North Meols - The community website for the village of Banks andf Crossens near Southport
Local village news from Banks, Southport
Events in and around Banks, Southport
Local serices and businesses serving Banks, Southport
Local History, Family History and Genealogy
Banks Fracking News


Advertise your business or event across this website for just £1 a day


Unique Visitors!

Contact
editor@lancashirevillages.com

Service Provider Hubmaker
© 2001-2017
All rights reserved

Privacy Policy


SHALE GAS AT BANKS
FRACKING AT THE CUADRILLA 'BECCONSALL' DRILL SITE


News and views about the Cuadrilla 'Becconsall' shale gas fracking site located between Banks and Hesketh Bank, West Lancashire

Cuadrilla Resources | DECC | Environment Agency

Have your say! Email editor@lancashirevillages.com
Please don't forget to include your name and title of your letter, your address and telephone number
Contact details will not be published or kept but are required for validation.
Anonymous letters will not be published

7th March 2014
REAF URGE CAUTION OVER Cuadrilla announceMENT
Source: Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF)

In response to your recent post 21/03/14 [see below], we urge people to be very careful when interpreting what the industry, and especially Caudrilla, are reporting.

You quoted Andrew Quarles, Cuadrilla’s Technical Director: "The rig will then be removed and the gauges will be left in place, recording pressure for approximately 12 months. We then plan to seal and return the site to its former condition."

This certainly reads as though any work will be completed in just over a year?

It seems rather odd then that the planning application detail, that this report relates to, states; "PERMISSION IS SOUGHT FOR THE RETENTION OF THE SITE COMPOUND AND ACCESS TRACK FOR A FURTHER 3 YEARS TO ALLOW PRESSURE MONITORING OF..."

http://planningregister.lancashire.gov.uk/PlanAppDisp.aspx?recno=6527

Bear in mind that the original planning application for Beconsall made no reference to the words"Hydraulic Fracturing" at all, nor where the Health & Safety Executive listed as consultees?

http://planningregister.lancashire.gov.uk/PlanAppDisp.aspx?recno=5520

From past experience of their performance at the Beconsall site we know that Caudrilla carried on drilling beyond their allocated time permissions.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/sep/10/cuadrilla-breach-fracking-lancashire

And, following a 6 months delay in reporting by Cuadrilla relating to the Preese Hall Farm quakes, resulting in a letter from the then Energy Minister Charles Hendry to Lord Brown (director of Caudrilla) which discussed weaknesses in Cuadrilla's performance as an operator, Hendry was sacked.

http://reaf.org.uk/library/BROWN/Hendry_Brown_Miller.pdf

The often reported "UK's strong regulation" did not enforce any fine or penalty relating to any of the above shortcomings - an even greater cause for concern.

We would therefore suggest that a great deal of scepticism and caution is exercised before accepting what is being reported by Cuadrilla.

People who are opposed to this 'creeping consent' may like to download, sign and post in their objection to Lancashire County Council?

As sample objection letter can be found here;

http://reaf.org.uk/library/LCC/OBJ/LCC_PAN_20140047_OBJ_042014.pdf

REAF
www.reaf.org.uk


21st March 2014
Cuadrilla announces updated plans for Becconsall site
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

Cuadrilla will be applying for an extension to the current planning permission in order to allow time to carry out measurement of the pressure of the gas in the shale rock at its Becconsall well, near Banks.

The well will not be hydraulically fractured. Following the pressure measurement programme it is planned that the well will be sealed and the site returned to its former condition next year.

Andrew Quarles, Cuadrilla’s Technical Director, said:

“A week’s work at the site is required, during which a small rig will install pressure gauges and isolate a section of the well for measurement.  The rig will then be removed and the gauges will be left in place, recording pressure for approximately 12 months. We then plan to seal and return the site to its former condition.”

The planning application for the work will be submitted to Lancashire County Council.


18th January 2014
Fracking: Community Consultation ~ Theory vs Reality
Source: REAF

Ribble Estuary Against Fracking are back in 2014 to continue raising awareness locally and nationally on the negative impacts to communities resulting from the commercial development of High Volume High Pressure Slick Water Hydraulic Fracturing aka FRACKING.

The next information event will be held on Sunday the 26th of January at the following venue :- Mere Brow Village Hall 65 The Gravel Mere Brow Preston PR4 6JX

Start time is 1pm and the event will run until 5pm. There will be members of REAF on hand to answer questions as well as a variety of media available.

There will also be a presentation entitled Community Consultation: Theory vs Reality at 3pm by REAF Member Eve McNamara, followed by an open Q & A - so be there just before 3pm if you can (Refreshments available!)

If you cannot make the meeting you can still share your views by filling in the groups online survey. For more information contact info@reaf.org.uk or phone 07582 809722


13th January 2014
Cuadrilla launches community benefit piloT SCHEME
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

Cuadrilla Resources has today announced an agreement with the Community Foundation for Lancashire under which the Community Foundation will run a pilot scheme managing community benefit funds at upcoming Cuadrilla shale gas exploration sites in Lancashire.

The pilot will be run independently by the Community Foundation, which is part of the network of UK Community Foundations. The organisation is an independent registered charity experienced in engaging and consulting with communities in Lancashire, receiving and administering funding applications and evaluating their success. Since 2003, the Community Foundation has distributed funds of £9 million to over 1,900 community groups, charities and social businesses across Lancashire working in partnership with donors, funders and philanthropists.

A community benefit of £100,000 will be paid by Cuadrilla for each exploration wellhead where hydraulic fracturing takes place. This payment will be made into the community fund as drilling operations commence on each well that we intend to hydraulically fracture. The Community Foundation will be responsible for coordinating a consultation into how local residents and community groups would like to see that funding distributed for public benefit and will administer the scheme to ensure a transparent process that delivers benefit to the community.

The pilot is part of a scheme announced today by the industry’s representative body, the United Kingdom Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG) working in partnership with the UK Community Foundation.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said: “Cuadrilla is delighted to be able to make this announcement today. The Community Foundation for Lancashire is an excellent partner with a strong track record of working with communities to help identify appropriate causes and means of disseminating these community funds.

“We are committed to being a good neighbour and it will be for local people to decide for themselves - with the help of the Community Foundation for Lancashire - how this money will be spent.”

Cathy Elliott, chief executive of the Community Foundation for Lancashire, said: “Community Foundation for Lancashire is an impartial and independent charity and will manage the funds independently of Cuadrilla and entirely for the benefit of the local communities for whom each fund is intended, within Charity Commission guidelines.

“Work on any fund will commence after the full planning and regulatory approval process has been completed and all necessary approvals have been given.

“We will work with and for local communities in a robust, effective and fully transparent process, supporting local people to define local priorities, including the appointment of a community panel to decide how the money will be spent. We will ensure that funds are effectively managed to deliver the greatest possible social benefit. ”


9th October 2013
REAF FRACKING UPDATE EVENTS
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Local environmental group Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) are running a series of informal information events around West Lancashire this autumn starting with Banks Village on Sunday 13th October between 12 and 5pm at the St Stephens Institute & Club on Hoole Lane.

Residents are invited to drop-in at any time for an update and discussion on Shale Gas Fracking and how full scale commercial development might affect the area should it go ahead.

There will be multi-media presentations and information packs to take away as well as group members on hand to answer your queries. Free refreshments are also provided.

REAF are also conducting a survey of local views on fracking; you can still share your views by filling in the groups online survey at www.reaf.org.uk/survey

For more information contact info@reaf.org.uk or phone 07582 809722


21st March 2014
Cuadrilla announces updated plans for Becconsall site
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

Cuadrilla will be applying for an extension to the current planning permission in order to allow time to carry out measurement of the pressure of the gas in the shale rock at its Becconsall well, near Banks.

The well will not be hydraulically fractured. Following the pressure measurement programme it is planned that the well will be sealed and the site returned to its former condition next year.

Andrew Quarles, Cuadrilla’s Technical Director, said:

“A week’s work at the site is required, during which a small rig will install pressure gauges and isolate a section of the well for measurement.  The rig will then be removed and the gauges will be left in place, recording pressure for approximately 12 months. We then plan to seal and return the site to its former condition.”

The planning application for the work will be submitted to Lancashire County Council.


18th January 2014
Fracking: Community Consultation ~ Theory vs Reality
Source: REAF

Ribble Estuary Against Fracking are back in 2014 to continue raising awareness locally and nationally on the negative impacts to communities resulting from the commercial development of High Volume High Pressure Slick Water Hydraulic Fracturing aka FRACKING.

The next information event will be held on Sunday the 26th of January at the following venue :- Mere Brow Village Hall 65 The Gravel Mere Brow Preston PR4 6JX

Start time is 1pm and the event will run until 5pm. There will be members of REAF on hand to answer questions as well as a variety of media available.

There will also be a presentation entitled Community Consultation: Theory vs Reality at 3pm by REAF Member Eve McNamara, followed by an open Q & A - so be there just before 3pm if you can (Refreshments available!)

If you cannot make the meeting you can still share your views by filling in the groups online survey. For more information contact info@reaf.org.uk or phone 07582 809722


13th January 2014
Cuadrilla launches community benefit piloT SCHEME
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

Cuadrilla Resources has today announced an agreement with the Community Foundation for Lancashire under which the Community Foundation will run a pilot scheme managing community benefit funds at upcoming Cuadrilla shale gas exploration sites in Lancashire.

The pilot will be run independently by the Community Foundation, which is part of the network of UK Community Foundations. The organisation is an independent registered charity experienced in engaging and consulting with communities in Lancashire, receiving and administering funding applications and evaluating their success. Since 2003, the Community Foundation has distributed funds of £9 million to over 1,900 community groups, charities and social businesses across Lancashire working in partnership with donors, funders and philanthropists.

A community benefit of £100,000 will be paid by Cuadrilla for each exploration wellhead where hydraulic fracturing takes place. This payment will be made into the community fund as drilling operations commence on each well that we intend to hydraulically fracture. The Community Foundation will be responsible for coordinating a consultation into how local residents and community groups would like to see that funding distributed for public benefit and will administer the scheme to ensure a transparent process that delivers benefit to the community.

The pilot is part of a scheme announced today by the industry’s representative body, the United Kingdom Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG) working in partnership with the UK Community Foundation.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said: “Cuadrilla is delighted to be able to make this announcement today. The Community Foundation for Lancashire is an excellent partner with a strong track record of working with communities to help identify appropriate causes and means of disseminating these community funds.

“We are committed to being a good neighbour and it will be for local people to decide for themselves - with the help of the Community Foundation for Lancashire - how this money will be spent.”

Cathy Elliott, chief executive of the Community Foundation for Lancashire, said: “Community Foundation for Lancashire is an impartial and independent charity and will manage the funds independently of Cuadrilla and entirely for the benefit of the local communities for whom each fund is intended, within Charity Commission guidelines.

“Work on any fund will commence after the full planning and regulatory approval process has been completed and all necessary approvals have been given.

“We will work with and for local communities in a robust, effective and fully transparent process, supporting local people to define local priorities, including the appointment of a community panel to decide how the money will be spent. We will ensure that funds are effectively managed to deliver the greatest possible social benefit. ”


9th October 2013
REAF FRACKING UPDATE EVENTS
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Local environmental group Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) are running a series of informal information events around West Lancashire this autumn starting with Banks Village on Sunday 13th October between 12 and 5pm at the St Stephens Institute & Club on Hoole Lane.

Residents are invited to drop-in at any time for an update and discussion on Shale Gas Fracking and how full scale commercial development might affect the area should it go ahead.

There will be multi-media presentations and information packs to take away as well as group members on hand to answer your queries. Free refreshments are also provided.

REAF are also conducting a survey of local views on fracking; you can still share your views by filling in the groups online survey at www.reaf.org.uk/survey

For more information contact info@reaf.org.uk or phone 07582 809722


29th September 2013
REAF Fracking Survey
Source: REAF

It is likely that many of us will have witnessed recent news reports on the anti-fracking protests in the village of Balcombe, West Sussex. Balcombe's villagers protested, and continue to protest, overwhelmingly against energy company Cuadrilla's plans with reports suggesting figures as high as 85% against fracking.

The similarities between the Balcombe situation and that facing Hesketh Bank and Banks are striking. Both are village communities and both are proposed fracking sites by Cuadrilla.

The response to this in Balcombe is now well-recognised and documented; the views of Hesketh Bank, Banks, and Tarleton residents are very much less so. This survey is your opportunity to express your views in a format that will allow independent recognition of local attitudes to the activities that Cuadrilla proposes in our villages. If local opinion matters in Balcombe then surely it matters just as much in our vilages!

http://www.reaf.org.uk/survey

We are looking for a survey sample of 1,000 and the results will be published via the Village Websites and reported on the REAF Website.

REAF are a residence group who are opposed to the commercial production of Shale Gas in our area and are working hard in seeking transparency on proposed regulation, planing and environmental issues.


11th September 2013
FRACKING & HOME INSURANCE
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

This website received an unprecidented amount of communication from concerned residents after the 'Fracking & Home Insurance' article originally published on the Stop Fylde Fracking website (and reproduced below on 24th July). So much so that we put the question directly to Cuadrilla. We have today received the following response:

A Cuadrilla spokesperson said: “It is unfounded scaremongering to suggest that damage as a result of hydraulic fracturing would be an ‘excluded peril’ on home buildings insurance. UKOOG, the representative body for the UK onshore oil and gas industry, have confirmed with the Association of British Insurers (ABI) that comments such as ‘damage to buildings as a result of fracking is now an excluded peril’ are categorically not the case.

“Furthermore the ABI said insurers ‘at present do not perceive there to be a risk of seismic activity that could cause damage to a well-maintained property as a result of hydraulic fracturing’. Indeed recent academic research, led by Durham University, found most fracking-related events release a negligible amount of energy roughly equivalent to or even less than someone jumping off a ladder onto the floor.

“Cuadrilla are committed to unlocking Lancashire’s shale gas potential in a safe and responsible manner and we’ll continue to keep local communities fully informed of our plans. As part of this process independent consultants Arup will also carry out a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment for sites where there are plans to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas.”


16th August 2013
Church of England in 'fracking land-grab'

Source: The Telegraph

The Church of England has begun legal action to claim ancient mineral rights beneath thousands of homes and farms, prompting fears the church could seek to cash in on fracking.

Residents across England have started receiving letters from the Land Registry, informing them that the Church is seeking to register the mineral rights to the earth beneath their property.

Lawyers believe that the Church’s claim could allow it to profit from fracking, the controversial method of extracting oil and cash by fracturing underground rocks with water and chemicals.

