In the UK we are having a minor celebration today.
Reporter: Tony Bosworth (friends of the earth) (December 2013)
One year ago exactly, UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey lifted the de facto moratorium on fracking that had been in place since Cuadrilla triggered minor earthquakes in Lancashire in 2011. But to date, there has been no further test-fracking.
Great work by local community groups (supported by Friends of the Earth’s regional campaigners and legal and regulatory experts) has delayed further test-fracking by Cuadrilla in Lancashire, helped raise the profile of unconventional gas and oil through the protests in Balcombe and delayed IGas near Manchester and Coastal Oil & Gas in Kent and more
Given the position of the UK Government, there’s clearly an enormous amount of work still to do. Next week, the Government is expected to publish a consultation ahead of its next licensing round, which will probably open up large areas of England, Wales and Scotland for licensing allowing fracking – see the map at http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/climate/issues/uk_fracking_map_41274.html
Comment by an UK engineer:
They are test drilling and coring with some stimulation. Also they are drilling for conv oil like in Balcombe!
Taxpayers to pay for fracking pollution if companies go bust
Minister rejects proposal to amend regulations to make companies sign a bond to pay for potential pollution incidents
Comments by Friends of the Earth Europe
Attached is a document that outlines some of the thinking that Food & Water Europe submitted to the European Commission on the issue of the liability of shale gas operators. One of our key demands was the following:
Strict liability for unconventional fossil fuel operators, a reversal of the burden of proof in a prima facie case of environmental damage linked to their activities and a requirement for e.g. shale gas operators to remain ‘eternally’ liable for the environmental damage in the post-abandonment phase;
London Is Fracking, And I Live By The River - http://theautomaticearth.com/Energy/london-is-fracking-and-i-live-by-the-river.html
Shale is a pipedream sold to greater fools - http://theautomaticearth.com/Energy/shale-is-a-pipedream-sold-to-greater-fools.html
Fracking in Britain could create just a THIRD of the jobs Cameron predicted, energy experts warn ministers
- Prime Minister has claimed shale gas industry could create 74,000 jobs
- Experts working for energy department warn real figure could be 24,000
- ‘New jobs might only last 4-9 years with few opportunities for local people’
- Environmental campaigners are strongly opposed to fracking
Could This Kill off UK Fracking?
Fracking company Cuadrilla pulls out of shale gas site in Lancashire http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/fracking-company-cuadrilla-pulls-out-of-shale-gas-site-in-lancashire-8859877.html
Cuadrilla to close Lancashire fracking exploration site – 4 Oct 2013
Exclusive : Us Oil giant Halliburton – 4 Oct 2013
Balcombe - 17-20 August 2013
Shale gas body to pitch out Brussels public affairs project – http://www.prweek.com/uk/news/1194244/shale-gas-body-pitch-brussels-public-affairs-project/
The industry body for the UK’s onshore gas and oil sector is gearing up to hunt for agency support for its interaction with European regulators as they study how to deal with fracking (6 August 2013)
A High Street cosmetics chain has emerged as the main financial backer of the anti-fracking group Frack Off. – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/10219701/High-Street-store-Lush-is-main-financial-backer-of-Frack-Off.html
Lush, which has 105 stores in the UK and Ireland, has given £20,000 in charitable donations to the protest group behind this week’s demonstration against test drilling in Balcombe, West Sussex.
UK fracking protest intensify – http://ecowatch.com/2013/fracking-protests-intensify-officials-push-drilling/
I meant to say frack North-west, says Tory peer Lord Howell
George Osborne’s father-in-law continues to court controversy with new remarks
Unconventional Gas: the potential impact on UK gas prices -
Research and analysis
‘Well worth reading, It is very insightful in how the industry sees the future. The economic argument and the drive for tax regulation….’
‘This was just published by the UK government and is an assessment of the potential impact of unconventional gas on prices. ’
Therein lies the danger ,the long lead in.
‘They admit that shale gas will not have an influence on gas prices. What they want to tell us that it would be vital for energy security. And that’s what I actually am most afraid of: the industry wants to make us even more dependent on fossil fuels as they’re already afraid of renewable energy sources (Renewable Energy Races Ahead as Nuclear and Fossil Fuels Falter). Europe – in particular Britain – is even paving the way for more extraordinary aid for nuclear (EU draws up plans to allow state aid for nuclear power [put the headline in your search engine and you get free temporary access to this FT article]). The latest act of British cronyism was just published today. What strikes me most is the seemingly total ignorance of climate change, as we can see in the Methane in UK groundwater research overview of the British Geological Survey, calling Methane (CH4) an “important greenhouse gas and a common trace component of groundwater”.
The Brits are very obviously no better than the fellows across the Atlantic ‘
Gas prices could fall by a quarter with shale drilling, Government advisers say
Fracking ‘threatens God’s glorious creation’
The Church of England has told parishioners that fracking causes environmental problems and risks lasting harm to “God’s glorious creation”.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10240773/Fracking-threatens-Gods-glorious-creation.html ( 13 August 2013)
Lush says Frack Off – http://brand-e.biz/lush-cosmetics-gives-retail-space-frack-off_29259.html
Fracking: a botch on the landscape
Britain’s nascent shale gas industry is in danger of being doused by inept PR and poor practice – http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/11/fracking-botch-on-landscape (11 August 2013)
In the golden rule usually attributed to spin doctor Alastair Campbell, there is some dispute over the exact number of days a story has to run for before its subject is doomed. A week, say some; 10 days or a fortnight say others. What is beyond doubt is that the fracking firm Cuadrilla’s attempts to drill a hole in the Sussex countryside, which began on 25 July, has ploughed through even the longest of time limits.
As a result the UK’s embryonic shale gas industry is in danger of being stillborn. It is facing a Monsanto moment: an introduction so botched that leaves the technology unusable on arrival. In the late 1990s millions of tins of genetically modified tomato puree were bought by British shoppers before they knew anything about genetic modification techniques. When they did, they decided they didn’t like the whiff of it, and imposed their own ban that killed the prospects for GM food stone dead.
