Ban fracking on the island of Ireland

Fracking Matters Newsletter  3-15 (154 )

4 March 2015

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


A  comprehensive round up of fracking and some TTIP news, latest reports and Shale Gas Bulletin Ireland and ...a call for ACTION!

Write your MEP today, template letter & contact details provided

Make you happy and make you sad news and ..... make you suspicious news.
Read it all in this newsletter, scroll down and find that article of your interest!

Enjoy reading and get involved!

Feel free to contribute to this newsletter, send your fracking or TTIP related article to:



Fracking Free Ireland
visit: and


Upcoming events - National

Grassroots Strategy Weekend in Dublin

Gluaiseacht for Global Justice, We're Not Leaving, ATTAC Ireland,

Third Level Workplace Watch, and Marea Granate Dublin invite you to a

Grassroots Strategy Weekend

Evening debate, Friday 6th March
All day workshops, Saturday 7th March

The Teacher’s Club, Parnell Square, Dublin 1

Vibrant and spirited grassroots campaigns, including water and housing, have invigorated and energised people, movements and political actors in Ireland. Many of us now speak about austerity, neoliberalism, and the ruling elite that has lost touch with the majority of the people. We speak about and see the connections between the water-tax, the nationalisation of private debt, the housing and homelessness crisis, the scandal of direct provision, the crumbling health care system, trade agreements like TTIP, privatisation of public goods, services and natural resources, the decimation of the community sector, the assault of structural violence and institutional racism, and much, much more. 

Read more.

Campaign news - National


Visit of Helmut Fehr to the Tamboran site in Belcoo

Helmut Fehr, German geoscientist and well-respected authority on hydraulic fracturing, visted the Tamboran site in Belcoo, Co. Fermanagh, today. He and his lovely wife were greeted by some solid protectors, braving the freezing cold, sleet, and windy conditions. Standing at The Gates of Hell, the mood was positive and showed the continued cross-border support for this fight against the frackers …



Crowdfunder appeal and Latest news from Protect Our North Coast! View this email in your browser

Dear Friends,

This is an URGENT appeal for your help. The Protect Our North Coast Group (PONC) need our support to help pay for professional Environmental Consultants to analyse and respond to the Environmental Impact Assessment report submitted recently by Rathlin Energy. Please help to stop this drill today by making a pledge to Crowdfunder if you can. The link is here:

This must be stopped before it starts, otherwise we could see hundreds, if not thousands, of well pads all over the North Coast. The sooner you pledge the sooner PONC can instruct the consultants to go ahead and the deadline is looming.


conference sinn fein

Conference Sinn Fein Enniskillen - video report

Published on 24 Feb 2015 A major conference on the impact of Fracking hosted by Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson and chaired by Fermanagh/South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew at the Lough Erne resort in County Fermanagh heard speaker after speaker call for an outright ban or moratorium on Fracking across Ireland. The packed conference heard from leading experts across …

Read more.


Sinn Fein - Conference - Enniskillen - Fifty grades of clay and other fiction.

Fifty grades of clay and other fiction.

Posted on by

Just back from the Sinn Fein Fracking Conference at the Lough Erne Hotel in Fermanagh.. well if its good enough for Putin , Cameron and the rest of the G8 then it’ll be as we say in Fermanagh – grand job.

One of the key messages for me was from Professor Ingraffea who said we must not look at ‘fracking’ but describe this industry in terms of conventional or unconventional, and that ANY well that targets unconventional (tight) reservoirs is an unconventional well. Indeed this is industry parlance.  Unconventional wells are those which target Shales, tight sandstones and also coals (Coal bed methane).

Read more.


Sinn Fein conference - Enniskillen - Presentation from Germany Download the pdf

Read more.



Conference Enniskillen - Tony Ingraffea Stop the Drill North Belfast Tony Ingraffea from was stunned to hear of NI Water lease and drill so close to water supply #NotForShale #Not4Shale More on this soon! Protect our water supply! Stop the Drill North Belfast.

Read more.


conference sinn fein, enniskillen - tamboran and jobs

Published: 20 Feb 2015 14:53

AN anti-fracking conference is underway in the Lough Erne Resort today. Organised by Martina Anderson MEP and Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew, the conference will hear from party leader Gerry Adams this afternoon.

Dr. Brenna O'Roarty addressing an anti-fracking conference organised by Sinn Fein in the Lough Erne Resrot today.

The conference heard claims from an economic analyst, that only nine full time jobs would be created locally by the company, based on their business plan.

Read more.