Click here to read the complete Telegraph article

14th August 2013
Church of England ENTERS fracking debate

Source: Diocese of Blackburn

The Diocese of Blackburn has produced a leaflet "Hot potato in a Lancashire cabbage field" debating that the environmental risks of shale gas extraction should not overshadow the benefits of cheaper fuel.
7th August 2013
Response to Lord Howell's Statement

Source: Letter To The Editor

Dear Editor,

In response to Lord Howell's ill informed and stereotypical depiction of first the North East as 'desolate' and then even more insultingly, Lancashire, when he corrected himself by stating that he really meant the North West as being 'unloved'.

We can all stereotype especially when you get an Eton educated Tory Lord from the South East who lends himself to the caricature of viewing the whole of Britain as his Political Class's equivalent of their own private estate. You can imagine his thinking along the lines of 'well if we are to have this fracking thingy-ma-jig then better put down at the bottom of the garden where it won't spoil the view, I will have a word with the head Gardener and get him to plant some trees to block it off from my view'

With Conservative voters now coming out against Fracking, this miserable misinformed and head wrong Tory led Government may just find that they have picked a fight they can't win, especially in their own back yards.

I wonder if they will refer to Nimby's in the South of England?

Cllr. J.E. Hodson WLBC Labour (a District in the much loved North of England), 7th August 2013


1st August 2013
LETTER SENT TO OUR MP
Source: Letter To The Editor

Sent today to our MP:

Greetings

I am a resident of Hesketh Bank which has, as you know, been found suitable for fracking. As our local MP I would like you to make a public comment on the statements made by your conservative colleague, Lord Howell, when he remarked that fracking should take place in desolate areas (and he meant the North West evidently) and that 'we want the derricks for fracking to be far away from residences in unloved places that are not environmentally sensitive.'
I would consider my own area of Hesketh Bank and the Ribble Estuary to both be environmentally sensitive and loved and would hope that that would also be your view.

I feel a strong response is needed from you on this matter. It is ENTIRELY wrong for the Westminster Parliament to believe that all the dirt and muck and disruption has to be in the North. To suggest that Southern counties are TOO SPECIAL for these dirty technologies is highly inflammable.

Janet C Read, 1st August 2013


1st August 2013
LORD HOWELL CONFIRMS LANCASHIRE AS HIS FRACKING TARGET
Source: Liverpool Echo

Lord Howell mixes North East with North West in fracking debacle. The peer who suggested that fracking be carried out in the “desolate” North East actually meant Lancashire

The peer who offended an entire region by suggesting that fracking should be carried out in the “desolate” North East of England today admitted he made a mistake – he actually meant Lancashire.

Lord Howell, George Osborne’s father-in-law, caused outrage when he described the North East as “desolate” and “uninhabited” when saying it was better suited to shale gas drilling than other “beautiful” areas.

But it appears he may have mixed up his North East and North West.

In response to a letter from Northumberland  MP Ian Lavery, the Conservative peer said: “It was wrong of me to mention a specific region, although actually I had Lancashire, not the North East, in mind.”

Today Mr Lavery said he did not believe the well-educated Lord Howell had made such a mistake, claiming the former minister was simply trying to undo the damage his comments caused.In his letter, Mr Lavery said the peer’s initial speech appeared to be based on ignorance rather than science.

“Doesn’t the pirate digging for buried treasure normally have a map to indicate it is there?” asked Mr Lavery.

“The British Geological Society has completed an estimate of shale gas that stops completely short of the North East.”

Fracking company Cuadrilla Resources have already applied to Lancashire County Council  to perform tests at a site in Banks, near Southport.

Click here to read the full Liverpool Article


29th July 2013
fracking should be concentrated away from the south
Source: The Telegraph

Lord Howell, a Government energy adviser and father-in-law to George Osborne, has described parts of the North East of England as “desolate” and suggested controversial fracking should be concentrated away from the south.

The Conservative peer, who advises William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, on energy and resource security, called for fracking to be concentrated in the North East because it has “large, desolate and uninhabited areas”.

He claimed that it could be a “mistake” to discuss shale gas drilling – known as fracking – in terms “of the whole United Kingdom in one go”.

In comments sure to cause controversy, he seemed to suggest that there are not “beautiful” areas in the North East and that it would be ripe for shale gas exploration.

“There are obviously in beautiful rural areas, worries not just about the drilling and the fracking, which I think are exaggerated, but about the trucks, the delivery and the roads and the disturbance,” Lord Howell said. “And those are quite justified worries.”

Click here to read the complete Telegraph article


24th July 2013
FRACKING & HOME INSURANCE
Source: Stop Fylde Fracking

Homeowners – fracking damage is now an “excluded peril” from buildings insurance policies

A local Fylde resident has been making enquiries into whether or not he can get house insurance that will cover damage caused by fracking. It appears not. This raises serious implications for people living near (and not so near) drilling sites across the UK. We would encourage you to write to your MP expressing your concerns and quoting this letter

A letter from a Lancashire resident to his MP:

"Dear Mr Menzies,

During the course of renewing my contents and buildings insurance policy, I made enquiries as to whether, or not, the risk of damage due to fracking would be covered. My broker kindly made enquiries, on my behalf, within the Insurance Industry.

She now informs me that damage to buildings as a result of fracking is now an ‘Excluded Peril’ on all buildings insurance throughout the United Kingdom.

I do hope that you are aware that over 80 properties across Fylde were damaged as a result of the seismic tests, carried out on St. Annes Moss last October? This included damage to the floor of the Willows Catholic Club in Kirkham, which as you will know, is several miles away.

Specifically, and in great detail please, what guarantees can the Government give me that they will pay for any damage to my property as a result of fracking. I am aware that Cuadrilla have NOT paid out for much of the damage they caused last year, so I believe the time has come for the Government to provide an absolute guarantee that all damage will be covered from a central pot, and without quibble.

Yours sincerely,"

Stop Fylde Fracking Website

23rd July 2013
DON'T FRACK OUR FUTURE - Doreen's Story
Source: Letter to the Editor

Released this week, an animation about how fracking is going to effect everyone in this area, its entertaining and informative. http://youtu.be/BYniYtJEeeI

If you have watched Don't frack my future Doreen's story and think you can help, no special skills required, just a little time and the spirit to help save the community we've got. Ring or email Doreen on 01772 813670

Doreen Stopforth, 23rd July 2013


22nd July 2013
United Utilities opens talks with Cuadrilla over fracking deal
Source: The Telegraph

The water company United Utilities is in talks with shale gas explorer Cuadrilla over locations for fracking and is interested in letting the company explore on its land.

The utility supplies water across the North West, including the Bowland shale licence area where Cuadrilla hopes to resume fracking next year.

It is also a major landowner, with 141,000 acres (57,000 hectares) stretching from Cumbria to Crewe. United Utilities’ business development manager began talks with Cuadrilla within the last couple of months and the companies are “looking at potential opportunities for working together”, a spokeswoman for the water giant confirmed.

Click here for the complete Telegraph article


24th July 2013
FRACKING & HOME INSURANCE
Source: Stop Fylde Fracking

Homeowners – fracking damage is now an “excluded peril” from buildings insurance policies

A local Fylde resident has been making enquiries into whether or not he can get house insurance that will cover damage caused by fracking. It appears not. This raises serious implications for people living near (and not so near) drilling sites across the UK. We would encourage you to write to your MP expressing your concerns and quoting this letter

A letter from a Lancashire resident to his MP:

"Dear Mr Menzies,

During the course of renewing my contents and buildings insurance policy, I made enquiries as to whether, or not, the risk of damage due to fracking would be covered. My broker kindly made enquiries, on my behalf, within the Insurance Industry.

She now informs me that damage to buildings as a result of fracking is now an ‘Excluded Peril’ on all buildings insurance throughout the United Kingdom.

I do hope that you are aware that over 80 properties across Fylde were damaged as a result of the seismic tests, carried out on St. Annes Moss last October? This included damage to the floor of the Willows Catholic Club in Kirkham, which as you will know, is several miles away.

Specifically, and in great detail please, what guarantees can the Government give me that they will pay for any damage to my property as a result of fracking. I am aware that Cuadrilla have NOT paid out for much of the damage they caused last year, so I believe the time has come for the Government to provide an absolute guarantee that all damage will be covered from a central pot, and without quibble.

Yours sincerely,"

Stop Fylde Fracking Website


23rd July 2013
DON'T FRACK OUR FUTURE - Doreen's Story
Source: Letter to the Editor

Released this week, an animation about how fracking is going to effect everyone in this area, its entertaining and informative. http://youtu.be/BYniYtJEeeI

If you have watched Don't frack my future Doreen's story and think you can help, no special skills required, just a little time and the spirit to help save the community we've got. Ring or email Doreen on 01772 813670

Doreen Stopforth, 23rd July 2013


22nd July 2013
United Utilities opens talks with Cuadrilla over fracking deal
Source: The Telegraph

The water company United Utilities is in talks with shale gas explorer Cuadrilla over locations for fracking and is interested in letting the company explore on its land.

The utility supplies water across the North West, including the Bowland shale licence area where Cuadrilla hopes to resume fracking next year.

It is also a major landowner, with 141,000 acres (57,000 hectares) stretching from Cumbria to Crewe. United Utilities’ business development manager began talks with Cuadrilla within the last couple of months and the companies are “looking at potential opportunities for working together”, a spokeswoman for the water giant confirmed.

Click here for the complete Telegraph article


18th July 2013
Tax cut for shale gas firms planned
Source: BBC News

The government has outlined plans to give tax breaks to companies involved in the UK's nascent shale gas industry.

It has proposed cutting the tax on some of the income generated from producing shale gas - found in underground shale rock formations - from 62% to just 30%.

The plans would make the UK the "most generous" regime for shale gas in the world, the government said.

Click here for the complete BBC News article


5th July 2013
Cuadrilla updates its Lancashire exploration programme
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla has announced that it intends to apply for planning consent to hydraulically fracture and test the shale at its existing exploration well at Grange Hill. It has also announced that it intends over time to apply for consent to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the gas flow at up to six new temporary exploration well sites in the Fylde. A decision on drilling and testing at the existing Anna’s Road site will be deferred until later in the exploration programme. Cuadrilla has appointed Arup, the engineering and environmental consultancy, to undertake Environmental Impact Assessments for each application to drill, fracture and flow-test. The precise locations of the new sites and the order in which they might be drilled will be determined over the coming months.

Cuadrilla will also apply for planning consent to drill up to three further vertical exploration wells. These wells will not be hydraulically fractured. They will allow additional rock samples to be taken, and further improve knowledge of the subsurface geology; their locations will be discussed with the community before they are finalised. These operations will be discrete from the proposed exploratory works detailed above.

A further stage in determining how much of the natural gas reserves can be recovered from the shale would be to test gas flow from some of the hydraulically fractured exploration wells over an extended period.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said: "The purpose of all our ongoing exploratory work is to demonstrate that natural gas can be produced from the shale in commercial quantities. By sharing our plans for the exploratory programme, we hope that people will have an understanding of what we plan to do and why. The British Geological Survey last week confirmed the exciting scale of Lancashire’s gas resource, and we look forward to working closely with local communities and regulators as our exploration work progresses."

"The UK increasingly depends on imports for its supplies of gas. Gas is vital in heating our homes and businesses, supplying our industry and, along with other fuels and renewables, generating our electricity. According to a recent report by the Institute of Directors, natural gas from Lancashire could lead to thousands of new jobs, higher tax revenues and lower emissions. We remain at the exploration phase of assessing the possibility, and together with our new partners at Centrica Energy, we are committed to doing this transparently, safely and sensibly."


27th June 2013
Cuadrilla welcomes revised shale gas resource estimate
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla has today welcomed the British Geological Survey’s estimate of the amount of natural gas locked within the shale rock of Lancashire’s Bowland Basin. The substantially increased estimate, arrived at after extensive study of the available data from a number of sources, makes clear the enormous potential of Lancashire’s natural gas resources.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said: "The British Geological Survey's new resource estimate for the Bowland Basin is fantastic news for Lancashire and the UK as a whole. It confirms the huge natural gas volumes contained within the shale rock in our exploration licence area. Successful development of this natural gas resource will, we believe, significantly reduce the country's reliance on imported coal and gas, create thousands of jobs, generate significant tax revenues and exert downward pressure on domestic gas prices. In the short term, we will continue our work within the Bowland Basin by adding a number of additional temporary exploration sites during 2013 and 2014 to confirm gas flow rates."

Reacting to the announcement of the proposed community benefit scheme announced today, Mr. Egan added: "We support today's announcement on the proposed community benefits scheme concerning non-conventional onshore oil and gas exploration and production. The UK government has long recognised, as we have, that local communities must reap long-term benefits from the development of gas and oil from shale. Cuadrilla will commit to local communities one per cent of the revenues from each producing site during the production phase. With success, this should amount to millions of pounds per individual production site, benefiting local communities."

"We look forward to continuing discussions with all relevant parties to finalise the details of the community benefits scheme."


27th June 2013
Shale gas plan to reward communities
Source: BBC

The BBC understands that communities that host fracking sites will receive 1% of any revenues generated by the well over its lifetime.

The package is expected to be set out by the Department of Energy and Climate Change later.

BBC industry correspondent John Moylan says gas flow rates from "fracked" wells tend to deteriorate significantly over their lifetime, so it is likely that much of the cash communities would receive would be in the early years of the well's operation.

The communities would decide how any cash was spent.

Click here for the complete BBC News report


14th June 2013
Arup appointed for Environmental Impact Assessments
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla appoints Arup to conduct independent Environmental Impact Assessments as part of Lancashire planning applications.

Today, Cuadrilla announced the appointment of Arup, the engineering and design consultancy, as independent provider of Environmental Impact Assessments to be conducted as part of planning applications to explore for natural gas from shale in Lancashire.

The process will start this summer, and is expected to run into the first quarter of 2014.

Arup’s work on the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) will include environment risk assessment, public and stakeholder consultation and planning application support.

“These EIAs are being carried out as part of a robust process of developing informed consent for the ongoing exploration of the very significant natural gas resources in Lancashire’s Bowland shale", said Francis Egan.

Founded in 1946, Arup is a leader in consulting to industry and governments around the world. "Arup's experience in technical and public consultation was perfectly suited to the issues and opportunities in Lancashire, where there is a mix of technical and public issues,” said Egan.

Des Correia, project director, Arup, said “Shale gas exploration is an emerging area in the UK and Arup understands the full range of environmental issues. However, the vital element in this work will be using that knowledge to ensure we fully assess, explain and, as appropriate, mitigate any implications for the local environment or communities. We are pleased to have the opportunity to assess these issues in more detail and to support Cuadrilla in its commitment to the highest environmental standards on this project.”

One of the first steps of the project will be to agree a stakeholder and public consultation plan. Discussions are already underway with Lancashire County Council.

“Shale gas exploration is a process which necessitates that communities have confidence that all material risks have been properly identified and assessed, and the appropriate control steps agreed," said Correia. “We will be working closely with Lancashire County Council, a range of technical experts, and local communities to provide the necessary analysis and consultation.