Through inept public relations and poor practice Cuadrilla is set to scorch the earth of the nascent shale gas industry in the same way, ably abetted – as was also the case for GM crops – by a tone-deaf and blinkered government.
I’ve reported on how Cuadrilla broke the terms of its planning permission in Lancashire by drilling beyond a cut-off date that protected wintering birds; how it failed to tell the government for six months that small earthquakes triggered by drilling had deformed a well casing that prevents the contamination of ground water; and how it repeatedly trespassed on to private land during seismic surveys – and in one garden marked a site for an explosion before being chased off. Planning permission for the Balcombe drilling slipped through the parish council without much discussion.
This, and disastrous public meetings that led their PR minders to lament “this is how they burn witches, I guess”, led to ministerial bollockings for the firm’s executives and its chair, former BP boss Lord Browne. Cuadrilla’s chief executive moved aside and despite paying top dollar to its new PR firm Bell Pottinger, the company managed to start its incursion into the home counties in the news desert of the summer and spark a firestorm of opposition and bad press. Balcombe has been kindled into the new beacon of protest against a fossil-fuelled future.
If Cuadrilla is torching public confidence, David Cameron and George Osborne, high on fracking fumes, are stoking the flames. They rejected a key recommendation from the Royal Society that specific regulations for shale gas should be put in place to protect people and places from bad practice. Instead, the chancellor trumpeted tax breaks and issued new planning guidelines without consultation which emphasise the “great weight to [be given] to the benefits” of approving fracking. The prime minister’s zeal led him to mistakenly promise an upfront £1m to fracked communities.
Shale gas could, responsibly produced, offset some of the rapid decline in North Sea production and diversify domestic sources, improving energy security. But a repetition of the US shale gas revolution is a hallucination shared by no one outside the industry. The sober voices, from the International Energy Agency to the CBI to Deutsche Bank and even gas giants like Centrica, have concluded that widespread fracking on a densely populated island with tricky mineral rights laws will be a tough sell.
Burning gas produces plenty of carbon dioxide but Osborne and the frackers, blinded by their conviction that action on climate change is nothing but vapid hot air, only see the alluring mirage of near-limitless cheap fuel. Their frenzied attempts to convert this fantasy into reality led them to trample over the concerns of the public. As day after day of headlines stack up, this careless dash for gas is heading for its own Monsanto moment – an industry fracked by its own arrogance.
David Cameron: UK must accept the potential of fracking
Prime minister says the UK needs to share in the energy benefits and need not worry about environmental concerns – http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/12/cameron-urges-uk-accept-fracking (12 August 2013)
(…)The prime minister said the process would not damage the countryside and cause only “very minor change to the landscape”.Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Cameron said: “I want all parts of our nation to share in the benefits: north or south, Conservative or Labour.”If neighbourhoods can really see the benefits – and get proper reassurance about the environment – then I don’t see why fracking shouldn’t get real public support.” (…)
Fracking splits public opinion down the middle, poll finds
ICM poll finds 40% of people would support hydraulic fracturing in their local area and 40% would oppose it – http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/13/fracking-splits-public-opinion-icm-poll (13 August 2013)
Balcombe fracking protesters plead not guilty to causing disruption
Eight defendants are charged over protests taking place against energy firm Cuadrilla, which is testing for shale gas in the area - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/aug/14/balcombe-fracking-protesters-plead-not-guilty (14 ugust 2013)
George Osborne unveils ‘most generous tax breaks in world’ for fracking
Environmental groups furious as chancellor sets 30% rate for shale gas producers in bid to enhance UK energy security
Plan to drive down prices will have ‘basically insignificant’ impact
A nimby? – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2381610/GRIFF-RHYS-JONES-crusade-stop-wind-farms-solar-panels-wrecking-favourite-landscapes.htmlArticle against windfarms and pro nuclear energy
THE GREAT GALA
Work halted as activists block entrance to Sussex fracking site
Work has come to a standstill at Fracking company Cuadrilla Resource’s site in Balcombe, Sussex. As of 7.30am, activists blockading the road leading to the company’s site have denied entrance to articulated trucks and work vehicles.
15 articulated vehicles are expected at 10am this morning, with tail-backs already visible in the village.
The protest was organised under he name of The Great Gas Gala! and was called in response to an announcement from the Environment Agency and West Sussex County Council that Cuadrilla would start drilling as soon as Saturday.
Alex Griffiths, one of those taking part in the blockade, said
‘People are realising that if we are going to protect ourselves from this industry we are going to have to do it ourselves. After 5000 signatures on petitions and nearly a thousand objections being sent to the Environment Agency work is still going ahead’.
‘We have tried other methods. We now have no choice but to take matters into our own hands and protect ourselves from the threat fracking poses to our health and environment’.
Fracking company Cuadrilla Resources are trying to start drilling in Balcombe, West Sussex and the community is trying to stop them. Over 250 people stopped 15 trucks bring on equipment on Day 1 (Thurs). On Day 2 more than 100 police were used to break the blockade and escort trucks onto the fracking site. On Day 3 the community continued to resist attempts to force trucks through the blockade but gave up early afternoon. On Day 4 Cudrilla did not attempt to bring any trucks onto the site. On Day 5 Cuadrilla continued to try to push trucks through the blockade and the community have continued to resist. Camp is still going strong and renewed efforts are being made to defend Balcombe
For updates on what happened today see:
* Latest News and pics From The Great Gas Gala
Listen to Biance Jagger http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-iSOKl7xwo
BALCOMBE- Fracking won’t ruin the countryside according to big boss Cuadrilla
Big boost for shale gas exploration in the UK
The UK government and England’s environment agency have announced a series of measures to “significantly” increase shale gas exploration.
Guidance setting out how British local authorities should deal with planning applications will be published next month and the finance ministry confirmed that it will consult on tax breaks the shale gas companies in July.