Fracking would bring only 10 jobs to Fermanagh, expert tells conference

Speaking at the conference, Martina Anderson gave her ‘absolute guarantee’ Sinn Fein will block fracking here

Click here to add a title or text.

Upcoming events - International

Anti-Fracking Conference, Barcelona - 7-8 March 2015

Please find below details of an anti-fracking conference and networking event in Barcelona on 7 and 8 of March. Please forward to anti-fracking groups and individuals working in this field:

For European campaigns against TTIP and Fracking:

Read more.

Campaign news - International


 Please do provide them with the latests updates from NI. Only Belcoo is mentioned


EJOLT Atlas - Featured map on fracking

The Environmental Justice Atlas, an ambitious (and
ongoing) project aiming at putting together as many information as
possible about the various environmental struggles happening all around
the Globe. It is obviously ambitious because of the large scope of the
initiative, but also ambitious because of the level of details that its
developers require to enter new information. But I think it's a
wonderful tool that we should all know because the developers want to
map to be continuously fed with more and more cases and information.
This is therefore up to you to give them the information they need.

Read more.

Take Action

MEPs must protect public from EU-US trade deal threat - TAKE ACTION

MEPs must protect public from EU-US trade deal threat

Dear MEP,

Please find below a letter sent today to all MEPs by 375 civil society organisations.

As an MEP, will you listen to civil society and endorse this call for a TTIP resolution that puts people, the environment and democracy before short-term profit and disproportionate corporate rights?

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Best regards,
MEPs: ROI and NI;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

TTIP & (fracking)  Letters


MEPs must protect public from EU-US trade deal threat - TAKE ACTION

MEPs must protect public from EU-US trade deal threat


Please find  a letter sent today to all MEPs by 375 civil society organisations.


eu us trade negotiations update

TTIP update Ireland - reply from Richard Bruton re. the leaked letter

TTIP Briefing Note Feb1

Reply from Richard Bruton office re. the leaked letter -

I refer to your recent email concerning the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations.

The attached note covers the issues you have raised and should address your concerns.

Read more.


TTIP hidden costs

TTIP - hidden costs of eu trade deals

Read more.




Fracking Free Ireland received the following response:

Infrastrata response
sscroll down for the query sent on 16 dec. 2014

Read more.

Did you know that...

Campaining can not only be time consuming but has also has an impact on your daily life, especially when you are campaigning for years. So it is nice to get some feedback or support in whatever way! That keeps the spirit high! FFI Thanks  Germany and a concerned mother

• FFI website, facebook and newsletter are highly appreciated by Germany and the readers did support FFI

• a mother contacted the FFI web and wrote:

Consider this a thank you from a mother in Monaghan who is grateful to your vigilence.

Absolute poison.


• Lord Browne resigned as Cuadrilla Chairman.................... but...........

• Browne makes dealmaking comeback

Ireland and energy

Besides worries about climate change and security of supply, Ireland faces a capacity issue. Photograph: Eirgrid

Ireland energy crisis

Ireland’s energy crisis -

Energy is not one of Ireland’s strengths: we import almost 90 per cent of our power, we’ve made little progress in renewables, and we’re at the mercy of an unstable global market. Where will Ireland get its energy in years to come?

Besides worries about climate change and security of supply, Ireland faces a capacity issue. Photograph: Eirgrid

A nuclear reactor is unlikely ever to dominate the landscape of Carnsore, Co Wexford. In Co Leitrim not a single rock has been fracked – and none might ever be. Yet nuclear power and hydraulic fracturing are already in Ireland.

Looming danger?: a nuclear reactor dome rises over an English beach. Photograph: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

Nuclear, fracking, wind and wave: nine ways to power Ireland

Nuclear, fracking, wind and wave: nine ways to power Ireland

We’re afraid of fracking, we don’t like wind turbines and we don’t have enough oil. Any chance we might cut down on energy usage?

Fracking Background - thoughts


Shale of the century – the future for fracking in Ireland

Shale of the century – the future for fracking in Ireland

on 1 March 2015 , 10:34 am Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” as it has become universally known, is a technique for extracting reserves of oil and gas that would be otherwise impossible or uneconomic to extract. The technique, which involves injecting rock with a mixture of water, chemicals and sand, has become one of most contentious issues in British and Irish politics. Advocates of fracking say that more widespread use of the technique could bring cheaper energy and reduce reliance on (not always friendly) foreign suppliers. Opponents point to a range of potential harmful impacts on the environment, associated possible risks to human health from polluted groundwater, and even an increased risk of earthquakes due to increased seismic activity.
Locally, it is unlikely that there will be much fracking activity any time soon.  The Australian company Tamboran, who were granted a licence in 2011 to look for shale gas in County Fermanagh, had their licence revoked in September 2014 with no drilling having taken place. Scotland announced a moratorium in January 2015, and there has been no activity in the Republic of Ireland.