Arup has always believed in high quality community consultation, and there will be a number of opportunities for communities to be part of the process.”


13th June 2013
CENTRICA invests in LANCASHIRE SHALE gas
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla welcomes Centrica as new investment partner in Lancashire

Centrica plc has today become a 25 per cent investment partner in the Cuadrilla Resources operated Lancashire Bowland shale gas exploration licence area.

The ownership of the joint venture before the transaction was 75per cent Cuadrilla and 25 per cent A J Lucas.
Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s CEO, said: "Today’s announcement represents a significant step in our on-going exploration programme for natural gas within the Lancashire Bowland Basin. Centrica, Cuadrilla and A J Lucas recognise the exciting gas potential that lies within the shale rock in Lancashire."

"Natural gas from UK shale can create thousands of jobs, generate significant tax revenues, reduce our ever increasing reliance on imported coal and gas and make a positive contribution to the country’s balance of payments."

"Centrica will bring to the Cuadrilla operated joint venture deep experience of all aspects of natural gas exploration, extraction and transportation and share the commitment of Cuadrilla and A J Lucas to explore for and develop this resource in a safe and environmentally responsible manner."

Mark Hanafin, Managing Director of Centrica’s International Upstream business, said: "With North Sea gas reserves declining and the UK becoming more dependent on imported gas supplies, it is important that we look for opportunities to develop domestic gas resources, to provide affordable sources of gas to our customers, and to deliver broader economic benefits to the UK"

"This transaction presents an attractive opportunity for Centrica to explore the potential and commercial viability of natural gas from shale in the UK, while utilising its expertise as a responsible operator and developer of UK gas resources."

Cuadrilla will keep the local community, politicians and the media informed of future developments. Centrica has paid £40 million in cash and committed to fund £60 million of expenditure on the Bowland joint venture from the transaction, effective date of 1 January 2013. A further contingent payment of £60m will be paid by Centrica subject to certain operational milestones having been reached.

Today’s news will not affect Cuadrilla’s other business operations in the UK and overseas.

The ownership of the Joint Venture before and after the transaction is summarised below:

Owner Ownership before transaction % Ownership after transaction %
Cuadrilla* 75.0 56.25
A J Lucas 25.0 18.75
Centrica Nil 25.00

* Joint Venture Operator

Jefferies International Ltd acted as financial adviser to Cuadrilla and Allen and Overy LLP acted as legal advisers.


11th May 2013
Cuadrilla announces diagnostic well tests at Banks site
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla announces diagnostic well tests at Banks site Cuadrilla, the company exploring for natural gas in Lancashire’s Bowland Basin, plans to submit a modified planning application to Lancashire County Council to carry out a number of different diagnostic well tests on their exploration well at Banks. The tests will not involve hydraulic fracturing, as envisaged in the previously submitted planning application.

The diagnostic well tests will help the company to acquire further valuable information on the characteristics of the shale rock and the fluid and gas locked within that rock.

Cuadrilla will be taking samples of the fluid and gas from the shale rock formations and measuring the in-situ pressure of gas and fluid. The data will be used along with other data from future planned exploration work programme to help determine how much natural gas might be recovered from the Bowland shale beneath Lancashire.

The decision has been taken after the completion of a detailed review of the results of the Geophysical Survey of the Fylde carried out last year. The highly accurate, threedimensional subterranean mapping data has proved extremely useful in helping Cuadrilla to grade target areas within the underground shale. As such, the company intends to locate sites where they propose both to drill and to hydraulically fracture exploration wells within areas covered by three-dimensional seismic mapping.

The actual testing programme will be of a limited duration, and will take approximately three months in total, of which approximately one month will be well testing and the remaining two months a period when pressure gauges sealed in the well at the level of the shale rock will be recording pressure data.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said: "The proposed diagnostic tests are a key part of the ongoing exploratory process of determining how much natural gas is trapped in the shale rock beneath Lancashire.
The valuable data that we can obtain from testing the well will help us to understand how much of the gas within the Bowland basin can be viably recovered."


11th May 2013
Anti-fracking protest Camp set up AT MERE BROW
Source: BBC News

About 300 people are taking part in a weekend-long protest against fracking in West Lancashire. The campaigners, have set up camp in Mere Brow near Tarleton.

Organisers said Camp Frack was a weekend designed to highlight the dangers of fracking and promote environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Click here to see the complete BBC News article


9th May 2013
fracking CAMPAINGNERS LOOSE APPEAL
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Two protesters convicted of storming a drilling site in protest against fracking have lost their appeal against their sentences.

Lauren Pepperell and Edward Lloyd-Davis, both university graduates, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday to appeal against their convictions for aggravated trespass.

But following out-of-court negotiations, they dropped that appeal, but then sought to object to the sentences imposed by Preston Magistrates Court last July.

Pepperell, 27, and Lloyd-Davis, a 39-year-old unemployed astro-physicist, had both been convicted of two offences of aggravated trespass after they climbed 45 metres up to a drilling platform at the Cuadrilla Resources site in Bonny Barn Lane, Banks, near Southport, on November 2, 2011, in protest at the shale gas extraction technology being used at the site.

Lloyd-Davis was also convicted of assaulting a security guard who tried to stop them but today, after the prosecution agreed to offer no evidence on that charge, a not guilty verdict was recorded and his appeal against the conviction abandoned.

The couple, both of Rugby Place, Brighton, had both been given a two-year conditional discharge, and each ordered to pay £750 towards the £4,000 prosecution costs after the five-day case.

After hearing their appeal, along with two magistrates, Judge Heather Lloyd upheld the sentences and also ordered them to pay £100 each towards the costs of the appeal hearing.

Click here to read the complete LEP article


1st May April 2013
Fracking on Trial As Threat Grows
Source: Frack Off Press Release

As the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere threatens to smash through 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history [1] and the evidence of climate emissions [2] [3] and toxic and destructive impacts of fracking from the US and Australia continues to mount, [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] fracking is in court again, this time in Liverpool. Two activists are appealing their convictions [10] last year for disrupting "lawful activity" at a shale gas drilling site where they occupied a fracking rig in November 2011. 

On the 2nd November 2011, 5 people occupied the Cuadrilla Resources drilling rig at Banks to draw attention to growing threat posed by the spread of unconventional gas extraction to the British Isles. [11] This protest was timed to coincide with an industry sponsored “Shale Gas Environmental Summit” in London, [12] as well as the release of a report in which Cuadrilla admitted that the fracking of its first well had caused several earthquakes. [13]

The appeal in Liverpool Crown Court begins on Wednesday 8th May and is scheduled to last three days. Two protesters who were convicted of aggravated trespass last year are appealing; asserting stopping fracking is necessary in the context of run-away climate change and the damage it will cause the environment and local communities. The defendants will also be challenging the lawfulness of the destructive process.

On Friday, Camp Frack 2 begins at Mere Brow in Lancashire, [14] a short distance from where the Cuadrilla fracking site in Banks where the November 2011 action took place. The three day camp, which is expected to attract thousands of people, will bring together activists and local communities fighting fracking from around the country. Since fracking has come to the UK there have been a groundswell of local resistance, with numerous community groups forming to oppose it. [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20]

Fracking for shale gas is part of a new and dangerous trend towards more extreme forms of energy extraction which has emerged in the last few years as energy prices have risen. This includes tar sands, deep water drilling and mountain top removal among others. In Britain, in addition to shale gas, the potentially even larger threats are from coal bed methane (CBM) [21] and underground coal gasification (UCG), [22] with dozens of CBM sites with planning permission and 21 areas licensed for UCG.

Hydraulic Fracturing, or fracking is a more destructive method of natural gas extraction, in which a mixture of water, sand and chemicals is injected into the ground at extremely high pressure, cracking rock and releasing the gas. It has been the subject of much contention due to numerous reports linking the method to water contamination, health problems and earthquakes. The industry is in its infancy in the UK, but thousands of wells would be required to produce significant amounts of gas. [23]

The International Energy Agency have warned the world is on a trajectory to heat up by 6 degrees Celsius in the next 100 years. [24] Despite a long array of commitments, targets and ‘mechanisms’ to tackle climate change from governments, financial institutions and industries alike, recent years have seen the highest ever emissions of green house gases on record. [25] The latest estimates are that over 400,000 people per year are dying as a result of climate change and this figure is set to grow in coming years. [26]

A website, frackingontrial.org, has been documenting the case as fracking in Britain is put on trial.

[1] Up, Up and Away! Scientists Anxious as CO2 Levels to Cross 400 PPM
www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-30/up-up-and-away-scientists-anxious-as-co2-levels-to-cross-400-ppm.html

[2] Methane leaks erode green credentials of natural gas
www.nature.com/news/methane-leaks-erode-green-credentials-of-natural-gas-1.12123

[3] Australian scientists find excess greenhouse gas near fracking
www.latimes.com/news/world/worldnow/la-...

[4] Diesel in Water Near Fracking Confirms EPA Tests Wyoming Disputes
www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-26/diesel-compounds-found-in-water-near-wyoming-fracking-site-2-.html

[5] Carcinogens found in CSG project
news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/carcinogens-found-in-csg-project-20110828-1jg77.html

[6] EPA changed course after oil company protested
news.yahoo.com/epa-changed-course-oil-company-protested-082012084.html

[7] Fracking Our Food Supply
www.thenation.com/article/171504/fracking-our-food-supply

[8] Canadian authorities: Fracking operation contaminated groundwater
switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/amall/canadian_authorities_leaked_fr.html

[9] Marcellus Gas Wells Likely Harming Public Health: Survey
www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-18/marcellus-gas-wells-likely-harming-public-health-survey.html

[10] Anti-fracking activists found guilty of trespass
www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jul/17/anti-fracking-activists-trespass

[11] Natural Gas Drilling Rig Stormed by Anti-Fracking Protesters
frack-off.org.uk/press-release-natural-gas-drilling-rig-stormed-by-anti-fracking-protesters

[12] Fracking Protestors Storm Shale Gas Site
www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/nov/02/fracking-protesters-storm-shale-gas-site

[13] BBC website: Fracking tests near Blackpool ‘likely cause of tremors’
www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lancashire-15550458

[14] Camp Frack 2 – 10th, 11th, 12th May 2013
www.campfrack.org

[15] Frack Free Somerset Coalition
www.frackfreesomerset.org

[16] Frack Free Dorset
www.frackfreedorset.org

[17] Frack Free Fylde
www.frackfreefylde.com

[18] Frack Free Wales
frackfreewales.wordpress.com

[19] Ribble Estuary Against Fracking
www.reaf.org.uk

[20] Residents Action on Fylde Fracking
stopfyldefracking.org.uk

[21] Coal Bed Methane: The Evil Twin of Shale Gas
frack-off.org.uk/coal-bed-methane-the-evil-twin-of-shale-gas

[22] Underground Coal Gasification: Hellfire and Damnation 
frack-off.org.uk/underground-coal-gasification-hellfire-and-damnation

[23] UK shale gas no “get out of jail free card”
about.bnef.com/press-releases/uk-shale-gas-no-get-out-of-jail-free-card

[24] World on track for nearly 11-degree temperature rise, energy expert says
www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/world-on-track-for-nearly-11-degree-temperature-rise-energy-expert-says/2011/11/28/gIQAi0lM6N_story.html

[25] Worst ever carbon emissions leave climate on the brink
www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/may/29/carbon-emissions-nuclearpower

[26] Climate change is already damaging global economy, report finds
www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/26/climate-change-damaging-global-economy


1st May April 2013
Fracking SAFETY MUST COME FIRST
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

Controversial ‘fracking’ should not be given the go-ahead until a safety case can be proved, a senior MP has said.

Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint said there was “no evidence” to back up claims the gas extraction could revolutionise the UK’s energy market.

She sad there also needed to be more investigation into the environmental impact of the process which has been proven to cause earth tremors and been linked to water pollution in the United States.

The process of hydraulic fracturing involves high pressure pumping of water and a chemical into shale rock to release natural gas.

Mrs Flint said: “Is it worth the investment in terms of the benefits we might receive? No-one knows at the moment.

“What worries me is the Government is charging head-long into this as if it were some silver bullet when we really do not know enough about it.”

The Labour shadow cabinet member said there needed to be more focus on market reforms being introduced in the Energy Bill currently going through Parliament before issues such as fracking were addressed.

She added: “I do not want a situation where our strategy (on fracking) is based on supposition, we must make decisions knowing all the facts first.

“We are not even making decisions about our energy supply on facts we know about, so we need to act on those first.”

Cuadrilla Resources, the company leading exploration work at four sites in Lancashire, has said it is putting its plans to fracture wells on hold until 2014 to undertake an environmental impact assessment.

It has wells drilled at sites at Singleton, Preese Hall, near Weeton, Anna’s Road, near Lytham, and Banks, near Preston.


26th April 2013
Fracking may threaten UK climate targets and may not cut costs
Source: Friends Of The Earth

Fracking may threaten UK climate targets and may not cut costs - MP report

Reacting to a new report published today (Friday 26 April 2013) by the Energy and Climate Change Committee on the impact of shale gas on energy markets, Friends of the Earth Energy Campaigner Tony Bosworth said: 

"This report does little to back the case for a UK shale gas revolution. 

"MPs say clearly that shale gas production may threaten our climate targets, may not stop the price of gas from soaring further and we can't rely on it to improve energy security.

"Fracking is dirty, unnecessary and a threat to our climate and environment - it's little wonder so many communities are in opposition. 

"Instead of gambling with shale gas we should be building an affordable power system based on our abundant clean energy from the wind, waves and sun."


26th April 2013
Lancashire shale gas could replace imports
Source: Lancashie Evening Post

The Government’s advisers on climate change say there is a role for Lancashire’s shale gas to substitute imported gas.

A report by the Committee on Climate Change says the carbon footprint of shale could be compared to that of conventional natural gas.

The county is expected to be the test bed for hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, which sees gallons of water and a chemical being pumped into the ground to fracture shale rock and release natural gas.

Campaigners say the method should be halted after it was shown it could cause earthquakes.

Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive said: “Cuadrilla welcomes the findings from the Committee on Climate Change.

“We see a potential very significant role for Lancashire shale gas, over the coming decades, in reducing the UK’s increasing reliance on imported coal and imported gas both for generating electricity and for heating our homes and businesses.

“The report recognises the potential for domestically produced shale gas to have a lower carbon footprint than expensive imported gas and the same is true in comparison with imported coal.

“Shale gas can and should support and complement the growth of renewable energy and reduction in CO2 as the UK moves towards a lower carbon footing.”

David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on Climate Change, said: “The focus on reducing UK production emissions remains appropriate, given that these form a major part of our carbon footprint, and given available policy levers. Clearly we also need to reduce imported emissions.