Meanwhile, the environment agency announced it will streamline its permitting process so developers do not have to apply separately for licences to manage mining wastes, radioactive materials and emissions to groundwater.
By February, the agency intends to issue permits within 1-2 weeks of applications. Currently the process takes several months.
Another important announcement came from the industry. The UK Oil and Gas Onshore Industry Group issued a community charter pledging to pay £100,000 (€116,500) to local communities where any exploration well is dug that involves the fracking. These will also get 1% of revenues from production wells.
This ‘community benefits’ could remove some objections to the process.
“Today is the day the UK gets serious around shale gas,” energy minister Michael Fallon commented as the measures were announced on Thursday. “It would be irresponsible to ignore the opportunity for new resources.”
The department for energy and climate also issued a long-delayed report by the British Geological Survey (BGS) confirming the Bowland Shale in England could contain 1,329 trillion cubic feet of shale gas. The UK’s annual gas use is about 3.5tcf.
The figure is similar to that released by developers. But the report does not contain estimates of how much of this gas is economically recoverable, despite the BGS saying it has calculated this. That figure is likely to be only a fraction of 1,329tcf.
Note: a slightly amended version of this article also appears in the ENDS Report, ENDS Europe’s British sister publication
Treasury paper on UK infrastructure containing measures on shale gas and environment agency statement on plan to streamline permitting process
British Company Applies for Shale Gas Fracking Permit – “LONDON — Cuadrilla Resources, a private equity-backed British oil and gas company, continues to try to find a way to produce shale gas in its home country. On Friday, the company said it was applying for a permit to hydraulically fracture an exploration well that it has drilled at Grange Hill in Lancashire in northwest England. The company hopes to be able to test the well next year. The company also said it planned to ask for permission to drill and fracture six new wells in the region… Cuadrilla’s efforts to pioneer shale gas production in Britain has not been without setbacks. An attempt to fracture another well in 2011 set off small tremors and led to an 18-month moratorium on fracking that was only recently lifted. Despite tens of millions of dollars in expenditure, the company still has no production outside of a 1990s-era gas well in the same area. The company also delayed recent plans to drill for oil in West Sussex, south of London, after discussions with environmental regulators determined that it needed additional permits. AJ Lucas, an Australian engineering company that is one of Cuadrilla’s two main owners with Riverstone Holdings, a private equity firm based in New York, said it had invested about $74 million in the company since 2007. Despite the costs and delays, there have been some recent upbeat omens for the company and other would-be shale gas drillers. Britain’s coalition government sees shale gas as a possible replacement for the declining production in the North Sea and is broadly supportive. ‘’There is a general recognition we should be getting on with the exploration phase,’’ Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said during a recent interview. Last month, Centrica, one of the large British utilities, agreed to pay 40 million pounds, or $60 million, in cash and 60 million pounds in financing commitments for a 25 percent share in Cuadrilla’s 1,200-square-kilometer, or about 460-square-mile, Lancashire license area. ‘’With North Sea gas reserves declining and the U.K. becoming more dependent on imported gas supplies, it is important that we look for opportunities to develop domestic gas resources,’’ Centrica said. In addition, a recent study by the British Geological Survey, a research group, estimated that there could be a large amount of shale gas — 1,300 trillion cubic feet, or 37 trillion cubic meters — below the region in central England where Cuadrilla has its main licenses. Britain’s current natural gas reserves are about 8.7 trillion cubic feet. But until companies are permitted to drill and test extensively, how much of the gas, if any, is commercially recoverable will not be known. Michael Stephenson, a geologist at the geological survey, said that the British formation most closely resembled the Barnett shale, a formation in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas that is one of the main shale gas producers in the United States. Mr. Stephenson said that while the Barnett shale appeared to be almost entirely formed of dead marine organisms from an ancient seabed, the British shale, which is known as the Bowland shale, has more terrestrial content like pieces of plants and wood. ‘’This will probably have some effect on the quality of the gas,’’ he said, meaning that it may not flow as well. In general, major companies like BP and Royal Dutch Shell have played a waiting game about the shale gas situation in Britain, preferring to have others take the risk as well as bear the intense scrutiny that drilling on land in Britain attracts. ‘’People won’t drill unless they understand the potential, and they won’t understand the potential unless they drill,’’ Mr. Stephenson said. Cuadrilla is the exception. Along with others in the industry, it is now offering incentives to local communities where it wants to drill. It says that it will pay 100,000 pounds, or about $151,000, for each well site and share 1 percent of the revenues. The company estimates that could be as much as 1.4 billion pounds, or $2.1 billion, of shale gas in Lancashire.”” (New York Times)
The Carbon Brief See Fracking Matters Newsletter 115 for the links
Friday 5th July 2013
Living with climate change
The impacts of climate change are beginning to bite and we need to learn to deal with it, according to two reports out this week.
The UK’s adaptation plan, the National Adaptation Programme, was published by government this week with no press release, no fanfare, and consequently very little media coverage. Climate adaptation could be a business opportunity for the UK, the document says, if we develop technology and best practice to address increasing risks of flooding and illness. But the 182 page report provides no information of new adaptation policies. And the minister responsible may well be a climate skeptic.
Then a new report from the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) showed the decade 2001 to 2010 was the hottest since records began, with unprecedented climate extremes. Linking weather extremes to climate change is complex, the report warned, although scientists “increasingly conclude that many recent events would have occurred in a different way – or would not have occurred at all – in the absence of climate change”.
Wind power and fracking in Scotland and London
Some fairly basic questions were raised about energy generation this week. Like: Do wind farms reduce emissions? You might think that’s a bit of a no-brainer, but one Scottish charity wasn’t convinced. They were worried that disrupting carbon-rich peat bogs and using fossil fuel power stations to provide backup to renewables could push up emissions. But they probably don’t need to worry – wind is low carbon.