Read more.


An oil derrick operated by Raven Drilling drills for oil in the Bakken shale formation on July 23, 2013 outside Watford City, North Dakota. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Boomtown - a historical view on fracking

Boomtown, USA: An Historical Look at Fracking

By Henry Wiencek

Over the past five years or so, the United States has been experiencing an enormous oil boom. Hydraulic fracturing, known as “fracking,” has made it possible—and profitable—to drill through thick rock formations, opening up vast pockets of domestic oil and gas across the country. But nowhere has this process had more of an impact than in the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin of west Texas and in the Bakken formation of western North Dakota. New jobs, new workers, and new money have transformed remote prairies into humming boomtowns. Wood cabins in Midland, Texas typically rent for $1,500 a month; Karnes City in south Texas plans to build a $30 million high school; and Williston, North Dakota has absorbed 15,000 workers alone.

Read more.


The false promise of fracking and local jobs


Susan Christopherson

Professor, Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University

Disclosure Statement

Susan Christopherson receives funding from The Heinz Endowment

The Conversation is funded by the following universities: Aberdeen, Bath Spa, Bangor, Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Brighton, Bristol, Brunel, Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan, City, Coventry, Durham, Edinburgh Napier, Essex, Glasgow Caledonian, Goldsmiths, Huddersfield, Hull, King's College, Lancaster, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Northumbria, Nottingham, The Open University, Queen Mary University of London, Queen's University Belfast, Salford, Sheffield, Southampton, Stirling, Surrey, Sussex, UCL, Warwick and York.

It also receives funding from: Hefce, Hefcw, SAGE, SFC, RCUK, The Nuffield Foundation, The Ogden Trust, The Wellcome Trust, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The Alliance for Useful Evidence


Read more.



The Descent – A Cautionary Short Story About Fracking


The Descent – A Cautionary Short Story About Fracking


All characters appearing in this story are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living, dead, or awaiting judgement in heaven, is purely coincidental.

ather Jack Fracket surveyed the wintry scene from a distance. He checked his  Timex “Celestial TimeMaster” watch – it was 2:30 pm on January 16th 2020 and he had not long since left the deathbed of Mrs Elsie Thornton – known to the world as Auntie Elsie. Elsie had survived the fuel poverty she had suffered as a result of  successive UK government’s inept handling of energy policy, but her long slow death from cancer had been hard for her family. Father Jack,  who had always been an ardent supporter of fracking, felt a special responsibility and a gnawing guilt for her suffering.  Elsie’s doctor had laid the blame squarely on the pollution from the fracking wells which had been drilled just 100 yards from her home 4 years before, and even in her last days, as she faded away in her bed at home, she had had little peace as the 40 lateral pad was still in noisy operation all the day and all of the night.

Read more.


Are they fracking for gold?

by Zen Gardner  21 March 2014

This is revelatory. Not only could it co-explain the voracious fracking campaign being waged on the planet, but perhaps even the utilization of HAARP-type technology to create earthquakes in many parts of the world.

It would make a lot of sense. That our planet is being “undermined” is no secret. The wanton destruction of our home is unfathomable. While oil and gas extraction appears to be the primary goal of fracking, this research tells us somewhat of a different, potential reason.

See for yourself if this doesn’t make you wonder:

Read more.

Political news - EU 

Political - not scientific - definition of fracking

Thu, 2015-02-26 23:10Kyla Mandel


David Cameron's New Definition of Fracking ‘Political Not Scientific’

Last week, DeSmog UK revealed how David Cameron’s government snuck a new definition of fracking onto the statute books. Kyla Mandel investigates where this definition actually came from.

The definition of hydraulic fracturing adopted by the UK coalition government has all the hallmarks of industry influence, finds DeSmog UK.

The fracking definition was slipped into the controversial Infrastructure Act without a chance for MPs to vote on it. And it is almost identical to that recommended by the European Commission in January 2014.

Read more.


EC Recommendations - Follow-Up - Fracking

EC Recommendations

Follow-up Table

The European Commission (EC) has published in January last year some "Recommendations on minimum principles for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons (such as shale gas) using high-volume hydraulic fracturing".
The EC will review in August this year the recommendations' effectiveness and will then "decide whether it is necessary to put forward legislative proposals with legally-binding provisions on the exploration and production of hydrocarbons using high-volume hydraulic fracturing."

