shale gas

Drilling Begins at Cuadrilla’s Lancashire Shale Gas Site

UK fracking: drilling begins at Cuadrilla's Lancashire site

By Ruth Hayhurst at DrillorDrop.

The shale gas firm, Cuadrilla has confirmed that drilling began today at its site at near Blackpool.

The Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton will see the first horizontal shale gas exploration wells in the UK.

A spokesperson for the company said drilling began early this afternoon but was unable to give a precise time.

There May be a Huge Flaw in UK Fracking Hopes – The Geology

UK fracking

The UK government has placed a lot of hope on fracking to provide a “lower carbon” source of energy. However, John Richard Underhill, chief scientist & professor of exploration geoscience at Heriot-Watt University argues the scale of shale gas reserves has been hyped. While the debate about fracking so far has been about economic benefits vs harm to the environment, no one is paying attention to the geology he writes at The Conversation.

Gas is hugely important to the UK. The country uses more than 65 billion cubic metres to heat most of its 25m homes and generate around a quarter of its electricity each year. Despite efforts to move to renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, demand for gas is likely to remain high for the foreseeable future.

Until 2004 all the gas the country needed was sourced from the UK, primarily from the North Sea and East Irish Sea. Since then, production has declined to the point where indigenous gas provides only 45 percent of the total. The shortfall comes from European pipelines (38 percent), particularly from Norway and Russia; and liquid natural gas (LNG) deliveries (17 percent), primarily from Qatar.

UK Support for Fracking at Record Low – Government Survey

Anti-fracking signs

The UK government has just released its latest round of data on public attitudes to energy and climate issues. Ruth Hayhurst from Drill or Drop takes a detailed look at the results.

The latest findings from the government survey of attitudes to fracking in the UK puts support at its lowest level since the question was first asked.

Shale Gas Company Backed by Cuadrilla Founder Wants to Frack West London

Shale gas company wants to frack West London

A new shale gas company backed by a former Cuadrilla founder has announced plans to explore for natural gas in a West London borough that has banned fracking.

In a release published quietly on their website in June, London Local Energy claim to believe that there may be a huge shale gas reserve below the site of the former White Heather Laundry in the Harlesden area, which it says could provide 12 percent of London’s natural gas demand.

The firm argues that locally sourced shale gas will be much less carbon intensive than exports currently shipped to the UK from countries like the US and Nigeria. They believe that environmentalists are undermining efforts to tackle climate change by stifling dialogue on fracking.

'Cuadrilla Were in My School Today' — Fracking Company's New PR Trick

Cuadrilla bib

As tensions continue to rise between Cuadrilla, police, and anti-fracking campaigners in Lancashire, Cuadrilla continues looking for ways to buy local people’s support.

One of its main targets for advertising? Young children.

Throughout Lancashire, shale gas company Cuadrilla is promoting its brand and putting its logo in front of hundreds of children through the sponsorship of sports clubs and school competitions.

Cuadrilla-sponsored sports teams pose a unique ethical dilemma as fracking has been linked to air pollution. A 2016 study found that young children and infants’ lungs, hearts and immune systems especially were at risk if they lived near a fracking site.

Barclays to Sell Fracking Company, Says Decision Does Not Change Stance on Shale Gas

Barclays building

Campaigners are celebrating Barclays’ announcement that it will sell its stake in fracking company Third Energy “in due course”. But the company said its overall stance on fracking has not changed.

Until recently, a Barclays subsidiary owned 97 percent stake of the small Yorkshire company, which has a license to frack just south of the North York Moors national park. Its stake is currently about 78 percent, according to a report by consultancy Profundo.

At the bank’s annual general meeting last week, its chairman John McFarlane confirmed Barclays' plans to ultimately sell the subsidiary that owns the Third Energy stake. Environmental campaign group People and Planet said this would be a “huge victory”.

Anti-Fracking Campaigners Lose Legal Challenge Over Cuadrilla’s Lancashire Shale Gas Site

Cuadrilla protest sign

Protesters in Lancashire have finally found out the result of a judicial review into the government's decision to push ahead with shale gas exploration in Lancashire, despite the local council voting against it. Ruth Hayhurst from Drill or Drop has the story.

A community group and an anti-fracking campaigner have lost their legal challenge against the Communities’ Secretary over the way he granted permission for fracking at a site in Lancashire.

Sir Ian Dove, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London this morning dismissed the case by Preston New Road Action Group and Gayzer Frackman.

This clears the way for Cuadrilla to drill, frack and test up to four wells at its Preston New Road site at Little Plumpton near Blackpool.

Secretive Industry Conference Seeks to Persuade People Fracking is a Good Idea

Protest signs on the gate at AGL's fracking site on Fairbairns Lane, Gloucester

A secretive fracking conference sponsored by Dow and Halliburton and featuring speakers from a range of publically-funded government agencies is taking place somewhere in Birmingham tomorrow.

The UK Onshore Oil and Gas: Policy, Planning and Future Developments conference aims to encourage delegates to pursue fossil fuel extraction in the UK.

The conference is “designed to give help, guidance and support to the public sector to ensure delegates attending have the right and most accurate information on onshore oil and gas and environmental planning”, according to its website. It will also explore ways “to minimise environmental impacts, such as the treatment of waste water from drilling operations, noise pollution and traffic management, to local communicates [sic]”, the website says.

The organisers, the ironically named Open Forum Events, told DeSmog UK press passes for the event are “limited” with only a few chosen national and trade journalists being allowed into the conference.

Its location is being kept secret due to “the sensitivity of the subject”. This is “company policy”, the organisers told DeSmog UK.

Mapped: How Fracking Lobbyists From the UK and America Have Infiltrated Parliament

Fracking companies are donating hundreds of thousands of pounds to a select group of UK MPs and Lords, parliamentary data reveals.

The contributions give the shale gas industry privileged access to lawmakers, and allows companies to promote their interests inside parliament.

Companies directly involved in the shale gas industry donated around £130,000 in funds or benefits in kind to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Unconventional Oil and Gas in 2016, registry data shows.

Many of these companies are currently in the early stages of exploring for shale gas in the UK. Others are large US and multinational companies heavily involved in America’s fracking boom, which may be eyeing up UK investment opportunities if the conditions are right.

DeSmog UK has mapped the key connections between donors to the APPG, and Britain and America’s corporate fracking interests.

Fracking Firm Cuadrilla Officially Begins Work at Lancashire Shale Gas Site

Cuadrilla Lancashire

UK energy company Cuadrilla has begun work on its controversial shale gas site in Lancashire it was announced on 5 January.

The fracking firm started building an entrance and access road at its Preston New Road site near Little Plumpton early Thursday morning following permission to start being given by the local council on Wednesday.

It is expected the construction work, which also includes a well pad, will take about three months to be completed before drilling can start according to Cuadrilla. Should everything move smoothly for the company, the UK will see its first fracking operations since 2011 start in the spring.

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