the shale gas industry, the risk of water contamination due to well integrity issues and the challenges of the water treatment of the flowback are among the most controversial aspects of hydraulic fracturing. So, it is not surprising that the industry is trying to tackle all these water-related issues.

Halliburton has a number of these clean technologies, such as the Clean Stream Service, which cuts down on the use of biocides in the fracking fluids. The whole range of "Clean" technologies, developed by Haliburton, were first implemented in one (1!) shale gas well in the Haynesville shale play. A leaflet on this case study is available here and was published in early 2012. 

Another company involved in dry fracking is called Gasfrac, which uses propane-based gel for its hydraulic fracturing fluid. Again, this is being tested, but propane remains more expensive than water and might only be economically viable when fracking in dry areas, where water is not available. So, scaling up this technology might be an issue. There are also safety concerns, as 'wet' natural gas like propane has an obviously explosive nature.

The latest hope for so-called water-less fracking is the use of fluoropropane, which has a very high Global Warming Potential, i.e. it is very good at trapping heat. Even if only a tiny fraction of the used fluoropropane would escape, it would destroy any climate advantage of moving away from e.g. coal to natural gas in the power sector. So, even some of the 'cleaner' applications might be beneficial in terms of water consumption, but more problematic for the climate impacts. This seems to be more like shifting the problem from one area to another, rather finding a solution.

Another company is called Chimera and is currently investigated for fraud. Supposedly, it has developed a technology, which uses extreme heat to extract natural gas from shale. Another company Expansion Energy supposedly uses "cold compressed natural gas" to extract gas from shale. The company is still in the process of seeking a patent for its technology … so, no commercial application yet!

To conclude, all these proposals for water-free and chemical-free fracking are at a very early stage of development of such technologies and are by no means widespread or necessarily economically viable in the current US context with relatively low natural gas prices (e.g. never developing beyond the demonstration project phase). And they might have negative side-effect, e.g. for the climate.



TAMBORAN - Judicial review - report

November 19, 2014

An early start this morning – up at half-past five in time to set off for the High Court in Belfast and the latest hearing in Tamboran’s judicial review case against the Departments of the Environment and of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

For those new to the story, Tamboran is the company which had a licence to extract petroleum (in this case shale gas, using hydraulic fracturing) in County Fermanagh.  As part of the licence, the company was obliged to drill an exploratory borehole, and this they planned to do just outside Belcoo during the summer. 

Read more.


TAMBORAN - Judicial review... AEL is funding legal action

SINO CONSTRUCTION LIMITED (Incorporated in the Republic of Singapore) ... announced the acquisition of a 19.9% interest in ArdilaunEnergyLimited, an oil and gas company.
20140925_103124_F3V_DT0EVXJ7XAM9N0N9.2 pdf

In June 2014, the company also entered into a heads of agreement with Ardilaun Energy Limited (“AEL”) pursuant to which AEL would farm-in to Tamboran’s Irish exploration portfolio by acquiring an initial 51% (and up to a 65%) interest in Tamboran Resources (UK) Limited though an investment of US$41.1 million.

Read more.

Placards placed by protesters on the gates of the former quarry in Belcoo where Tamboran Resources had been proposing to drill an exploratory borehole

Rathlin Energy leaflet

RE Community Update Brochure and Feedback Form Oct141

All info re. Ballinlea, the plans and time frame of Rathlin Energy and a questionnaire!!



Read more.




Infrastrata - operation update

infa_operationsupdate_150914 (pdf)

Exploratory drilling can be undertaken under permitted development. The work over a short period will include the construction of an enclosed well site compound within the 3-acre site comprising a fl at stone surface, soil screening, containment bunds and a security fence.

There are three phases in the development process. A brief description and approximate timescales for each phase are as follows:

• The construction of the wellsite and the improvement of the existing access track - expected to take 5 weeks.

• The assembly and installation of drilling equipment and facilities and drilling of the exploratory well - expected to take 7 weeks.

• The well is plugged and abandoned and the wellsite restored and trees replanted.

Should oil or gas be encountered InfraStrata would require permission from the Department of the Environment to undertake a longterm test to establish whether the well could produce oil or gas commercially. To re-establish the site or undertake any further development beyond the permitted development stage would require planning permission.