Read more.


European Parliament report on energy security - moratorium amendment on fracking

On May 7, the Industry Committee in the European Parliament is scheduled to vote on the 800 amendments that were submitted to the initial draft report by the rapporteur, the Lithuanian EPP MEP Saudargas. All texts available here. Good news. Several S&D MEPs and a Green MEP submitted amendments for a moratorium on fracking (366 & 415, and 394). The first two have the same text that got the support of more than one third of MEPs, when the Parliament voted in November 2012 on a reports about the environmental impacts of shale gas.

Read more.

Irish news

Department of Environment artist's impression showing how a new multi-million natural gas storage facility would look once it is built at Islandmagee.

1.9m raised to drill test well at Islandmagee

£1.9m raised to drill test well at Islandmagee

Department of Environment artist's impression showing how a new multi-million natural gas storage facility would look once it is built at Islandmagee.

 10:00Friday 27 February 2015  Oil and gas exploration company InfraStrata has succeeded in raising sufficient funds to proceed with drilling a test well in Islandmagee. The firm plans to create seven underground caverns to store 500 million cubic metres of natural gas a mile beneath Larne Lough, enough to satisfy Northern Ireland’s demand for 60 days.But it must first carry out test drilling to obtain unique cores of the Permian salt which exists deep below the surface.

The European Union has agreed to stump up half the £4m cost of drilling the well and carrying out additional engineering studies, as long as InfraStrata can match the sum.
And the company confirmed it has now secured the remaining £1.9m balance, after it placed millions of shares on the London Stock Exchange.

Read more.


Stormont Files: Derrylin protests have put off investors: Foster

Published: 26 Feb 2015 17:000 comments

ENTERPRISE Minister Arlene Foster has claimed the acts of destruction at the former Quinn HQ in Derrylin over the last few years and violence at the anti-fracking protest in Belcoo last summer have put off potential investors coming to Fermanagh.

Read more.


Stop the Drill North Belfast

We recently highlighted the threat to our water in Stormont. Last Friday Prof. Tony Ingraffea was stunned to learn of the proximity of the borehole drill to our water supply. A drill would not happen this close to water in the USA.

Click here to add a title or text.

EU news


Earthquakes in Spain

Fracking EzMungialdea Uribe Butroi Follow · 23 February · Edited ·   El temblor de 5,2 en la escala Richter se ha producido a las 17.16h RELACIÓN DE INTENSIDADES (EMS) Y POBLACIONES EN LAS QUE SE HA SENTIDO ESTE TERREMOTO CON EPICENTRO EN OSSA DE MONTIEL (ALBACETE) según datos disponibles de hace 1 hora. III-IV CAMPO DE CRIPTANA.CR III-IV CEHEGÍN.MU …

Read more.





This morning (21 fEB)  an astonishing news was released: Chevron gives up all the operations regarding shale gas in Romania!

Without details, they have  just announced that they were  going to give up their plans to expore and exploit the shale gas in our country.
According to EIA, Romania has 1444 billion   cubic meter  available reserves.
There are still other companies interested, but it is a wonderful news!!!
Mihaela Popescu

Read more.


Cuadrilla Moravia has decided to close down its offices in the Czech Republic and to liquidate its assets. The Ministry of the Environment consequently revoked its permit for exploration in the region Valašsko. The only exploration area left in the country is thus Berounsko, where the application is frozen in a bureacrating limbo. But exploration is unlikely there because the area overlaps with unique karst formations and underground water reservoirs.

Link to the original article:

Google translate:


German government approves fracking

German government approves fracking

Published: 13/02/2015 - 07:08

The German government has tabled a draft law permitting fracking in the country, with environmental associations criticising the draft as fragmented and risky, calling on the government to concentrate on implementing the Energiewende, instead. EurActiv Germany reports.

Read more.


UNDER SCRUTINY: Rathlin Energy UK's West Newton has breached its Environment Agency permit 19 times. Picture: Simon Renilson

Rathlin Energy breached environmental permits 19 times at Holderness site

By Hull Daily Mail  |  Posted: March 03, 2015

  UNDER SCRUTINY: Rathlin Energy breached Environment Agency permit 19 times at site near Hornsea. A COMPANY carrying out oil and gas exploration breached its Environment Agency (EA) permit at its Holderness site on 19 occasions.The agency says inspectors identified the breaches at Rathlin Energy UK's site at West Newton, near Hornsea.