With that sorted, south of the border London’s Mayor Boris Johnson reckons we should be fracking London in pursuit of shale gas. But is the suggestion another, er, no-brainer? We asked a geologist if it was really possible to drill for shale gas in one of the world’s most densely populated cities. He told us the idea isn’t as outlandish as it sounds. If there’s actually any shale gas near London, that is.
Confrontation Between NGOs and Shale Gas Industry Peaks in the UK - http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/ngo-opposition-shale-cbm-uk-friends-of-the-earth
Herald Scotland article:
Sepa probe at coal-bed methane wells- http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/environment/sepa-probe-at-coal-bed-methane-wells.20788550
Dart Energy’s European General Manager stood down on Friday and is not being replaced. Seems a fair few staff have gone, and not entirely clear whether result of staff cuts made earlier this year or rats leaving sinking ship. Seems to be folk in pretty key positions, and in particular for Mark Lappin to go at such a critical time for the Airth coal bed methane application – which faces a public inquiry – makes alarm bells ring.
Friends of the Earth Scotland News Release
For immediate release 7 July 2013
Dart Energy’s top man in Europe resigns
Commenting on the news that Dart Energy’s European General Manager has resigned, Friends of the Earth Scotland Campaigns Co-ordinator Mary Church said:
“This is the latest in a long line of blows to Dart Energy’s coalbed methane plans in Scotland. Losing their top man in Europe at such a critical stage in the Airth project and not replacing him is a sign of how desperate things are getting at the company.
“Dart’s coalbed methane proposals at Airth are deeply unpopular and with a public inquiry looming it’s no wonder Mark Lappin has decided to cut his losses and quit.”
Friends of the Earth Scotland are calling for a ban on all unconventional gas extraction and because of the climate and local environmental and health risks associated with the industry.
Notes to editors
1. Australian company Dart Energy is the leading unconventional gas developer in Scotland. Dart’s flagship development at Airth, near Falkirk faces strong community opposition and has been beset by delays. Dart recently appealed their application for 22 new wells, a gas and water treatment facility and a network of pipelines to the Scottish Government on grounds of non-determination. The local community and Falkirk Council have responded by asking the Reporter to hold a Public Inquiry.
2. A study by the Queensland Government found that 44% of the 58 wells tested in 3 fields were leaking http://foe-scotland.us2.list-manage.com/track/click?u=b5ad0d61b2a67d22c68bf7d8d&id=3cd9501ed6&e=38493164e4
Research by the Southern Cross University in Australia found gas was leaking at around 3.5 times the level expected in coalbed methane fields
3. Dart Energy has pulled out of its Australian ventures following a ban on all unconventional gas activity – not just hydraulic fracturing – within 2km of residential areas introduced by the New South Wales Government.
A conservative estimate suggests there are at least 2,000 homes within 2km of Dart Energy’s Airth development. If a similar ban were in place in Scotland Dart’s development at Airth could not go ahead.
4. The industry in Australia estimates that up to 40% of coalbed methane wells will eventually be fracked. See Australian National Greenhouse Accounts, Coal Seam Gas Estimation and Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2012,
5. Methane is a highly potent greenhouse gas that over its short lifetime is over a hundred times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide. Research indicates that unconventional gas could be worse in climate terms than burning coal because of methane leakage from gas fields. See
from Cornell University and
from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who found that 9% of total gas production at a field in Utah was leaking into the atmosphere.
6. An investigation by a GP in early 2013 of 38 households in close proximity to coal seam gas wells in Tara, Queensland, found that 58% of residents reported definite adverse health effects related to gas drilling and a further 19% were uncertain. Symptoms include breathing difficulties, rashes, joint and muscle pains, nausea and vomiting, and spontaneous nosebleeds. See
7. Bans and moratoria around the world
France: A nationwide ban on fracking
Switzerland: A moratorium on fracking was introduced in the canton of Fribourg
Germany: Moratorium in Northrhine-Westphalia on fracking. Lower Saxony likely to do the same.
Bulgaria: Government banned fracking
Czech Republic: A moratorium on fracking, considering outright ban
Spain: Cantabria banned fracking, La Rioja is also currently considering same
Netherlands: Moratorium on unconventional fossil fuels
Denmark: Moratorium on fracking
Quebec: A moratorium on fracking
United States: Vermont banned fracking, and New York has moratorium
New South Wales: ban on any coal bed methane activity within 2km of residential areas, and within critical industry clusters such as winegrowing areas
Ireland: 2-year moratorium on fracking
8. Friends of the Earth Scotland is
* Scotland’s leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 77 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups – covering every continent. www.foe-scotland.org.uk
Notice of the Rathlin Energy planning application (E/2013/0093/F) to drill an exploratory oil/gas well is in the current issue of the Ballycastle Chronicle (dated 11th July). It gives 14 days for submission of written comments, so please lodge your objections by 25th July.
Members of the public can make a submission to the UK Environment Agency on Cuadrilla’s drilling permit until July 16th: https://consult.environment-agency.gov.uk/portal/permits/app/cuadrilla/balcombe?pointId=1371556700808
As far as I can see, you don’t need a UK postcode to participate.
Here is some advice from Frack Free Sussex on responding: https://www.facebook.com/notes/frack-free-sussex/urgent-guidance-on-responding-before-16th-july-to-cuadrillas-application-to-the-/452274618201262
N. Ireland – Pl. Application-E/2013/0093R-Rathin Energy Ltd :
Temporary works of drilling exploratory borehole to approx 2700m depth to investigate underground strata for hydrocarbon exploration under DETI license PL3/10 issued to Rathlin Energy Ltd. Also to temporarily widen road into verge along 60m of Kilmahamogue Road to facilitate safe access. Also car parking, portacabin offices/welfare/workshops and 180m of 4m high perimeter earth bunds within temporary works at site.
Rathlin energy have said they do not want to drill just one well. They want to drill lots!