Fracking  in Ireland- Overview   (leaflet by GEAI)


Site of third gas well in East Yorkshire revealed - Rathlin Energy
FRACKING FREE IRELAND- Brussels: 'raise awareness with your MEPs!'
Rathlin Energy is a subsidiary of Canadian-based Connaught Oil & Gas, The EU-Canada (CETA) free trade deal - which needs to be approved by the European Parliament - contains an ISDS clause which would allow any Canadian firm to sue for any losses to its future profits.

As well as resisting attempts by Canadian companies to drill any wells, any opportunity you get, please raise this issue with your MEPs who are expected to vote on CETA sometime next year (no definitive date has yet been set). While everyone is talking about TTIP, CETA is a real Trojan Horse and it has attracted far less media attention. If this deal is approved, it may prove impossible for councils to terminate contracts with any Canadian-based fracking companies so please do all you can to raise greater awareness before it's too late!

Read more.

Political news - Ireland

ANTI FRACKING MOTION passed by Fingal County Council!!!

ANTI FRACKING MOTION passed by Fingal County Council!!! Delighted to be able to let you know that Fingal County Council passed an anti Fracking motion proposed by me and seconded by Cllr David Healy The wording was "That this council is opposed to Fracking in Fingal or anywhere on the Island of Ireland" I shall continue to oppose fracking as …

Read more.



Irish news

Beggs Welcomes Woodburn Fracking Ban
Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has welcomed confirmation provided by Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy MLA that NI Water will include

a no fracking clause at the Infrastrata Woodburn exploratory borehole site, both now and in the future.

Read more.


Placards placed by protesters on the gates of the former quarry in Belcoo where Tamboran Resources had been proposing to drill an exploratory borehole

TAMBORAN - to sue Stormont departments over thwarted Fermanagh drilling plans

Fracking firm Tamboran to sue Stormont departments over thwarted Fermanagh drilling plans

Placards placed by protesters on the gates of the former quarry in Belcoo where Tamboran Resources had been proposing to drill an exploratory borehole

Two Stormont departments could be facing a billion pound lawsuit over thwarted plans to drill for shale gas in Co Fermanagh, it emerged today.

Lawyers for exploration company Tamboran revealed at the High Court in Belfast that it will be seeking damages as part of a wider legal challenge.
In what may turn out to be one of the biggest cases of its kind in Northern Ireland, claims for loss of vast estimated profits are being prepared against both the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI) and the Department of Environment (DoE).

Read more.


Presentation to TD's - 2 articles + comments - time for TAMBORAN to go


Leitrim Observer:

A meeting to discuss the unconventional gas exploration and extraction proposing the use of Hydraulic Fracturing in the Lough Allen Basin was held in the Dáil on Wednesday, November 12th.

Read more.


NI - meeting organised by Martina Anderson MEP +Gildernew

Attended a very useful meeting organised by Martina Anderson MEP & Michelle Gildernew MP in Enniskillen with anti-fracking campaigners from across Fermanagh & Leitrim. The anti-fracking campaign continues!

Read more.


Press release: Protect Our North Coast (PONC) public meeting votes for a ban on fracking and demands meeting with Stormont Committee.

Protect our Coast and Glens

PROTECT OUR NORTH COAST: PRESS RELEASEView this email in your browserFor Immediate ReleaseDate: 18th October 2014

Press release: Protect Our North Coast (PONC) public meeting votes for a ban on fracking and demands meeting with Stormont Committee.

Campaigners lobbying to protect the North Coast from fracking held a public meeting in Portballintrae last Thursday night.At a packed meeting people from across the North Coast from Ballycastle to Limavady voted overwhelmingly to stop exploratory drilling and fracking in the area or anywhere in Northern Ireland.Melanie Brown, a former policy adviser and researcher for the New Zealand government and resident of Ballycastle, presented a detailed analysis of the dangers of fracking on the North Coast.

Read more.

arlene foster mc 2

EU news

GERMANY - KORBACH resolution supported by Green Party Germany

GOOD NEWS FROM GERMANY Yesterday, the federal delegate conference of Germany's Green-Party (B90/die Grünen) vote for supporting the Korbach Resolution. Briefing note: Small article: Proposed resolution and reasons for application:

Read more.


Proposed German fracking law

Proposed Fracking Law - Frackinggesetz

After a first very brief look at the new proposals it appears as if the
really big addition/alteration is the establishment of an
"expert-commission" from 2018 on. If this "expert-commission" certifies
the "harmlessness" of fracking-projects (after an Environmental Impact
Assessment) than they might be allowed for commercial reasons even in
areas where fracking shall be banned.