Fourteen of the breaches have been dealt with by means of advice, guidance or warnings.The others, which include a breach of an odour management plan, are still under investigation.

Meanwhile, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) officials are also investigating allegations of unsafe work practices.In a statement, an agency spokesman said: "The Environment Agency is continuing to investigate Rathlin's operation at West Newton in East Yorkshire, where the company carried out exploratory drilling in 2014.

Read more.


Browne makes dealmaking comeback

Financial Times, February 27, 2015 10:32 pm

Browne makes dealmaking comeback
Christopher Adams, Energy Editor

Lord Browne, the former chief executive of BP, is to take charge of a $10bn oil and gas group backed by Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, with a brief to build an international business through partnership deals and acquisitions.
Lord Browne’s appointment as executive chairman of L1 Energy, to be announced on Monday, marks a return to a high-profile energy role for the peer, who will give up his job at Riverstone, the private equity group, and Cuadrilla, the UK shale explorer.

Read more.


Doug Shea, drill informant for EnCana walks past an EnCana gas drilling well east of Calgary.

Results of controversial 'fracking' for shale gas in UK will be kept secret

Results of controversial 'fracking' for shale gas in UK will be kept secret

Drilling method criticised for contaminating water sources
MPs hear US energy firm must only disclose details in 2015

Gas drilling near Calgary. The first exploratory drilling for shale gas in the UK is about to begin near Blackpool. Photograph: Todd Korol/Reuters

The results of the first attempt to extract shale gas in the UK using a controversial technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", will be kept secret for four years, the Guardian has learned.

Read more.


The National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay

Wales to get power to ban fracking and lower voting age to 16

Devolution package was promised after Scottish independence referendum last year, but concessions may not mollify Welsh government or Plaid Cymru

The National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay.

Read more.

Global news

Fracking and resistance in Algeria

A good friend of mine just returned to UK from Oran and told me about the protests of the "desert" people. Algeria has quite a split between its med coast and the deep Sahara.  Having worked in Algeria I know how difficult it is to protest there. Difficult and very dangerous. All credit to those people for standing up to this and not allowing the pure Sahara to be poisoned and polluted. Also their drinking water of course and their lives! Just like UK , people's rights being trampled in for pure  profit and greed.

Here is a very informative article written by a colleague of mine. There is almost no coverage in the Western media about what's going in Algeria!

Read more.


Koch Brothers, ExxonMobil and Big Coal Fund Climate Denier Scientist Willie Soon  -


Primary Industries and Water Minister Jeremy Rockliff announced an extension of the ban on fracking in Tasmania today. Picture: Katrina Docking.


Tasmania's fracking moratorium extended

Feb. 26, 2015, 2 p.m.

THE state government will introduce a five year moratorium on fracking, after considering a review into its impact on Tasmania.

 Primary Industries and Water Minister Jeremy Rockliff announced an extension of the ban on fracking in Tasmania today. Picture: Katrina Docking.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves drilling into the earth before a high pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.

A one-year moratorium on fracking in Tasmania was implemented last year and was due to expire on March 31.


Reports - Research



U.S. Geological Survey: Fracking Waste Is the Primary Cause of the Dramatic Rise in Earthquakes

U.S. Geological Survey: Fracking Waste Is the Primary Cause of the Dramatic Rise in Earthquakes -

Posted by carldavidson on February 24, 2015

By Jen Hayden
Beaver County Blue via DailyKOS

Feb 23, 2015 – The U.S. Geological Survey has backed-up what scientists have been suggesting for years–that deep injection of wastewater is the primary cause of the dramatic rise in detected earthquakes:

Read more.


New research finds the UK breached human rights at anti-fracking protests

February 11, 2015

New research finds the UK breached human rights at anti-fracking protests

The state violated human rights in the way it responded to UK anti-fracking protests, new research concludes.

A paper by a group of academics, due to be published next month, found that people who took part in the protests were unlawfully arrested and prevented from taking part in peaceful demonstrations or expressing their opposition to fracking. Their rights to a fair trial and respect for a private life were also threatened.

Read more.


1. Update: UK Infrastructure Act waters down fracking restrictions
2. Analysis of fracking wastewater reveals chromium, mercury, arsenic, toluene, ethylbenzene...
3. Burlington, Vermont becomes first US city to run on 100% renewable electricity


1. Frackers give up on Poland

2. Scale of UK shale ambitions diminished

3. US shale oil industry in freefall



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