This is not about fracking. They have said they would need to drill four wells every square mile to extract conventional oil, and they have identified numerous areas across the Rathlin Basin where they think this is possible.
Use this link to check for sample letters. http://notofracking.com/2013/07/10/object-to-the-rathlin-energy-planning-application-by-25th-july/
email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
What can we do now?
Question what Cuadrilla is proposing:
Before 16th July there is an opportunity to respond to the Environment Agency’s consultation regarding Cuadrilla’s application for a Mining Waste Permit at:
To view the permit documentation: select blue ‘View and Comment’ button which opens a new page.
- The 14 permit documents are downloadable from the left hand side.
- Comments already submitted can be seen via View Comments.
- You can add and submit your own comments and questions online via Add Comments or download the MS word response for from this webpage via the blue button ‘Download File’.
A public consultation on the Draft High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Plan is currently being undertaken.
Have your say before 26 July: http://www.highweald.org
Tell South East Water what you think about Clear Water, their long term strategy for water management.
You can find the details of their plans and opportunity to comment at:www.southeastwater.co.uk/yourwateryoursay.
Write to your MP, MEPs and your local Councillors.
Spread the word!
Many areas are under threat from oil and gas exploration, but don’t know it yet.
Sunday 30 June 2013
It won’t be shale gas that keeps the lights on
There are fears that fracking may lead to the contamination of groundwater
The devastation of rural Fylde begins – http://stopfyldefracking.org.uk/latest-news/the-devastation-of-rural-fylde-begins/
Get your teeth into that Cuadrilla!
Timely humour as Tipperary man Francis Egan was on BBC Radio Lancashire this morning commenting on the news that Cuadrilla is to apply for more Lancashire fracking sites.
He says he cares about wintering birds. Let no one be fooled. Get the facts at RAFF – Residents Action on Fylde Fracking!
Read here RAFF’s response to Cuadrilla’s plans: http://stopfyldefracking.org.uk/latest-news/the-devastation-of-rural-fylde-begins/
He also insists Cuadrilla’s not trying to buy anyone off! Yeah, right! Companies wouldn’t have to offer bribes if fracking were safe, would they now?!
Edward Davey speech and press releases on Energy Infrastructure and Shale gas estimates
New energy infrastructure investment to fuel recovery
New details of reforms vital to keeping the lights on and emissions and bills down
- Government action to unlock up to £110 billion energy infrastructure investment and support up to 250,000 jobs by 2020
- Capacity Market to be initiated in 2014 to bring on gas and other flexible electricity supply to meet future demand and reduce risks to security of supply from winter 2018
- Renewable Strike Prices to help renewables contribute more than 30% of total power by 2020
Full press release and documents are available on GOV.UK
Estimates of shale gas resource in North of England published, alongside a package of community benefits
Findings from the British Geological Survey into the potential volume of shale gas in the Bowland Basin and beyond
The Government has today announced findings from the first independent study conducted by the British Geological Survey, of the potential volume of shale gas in the Bowland Basin and beyond, which covers 11 counties in the North of England.
The full press release and documents are available on GOV.UK
The energy security challenge
Speech by Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change to the Economist UK Energy Conference:
“It’s a great pleasure to be with you here this morning.
“This summit is taking place at a crucial moment because the Government has embarked on the most radical overhaul of the United Kingdom’s energy infrastructure and markets since the 1980s and privatisation.
“A radical transformation that is not optional, but necessary.
“Necessary to meet the three objectives of our energy policy…”
The full speech is available on GOV.UK
FRACKING IN THE PICTURE – Uk’s offencive to get the minds pro fracking.
BBC news articles on fracking – http://www.bbc.co.uk/search/news/?q=fracking
1. Connecting up the energy future – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-23092450
black stuff. Gas prices have been high, meaning producers have cut back on gas-burning capacity. Fracking bonanza That one in 12 years doesn’t…
2. UK shale gas resources bigger than thought – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23077087
(video) A very pro fracking video, assuming that the anti fracking campaign get money from Russia
3. UK shale gas resources greater than thought - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23069499 (article)
UK shale gas resources may be far greater than previously thought, a report for the government says.
The British Geological Survey estimates there may be 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas present in the north of England – double previous estimates.
Meanwhile the government has announced measures to enable shale gas drilling as part of its infrastructure plans.
4. At a glance, infrastructure projects – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23080965
(…)Enabling up to £110bn of private sector energy investment, including possible tax incentives, to boost private sector shale gas production, or “fracking” in the Bowland Basin region, which stretches from Cheshire to Yorkshire
£800m on boosting the Green Investment Bank and £75m for innovative renewable energy projects
Underwriting investment in new nuclear power plant Hinkley Point C, in Somerset.
Underwriting investment to convert the UK’s biggest coal-fired power station at Drax, in East Yorkshire, to burn biomass. (…)
5. Fracking payouts no compensation – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-23086695
Proposed benefits packages for areas around fracking sites would “go nowhere near compensating” those affected, a Lancashire campaign group has said.
Shale gas drilling areas will get £100,000 in “community benefits” and 1% of revenues, under new guidelines.
6. What is fracking and why is it so controversial? – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14432401 (article and video)
A short video shooted on a fracking pad from Shell, control centre in Houston, 3D animation and how ‘clean’ the pad is after fracking.
7. Fracking must benefit local communities – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23078638
UK shale gas resources may be far greater than previously thought, a report for the government says.
Ministers are set to announce financial benefits for communities where fracking – the controversial extraction technique – takes place.
Chancellor George Osborne said that local communities should get, for example, “at least £100,000 for every fracking well that is created”.
8. How will Lancashire shale gas impact the GB energy market?
9.UK sitting on the top of at least 50 years of shale gas – http://www.euractiv.com/energy/norway-overtakes-russia-biggest-news-528854?utm_source=EurActiv%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=d224f275e5-newsletter_energy&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_bab5f0ea4e-d224f275e5-245707909
10. Get fracking: MPs back the dash for UK’s shale gas – http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/get-fracking-mps-back-the-dash-for-uks-shale-gas-8676040.html
Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said: “Shale gas is not the solution to the UK’s energy challenges. Its potential has been hugely over-hyped and there’s little evidence it will drive down fuel prices.”