For a first analysis, please see this Spiegel article:

Read more.


SPAIN - bad news for another Spanish ban

The Constitutional Court in Spain suspended the Catalan law banning fracking. This is the 4th regional banning law that is reversed by the Constitutional Court. 3 former laws of 3 different regions (Cantabria, navarra and La Rioja) had already been reversed. Those 3 directly prohibitted the use of the technique. The central gov had approved a change in a law …

Read more.

nat gas

Open Letter to the Scottish Government

Open Letter to the Scottish Government

We, an alliance of groups from Scottish communities directly or indirectly at risk from the unconventional gas extraction industry, have come together to call on the Scottish Government to follow the example of other countries by implementing a moratorium on all forms of unconventional gas development in Scotland. The Scottish Government has the power to insist on a moratorium and can demonstrate its commitment by taking the responsible decision on the Falkirk public inquiry, to refuse permission to Dart Energy for commercial coalbed methane extraction.

Read more.


SCOTLAND - Ineos to invest £640m in UK shale gas exploration + MAP

Ineos to invest £640m in UK shale gas exploration Ineos has made no secret of its interest in shale gas Chemicals giant Ineos has announced plans to invest up to £640m in shale gas exploration in the UK.

The company plans to use the gas as a raw material for its chemicals plants, including Grangemouth in Stirlingshire.

Read more.


Global news



Jessica Ernst - Judge Rules Landowner May Sue Gov't in Landmark Fracking Case

A landmark lawsuit that challenges the lax regulation of hydraulic fracturing in Canada has just scored a major victory.

In a lengthy decision, Alberta Chief Justice Neil Wittmann dismissed all key arguments made by the government of Alberta against the lawsuit of Jessica Ernst, including the fear that it may unleash a flood of lawsuits against a government that is heavily dependent on hydrocarbon revenue.

Read more.


Last Stop for High Profile Fracking Suit: Supreme Court


Last Stop for High Profile Fracking Suit: Supreme Court

In striking Ernst appeal, Alberta court wraps blanket of immunity around regulator.

By Andrew Nikiforuk, Yesterday,

Read more.



Russia today - right2watermarch and fracking

WATCH THIS!! - Russia Today, this evening, 8.30 pm Irish time (6 Nov) THE RIGHT2 WATER MARCH IS MENTIONED (revolution in Ireland) and FRACKING!! (hype/lies and pensioners will loosing their money) First part. Energy starts approx. 9.30 Second part is about the bitcoin

Read more.

Reports - Research

THE NETHERLANDS - Dutch research Programme on Upstream Gas

A new Dutch research programme on 'Upstream gas' labels shale gas, coal
bed methane and tight gas as 'Tough gas'. So be prepared for some
industry rebranding -


Several  Dutch university Earth science faculties profit from the
programme, in particular TU Delft and Utrecht University. Another part
of the programme is said to adress social acceptance of gas (which is
under fire in the Netherlands because of the continuing earthquakes in
the Groningen field and the pressure for shale gas)

The goal (as formulated by Exxon) is 30% of the European gas supply
being 'tough gas' by 2040

Read more.


Scientists sceptical of shale gas benefits

Scientists sceptical of shale gas benefits

Shale gas is not the answer to Europe’s energy security and greenhouse gas emissions problems, a coalition of scientists has warned.

But the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) sees no reason to ban fracking on scientific or technical grounds.

Read more.

A general view of the fracking site at Barton Moss, Greater Manchester on January 26, 2014.

Shale gas unlikely to make the UK energy self-sufficient, says report

Shale gas unlikely to make the UK energy self-sufficient, says report

Fracking’s potential has been ‘overhyped’ by politicians and shale gas will not reduce energy prices or reliance on gas imports, says UK Energy Research Centre


Tuesday 11 November 2014 17.05 GMT

The fracking site at Barton Moss, Greater Manchester. “Any talk of shale gas making the UK self-sufficient again ... is far-fetched,” says the UKERC report. Photograph: Peter Byrne/PA

Read more.


Scientists Just discovered how to determine if water contamination comes from fracking

A team of U.S. and French scientists say they have developed a new tool that can specifically tell when environmental contamination comes from waste produced by hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking.

Read more.