“This highlights the fundamental need to reduce global emissions in order to achieve climate objectives.”


24th April 2013
Fracking leaflet banned over 'misleading' claims
Source: BBC NEWS

An energy company's brochure about the safety of fracking has been banned over misleading and exaggerated claims.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld six complaints made by anti-fracking group Refracktion about the 2012 Cuadrilla leaflet.

In an adjudication, the ASA said the leaflet, which was distributed to homes in Lancashire, "must not appear again".

Cuadrilla's chief executive Francis Egan said the company were "disappointed".

Mr Egan added the company would: "Continue to provide the best scientific information to those people who live in the communities where shale gas exploration will take place."

Fracking is a technique which involves water and chemicals being pumped into shale rock at high pressure to extract gas. It was temporarily banned in the UK after it was blamed for two earth tremors in Blackpool in 2011, a claim dismissed by researchers from Durham University's Energy Institute earlier this month.

Cuadrilla has applied to Lancashire County Council to frack for shale gas at its Anna's Road site in St Annes and Banks, near Southport. In 2012, it posted a leaflet containing information about the process to thousands of properties across Lancashire.

The ASA upheld six out of 18 complaints made by the anti-fracking group and partly upheld one more, stating Cuadrilla had breached guidelines governing the areas of misleading information, exaggeration and substantiation.

A Refrackion spokesman said there were: "Many people in Lancashire trying to make rational, fact-based decisions about the potential impact of fracking on their communities, and this misleading information has made this much more difficult than it needs to be.

"Now that the ASA have recognised that many of the claims made in this leaflet were misleading and were not capable of substantiation, we believe local people will realise that they need to look much more critically at the information put out in future by Cuadrilla."

He added that it was "unfortunate Cuadrilla will not be made to publish any sort of apology" over the brochure.

Mr Egan said he was "pleased that the ASA has also validated the majority of points made in Cuadrilla's leaflet", adding that it was "important to note the ASA has confirmed that hydraulic fracturing can be done safely".

However, he said that Cuadrilla believed "the ASA should have consulted scientific experts before reaching its conclusions, and has made some very fine distinctions about what we can and cannot say."

He concluded saying the energy company would be "examining the adjudication carefully to see what communication lessons can be learned in future."


16th April 2013
Question Time comes to Tarleton
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Friends of the Earth have invited your local County Council candidates (West Lancashire Northward), from across all political parties, to answer your questions and give their views and policies on Fracking.

Lancashire is at the forefront of the UK?s fledgling shale gas industry. Shale gas is being promoted as a safe, clean energy source that can help cut energy bills and create much-needed new jobs for Lancashire. Its advocates claim it has transformed the US energy system and that the same could happen in the UK.

But what is the cost to our communities, environment and local economy? And what can we learn from the Fracking Industry elsewhere? Hear from Dr Mariann Lloyd Smith, Senior Advisor to Australia's National Toxics Network, a former UN advisor on chemicals and the environment, and co-author of a report on the chemical impacts of hydraulic fracturing in the Australian shale and coal seam gas industry.

Decisions on shale gas in the next few months and years will change the West Lancashire villages forever. Come along to this event to ask YOUR questions to your local County Council candidates.

Wednesday 24 April 2013 7 - 9pm, Our Lady's Catholic Hall, 152 Hesketh Lane, Tarleton, PR4 6AS.

Click here for more local events


15th April 2013
Cuadrilla wins gold in 2013 Health & Safety Awards
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Cuadrilla wins gold in 2013 RoSPA Occupational Health & Safety Awards

Leon Jennings - Cuadrilla HSSE DirectorCUADRILLA has been awarded the Gold Award for Occupational Health and Safety by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). The RoSPA Awards scheme, dating back 57 years, is the largest and longest-running programme of its kind in the UK.

It recognises commitment to accident and ill health prevention and is open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas. The scheme not only looks at accident records, but also entrants’ overarching health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

Cuadrilla will be presented with the award at a special presentation ceremony, at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel, on Tuesday May 14.

Leon Jennings, Cuadrilla’s Health, Safety, Security & Environment Director, said: “I’m delighted that RoSPA have recognised Cuadrilla’s achievement and commitment to raising the standards of health and safety management. “This gold award is a great recognition of all the efforts Cuadrilla staff and our partners have made in the last 12 months as we continue to explore for shale gas in a safe and responsible manner.”

David Rawlins, RoSPA’s awards manager, said: “RoSPA firmly believes that organisations that demonstrate commitment to continuous improvement in accident and ill health prevention deserve recognition. “Cuadrilla has shown that it is committed to striving for such continuous improvement and we are delighted to honour it through the presentation of an award.”


10th April 2013
Frackademics PushING Industry Spin
Source: Frack Off

No Conflicts Of Interest Here!

The latest fracking PR extravaganza, centred around the publication of an academic paper, Induced Seismicity and Hydraulic Fracturing for the Recovery of Hydrocarbons, highlights the extent to which universities are being hijacked by the industry PR machine. Hype around the paper, whose lead authors are from Durham University, regurgitates the usual industry spin, conflating fracking of conventional wells with the massive slickwater hydraulic fracturing used to extract shale gas and conflating hydraulic fracturing with the whole process of unconventional gas extraction. While attempts by Cuadrilla to get in on the ground floor, establishing a business partnership with Lancaster University, are being actively resisted, some universities have already been co-opted far more thoroughly.

The lead author of the article is Prof. Richard Davies, who spent seven years in the petroleum industry in Aberdeen, London and Houston with ExxonMobil, working on development and exploration projects. Prof. Davies has receive over a million pounds in grants directly from oil and gas companies in recent years and is head of the Durham Energy Institute (DEI), who’s partners include UK fracking company IGas in addition to big names like BP, Chevron and Shell. DEI’s Advisory and Development Boards are also stacked with industry figures. Another of the authors, Prof. Peter Styles, works at Keele University who have allowed IGas to drill an unconventional gas well on their campus.

While this may seem bad enough Durham is also home to ReFINE (Researching Fracking IN Europe), a research consortium involving various European academics. Prof. Davies is head of the Executive Steering Committee. While the source of the funding for ReFINE is not disclosed, the description of its inaugural meeting leaves little to the imagination: The inaugural meeting for the ReFINE consortium was held at Shell Centre (London). The meeting was very successful, with many companies showing great interest in the consortium. Shell, Hess, Statoil, Total, UKOOG, BG-group, Chevron, Shale Gas Europe, DECC and representatives from the Polish Academy of Science were all in attendance and contributed greatly to the discussions. ReFINE is set to launch in the first quarter of 2013.

The main external links on the ReFINE website point to Shale Gas Europe (SGE) and Shale Gas Information Platform (SHIP). Shale Gas Europe are industry PR outfit, who are are funded by Chevron, Cuadrilla, Halliburton, Shell, Statoil, and Total. Profs. Davies and Styles are both on SGE’s Expert Advisory Panel. The Shale Gas Information Platform at first glance seems somewhat less corporate. It is run by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), who are funded by the German government. However the presence of laywers from Eversheds LLP, one of the largest legal firms in the UK, who have an interest in fracking raises eyebrows and a little more digging reveals a sister site, Gas Shales In Europe (GASH) also run by GFZ and openly sponsored by Statoil, ExxonMobil, Gas de France SUEZ, Wintershall, Vermilion Energy, Marathon Oil, Total, Repsol, Schlumberger and Bayerngas Norge.

This is just a quick peek into the murky world where academic research and fracking industry propaganda meet in the UK. In the last year the antics of these so called Frackademics in the US has backfired spectacularly in some cases. In October an annual study by Pennsylvania State University was cancel after no faculty could be found to participate. The previous studies had received considerable criticism after it the fact that they were being paid for by an industry front group, the Marcellus Shale Coalition, was uncovered. In November the State University of New York, Buffalo shutdown its Shale Resources and Society Institute (SRSI) after industry links were exposed. In December heads rolled at the University of Texas, Austin’s Energy Institute after similar revelations. And last month a report issued by University of Southern California (USC) came in for similar criticism. It remains to be seen whether frackademics in the UK have any shame.

Carefully Avoiding The Real Issues

As for the content of the paper itself, since it is not publicly available it is rather hard to tell. As is typical in such situations the media is reporting on an article most of them have not read. The spin that has made its way into the media has a number of elements though. The major issue of the damage caused by the earthquakes to Cuadrilla’s well casing, and the potential that this has for increasing the probability of the well leaking is ignored. So is the fact that while earthquakes caused by fracking are not usually huge, earthquakes associated with frack-waste injection are much larger. The largest earthquake associated with frack-waste injection was a magnitude 5.7 in Oklahoma last year which destroyed 14 homes and injured two people. While earthquake larger than magnitude 5.0 are rare in the eastern US their frequency has increased 11-fold in the last few years as fracking has mushroomed.

However induced seismicity is just one of a large number of issues associated with unconventional gas extraction, ranging from leaking methane, water contamination, air pollution and radioactive flowback fluid to waste disposal, well blowouts, pipeline explosions and road traffic. Fundamentally though the main issues are related to the big picture of why fracking is happening and what it means. The easy to extract fossil fuels are being depleted but there are still large amounts that can potentially be accessed via more extreme techniques such as fracking. But these techniques produce much less energy for much greater amounts of effort. The largest conventional onshore gas field in the UK, Saltfleetby in Lincolnshire, had 8 wells. To produce a similar amount of gas a unconventional gas field would need hundreds, if not thousand of wells. Pushing ahead with fracking in the UK means drilling tens of thousands of wells, turning huge areas of the countryside into gas fields, for only relatively small amounts of gas.

Production from unconventional wells declines at up to 70 percent per year, so most of the gas produced will be from the newest wells, and therefore to maintain production more and more wells will need to be drilled. These wells will leak, create large amounts of waste and occasionally explode but the bigger issue isn’t any single impact, but the cumulative effects of this creeping destruction of what remains of our natural environment. Unconventional gas puts us on a treadmill where we need to drill ever increasing numbers of wells for less and less gas. The even more worrying threat of underground coal gasification is also waiting in the wings. Going down the path of fracking leads to a world where we are setting fire to coal under our feet to keep up with that treadmill. The bottom-line is that we cannot afford to burn much more than a fifth of remaining conventional fossil fuels without catastrophically destabilising the climate system. Unconventional fossil fuels are extra carbon, none of which we can afford to burn.


10th April 2013
Fracking 'not significant' cause of large earthquakes
Source: BBC

New research suggests that fracking is not a significant cause of earthquakes that can be felt on the surface.

UK scientists looked at quakes caused by human activity ranging from mining to oil drilling; only three could be attributed to hydraulic fracturing.

Most fracking events released the same amount of energy as jumping off a ladder, the Durham-based team said.

Read the full BBC article here


20th March 2013
2013 Budget - SHALE GAS Announcements
Source: Budget Report – March 2013

Oil and gas taxes
2.129 Shale gas – The Government will introduce a new field allowance for shale gas and
extend the Ring Fence Expenditure Supplement for shale gas projects from 6 to 10 years. The
Government will consult on the detail of these measures, including whether they should be
extended to other forms of unconventional onshore gas. (Finance Bill 2014)

2.130 The Government will produce technical planning guidance on shale gas by July 2013 to
provide clarity around planning for shale gas during the important exploration phase for the
industry. As the shale gas industry develops, the Government will ensure an effective planning
system is in place and by the end of the year will produce guidance for the industry to ensure
that the planning system is properly aligned with the licensing regime and regulatory regimes,
principally: health and safety, and environmental protection. The Government will keep under
review whether the largest shale gas projects should have the option to apply to the major
infrastructure regime.

2.131 The Government will develop proposals by summer 2013 to ensure that local
communities will benefit from shale gas projects in their area.

2.132 Budget 2013 announces the scope, responsibilities and objectives of The Office for
Unconventional Gas and Oil.

Click here to download the complete 2013 budget report


6th February 2013
Forthright VIEWS ON FRACKING FROM LCC Councillor
Source: Residents Action On Fylde Fracking

RAFF have contacted all Councillors in the area and invited them to the public meeting where Jessica Ernst (an expert from the Oil & Gas sector) is speaking (7th March 2013) – this is the response we got from to Lancashire County Council‘s Councillor Rob Bailey:

“I support fracking and find the attempts to suggest it’s dangerous purile. I also believe man made global warming is fiction. Just be honest and admit you are campaigning against carbon based energy and stop the charade about fracking Regards Rob”

Read the full RAFF article here


28th February 2013
THREATS TO SUE ANY (US) TOWN THAT BANS FRACKING
Source: CBS Denver

Gov. John Hickenlooper says he won’t tolerate cities and towns that ban oil and gas drilling within their borders and he promises to take them to court.

CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd sat down with the governor, who was blunt. He told Boyd the state will sue any local government that bans hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the drilling technique that uses high-pressure water and chemicals to extract natural gas.

"... someone paid money to buy mineral rights under that land,” Hickenlooper said. “You can’t harvest the mineral rights without doing hydraulic fracturing, which I think we’ve demonstrated again and again can be done safely.” Read the full CBS article here


13th February 2013
CO-OP CALL FOR CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION
Source: The Cooperative

The Co-operative are urging people to contact their MP for "a clean energy revolution". A dedicated website has been set up to explain their position: www.co-operative.coop/join-the-revolution/our-plan/clean-energy-revolution/ with a link to email your MP

2nd February 2013
Fracking replacing Renewables Myth
Source: Letter to the Editor

Dear Readers, A very interesting program on Radio 4 'Costing the earth' on Tuesday 29th Jan at 3.30pm featured what the German approach is to the subject of renewables. Perhaps Mr. Egan missed it.

In Germany they are on course to meet incredible targets such as to be completely Nuclear free by 2022. This is because they have effected a paradigm shift in thinking (even the Right wing have embraced it!) i.e. it featured a town which has a mix of wind turbines, bio-mass heating, Ground source, bio-gas production and solar etc. which overall produces over 140% of their energy requirements, note, no Fracking.

This has been achieved by adopting a community based aproach where the thinking is based around 'Our-Power' instead of centrally run National Grid source customers who simply have to accept what they are charged. Thus people literally 'buy-in' to the project. The Social Democrats were the initial promoters of this approach and there was a UK Professor on the program arguing (very convincingly) that far from the current attitude in the UK of nimbyism - why is it that this most technically and industrially advanced nation of Germany is going so far and so fast in this direction, yet we are not, just what is it that we think  we know that they don't?  A very, very good question. 

Yours Sincerely,
Cllr. J.E.Hodson
Labour Candidate for Northern Parishes
Lancs County Council Elections 2013

29th January 2013
Response to Recent FRACKING Press Releases
Source: Letter to the Editor

In response to the recent posts relating to Fracking I think Francis Egan has mis-understood the term 'renewable' - he said there was "nothing wrong" with renewable energy "but it's not going to be enough".