FIGHT THE FRACK!
A. Fracking: some inconvenient truths
Any joy at Britain’s possibly huge shale gas reserves should be tempered by the toxic chemicals and carcinogens they will bring http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/27/fracking-inconvenient-truths-shale-gas
B. UK Earmarked for Fracking, Massive Public Backlash On Horizon – http://ecowatch.com/2013/uk-fracking-massive-public-backlash/
According to Greenpeace research almost two-thirds of England has been earmarked for potential fracking, and local opposition, particularly in Conservative constituencies, is expected to be fierce. Local hostility in Balcombe, West Sussex is already delaying the fracking process, with the Campaign to Protect Rural England warning of a massive backlash if large areas of countryside are “transformed into industrial sites.“
C. UK gas find sparks fracking controversy
British government faces protests from environmentalists after discovery of shale gas fields – http://www.aljazeera.com/video/europe/2013/06/201362716349225126.html
D Jim Armitage: Don’t expect shale gas to cause economic explosions on this side of the Pond [The Independent]- http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/jim-armitage-dont-expect-shale-gas-to-cause-economic-explosions-on-this-side-of-the-pond-8677719.html
- warned about safety
- wins safety award
Britain’s advertising regulator has warned shale gas pioneer Cuadrilla Resources about exaggerating the safety of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. – http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/cuadrilla-warned-about-exaggerating-safety-claims
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said Cuadrilla’s assertion in a 2012 brochure that it uses “proven, safe technologies to explore for and recover natural gas” were misleading, exaggerated and not substantiated.
2. UK Shale Pioneer Wins Safety Award
Cuadrilla Resources – self certified compliance reports, no oversight by HSE or EA.
Victory for Friends of the Earth -Drilling near Balcombe
plans to drill an exploratory well near Balcombe in West Sussex have been delayed, with the firm abruptly applying to the Environment Agency for two new permits to operate on the site – after Friends of the Earth drew the regulator’s attention to the need for them http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/geoffreylean/100222841/drilling-set-back-regulator-caught-out-as-fracking-opponents-draw-first-blood/
UK company Centrica – the same company making bids for Bord Gais – is buying into Cuadrilla.
Read these two pieces:
The British Gas owner is planning an initial bid for the supplier, which is being sold by the Irish state and could fetch £1bn, ahead of a first round ..
The British Gas owner is planning an initial bid for the supplier, which is being sold by the Irish state and could fetch £1bn, ahead of a first round deadline this week.
Bord Gáis has about 775,000 customers in Ireland and owns a modern gas-fired power station, 13 operational wind farms and several wind farms under development. It is understood the assets are being sold as one entity but that few potential bidders want the entire portfolio.
Centrica is keen to acquire the customers and believes it can use its experience running British Gas to improve the supply arm, which currently makes only a low profit margin.
It is also believed to want some power generation assets but does not want Bord Gáis’s entire wind farm portfolio, having already been selling down its stakes in UK wind farms. It is understood to have had initial contact with possible partners, likely to be infrastructure funds, and may form a consortium ahead of the second round.
However, it may also choose to bid solo and sell down the assets later.
British villages – http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/25/business/global/british-village-protests-plan-for-shale-gas-drilling.html?_r=0 (24 May 2013) (FMN 109)
At Cuadrilla’s cosy, condescending plactate-the-community-and-hop
Don’t delay on renewable energy – http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/may/23/renewable-energy-committee-climate-change (23 May 2013)
Fracking firms should offer sweeteners – http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/26/fracking-sweeteners-locals ( 26 April 2013 see also fmn 105)
MP say cash -for -locals- scheeme could overcome shale gas fracking opposition http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/apr/26/cash-locals-shale-gas-fracking-uk
back to top
Dart Energy are the leading unconventional gas player in Scotland. A Sunday Herald investigation on the weekend revealed that the calorific content of the gas from their flagship Airth coal bed methane project is too poor to feed directly into the grid. It seems as though they will have to boost it by adding propane, which will damage profit margins and make the project even more unpopular with locals.
Story below plus links to coverage of Dart’s financial woes and misleading public re fracking.
Burning issue: poor gas quality could end Scots drilling plan
By Rob Edwards Environment Editor
Sunday 7 April 2013
Controversial plans to exploit underground gas in central Scotland could be stymied by problems with the quality of the gas, the Sunday Herald can reveal.
The troubled Australian company Dart Energy has applied for planning permission to extract up to 60 billion cubic feet of coalbed methane at Airth, near Falkirk.
It has signed a £300 million deal with SSE for the supply of gas over the next seven years, and has said it hopes to start delivery before the end of this year.
But the Sunday Herald has seen evidence that the calorific value of the gas, which is crucial in determining its price for consumers, is unlikely to be high enough for the National Grid.
Dart has been warned about the problem by independent consultants.
The company has been told that the gas may need to be blended with higher-quality gas on the grid, which, if permitted, would have cost implications.
Anti-fracking protesters set up drilling rig in George Osborne’s constituency
Greenpeace’s rush hour stunt aimed to highlight fact that licences for gas exploration have been issued in area
Opinion: Fracking is a threat to health and well-being
By Charlotte Wilson, Special to CNN
Editor’s note: Charlotte Wilson is a campaigner for Frack Off, a website and grass roots movement in the UK dedicated to the elimination of fracking, a controversial process to extract oil and gas trapped in rocks underground by blasting water into the rocks to release the gas.
(CNN) — As easier-to-extract fossil fuels are depleted, techniques that involve more effort, environmental destruction and carbon emissions are being developed.
Each new wave of more extreme extraction methods, be it tar sands, deep water drilling or mountain top removal, brings a new level of destruction to the area concerned.