Air concentrations of volatile compounds near oil and gas... report

The story appears in Russia Today and is based on an apparently real and scientific study of toxin levels in the locality of fracking sites, specifically the level of Benzene and formaldehyde. The study:


Read more.


TTIP will wider open the doors for the fracking companies, it is easier to sue the governments. (like Tamboran is doing now in NI)
The international Stop TTIP campaign was intending to organise a European Citizens Initiative, but it was rejected. They took the EC to court, see below and started a sECI (self organised European Citizens Initiative.
Europe collected almost 1 million signatures yet and we wish to have reached this target early December, so we can give Claude Juncker a nice present!
More info here:

And the TTIP Information Network Ireland website and facebook:

Ireland has reached 40% or their quorum, you can sign here, or download the form and collect signatures

What’s all about:
Overview signatures memberstates: (PLEASE NOTE: IRELAND has 84 SIGNATURES OFFLINE/form)

• 5 reasons  flyer to say  NO TO TTIP

• 4 min video -

screenshot excel 18 nov

TTIP Signatures - Ireland over 40% + list of irish groups supporting sECI

4684 - 84 gathered offline = 4600 to go and Ireland has reached the quorum!!
Come on, get the last signatures and help to reach 1 million before the beginning of December, so that we can give Jean Claude a nice present! Country_count_total_20141118  excel
Country_count_total_20141118 pdf

Read more.


Discussion document on TTIP - 1 December Matt Carthy

I will be launching a discussion document on TTIP on Monday week, 1st December at 11am in the European Parliament offices, Molesworth St, Dublin. Other speakers include Lynn Boylan- For a Strong Voice in Europe; Peadar Tobin TD & John Hilary of War on Want UK. Register to attend by emailing

Read more.


The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: European Disintegration, Unemployment and Instability

The Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership: European Disintegration, Unemployment and Instability

by Jeronim Capaldo

GDAE Working Paper 14-03
October 2014


GDAE Research Fellow Jeronim Capaldo, in a new GDAE Working Paper assessing the potential impact of the proposed Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union, finds that the agreement would have far-reaching negative consequences for most European countries. These include the loss of 600,000 jobs and a projected decline in worker incomes of at least 3,000 Euros/year and much more in some cases.

While most assessments of TTIP find small trade and income gains for both Europe and the United States, Capaldo finds a small decrease for Europe as a whole. More important, he finds that trade among EU countries would decline, unemployment would increase, and labor’s share of national income would decline. European countries would also open themselves up to greater financial instability and possible contagion from fluctuations in the U.S. economy.

Capaldo’s findings are in stark contrast with assessments endorsed by the European Commission.

Read more.

BANNER small

Stop TTIP Ireland - Stop TTIP international, court hearing, press release + report of the day

Press release:

CONCTACT any of your local TDs or Senators on the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade THIS AFTERNOON - - to highlight TTIP, as the Minister will address the committee tomorrow, and the EU Foreign Affairs Council (Trade) is due to discuss TTIP negotiations on 21st Nov see

Read more.

tttip negotiations round 7 screenshot

TTIP negotiations round 7

BBrief TTIP Summary Round 7 (28 Oct 2014)

These paragraphs are of particular importance

"Negotiators discussed including a chapter on energy and raw materials. The EU favors adding this chapter in light of the crisis in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia. The US, however, is uncertain about the necessity of such a chapter since the EU will automatically gain access to American liquefied natural gas (LNG) once an agreement is in place."

Read more.

BANNER small

STOP TTIP s ECI take EC to Court of Justice! - 10 november

10 NOVEMBER: STOP TTIP s ECI take EC to Court of Justice! News from the Stop TTIP team: Next Monday, 10 November, we will take the European Commission to the European Court of Justice for rejecting our ECI proposal. Our friends in Luxembourg will stage a campaign's action to mark the occassion. They'll produce photo and video material, so if …

Read more.


TTIP - Pascal Lamy

American and European trade negotiators must embrace transparency

Both sides should leave open the possibility of agreement being widened to other states

Read more.


Irishman formally becomes EU ambassador to United States Irishman David O’Sullivan has formally taken up his new role as European Union ambassador to the United States after presenting his credentials to president Barack Obama at the White House. Mr O’Sullivan is only the second ambassador to represent the EU as the position only came into force since the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. He succeeded Portuguese diplomat …

Read more.



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