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Independent journalism on UK fracking, onshore oil and gas and the reactions to it
Updated: 4 days 15 hours ago

Another call for earlier ban on flaring in oil and gas fields

Fri, 01/13/2023 - 12:52

Routine flaring on oil and gas fields should be banned by 2025, a review of the government’s net zero strategy has concluded.

In a key recommendation, the author, the Conservative MP Chris Skidmore, said:

“Industry should accelerate the end to routine flaring from 2030 to 2025.”

This is the second report this month to call for a ban on flaring in the next two years. A cross-party report by the House of Commons environmental audit committee made the same recommendation on 5 January.

Mr Skidmore was commissioned by the former prime minister, Liz Truss, to review UK proposals to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Last year, the government accepted a ruling by the High Court that its net zero strategy was unlawful. The landmark judgement agreed with arguments by Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and Good Law Project that the strategy failed to show how the UK’s legally-binding carbon budgets would be met.

Mr Skidmore said today that the UK had successfully started to replace fossil fuels with greener, cleaner alternatives.

But he said the country was falling behind on some targets and needed a new approach. Delaying climate action risked damaging UK economic prospects, he said:

“to reach net zero we need to go even faster on making changes to the power and fuels we use – and make sure the UK benefits from growth in these new technologies. Rolling out these technologies will require a step change in how we approach energy security, infrastructure, and supply.”

The review ran to 340 pages and had 129 recommendations.

It said flaring was responsible for 22% of carbon emissions on oil and gas fields. About 70% of oil and gas field emissions were from powering equipment on platforms, it said.

The offshore industry published a Methane Action Plan in 2021 to reduce emissions and flaring. This committed the industry to a 50% methane emission reduction by 2030, compared with 2018 levels. Shell has committed to zero routine flaring by 2025.

The Skidmore report said:

“We recommend that industry follows suit”.

It said the industry regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority should improve transparency on progress against the emissions and flaring targets at a company level by the end of this year.

The review made no specific reference to onshore oil and gas. But it also called on the government to:

  • Ensure all new oil or gas fields were designed for conversion to electrification
  • Ensure that Climate Compatibility Checkpoint in oil and gas licences was an effective tool to shape policymaking
  • Consider requiring fossil fuel producers to meet a 10% target for carbon storage by 2035
  • Include a net zero fund for clean offshore technologies in the 2023 consultation on long-term tax treatment for the North Sea
  • Publish a strategy by the end of 2024 to include roles and responsibilities for electrification of oil and gas infrastructure, including planning process, timetables and regulation

The report says the UK must “double down on production of renewables, nuclear and hydrogen and other low carbon fuels to give our future energy system a homegrown, secure platform”. But it added:

“in the short term we still need oil and gas to secure our energy independence and as transition fuels towards 2050.”

It predicted the UK would continue to be dependent on gas for heating buildings and marginal power production. Demand for fossil fuels would fall in some parts of the economy, such as surface transport, the report said. But demand could rise in other parts, such as petrochemicals. The report concluded:

“That is why, only when absolutely necessary for security, we need domestic production and storage of fossil fuels to reduce our vulnerability to international oil and gas imports.”

It said replacing imported LNG (liquified natural gas) with domestically-sourced gas did not have to come at the cost of meeting UK carbon budget targets. Gas from the UK continental shelf could create less than half as much greenhouse gas as imported LNG, the report said. But it added:

“we must do more to make the extraction of oil and gas cleaner. Importing gas via pipeline from Norway produces a lower average emissions intensity than UK domestic production. We must therefore find ways to make extraction as clean as possible and avoid stranded assets.”

The review also called for planning rules to be scrapped for roof-top solar panels and it recommended the phase out of gas boilers by 2033, two years earlier than planned.

Reaction

The campaign group, Client Earth, said:

“Last year the High Court ordered the UK government to strengthen its net zero plans after our legal win. This review further confirms that it must set out more ambitious climate policy that goes further and faster in cutting energy costs and emissions.”

The shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, said:

“This underlines the Tory dither and refusal to tackle the climate crisis or boost our energy security. And it reveals the failure to grasp the opportunities for good, new jobs across Britain. Only Labour can deliver a fairer, greener future for Britain.”

The Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, said:

“This Net Zero Review must spell an end to government’s current approach of ducking, dodging and delaying action. That means turbo-charging onshore wind and solar, with solar panels on every new roof – and it means locking out climate-wrecking fossil fuels for good.”

Doug Parr, chief scientist of Greenpeace UK, said there was a strong overall message in the review:

“We’re in a different era from 2010s. UK faces bigger economic risks from getting left behind than going too fast. China, US, EU are in a clean tech race. Join in or get squashed.”

Friends of the Earth said:

“The idea that climate action and economic growth are at odds is seriously outdated. It’s time for the government to wake up and act! A green transition is vital for the future of our planet, and for our economy too.”