In the UK, gas production from the North Sea is in terminal decline. Prices have risen and consumption is falling.
It is within this context that the UK government has proposed building up to 40 new gas-fired power stations in the hope that some unconventional gas will be found to fuel them. This apparently insane gamble does have some, admittedly warped, reasoning behind it.
The threat to the energy corporations, whose influence in government is huge, is not energy shortages, from which they will profit handsomely, but sensible energy conservation which will make people less dependent on them. Whatever the outcome of that gamble, higher prices and less gas are assured, but the destruction of communities and the environment however, is something we do have a choice about.
In the U.S., the shale gas boom is fast turning into a bust. Fracking companies are losing money hand over fist, drilling has slumped, prices are rising and gas production looks set to decline. The drop in demand due to the 2008 recession is what has lowered U.S. natural gas prices and emissions, not shale gas. It is clear that the idea being pushed of a shale-fuelled economic miracle is just so much hot air, fuelled by the usual irrational exuberance.
The impact which a desperate scramble for unconventional gas will have on the UK would be profound. The tens of thousands of wells and thousands of miles of pipelines would have a vast greater impact than has been seen in the U.S. or Australia. The UK is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. As the evidence of water contamination, air pollution and health effect from the U.S. and Australia mounts up, people in the UK are scared.
The UK government is preparing to sell off over half the country for fracking in the next year. It has instituted an Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil to cut though what little regulations previously existed. Plans are also afoot to take planning decisions about these developments out of the hands of regional governments so that local communities will have even less influence of the outcomes.
On a global scale the threat from the exploitation of unconventional gas is even more dire. We cannot afford to burn the all the conventional fossil fuel reserves. The three main unconventional gas techniques are shale gas, coal bed methane (CBM/CSG) and underground coal gasification (UCG), which literally involved setting fire to coal seams underground to exploit the energy released. Between them they could unlock enough carbon to cause a five to 10 degrees Celsius global temperature increase.
In the UK, as with many countries around the world, ordinary people are organizing to resist this invasion of their communities. Groups are being formed, public meetings are being held, films are being made and protests are being organized.
People in the UK do not believe that their health and well-being should be sacrificed for the profit of a few. We take particular heart from Australia where a growing movement of organized communities appears to having some success in resisting the spread of fracking companies.
The message is clear — fracking and associated extreme energy methods like tar sands extraction, are intrinsically destructive to people and the planet.
They must and will be opposed wherever they are being imposed on communities. In the end, fracking is a road to nowhere and the sooner we start heading back towards safety ground the better it will be for all of us.
Osborne to offer tax breaks for shale gas- http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/osborne-to-offer-tax-breaks-for-shale-gas-8373865.html (2 Dec. 2012)
Two very contrasting opinion pieces on shale gas in the UK
The first is from Boris Johnson who is the Mayor of London, a leading light in the Conservative party (the largest party in the governing coalition) and a possible next party leader. It’s at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/9733518/Ignore-the-doom-merchants-Britain-should-get-fracking.html
The second is from Andrew Rawnsley, one of the UK’s leading political commentators, in the centre-left Observer newspaper. It’s at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/09/shale-gas-frackheads-dubious-dream
This is all in the context of finance minister George Osborne announcing last week a consultation on tax breaks for the shale gas industry and a new Government office to speed up development, and ahead of a decision by Energy Secretary Ed Davey (who is from the junior coalition partners the Liberal Democrats) on whether Cuadrilla should be allowed to resume fracking.
Britain lifts ban on fracking – http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/breaking/2012/1213/breaking2.html (13 December 2012)
Fracking for shale gas gets green light in UK http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/13/fracking-shale-gas-green-light
The coalition’s support for fracking is based on ideology, not evidence- http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2012/12/coalitions-support-fracking-based-ideology-not-evidence
UK Government Reshuffle Positive for Oil and Gas – http://www.rigzone.com/news/oil_gas/a/120466/UK_Government_Reshuffle_Positive_for_Oil_and_Gas
Fossil fuels, on the way back?- http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today/newsid_9685000/9685024.stm (24 Jan 2012)
Until recently, fossil fuels have widely been seen among scientists and environmental campaigners as a diminishing resource.
Science correspondent Tom Feilden reports on how the discovery of techniques to extract shale gas has rapidly changed the world of energy generation.