The UK has 1.6 TW hour / year of tidal resource that is severely under developed. The UK should be 'Kings of Tidal' and be exporting our knowledge and manufacturing around the world and boosting our economy into the future.

Fracking is a short term and dangerous distraction from investment in renewable energy i.e. energy production from sources that are free, non-polluting and do not run out. However we have a government that has 'invested interest' in gas.

What local people have seen so far is a few small pad sites and exploratory drilling. Caudrillas own high end scenario relating to commercial extraction i.e. to get the quantities of gas they are suggesting are recoverable to their shareholders, we would see at least 80 to 120 pad sites in Lancashire with up to 10 wells on each pad.

Please note that commercial extraction involves large scale deployment of hundreds of trucks carrying millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals in their raw state, and subsequently millions of gallons of flow-back that needs to be taken away and treated, all using our small already busy roads. Then there is the risk of contamination from failed wells, and Caudrilla have already had to abandon two wells as unusable, one at Preese Hall and one at Anna's Rd. Who will monitor emissions from faulty abandoned wells?

Add to that the issues surrounding fugitive emissions from well sites and surface equipment and the fact that the Environment Agency have not even ratified their guidelines its becoming clear that the industry is trying to get ahead of the regulations and carry on with 'Business as Usual'. The government 'guidelines' to try and prevent earthquakes in the future are only initially set at 0.5 ML - this threshold can be adjusted over time to 3 ML as specified in the DECC report - and that's just some of the detail that Caudrilla conveniently leave out!

The people of Lancashire really need to get on board with this issue and voice their concerns to their councillors and MP's - if Caudrilla do indeed partner up with one of the big US companies (Exxon Mobil has shown interest] there may be no going back!

Graham Bentley, Southport.
29th January 2013


25th January 2013
Brighton & Hove Councillors vote FOR no-fracking zone
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Councillors have agreed to make a ‘declaration of intent’ to designate Brighton & Hove as a no-fracking zone. The decision was taken at the Policy & Resources Committee held yesterday, Thursday 24th January.

Although not legally binding, the declaration provides a framework position which could be used by the council to make representations about any fracking plans for the area. Click here to view the full Press Release


25th January 2013
SOurce Data For RECENT FRACKING AWARENESS SURVEYS
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

In response to our request, Cuadrilla has released the Britainthinks reports and source data from the recent telephone surveys Cuadrill commissioned:

October 2012: Attitudes to Shale Gas Report | Complete Survey Data

December 2012: Attitudes to Shale Gas Report | Complete Survey Data

24th January 2013
CUADRILLA Q&A SESSION
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Interview with Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan and Mark Linder, Director of Public Affairs.

Q.Will my house fall down?
A. Goodness, no! Even the larger of the two events in 2011 was well below the threshold of structural damage. Going forward, the fracturing process will be managed using an established system from other seismically sensitive operations. This includes arrays of sensors and a Traffic Light system which requires us to stop when seismic activity reaches a magnitude of 0.5ML on the Richter scale; a level of activity which will not be felt at the surface. There are many such surface movements at this level occurring every hour in Lancashire, primarily from human activity (traffic, aviation etc). This is many orders of magnitude below the level at which damage to property would be expected to begin to occur. DECC and Cuadrilla will have real-time access to the data gathered from the sensors installed around the village.

Q. Will there be any benefits to local people?
A. Yes, assuming we successfully fracture and flow test wells, and assuming we are approved for development. In operation, there will be around 75 people employed at and in support of each "resource hub" of which the majority will be operations-related staff. Figures from the US suggest that there is a "multiplier" effect of three times the number of jobs created as a result of the direct jobs. Cuadrilla has hired a number of local people, and prefers to do so going forward, but there are specialist skills required which may necessitate hiring non-local people. As a long term local employer, we envisage providing real opportunities for youngsters. Next week, for example, we are engaging with year 9 pupils to explain the potential career opportunities.

We are also actively considering other ways in which we contribute to the local area beyond employment opportunities.

Q. Why is your Corporate Structure so fragmented?
We actually believe the Cuadrilla organisation is a clear picture of accountability. We have operating units in each country reporting into one Cuadrilla entity at the top of our structure which reflects the accountability we have as operator across all countries. For legal and tax reasons, like all companies in this sector, we maintain operating subsidiaries for each of our license areas -- in the UK, Holland and Poland.

The structure reflects the way in which Government licences are granted and operated, and where taxable income is measured. We do draw on many consultancies and sub contractors but Cuadrilla is always accountable for the whole operation, including subcontractor performance. Unusually, we own our own rig and fracturing equipment. It is our brand on that rig because it is our rig, and we take accountability as operator.

Q. How will you communicate the ongoing operational activities?
A. We do recognise that what is happening at the Becconsall site is of interest to many locals and we are working on ways to make information available in a timely manner and are considering setting up a website for the Becconsall Pad to let everyone know what is going on.


23rd January 2013
Cuadrilla bids to resume WESTBY and Banks fracking
Source: BBC News

A company carrying out shale gas extraction in Lancashire is hoping to resume fracking on the Fylde coast.

Cuadrilla is to submit a planning application to Lancashire County Council to hydraulically-fracture a well at its Anna's Road site in Westby.

Managers are to meet residents in February to explain more about what is involved in the extraction process.

Cuadrilla staff will also meet residents of Banks near Southport later today over plans to drill for gas there.

Protesters say fracking could have "enormous implications" for the local area.

Tony Young, of Ribble Estuary Against Fracking, said: "We're missing out on unlimited supplies of renewable energy. "This is just distracting us from that."

Cuadrilla Resources chief executive Francis Egan said: "It's about exploiting our natural resource - we're running out of it.

He said there was "nothing wrong" with renewable energy "but it's not going to be enough".

Fracking is a controversial process that involves pumping water and chemicals into shale rock at high pressure to extract gas.

It was temporarily banned in the UK after it was blamed for two earth tremors in Blackpool in 2011. A government review has now concluded that fracking is safe if adequately monitored.


18th January 2013
Consultation on fracking waste
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

The Environment Agency is holding a public consultation into an application by a subsidiary of Cuadrilla Resources to manage waste water related to fracking.

Bowland Resources has applied for permits to manage flowback water from hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as fracking, at three of its exploration sites - Becconsall at Hesketh Bank, near Southport, Westby, near Kirkham, and Singleton, near Poulton-le-Fylde.

The Environment Agency said: “We are proposing that strict conditions are set out in the permits to ensure local communities and the environment are protected.”

People can comment on the proposals by emailing psc@environment-agency.gov.uk or writing to EP team, Quadrant 2, 99 Parkway Avenue, Sheffield, S9 4WF.

The consultation, the second if its kind, runs until February 13.

Click here for the full LEP Article


5th January 2013
Viewpoints: Fracking's risks and benefits
Source: BBC News

The UK government recently lifted its moratorium on the controversial process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The technique involves pumping fluids into a well to recover natural gas from shale rock.

However, fracking has been linked to some minor earthquakes, and there are concerns about its possible environmental impact. So what benefits could hydraulic fracturing bring, and how concerned should we be? Click here for the full BBC Article


31st December 2012
Anti-fracking group slams study
Source: Lancashire Evening Post

AN anti-fracking group has hit out at a new study which claims more people in Lancashire support the controversial gas extraction.

Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF), set up to oppose hydraulic fracturing work taking place near Hesketh Bank, said “the majority” of people in the county were still unaware what ‘fracking’ would mean.

The research, published by Cuadrilla Resources the company behind the work earlier this week, claimed people were “more knowledgeable” about the process and supported further.

A REAF spokesman said: “Fracking is a multi-faceted subject with a steep learning curve and people have to really engage with the the detail to be able to get a firm grip on the realities of planned commercial activities.”


13th December 2012
Gas fracking: Ministers approve shale gas extraction
Source: BBC News

The government has given the go-ahead for a firm to resume the controversial technique known as fracking to exploit gas in Lancashire.

The company, Cuadrilla, was stopped from fracking after two tremors near Blackpool.

Conditions have been imposed to minimise the risk of seismic activity.

In fracking, a mixture of water, sand and some chemicals is pumped into a well under high pressure to force the gas from the rock.

Energy Secretary Ed Davey said shale gas was a promising new potential energy resource for the UK. It might contribute significantly to energy security and substitute for imports which are increasing as North Sea gas is decreasing.

But he warned against over-excitement: "We are still in the very early stages of shale gas exploration in the UK and it is likely to develop slowly.

"It is essential that its development should not come at the expense of local communities or the environment. Fracking must be safe and the public must be confident that it is safe."

He said the government had uncovered management weaknesses in Cuadrilla following the minor earthquakes. These had been put right, he said.

Click here for the full BBC News article

Lilly Morse, a campaigner from 'Frack Off' responded: “The long expected announcement that the government will allow fracking companies to continue attempts at exploitation of unconventional gas is the start of a major battle over what sort of world we will leave to our children”

“The government and industry’s promises of cheap, abundant gas are deluded. In the US the gas bubble has already burst with fracking companies on the verge of bankruptcy. Drilling has ground to a halt and gas prices have doubled since the begining of the year”

“The governments strategy of relying on fracking to fuel a new wave of gas fired power stations is utterly insane. Fracking is dirty, destructive and extremely expensive, and could never deliver the quantities of gas envisaged”

“In the last year and a half, a growing number of communities have begun organising to oppose fracking. Those communities can now clearly see that if they do not win this fight they will be sacrificed for the profits of vested interests”

“The evidence from the US and Australia that fracking destroys water supplies, air quality, ecosystems, and people’s health has been mounting for years, and is now too strong to ignore. Waiting for even more impacts to be discovered is not an option”


5th December 2012
CUADRILLA WELCOMES SHALE GAS TAX BREAK CONSULTATION
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

Cuadrilla welcomes the Chancellor’s plans to consult on tax breaks for shale gas exploration. “We welcome the government's initiative to help the emerging shale gas industry get established," said Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s CEO.

Cuadrilla is seeking approval to drill, fracture and flow test a small number of wells in 2013. "Exploration is necessary to have a better understanding about how shale gas can be developed safely and sensibly from the Bowland Basin,” said Egan. “Costs in a technology industry such as ours will be higher at the outset, but will reduce over time as the industry grows.”

The company also supports the establishment of an Office for Unconventional Gas & Oil.

“In the UK, our activities fully comply with one of the world’s tightest regulatory systems for oil and gas,” Francis Egan said. “We welcome any initiative that streamlines decision-making processes while ensuring that all shale gas extraction conforms to the highest environmental and health and safety standards.”


2nd December 2012
Cuadrilla set to resume fracking
Source: Sunday Telegraph

Cuadrilla is poised to spearhead the creation of a new UK industry in shale gas extraction, its chief executive has said, as the company prepares to resume "fracking" in Lancashire.

In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, Francis Egan said the private-equity-backed company was ready to "press on quickly" once Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, lifts a moratorium on the controversial process.

Read the full Telegraph article here


22nd November 2012
CUADRILLA: "strong local support for shale gas"
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

New research shows strong local support for shale gas, with people highlighting benefits of cheaper energy and job creation

Nearly twice as many local people support shale gas exploration in Lancashire than oppose it, according to a new survey.

Cuadrilla Resources commissioned BritainThinks to conduct 1,000 telephone interviews with people living in three council areas – Blackpool, Fylde and West Lancashire. The purpose of the survey was to understand peoples’ attitudes about shale gas, together with their beliefs about the potential benefits and risks associated with the gas’s extraction.

Following prompted and unprompted questions about the benefits and risks of natural gas from shale, the survey found that 44 per cent of respondents support continued local exploration to understand the potential of shale gas, with 23 per cent opposed. The remaining 33 per cent are undecided. Of those people who expressed an opinion, 65 per cent back shale gas exploration, while 35 per cent oppose it.

Respondents were most likely to identify cheaper energy (23 per cent) and job creation (11 per cent) as the potential benefits to come from shale gas. The risk of earth tremors (32 per cent) and water pollution (11 per cent) were highlighted as the main potential disadvantages. Around one-third of people were unable to identify any potential benefits or disadvantages associated with shale gas.

Overall, the survey found that knowledge levels about shale gas are low, with 48 per cent of people saying they know “very little” or “nothing” about it. A further 38 per cent believed they know “a little” about shale gas, with only 15 per cent knowing “a lot”.

"There are claims made that Lancastrians are against shale exploration and development, but this research provides a more accurate perspective,” said Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla Resources. “We commissioned this survey to increase our understanding of local sentiments about shale gas. It’s clear that, while many people support our plans, others either haven’t made up their minds about or want more information.

"The only way we can earn community trust is through openly discussing all perspectives on shale gas, based on the facts. We will continue our efforts at this kind of engagement.”

“This research shows that, for local people, the debate around natural gas from shale is just beginning” said Ben Shimshon, Director at BritainThinks “At the moment, knowledge levels are low, but a majority of local residents are interested and open to hearing more.”

Cuadrilla Resources is still in the early stages of exploration and it hopes to receive the go ahead in the near future to fracture and flow-test two wells in 2013.

A full copy of the report can be downloaded here



12th October 2012
STOP THE FRACKING
Source: Letter to the Editor

[RE: Stop The Windfarm 3rd October] I fully support the Sephtons in this respect; people in the affected areas should be brought in during the early stages of planning and given every chance to submit their objections to the relevent planning offices. The difference with the fracking is that this did not happen for the first application. No one knew what fracking was or what the risks where. If you check with the LCC website you will see it does not even inlude the words 'Hydraulic Fracturing' - the new extension to that planning however does - and thank goodness you now have a chance to object. The deadline is the 17th of October.

http://planningregister.lancashire.gov.uk/PlanAppDisp.aspx?recno=6139

It is right and proper that people should be concerned about changes to the place they live and how it might affect them and the area as a whole. It does seem ironic however that people who might have accepted cash amounts to have geophones installed on their land to assist the fracking operations object to a cleaner non polluting form of energy production, regardless of the fact that locals will not see lower energy prices from either process. I know which one I would rather have in my back yard.

G Bentley, 12th October 2012

26th September 2012
CUADRILLA APPLICATION TO EXTEND TESTING TIME
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Both North Meols and Hesketh-with-Becconsall Parish Councils have been today invited by Lancashire County Council to comment on a variation to planning regarding the Cuadrilla exploration site at Hundred End:

Our ref: 08/12/1032/ASP/RJ
Date: 26 September 2012

Dear Sir/Madam

APPLICATION: 08/12/1032
PROPOSAL:VARIATION OF CONDITION 1 OF PLANNING PERMISSION 08/10/0973
TO EXTEND THE PERIOD OF TIME FOR THE TESTING FOR HYDROCARBONS IN
THE DRILLED EXPLORATORY BOREHOLE AND RESTORATION OF THE SITE BY
A FURTHER 18 MONTHS UNTIL 28 MARCH 2014
LOCATION: BECCONSALL EXPLORATION SITE, OFF BONNY BARN ROAD,
HUNDRED END, BANKS
GR: 340599 422951

I have received an application for the above. The application, plans and supporting
details can be viewed on the County Councils web site
www.lancashire.gov.uk/planningregister. I should be pleased to have your observations
or comments within 21 days of the date of this letter, after which date I will assume you
have no observations to make and the County Council will be able to determine the
application.