WWF UK said:

“Chris Skidmore’s comprehensive review makes it clear that meeting climate targets is the key to our future prosperity. The government must accept the recommendations of the review & begin the real work to deliver on its climate promises.”

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Judges dismiss challenge to $1.15bn UK investment in Mozambique gas scheme

Fri, 01/13/2023 - 09:06

The Court of Appeal has rejected a legal challenge to UK government investment of $1.15bn in a liquified natural gas project in Mozambique.

Friends of the Earth campaigners outside the Royal Courts of Justice for the initial hearing in March 2022.
Photo: Friends of the Earth

The case, brought by Friends of the Earth, was dismissed in a written ruling today.

Friends of the Earth described the decision as “very disappointing” and said it was considering an appeal.

The Mozambique funding was one of the largest single financing packages ever offered by the government’s export credit agency, UKEF, to a foreign fossil fuel project.

The project involved deep-water gas production about 50km off the coast of northern Mozambique, along with onshore gas processing facilities.

It had been estimated that the total lifetime emissions for the new gas field, to be operated by Total, would be 4.5bn tonnes of greenhouse gases. This is more than the combined annual emissions of all 27 EU countries.

The investment was approved in June 2020 by the then international trade secretary, Liz Truss, and the then chancellor, Rishi Sunak. It was opposed on environmental grounds by the then business and foreign secretaries (Alok Sharma and Dominic Raab).

Six months later, in December 2020, the then prime minister, Boris Johnson, announced the UK would end direct government support for overseas fossil fuel projects.

Friends of the Earth argued in court that investing in the project was not compatible with UK obligations under the Paris climate agreement, which sought to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees.

The organisation also said UKEF should have calculated the the carbon emissions that would result from burning gas produced by the project, known as scope 3 emissions. These emissions should have been evaluated against available carbon budgets and global climate goals, it said.

The government argued that the Paris Agreement had not been incorporated into UK law. It also said the Mozambique project would be “economically transformative” for the country. It would help Mozambique to alleviate poverty, improve food security, invest in green energy and become more resilient to climate change.

When the case was heard at the High Court, one judge supported the Friends of the Earth case, while the other dismissed it. Details

The appeal court judges said today the Paris Agreement did not give rise to domestic legal obligations. Their ruling said:

“The court cannot and should not second guess the executive’s decision-making in the international law arena where there is no domestic legal precedent or guidance”.

The ruling also rejected the argument that it was irrational “to take the funding decision without quantifying the Scope 3 emissions”. The ruling said:

“The project was going ahead whether or not UKEF contributed to its financing. The decision was, therefore, not one that could have reduced or avoid the project’s scope 3 emissions.”

Friends of the Earth’s international climate campaigner, Rachel Kennerley, said:

“This extremely disappointing judgment doesn’t alter our firm belief that the UK government should not be supporting the Mozambique gas project, or any fossil fuel project at home or abroad.

“The climate crisis is intensifying with record-breaking heat waves and devastating floods and droughts, and countries like Mozambique are at the forefront of these impacts.

“The UK government should be helping poorer nations develop their huge renewable energy potential, not backing a massive gas development that’s fuelling violence and instability and will inevitably intensify the climate emergency we are in.

“We urge the government to end its support for this development. Rishi Sunak wants the UK to be seen as a world leader in fighting the climate crisis, but support for the gas development in Mozambique, and new coal and oil extraction at home, is completely undermining this.”

Daniel Ribeiro, campaigner at Friends of the Earth Mozambique, said:

“Today’s ruling is bad news for the people of Mozambique impacted by this project and everyone globally suffering climate impacts.

“It’s time to end the UK government’s bankrolling of destructive, colonial fossil fuel extractivism overseas and perpetuating decades of human rights and environmental abuses in countries on the frontlines of the climate crisis.”

Categories: G2. Local Greens

MPs call for ban on oil and gas industry flaring by 2025

Wed, 01/04/2023 - 16:01

A cross-party committee of MPs has called for flaring on UK oil and gas fields to be banned in the next two years.

Flare at Preston New Road, 13 October 2019. Photo: Sue Underwood

The Environmental Audit Committee, in a report published this morning, called for faster action from the oil and gas industry to cut operational emissions by 68% in the current decade, in line with government commitments under the Paris Agreement.

It said:

“Oil and gas companies must accelerate their efforts to electrify offshore platforms, stop flaring and address methane leakage.”

The report said the industry regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), should ban outright the routine flaring of waste gas:

“We recommend that the Government introduces an amendment to the Energy Bill to provide for a total prohibition on flaring from installations in the UK’s jurisdiction to be introduced not later than the end of 2025.

“This would help ensure the UK fulfils commitments it made at COP26 and COP27 under the Global Methane Pledge.”