Fracking: answer to our energy crisis, or could it be a disaster for the environment - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/feb/25/fracking-plans-pollution-uk-water (25 February 2012)
Short article with basic info about shale gas and a map of energy resources in the UK and NI – http://www.bgs.ac.uk/research/energy/shaleGas.html
University of Aberdeen and the research partners - http://www.abdn.ac.uk/geology/research/
The hunt for gas and the threat to Scotland – http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/the-hunt-for-gas-and-the-threat-to-scotland.16986259 (11 March 2012)
UK shale gas: an energy red herring? – http://www.rigzone.com/news/article.asp?a_id=115800 (7 March 2012)
Fracking and coalbed methane – http://energybulletin.net/stories/2011-10-11/fracking-and-coalbed-methane-unconventional-gas-uk (11 October 2011) Article about shale gas, method, maps of the UK and growing demand on energy with diagraph
Shale oil and gas will help make western hemisphere self sufficient -http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/18/shale-oil-gas-us-energy-self-sufficient (18 Jan 2012)
Shale gas worse than coal for climate
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13053040 12 April 2011
Shale gas push ‘would wreck UK’s climate change targets - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/23/shale-gas-climate-change-targets
The UK’s lack of fracking regulations is insane (31 August 2011)
Fracking industry will be minimally regulated in the UK - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/sep/23/fracking-industry-minimal-regulation-uk (23 September 2011)
Letters revealing lack of fracking regulation in the UK
Correspondence on shale gas regulation between government and its agencies, and former oil and gas engineer Mike Hill – http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/interactive/2011/sep/26/letters-fracking-regulation-uk
Please click on image for full story
Call for moratorium on HF by UK Parliament members – http://www.edms.org.uk/2010-11/2292.htm (20 October 2011)
Regulations in Pennsylvania - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/13/hydraulic-fracturing-penn_n_760788.html (14th September 2011)
GAS FIELDS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY IN IRELAND
Tamboran quietly builds gas vehicle (18th March 2011)
Fracking for gas prompts Irish government study - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15202704 (6 Oct 2011)
FRACKING AND ECONOMY
BG cuts back on fracking for shale gas as prices slides
“BG Group has become the latest major energy giant to scale back on shale gas production amid falling prices …. BG said on Thursday that its production target for US shale gas would be 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day [boepd] in 2015, more than half the previous estimate of 190,000. ”
Energy firm Cuadrilla discovers huge gas reserves under Lancashire – http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/sep/23/blackpool-shale-gas-cuadrilla (24 September 2011)
Sonar studies to start across the county – http://www.lep.co.uk/news/lep-business/sonar_studies_to_start_across_county_1_3971975
Doubts raised about giant shale gas find in England – http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE78M3J820110923?irpc=932 (23 September 2011)
Shale gas drillling protest camp sets up in Lancashire – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk- england-lancashire-14943127 (16 September 2011)
A blog following a visit to the Cuadrilla drilling site in Lancashire, UK- http://www.wwf.org.uk/what_we_do/campaigning/campaigns_news/?5535/Cuadrilla-defends-shale-gas—but-are-we-convinced
BLACKPOOL – EARTHQUAKES
Blackpool earthquake tremors may have been caused by gas drilling - http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/jun/01/blackpool-earthquake-tremors-gas-drilling
Drilling did cause earthquake - http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/news/local/drilling_did_cause_earthquake_1_3876146 (15 October 2011)
Probe into ‘crazy’ shale gas loophole -
A LOOPHOLE which allowed a shale gas company to drill without a full environmental report is to be reviewed after it was claimed water contamination was a possibility.
(9 Febr 2012)
Cuadrilla fracking linked to earthquakes - http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/cuadrilla-fracking-linked-to-earthquakes-3051 (16 October 2011)
Firm says shale fracking caused earthquakes - http://uk.reuters.com/article/2011/11/02/uk-firm-shale-gas-idUKTRE7A12QQ20111102
Fracking tests near Blackpool ‘likely cause’ of tremors - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-15550458 (2 November 2011) Report from Cuadrilla
Cuarilla press release and link to report: http://www.cuadrillaresources.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Cuadrilla-Resources-Press-Release-02-11-11.pdf (2 November 2011)
Final Report Blackpool and earthquakes.
Lead investigator Dr. de Pater was the special guest at a briefing for TDs and senators hosted by Senator Susan O’Keeffe at in Leinster House in Dublin – http://www.cuadrillaresources.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Final_Report_Bowland_Seismicity_02-11-11.pdf (article is removed: search the site for this article and appendix)
Here the report: http://ubuntuone.com/0WnMyhFyBhad8QckRQAdzT
Drilling and home insurance – http://www.homequotedirect.co.uk/home-insurance-blog/2011/11/controversial-drilling-procedure-may-affect-home-insurance-premiums/
Sitting and shaking in your house with a huge mortgage…..
Shale gas, a little nonsense please – http://blogs.endsreport.com/carbonandenergy/2011/11/17/shale-gas-a-little-less-nonsense-please/
……. relaxe, it is only a matter of perception…..
Questions in the Parliament – http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-11-14a.79927.h&s=hydraulic+frac
Fracking probably cause of Lancashire earthquake – http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/02/fracking-cause-lancashire-quakes?CMP=twt_fd (2 November 2011)
Shale gas is no game-changer in the UK – Damian Carrington’s Environment blog http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/damian-carrington-blog/2011/nov/03/shale-gas-game-changer-fracking (3 November 2011)
Gas fracking, loved by some and loathed by others, can cause earthquakes. But, say the money men, it is unlikely to send major tremors through the UK energy market
Fracking Protesters storms shale gas site. - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/02/fracking-protesters-storm-shale-gas-site
Anti fracking campaigners climb Lancashire rig again - http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/the-northerner/2011/dec/01/fracking-lancashire-hesketh-bank-cuadrilla (1 December 2011)
Frack Off!’ 500 ft high Banner Drop Off Blackpool Tower
Statement of cuadrilla re: to protesters - http://www.cuadrillaresources.com/cms/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Preese-Hall-Statement-02-11-11.pdf (2 November 2011)page removed to: http://www.cuadrillaresources.com/protecting-our-environment/seismicity/what-happened/
Listen to Open Country – Fracking in Lancashire
Does the Lancashire landscape hold the key to cheaper gas bills? http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qgft
Exploration company’s arrival divides English village – http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2011/1212/1224308954056.html ( 12 December 2011)
SOUTH WALES – VALE
A decision on an application to test drill for gas in the Vale of Glamorgan is deferred by the county council for a site visit.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/news/uk-wales-15101164 (29 September 2011)
- Fracking fears over gas drilling 26 SEPTEMBER 2011, WALES
- Q&A: What is fracking? 06 AUGUST 2011, UK
- Shale gas extraction policy call 31 JULY 2011, WALES
- Policy call on shale gas reserves 01 JULY 2011, WALES
- Blackpool quake halts shale drilling 01 JUNE 2011, BUSINESS
Middle England and eco activists unite in opposition to shale gas and fracking - http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/1202913/middle_england_and_ecoactivists_unite_in_opposition_to_shale_gas_and_fracking.html (13 Jan 2012)
Scotland fracking for gas given the green light – http://www.scotsman.com/scotland-on-sunday/scotland/fracking_for_gas_given_the_green_light_1_1950654______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Reuters -http://uk.news.yahoo.com/north-sea-drilling-hits-eight-low-182455954.html(19 October 2011)
Shale gas worse than coal for climate
Shale oil and gas will help make western hemisphere self sufficient -