Please note I am considering whether or not the proposal requires the submission of an
Environmental Statement. I will write again when I have made my decision. In the event
an Environmental Statement is required and submitted, you will be provided with a copy
or relevant extracts and a further consultation period will be provided.
If you require any further information, please contact me on the above telephone
number.

Yours faithfully
Rob Jones
Planning Officer

As the 21 days allowed for responses will not allow for agenda items to be formally raised, residents should ensure they make any representations directly to their local Councillors.


21st September 2012
Statement from Cuadrilla Resources
Source: Cuadrilla Resorces Press Release

Francis Egan, Chief Executive of Cuadrilla Resources, said: "We note the publication of two important reports into shale gas in the UK by two highly respected organisations, the Institute of Directors and the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. We note that other respected institutions have come to independent conclusions about shale gas that give positive assessments of the potential economic impact and creation of skilled jobs."

"For some time Cuadrilla has been working alongside other local employers, academics and local authorities in the Fylde Coast to plan for potential future skills requirements and we are committed to ensuring that local people are given the chance to train for and then take up the skilled jobs that we hope to create with a move to gas production."

"We remain focussed on the engineering challenges of exploring the distinctive geological potential of the Bowland formation, and demonstrating to regulators and Lancashire’s communities that shale in the UK can set a world standard producing onshore gas safely and sensibly."


12th September 2012
Cuadrilla Resources – update on local operations
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

In July this year, we announced that small pieces of sensitive monitoring technology would be installed around our Banks site, to enable us to undertake comprehensive seismic monitoring.
 
This installation work is currently underway. Practically, it involves fitting the monitoring equipment in to 104 specially prepared holes across a wide area to the north and south of the river estuary, in Fylde and West Lancashire. Preparing these small holes takes between 2 to 4 days per hole and uses mobile drilling equipment, the same kind used to drill water wells.
 
There should be no surface impact once this technology is installed. The majority of these locations are away from residential areas, in fields surrounding the Banks site. Unfortunately, the wet weather we’ve had means the ground conditions can be soft and some mud is transferred on to the roads when the equipment is moved.
 
We understand that this was an issue in the Becconsall Lane area on Friday 7th September and we have worked hard to rectify the situation with full road cleaning carried out. We apologise for the inconvenience this might have caused residents here. To keep residents informed we have delivered information letters to houses in the area explaining what this work involves.
 
We’d like to assure people that this is temporary work to install passive monitoring equipment which will have no impact at the surface. It is permitted under national planning regulations and has been agreed with Lancashire County Council, as well as all land owners whose property we are working on.
 
Our website – www.cuadrillaresources.com – is regularly updated with information about all of our work and is a great place to find out more. If residents have specific questions they would like to ask, or perhaps have an issue that needs to be resolved, they should contact us directly on our Freephone information line 0800 170 1115 (weekdays, 9.00am to 5.30pm).


7th September 2012
FRUSTRATION OVER RESIDENTIAl DRILLING OPERATION
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Residents had a rude awakening this morning when a Cuadrilla drill rig was loaded and moved through a residential area at 7am. Calls for clarification on how such operations are authorised, managed and regulated have been made.

The move follows days of rising tensions over the surprise arrival of the drilling machine and the subsequent movements thereafter of heavy plant up and down Becconsall Lane to service the operation on farm land at Becconsall Hall.

Residents upset over Cuadrilla drill rig

Residents complained that they had been kept in the dark. "We had no notice at all about the disruption", "A courtesy notice of what was going to happen and for how long would have been helpful". "Why was planning not needed?"

Complaints to Lancashire County Council about the trails of mud down Becconsall Lane and beyond have not yet resulted in any meaningful clean up operation.

It is understood that the Becconsall operation was one of many holes being drilled in the area down which listening sensors are being fitted in readiness for the fracking operations begining on the marsh.

Update 9:30am Richard Brown of Cuadrilla has been in touch saying that a roadsweeper is scheduled to clean the roads today.

Update 4pm A roadsweeping machine has this afternoon removed all loose material but the bulk of the clay remains caked on the road. Cuadrilla are aware and will be addressing this early next week.

Update Saturday 8th Road cleaned and explanatory Cuadrilla Micro Seismic Monitoring leaflets distributed to residents.


6th September 2012
Cuadrilla’s fracking PROTEST VERDICTS
Source: 'Rising Tide' Press Release

An environmental activist who climbed a drilling rig in a protest against fracking in December last year was today found guilty under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act at Preston Magistrates Court. She was ordered to pay a £250 fine and £750 costs.

Yesterday two other defendants were cleared of charges of aggravated trespass as part of the same court case.

On 1 December 2011, protestors from Bristol Rising Tide occupied the test drilling rig, at Cuadrilla Resource’s Hesketh Bank site, Lancashire, shutting it down for 13 hours.

During the trial, it emerged that Cuadrilla had continued drilling for two months after their planning permission had expired.

In her final submission, the defence barrister, Farraht Arshad said of her client: “As a concerned citizen no other avenues were open to her.” She justified this statement by the evidence given in the trial by DECC and Lancashire County Council.

DECC, the licencing authority, uses the off-shore oil regulations to licence on-shore fracking operations and stated that they are not interested in policing breaches of environmental law which is the job of the local planning authority and the Environment Agency.

The local council planning officer made it clear in his evidence that he only had limited resources and few powers to police developers. The general expectation from these regulators is that companies will regulate themselves.

It was clearly established during trial that Cuadrilla Resources had flouted the period of their planning permission by two months, and had failed to comply with their own method statement related to the protection of birdlife from the nearby Site of Special Scientific Interest. As a result they were potentially in breach of the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Neither DECC nor the local council appeared to be concerned about taking action to prevent this crime.

Despite these facts, Judge Ward rejected the defence’s argument that the activists were preventing a crime.

Zoë Smith, the convicted activist said: “This verdict confirms my view that the regulatory authorities are
hopelessly inadequate at their job and don’t have the protection of the environment as a priority. Companies like Cuadrilla are allowed to flout their obligations with impunity, while concerned citizens are
criminalised.”


4th September 2012
Lawfulness of Cuadrilla’s fracking operations QuestionED
Source: 'Rising Tide' Press Release

Cuadrilla Resources continued drilling for two months after their planning permission had expired at their Hesketh Bank site, Preston Magistrate's Court heard today.

Three activists are on trial at Preston Magistrates Court today, following an action which shut down Cuadrilla Resources' hydraulic fracturing rig at the Ribble Estuary, Lancashire last December. The activists are charged with aggravated trespass.

To be found guilty, it needs to be shown that they had disrupted a legal activity. In this case that means the drilling operations of Cuadrilla. However, today in court the Head of Planning from Lancashire County Council, Alyn Perigo, confirmed that Cuadrilla were operating outside the period of their planning permission.

Cuadrilla had in fact continued to drill two months beyond their agreed time limit. Mr Perigo also confirmed they had failed to meet a key condition to safeguard bird life from the adjacent Ribble Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The council officer admitted they had few resources and very limited powers to police developers and that they largely relied on developers meeting their obligations.

Tomorrow morning, Pat Waring, an Ecologist employed by Cuadrilla Resources, will be called as an expert witness by the prosecution to try to demonstrate that Cuadrilla were not breaking the law.


29th August 2012
Cuadrilla seeks to extend use of temporary site
Source: Cuadrilla Press Release

Cuadrilla Resources, the British company exploring for gas in Lancashire, is to submit an application to Lancashire County Council to continue work at a temporary site near Hesketh Bank.

A 10,500 feet deep well was drilled between August and November 2011 at the West Lancashire site. After the well was completed, the company removed its drilling rig and secured the site which has since seen a low level of activity.

Cuadrilla is set to ask for a 36 month extension to allow the company to complete testing and analysis work in a gradual and responsible way, as part of its exploration programme which seeks to establish whether it is viable to recover gas trapped within Shale rock deep beneath the surface.

The existing planning permission, which was granted in October 2010, allows Cuadrilla to drill and hydraulically fracture a well at the site. However, the company has said that it cannot carry out the fracturing process without the approval of the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

In a letter to residents living near to the site, Development Director Mark Miller said: “Extending the existing planning permission would not change the fact that the site will be returned to its original condition once operations are complete.”

Residents interested in the application or Cuadrilla’s operations generally have been advised to contact the company on its Freephone Information Line, which can be called on 0800 170 1115 (Monday to Friday 9.00am to 5.30pm), or to visit www.cuadrillaresources.com for detailed information about all of the company’s operations.


17th July 2012
Fracking VerdicT: GUILTY
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Three people accused of disrupting ‘lawful activity’ at a Cuadrilla Resoucres fracking site in Lancashire have been found guilty after a four day trial in Preston Magistrates Court.

In November 2011, Lauren Pepperell, Barbara Anne Cookson and Edward Lloyd-Davies entered a test-drilling site on Banks marsh owned by Caudrilla. They occupied the rig and prevented it from operating.

The three were arrested and charged with aggravated trespass. Cookson and Lloyd-Davies were also charged with assault. All three were today sentenced to two-year conditional discharges and a fine of £750 each.

The defendants, who all plead not guilty, challenged the lawfulness of the company’s operations and also presented a defence of ‘necessity’; asserting that stopping fracking is necessary in the context of run-away climate change and the damage it will cause the environment and local communities.

The defendants presented a large number of expert and non-expert witnesses from the UK and US to testify against the use of this unconventional process in the British Isles. This included climate scientists Prof Howarth, from Cornell Univerity, and Prof Broderick, from the Tyndall Centre, an ex-industry insider from the US, James Northrup, and Caroline Lucas, Green MP.


13th July 2012
VERDICTS EXPECTED TODAY IN FRACKING TRIAL
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

The trial of 3 people accused of disrupting lawful activity at the Cuadrilla 'Becconsall' fracking site on Banks marsh enters its last day today. The defence case, which finished yesterday, presented evidence from a number of expert witnesses and local residents on the threat posed by the fracking process. Closing arguments in the four day trial will begin on this morning and a verdict is expected soon afterwards. 

The trial, in Preston Magistrates Court, has accepted evidence from a number of expert witnesses including Prof Robert Howath from Cornell Univerity and Dr John Broderick from the Tyndall Centre in Manchester on threat posed by Shale Gas extraction. Evidence was also presented from Caroline Lucas MP on the urgent threat of posed by climate change and need for protests like this to catalyse change.

Residents from around the Cuadrilla Resources sites in Lancashire testified to propety damage and health effects caused by the fracking operations last year that resulted in several earthquakes, and to the total lack of notice or consultation they received before planning permission was granted. Other witnesses raised issues around environmental permitting and planning permissions for Cuadrilla's activities.

On the 2nd November 2011, 5 people occupied the Cuadrilla Resources drilling rig at Banks to draw attention to growing threat posed by the spread of unconventional gas extraction to the British Isles. This protest was timed to coincide with an industry sponsored “Shale Gas Environmental Summit” in London, as well as the release of a report in which Cuadrilla admitted that the fracking of its first well had caused earthquakes.

UPDATE 13th July 6pm

District Judge Peter Ward, sitting at Preston Magistrates Court, has adjourned the case to consider the complex evidence given by both sides, including the effects of fracking on the environment.

He will give his decision on Tuesday July 17 at 2pm. All three defendants are bailed until then.


15th June 2012
NEW CEO FOR CAUDRILLA
Source: Press Release

Cuadrilla Resources, the British shale gas exploration and production business, has announced the appointment of Francis Egan as the company’s new Chief Executive.

Egan, who will take up this post on 9 July, has been appointed to lead Cuadrilla through its next stage of development, as the business gets ready to further explore the Bowland shale. He brings extensive experience in exploration & production, most recently as President of the Global Production Division of BHP Billiton Petroleum. At BHP he has also held numerous leadership roles in the UK, US, Australia, Pakistan and Algeria.

Mark Miller, Cuadrilla’s current CEO, will stay with the company as Director of the Bowland Shale exploration and development programme. On his change of role Mark Miller said: “The appointment of Francis as CEO demonstrates that Cuadrilla is investing in the very best people as we continue to strengthen our management team. This move will allow me to focus on our operations in Lancashire and I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the local communities that I and my team have come to know so well.”

Commenting on his appointment, Francis Egan said: “I am delighted to be returning to the UK to join Cuadrilla at this exciting time for the energy industry in the UK. Cuadrilla has led the way in unlocking the potential of shale resources reserves in the UK, and we hope that the next few years will be about starting to realise that potential in a sustainable and responsible way. As CEO my fundamental commitments are to safety and environmental protection. I appreciate that there are still important questions about shale exploration in the communities in which we operate, so my first priority will be to ensure Cuadrilla continues to listen to and work with our local communities in Lancashire.

I am convinced that the potential of shale resources in the UK is significant, with the prospect of real and lasting benefits for local communities, the wider Lancashire economy, and to the UK as a whole.”

Lord Browne of Madingley, Chairman of Cuadrilla said: “I would first of all like to thank Mark Miller for the outstanding job he has done as CEO of Cuadrilla over the past two years. He has led the company through a critical period, helping Cuadrilla to grow and develop while working very closely with the local community in Lancashire. I am delighted that he will be remaining with the business.

As Cuadrilla prepares to fully explore the potential of shale gas in the UK, Francis’ extensive industry knowledge will mean that the company will be well positioned to unlock the potential of shale gas and most importantly set the very highest standards of safety.”


20th May 2012
Government backtracks on fracking
Source: The Independent

The Government has rejected shale gas technology as a solution to Britain's energy crisis, conceding it will do little to cut bills or keep the lights on.

Supporters of the fracking technology – which blasts water, sand and chemicals at extreme pressures to release gas trapped deep in rock – argue it could be the single greatest factor in transforming Britain's energy market, reducing our reliance on foreign imports and dramatically reducing costs.

But The Independent on Sunday has learned that industry experts made clear at a meeting attended by senior ministers, including David Cameron and Ed Davey, the Lib Dem energy secretary, that the UK's reserves were smaller than first thought and could be uneconomical to extract.

Now senior coalition figures have agreed that shale gas has the potential to be deeply controversial without securing major benefits in lowering carbon emissions or reducing energy costs.

The revelation, ahead of the publication this week of major reforms of the energy market, will be welcomed by green campaigners who have been deeply opposed to clearing the way for a new generation of gas power plants, and voiced serious concerns about the environmental impact, including the potential for fracking to trigger earthquakes and contaminate water supplies.

Read the full Independent Article


17th April 2012
MIXED VIEWS ON seismic events REPORT
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Cuadrilla Resources today welcomed the publication by the Department of Energy & Climate Change of its scientific experts’ review of the seismic events which occurred in April and May 2011 in the Bowland Basin, Lancashire.

The review team included experts from Keele University and the British Geological Survey and was charged with reviewing a series of expert reports submitted to DECC late last year by Cuadrilla Resources.

The DECC expert review published today concludes that it is safe to resume hydraulic fracturing provided the recommended operating procedures as outlined in their report are followed.

Responding to the experts’ review, Cuadrilla’s Chief Executive Mark Miller said: “We are pleased that the experts have come to a clear conclusion that it is safe to allow us to resume hydraulic fracturing, following the procedures outlined in the review. Many of today’s recommendations were contained in the original expert studies we published in November last year, and our supplementary information sent to DECC in January. We have already started to implement a number of the experts’ recommendations in the pursuit of best practice and look forward to the final decision by DECC ministers concerning the resumption of hydraulic fracturing following the six week period for public comment commencing on 17 April.”

However, the of the report has been met with disdain from environmental activists as it concludes that ‘it would not be possible to state categorically that no further earthquakes will be experienced during a similar treatment in a nearby well’.

Activists feel that though seemingly damming, the report actually focuses the minds of the press and public on minor seismic events and claim that "This could be seen as a PR coup for a company whose extraction method of choice has consistently been linked to groundwater contamination, severe methane leakage, air pollution, climate change and radioactive waste".

"Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a process used not just to get gas from shale rock, but also to get at gas trapped in un-minable coal seams (Coal Bed Methane). There is also a third form of unconventional gas extraction threatening the UK, known as Underground Coal Gasification (UCG), where un-minable coal is burnt underground and gas is collected at the surface. All three extraction processes involve elements which are highly destructive. However, what is not being addressed is the what it would mean for all three of these processes to be in full production in the UK."

Elsie Walker, a Frack Off activist, said, ‘This report is a seriously dangerous distraction. People need to understand that the wave of unconventional gas development that is threatening the British Isles will bring with it far greater consequences than a number of small earthquakes’.

She continued, ‘The scale of development proposed is being completely ignored. Cuadrilla want to drill 800 wells in Lancashire alone. They are one company going after one type of gas. There are several companies going after several types of unconventional gas in the UK and all potentially on a similar scale to Cuadrilla. If we allow this to happen, we will witness the total industrialisation of the British countryside and the destruction of the ecosystems we rely on for our survival. We cannot allow this to happen’. 'Even within the narrow context of earthquakes, this report misses all the real issues such as sub-surface damage to wells causing them to leak, the much larger earthquakes seen in the US as a result of wide spread shale gas development and the potential effects on sensitive infrastructure like nuclear power stations and railway lines'.


22nd January 2011
GAS MONITORING DEVICE INSTALLED ON FRACKING SITES
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Cuadrilla have just installed a network of 21 'GasClams' to monitor their current exploration sites and are the world’s first company to use it as part automated early warning system.

If the instrument detects an increase in gas concentrations it automatically alerts an engineer allowing a rapid response.

The monitoring device will collect background gas levels and compare them between before, during and after our operations, according to Mark Miller, CEO of Cuadrilla.

Mr Miller anticipates that the data from the monitoring equipment will be made available to local communities via the Cuadrilla website.

GasClam was developed by Salamander, a University of Manchester spin out company and is a previous winner of the North West Innovation Environment Technology prize.

Dr Pete Morris, from Ion Science, the global distributor of the technology, said: “As gas occurs naturally from a range of sources, GasClam will provide reliable information to Cuadrilla and the surrounding community to show the level of gas and its origin.”


1st December 2011
Gas Drilling Rig Stormed by Fracking Protesters AGAIN
Source: Frack Off Press Release

Early this morning, 8 people from the climate action network Rising Tide, scaled Cuadrilla Resources fracking rig in Hesketh Bank, Lancashire. They intend to occupy the site with hammocks and supplies for several days in order to halt the drilling.

Less than a month ago, when a report was released confirming fracking causes earthquakes, a separate group mounted an action against the same rig, highlighting local health and environmental concerns associated with fracking.

One of the activists, Sarah, a community worker from Bristol, explained: “Fracking is a desperate bid to suck the last, most difficult to reach fossil fuels out of the planet. It is a road to nowhere. The output of fracked wells quickly declines so more and more wells have to be drilled destroying vast swathes of our countryside.”

The last few months have seen numerous actions mounted against fracking in the UK, from Southport to London, resulting in a local victory in the Vale of Glamorgan, whose county council voted unanimously against fracking.

The activists suggested that the mounting action, controversy and urgency surrounding fracking indicates that it is set to become the “new Heathrow” in which “local communities united with people from all over the country against a fossil fuel giant, and won.”

Two activists have been arrested so far.


2nd November 2011
DRILL RIG STORMED BY ANTI-FRACKING PROTESTORS
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

This morning nine people from the national anti-fracking network Frack Off have halted work at Cuadrilla Resources’ drilling site on Banks marsh.

They ran on to the fracking site early this morning and scaled the drilling rig using climbing equipment. They aim to sit on top of the drilling rig for as long as possible to stop the drilling.

The action is aimed at highlighting what the protestors believe is the hypocrisy behind the ‘Shale Gas Environmental Summit’ starting today in London: a conference sponsored by a host of companies involved in the oil and gas industry and to counter the PR offensive of the shale gas industry and bring public attention to the harm fracking has been linked to.

Colin Eastman, one of the climbers, said, “Conventional fossil fuels have begun to run out and the system is moving towards more extreme forms of energy like fracking, tar sands, and deep water drilling. The move towards ‘extreme energy’ is literally scraping the bottom of the barrel, sucking the last most difficult to reach fossil fuels from the planet at a time when we should be rapidly reducing our consumption altogether and looking for sustainable alternatives. In the UK fracking for shale gas is planned alongside, not instead of, extraction of conventional fossil fuels like coal.”


2nd November 2011
CuadrillA PUBLISH REPORT FINDINGS ON SEISMIC EVENTS
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Cuadrilla Resources, the British company exploring for natural shale gas on Banks Marsh, has today released the findings of the report that was commissioned following unusual seismic activity near Poulton-le-Fylde in April and May 2011.

“The Geo-mechanical Study of Bowland Shale Seismicity” confirms that there is little risk of future seismic events reoccurring in the Bowland Basin but proposes a series of mitigation measures in case of any future seismic activity. This report which fulfils a commitment made by Cuadrilla to be fully open with the community about all findings, is the most comprehensive scientific study ever undertaken on the geology of the Bowland Basin.

Cuadrilla intends to seek a peer review of the report and commits to publishing that review.

The report concludes:

  • It is highly probable that the hydraulic fracturing of Cuadrilla’s Preese Hall-1 well did trigger a number of minor seismic events.
  • None of the events recorded, including one in April of 2.3 and one in May of 1.5 on the Richter scale, had any structural impact on the surface above.
  • The seismic events were due to an unusual combination of geology at the well site coupled with the pressure exerted by water injection as part of operations.
  • This combination of geological factors was extremely rare and would be unlikely to occur together again at future well sites.
  • If these factors were to combine again in the future local geology limits seismic events to around magnitude 3 on the Richter scale as a “worst-case scenario”.
  • Cuadrilla’s water injection operations take place very far below the earth’s surface which significantly reduces the likelihood of a seismic event of less than 3 on the Richter scale having any impact at all on the surface.

Using the findings, the report sets out an early detection system which Cuadrilla can use to monitor seismic activity and implement a series of steps to prevent the escalation of any future seismicity. Very similar systems are in place in the Netherlands and Germany. The purpose of this system is to ensure that any seismic activity trigged by the hydraulic fracturing process, however unlikely, can be managed to prevent any impact to people and property.

Mark Miller, Chief Executive of Cuadrilla Resources, commenting on the release of the report said:

“We unequivocally accept the findings of this independent report and are pleased that the report concludes that there is no threat to people or property in the local area from our operations.

We are ready to put in place the early detection system that has been proposed in the report so that we can provide additional confidence and security to the local community.

Cuadrilla is working with the relevant local and national authorities to implement the report’s recommendations so we may safely resume our operations.”

The report has been submitted to the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the British Geological Survey (BGS), the latter acting in their capacity as advisers to DECC.  The report’s authors and Cuadrilla are in regular contact with government officials to provide further clarification on various technical aspects of the report.

The report was commissioned by Cuadrilla Resources in consultation with the Department of Energy and Climate Change.  The study was carried out by a European team of independent seismic experts, all leading authorities on the subject, directed by Dr Hans de Pater.


25th October 2011
PUBLIC MEETING – SHALE GAS DRILLING AND EXTRACTION
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

The Northern Parishes of West Lancashire have arranged for a Public Meeting to be held from 6:30pm at “Our Lady Help of Christians” Church, Hesketh Lane, Tarleton on Friday 4th November.

Cuadrilla Resources, the company presently granted an exploration licence in the area and Mr Simon Glover A.I.Mech.E, M.ENG, B.Sc, the Vice-President Europe of Altus Well Experts Inc, an Independent Industry Expert to give independent comment, will be on hand to answer the queries or concerns of members of the Public. The event will be chaired by BBC North West Presenter, Dave Guest.


17th October 2011
BGS: QUAKES LIKELY TO BE CAUSED BY FRACKING
Source: Blackpool Gazette

CONTROVERSIAL gas drilling DID cause Fylde coast earthquakes.

And now energy chiefs have sent a stark warning to shale gas company Cuadrilla Resources – stop the tremors or we will shut you down.

It comes as the company this week held urgent talks with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to consider a report into the risk of earthquakes associated with fracking – the process used to extract shale gas from deep beneath the Fylde coast.

The meetings followed the British Geological Survey’s (BGS) conclusion two recent earth tremors felt nearby were most likely to have been caused by fracking.

CLICK HERE for the complete Blackpool Gazette article


17th October 2011
Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) UPDATE
Reported by: Angela Cropper

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-yOX2-v8A7Mg/TpnOhghlNMI/AAAAAAAAAPg/8ju3H6pbrDI/s1600/reafinfonight.jpgRibble Estuary Against Fracking had a good turnout of local residents at their first community event held at Banks Leisure Centre on Friday night. Members of Friends of the Earth, Frack Off, The Green Party and Transition Southport also attended.

A short film 'Fracking Hell' by The Ecologist Film Unit was shown throughout the evening. REAF and Friends of the Earth members were available to answer questions on the consequences of shale gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Information boards and leaflets provided additional information relating to the fracking industry.

Doreen Stopforth, local resident and REAF member said "We were very pleased with the turn out to our first event. We are planning more outreach events in future to help raise awareness locally"

REAF invite you to drop in to our next Information and Film night on Wednesday 26th October, between 7.30pm–9.30 pm Tarleton Bowling Club, Sutton Lane, Tarleton.


12th October 2011
Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) UPDATE
Reported by: Angela Cropper

Friends of the Earth Exec Director Andy Atkins meets with REAF Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins met with local residents and members of Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) in Hesketh Bank on Wednesday 5th October. After the meeting Andy travelled to Banks to see the Cuadrilla drill site.

Concerns over ‘fracking’ – the process of exploiting natural shale gas under extremely high pressure to force rocks apart – have been gathering pace ever since drilling firm Cuadrilla Resources’ fracking operations were suspended in May this year following a second earthquake in the area.

Friends of the Earth’s Executive Director Andy Atkins said: “I share the same concerns as people who live here – shale gas is neither clean nor proven to be safe, and drilling it will cause climate-changing emissions and could pollute water supplies. “We don’t need risky fracking or a dash for gas – we already have plenty of green energy solutions that we know are safe and will work, like the wind, the waves and the sun.”

“The Government should get on with developing the UK’s huge green energy potential – making better use of our energy will stabilise fuel bills long term and create thousands of skilled jobs in Lancashire and throughout the UK.”

Local resident and REAF member Doreen Stopforth added: “Andy’s visit shows just how important this issue is on a national and international scale. Fracking is a dangerous unproven technology which will put the whole of the Ribble Estuary at risk of environmental disaster.” 

REAF have accepted an invitation to join with Friends of the Earth on this important issue and have been invited to a meeting next week at County Hall, Preston with Tony Bosworth the Senior Climate Campaigner.

Members of Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) have also been invited to travel to the Hilton Hotel in Blackpool next week, to join up with the Co-operative who are hosting an information evening on shale gas drilling and screening of the film Gasland, the Academy Award nominated documentary about fracking in the US.

REAF will have an information stand at the event and Banks resident Eve McNamara will be speaking during the evening along with Co-op representatives.  The Co-op earlier this year commissioned a report from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change at Manchester University Tyndall Report, which recommended fracking should be halted pending further research into its impact. The Co-operative have called upon the government to hold a moratorium on shale gas extraction in the UK.

REAF are also holding our own Drop In Information and film nights at -

  • Banks Leisure Centre, Greaves Hall Ave, Banks - Friday 14th October,  8pm–10 pm
  • Tarleton Bowling Club, Sutton Lane, Tarleton  - Wednesday 26th October, 7.30pm–9.30 pm

18th August 2011
CUADRILLA RIG TAKES SHAPE
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Cuadrilla fracking rig being built on the marsh at Banks


21st September 2011
Co-Op warning over new gas field
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

GOVERNMENT MUST NOT BE SEDUCED BY NEW GAS FIELD SAYS THE CO-OPERATIVE

On the day (Wednesday 21 September) that Cuadrilla Resources announced its shale gas reserves estimates for its Bowland shale site in Lancashire, The Co-operative pointed out that shale gas extraction risks diverting investment away from the UK ’s renewable energy targets. These targets are forecast to provide £100billion worth of investment opportunities and up to half a million jobs by 2020.

The Government must not be seduced by a new Lancashire gas field and should still impose an immediate moratorium on extraction from shale formations until all the ecological implications are fully understood.

That is the view of The Co-operative, which earlier this year commissioned a report from the internationally respected Tyndall Centre, part of The University of Manchester, on the impacts of shale gas and as a result believes that shale gas extraction represents a significant risk of groundwater contamination, brings new greenhouse gases into play and diverts much needed investment from renewable sources of energy and the jobs this would create and support..

Earlier this year, the Government’s Energy and Climate Change Committee report on shale gas ruled out a moratorium, but seemingly ignored apparent gaps in the regulation of the shale gas industry and failed to call for better evaluation of the pollution risks it poses.

A shale gas rig with the potential to contaminate groundwater is unlikely to be required to undertake a formal Environmental Impact Assessment whereas developers building a medium sized wind farm or hydro-electric power plant of 5MW most likely would. Furthermore, shale gas extraction sites appear unlikely to be required to obtain an Environmental Permit, as would be required for a biomass power station.

Moreover, the exploitation of gas shales is bringing new greenhouse gas sources into play and even a mid-range extraction scenario could see carbon dioxide levels rise globally by some 5 parts per million by 2050. This will further reduce any slim possibility of maintaining global temperature change, at or below 2oC, and thereby increasing the risk of entering a period of ‘dangerous climate change’.

Since 2007, The Co-operative Bank has ring-fenced £400m specifically to fund renewable energy projects and recently announced its intention to extend this lending to £1bn for the sector by 2013 as part of the Co-operative Group’s Ethical Operating Plan.

Paul Monaghan, Head of Social Goals at The Co-operative said: “On the face of it new natural gas finds appear to be good news, but the Government must not be seduced by this without considering all the impacts of shale gas extraction.

“That is why we are calling for a moratorium on any further exploitation of shale gas which will allow the wider environmental concerns to be fully exposed and addressed.”


21st September 2011
GAS RESERVE ANNOUNCED
Source: Blackpool Gazette

Cuadrilla Resources today revealed there is around 200 trillion cubic feet of gas under Lancashire – an amount it believes is enough to create a staggering 1,700 jobs locally over the next decade.

And the controversial company’s CEO Mark Miller has said, if Cuadrilla decide to press ahead with commercial drilling, the operation could be up and running by 2013.

Mr Miller said: “The amount of gas is a very sizeable number. It has our interest to the point where we feel we can start to think about what it will look like going forward and developing this. “We’ve not made that decision yet but it is a large number.”

The company hopes 400 wells could be created in Lancashire over the next nine years – rising to 800 wells over the next 16 years if the operation is particularly successful.

And local councils are also set to benefit, with the company anticipating £120 million will be paid in business rates over the next 30 years with the whole UK set to reap a tax benefit of £5 to 6 billion.

Click here for the full Blackpool Gazette article


20th September 2011
REAF REFUTE COUNCIL LEAFLET CLAIM
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

REAF - Ribble Estuary Against Fracking

It was with dismay that we read the public notice from Hesketh Bank Parish Council regarding their ‘concerns over anti-fracking leaflets’ that was published on both their website and reported on the Hesketh Bank and Tarleton Village website [See NEWS 16th September].

We are a group of local’s from along the Ribble Estuary who wish to inform people of the possible consequences of Shale Gas Drilling by the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in this country and encourage them to join us and other groups/politicians nationally in asking the government to hold a moratorium on Shale Gas Drilling and ask that all drilling is stopped until this happens.

Ribble Estuary Against Fracking are very concerned about the allegations made in the Parish Council notice, although we are not named directly it is obvious to local people that they are referring to our group.

REAF were not approached by the Parish Council before they published the article but since being made aware of it we have spoken to a Councillor and have assured him that we have not printed/delivered any leaflets with the Council details on them. We have asked that their letter be removed from the Parish Council website and have said that we will investigate this incident further as we wish to clear up this misunderstanding with the Parish Council as quickly as possible.

REAF did give leaflets out in Banks, Hesketh Bank and Tarleton in the run up to the advertised ‘Gasland’ film screening and ‘Camp Frack’ but these were only printed on one side.

We would like to clearly state that the REAF group have not published or sanctioned any leaflets which have information regarding Hesketh Bank Parish Council on the reverse.

We have not removed any notices from official notice boards nor have we portrayed information knowing it to be untrue.

We understand and share the concerns of the Parish Council and feel that this may have been done maliciously to cause problems between us. As far as we are aware no one from either Tarleton or Banks received leaflets with Tarleton or North Meols Parish details on them.

We are trying to ascertain where and how many of the leaflets with the Parish Council details were given out in Hesketh Bank. If you received one of the leaflets printed on both sides, would you please contact the editor of the Hesketh Bank and Tarleton website editor@heskethbank.com

Angela Cropper, Hesketh Lane, Tarleton     Eve McNamara, Fleetwood Crescent, Banks


20th September 2011
Protestors march on Cuadrilla site
Source: Southport Visiter

ABOUT 140 anti-fracking campaigners took to the streets in a protest march close to the Cuadrilla site in Banks. Cuadrilla started exploratory drilling for shale gas below ground off Marsh Road last month.

Residents and campaigners spent last weekend at Manor Farm in Hesketh Bank where they set up camp and held workshops. Click here for the full Southport Visiter Article


16th September 2011
PARISH COUNCIL CONCERNS OVER ANTI- FRACKING LEAFLETS
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Hesketh with Becconsall Parish Council today expressed concerns about leaflets being circulated and distanced themselves from an "Anti Fracking" Group.

Leaflets distributed by the protestors have apparantly contained information which suggests the Parish Council is supporting their activities.

A statement issued today by the Parish Council on their website said "The Parish Council are deeply concerned that notices, apparently from the local “Anti-Fracking” activist group, are being circulated locally with details of Hesketh with Becconsall Parish Council on the reverse giving the impression that the Parish Council are supporting the work of this group. The actual Parish Council details are copies of the official notices recently stolen from the Council’s official village notice boards.

The Parish Council recognise Cuadrilla as a legitimate company, carrying out exploratory drilling and testing for hydro-carbons, operating under a Government Licence and with Planning Consent from Lancashire County Council. The Parish Council did not object to the Planning Application and do not have any Resolved views regarding the operations of Cuadrilla. As such they do not have any association with, or support the various anti-fracking groups carrying out activities in the area. The Parish Council do recognise the rights of any group to independently promote their views or opinions as they think fit"

It is an offence to interfere with or remove any notice from an official notice board of a statutory body or to portray information knowing it to be untrue."


1st August 2011
CONCERN OVER FOTHCOMING DRILLING IN BANKS
Source: Lesley Graham

I am writing to express my concern over the forthcoming movement of equipment to the Banks site and the start of operations on August 15th. Several people have expressed their concerns and are interested in holding a meeting. Please email me jeanne1927@live.com if you would like to participate.

Lesley Graham.


27th July 2011
SHALE DRILLING RIG UPDATE
Source: Cuadrilla Resources

Dear residents,

As you are already aware, Cuadrilla holds several temporary planning permits to explore for shale gas in Lancashire and has been preparing its site near Banks over the past few months in order to begin drilling operations.

As part of our commitment to keep residents informed about our operations, I am writing to let you know that the drilling rig and other site equipment will begin to move from the our Singleton site to the Banks site on 1st August 2011.

The move will take around 12 days to complete, with operations expected to begin on/around 15th August.

Once a routine has been established on the site, we will be holding site visits for residents throughout September. During these visits, a member of the technical team will be on-hand to answer any questions you may have and to explain what we do in detail.

Should you wish to arrange a site visit or discuss any other Cuadrilla-related matter further, please call the Freephone Information Line on 0800 170 1115.

Yours sincerely,

Mark Miller
Chief Executive
Cuadrilla Resources


8th June 2011
Cuadrilla thank localS for attending Information Day
Source: Caudrilla Resources

Cuadrilla is delighted that so many local people took the time to attend the Public Information Day held in Hesketh Bank on Monday and would like to offer its thanks to residents.

During the event, six members of Cuadrilla’s technical team were on hand to discuss in detail the company’s operations and to address any issues raised. Among the 100 locals were county, district and parish councillors who all took the time to chat with Cuadrilla, including CEO, Mark Miller.

The aim of the Information Day was to inform locals about shale gas exploration and to provide the opportunity for the team to personally address the questions raised by locals. Of the feedback forms returned, over 83 per cent of residents left the event feeling more informed about Cuadrilla’s operations.

Speaking about the Public Information Day, Mark Miller, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: "The event was a great way to speak to residents and learn first-hand which issues are of interest. As a company, we have come away with a better understanding of the surrounding communities."

"Some of the attendees wanted to seek assurances that the company is taking all the appropriate measures to protect the environment during our operations as well as finding out more about the geology of the Bowland Basin.

Others were interested in the technology and techniques used during the exploration of shale gas and the potential benefits it could bring to the local economy and the UK’s energy mix.

Most importantly though, we are all happy that most people left the event feeling more informed about our operations and we are committed to ensuring this is maintained."

If you missed the event you can download a pdf of the information boards used at the information day


4th June 2011
FRACKING FLUID EXPLAINED
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

In response to a direct request we made about the make up of the fracking fluid, Cuadrilla have provided the following information:

Cuadrilla Resources: Fracing Fluid compositionThe fracing fluids used by Cuadrilla is 99.75% composed of fresh water and sand. This water and sand combination is supplemented with microscopic amounts of everyday chemicals typically found in people’s homes: Polyacrylamide friction reducers (00.075%), commonly used in cosmetics and facial creams, Hydrochloric acid (00.125%), frequently found in swimming pools and drinking water wells, Biocide (00.005%), used on rare occasions when the water provided from the local supplier needs to be further purified.

The actual combination of materials we use depends on the specific circumstances we encounter, but we take robust and proven precautionary measures to ensure that none of them can re-appear at the surface or contaminate the aquifer in any way.

Upon returning to the surface, they are stored in steel tanks and at no point come in contact with the ground. In the unlikely event that any liquid was spilt on the surface, seepage at ground level is prevented by the installation of an impermeable membrane on land at and surrounding the well site.

Cuadrilla have also provided a video demonstrating hydraulic fracturing. Click here to view.

Cuadrilla management and staff will be on hand to discuss the processs this coming Monday, 4pm - 8pm at All Saints Church Hall, Station Road, Hesketh Bank.


2nd June 2011
'BECCONSALL' DRILL SITE PUZZLE
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Cuadrilla - local confidence rocked by fracking company errors

Amongst all the concerns raised by the recent earthquakes and the suggestion that they may be linked to the gas shale 'Fracking' process, Hesketh Bank residents are finding some amusement in Cuadrilla's insistence that their gas drilling site is in Becconsall. The drill site is not in Becconsall; it is not even in Hesketh Bank but off Marsh Road in Banks.

The sign at the site entrance on Marsh Road has caused further distraction with the incorrect spelling of Cuadrilla.

A resident quipped "For a Company that is trying to reassure us that the controversial fracking process is safe in their hands, it would be much more encouraging if they could read a map and spell their own name correctly".

On a more serious note, local farmers have expressed worries about the impact the fracking may have on their borehole water supplies and local environmentalists are pressing for disclosure on the 'rock dissolving' chemicals used in the process. (We have asked Cuadrilla about these two specific points but they have not yet responded).

Questions are also being raised about how the already poor water pressure in the area may be put under severe pressure as significant amounts of water are required to extract shale gas.

Added to the issues arising from the two earthquakes in the vicinity of Cuadrilla's Fylde operation, the 'Information Day' at All Saints Church Hall next week may prove to be quite an event.


1st June 2011
Second Tremor Shakes Local Confidence In Gas Drilling
Source: The Independent

Residents of Lancashire, somewhat unsurprisingly, do not want to live in an earthquake zone. The idea then that the recent rise in seismic activity may be linked to the beginning of "fracking" in the area has prompted concern.

"Links between gas fracking, which is cracking up the underground structure, and the quake need looking at," demanded Alistair Parker, from the market town of Poulton, where an earthquake struck in early April. "We only have their word for the extent of the effects they are creating."

Despite the suspension of operations at the Singleton site, Cuadrilla Resources, the company behind the exploration for shale gas on the Fylde Coast, has confirmed that it plans to start drilling near Hesketh Bank.

Click Here for the complete Independent article


31st May 2011
BLACKPOOL FRACKING SUSPENDED AFTER EARTHQUAKE
Source: BBC News

Shale gas test drilling in Lancashire has been suspended following an earthquake on the Fylde coast.

Cuadrilla, the firm behind the tests, said drilling had been suspended as a precaution after the 1.5 magnitude tremor - the second in two months.

It will now examine the data collected by the British Geological Survey (BGS) before deciding whether to resume.

Click Here for the complete BBC News article


27th May 2011
GAS FRACKING COMPANY ANNOUNCE OPEN DAY
Reported by: Hubmaker Media Follow Hubmaker Media on FacebookHubmaker Media on Twitter

Cuadrilla Resources has announced that it will hold an Public Information Open Day on the 6th June at All Saints Church Hall, Station Road, Hesketh Bank.

Members of the Cuadrilla technical team will be available to answer any questions residents may have about Shale Gas and the controversial Fracking process.

A recent MP's report has rejected a moratorium on shale gas exploration despite claims that there is evidence of environmental dangers. France recently agreed a moratorium on new shale gas projects (potentially with a view to a complete ban), and similar steps have been taken in several US states, after widespread reports of shale gas wells leading to contamination and dangers to homeowners.

The 'fracking' process is where underground shale rock is hydraulically fractured using a mix of water, sand and undisclosed chemicals which are released underground in high pressure bursts to free the trapped gas which then flows to the surface where it is collected.

The much publicised 'burning tap' where gas is claimed to have entered the water supply as a result of fracking activity has been a high profile PR problem for the industry but campaigners in the US say the biggest fear is that the mystery slurry could get into the water supply.

And there have been troubling safety incidents. In late April 2011 a big company, Chesapeake Energy, suspended its fracking in Pennsylvania after one of its natural-gas wells blew out and spilled toxic drilling fluid into a nearby creek.

From the The Economist 11th May 2011: "Activists and scientists reckon that if the process is safe, the companies should come clean. “If they’ve got nothing to hide, why is the industry so paranoid about disclosing their chemicals?” asks Steve Torbit, executive director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Rocky Mountain region. They may have to. The Environmental Protection Agency is studying the process. In 2009, House Democrats proposed legislation that would force the industry to disclose the chemicals it uses in fracking. Several states, including Texas and Colorado, have similar legislation pending.

In the meantime public concerns are growing. Late last month 200 people packed a Bureau of Land Management hearing in Golden, Colorado. Dave Cesark, an executive at Mesa Energy Partners LLC, tried to reassure, saying that fracking chemicals constitute “just a drop in the bucket”: only 0.5% of the total fluids, including water, that the company uses to drill natural gas. The crowd did not, strangely enough, find that entirely reassuring. Some producers will grumble that any regulation of fracking is an unwarranted constraint on their business. But if natural gas is not produced cleanly, it will not prove to be so cheap, either. Full disclosure is a price worth paying."

Cuadrilla Resources point out that "United Utilities has publicly said our activities pose no threat at all to its water supply" and that "All the activity is taking place thousands of feet below the level of the local aquifer; and the site itself is protected by an impermeable membrane to guard against any on-surface spills."

With the rig due on site mid June, this phase of the operation is to explore how much gas there is and how easy it is to extract. Cuardrilla will need to get further approval to set up permanent facilities on the Hesketh Bank site.




Useful Information

Cuadrilla Resources | DECC | Environment Agency

North Meols Parish Council | Hesketh with Becconsall Parish Council | Lancashire County Council


If you have any questions, news or views to report please do let us know!
Please email your local news, and events.