“Weak targets”

The committee said targets to cut upstream emissions, set under the North Sea Transition Deal, were “weak” and lacked “the urgent and transformative action”, which the government’s climate change advisor said was required:

“there appear to be few sanctions available to the North Sea Transition Authority in the event that companies do not achieve the production emissions targets they have agreed to meet.”

It added:

“The oil and gas industry has been aware of the contribution of its activities to man-made climate change since the 1990s, or earlier. A responsible industry should have been working to clean up its operations with far greater urgency than this timescale suggests. The Government needs to push the industry to go further and faster than its current approach.”

The committee recommended:

  • The NSTA should review the targets in the North Sea Transition Deal
  • The government should set mandatory, rather than voluntary targets, if there was insufficient progress on ending methane emissions from oil and gas operations by 2027
  • Oil and gas companies operating in the UK should report annual on progress on decarbonising operations
  • The NSTA should publish a league table of the best and worst performing companies
  • The NSTA should insist on the electrification of all new oil and gas projects approved under the current 33rd onshore licensing round.
Licensing end date

The committee also said there should be an end date for oil and gas licensing rounds:

“To show its continued commitment to climate leadership, we recommend that the government consult on setting a clear date for ending new oil and gas licensing rounds in the North Sea: this date should fall well before 2050.”

It said the date should be based on the oil and gas production currently being planned by the UK and other producer states and on the remaining global carbon budget if temperatures are to be limited to 1.5°C.

“Clear rebuke”

The fossil fuel free campaign group, Uplift, said “calling out the oil and gas industry’s foot-dragging over emissions” was long-overdue.

It described the committee’s report as a “clear rebuke” of the government’s “outdated and costly approach to energy”.

The group’s public affairs manager, Gwen Buck, said:

“Banning flaring and toughening emission reduction targets are reasonable, common sense asks that the government should adopt, given the worsening impacts of the climate crisis.

“It is welcome that the committee has called for an end date for new oil and gas licensing, but the government must go further and set an end date for all North Sea production, not just licences. The committee received powerful evidence from experts, like the International Energy Agency, who firmly said that any new oil and gas supply creates a ‘clear risk’ of breaching safe climate limits.

“What’s heartening as we start this new year is the clear message from Parliament that the only route to a safe and secure energy supply that’s in our control is to speed up the transition away from oil and gas.”

The Weald Action Group, which campaigns against onshore oil and gas operations in southern England, described as “completely inadequate” the recommendation on an end date for new oil and gas licensing before 2050 .

The group’s Kirsty Clough said:

“There must be an immediate moratorium placed on new offshore and onshore oil and gas development now.

“The further exploitation of UK oil and gas reserves will not relieve short term supply constraints; will perpetuate our dependence on fossil fuels thereby continuing to expose us to fluctuating global oil and gas prices; and, in the absence of a worldwide cap on fossil fuel extraction, will contribute to the climate crisis.”

“Spur to net zero”

The committee said ending reliance on fossil fuels would “spur net zero and low-carbon generation” and reduce exposure to the energy price crisis, provoked by the war in Ukraine.

The Conservative chair of the committee, Philip Dunne, said:

“Fossil fuels have helped keep our homes warm, power our cars and generate the majority of our electricity. Britain will continue to need to access fossil fuel supplies during the Net Zero transition.

“But Government should consult on setting an end date for licencing oil and gas from the North Sea. We can accelerate this transition by fully harnessing our abundant renewable energy resources, including tidal energy that can deliver a reliable year-round source of clean electricity, and by upgrading our energy inefficient buildings.”

The committee said the government’s British Energy Security Strategy set out ambitions for low-carbon electricity generation but “significant gaps” remained. It should have “placed far greater emphasis on energy saving measures”.

There should be a “war effort” on home insulation and energy efficiency to cut household energy bills, cut carbon emissions and reduce reliance on fossil fuel imports, the committee said.

Ministers had “missed a window of opportunity to accelerate energy efficiency installations in the warmer months of 2022”.

Part of the energy profits levy (windfall tax) should be allocated immediately to help fund energy efficiency improvements, the committee said.

It called for:

  • Greater focus on a rapid short-term rollout of onshore wind and tidal energy
  • Developers to be required to fit solar panels on homes to meet the government target
  • Consultation by the Department of Transport to improve energy security, reduce oil demand and cut carbon emissions from transport.

The committee also called for an update of the British Energy Security Strategy in Spring 2023 showing what progress had been made on securing energy supplies and improving energy efficiency.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Siccar Point Energy founder joins IGas

Wed, 01/04/2023 - 03:02

A member of the team that founded the North Sea operator, Siccar Point Energy, has joined the board of IGas as an independent non-executive director.

Doug Fleming. Photo: IGas

Doug Fleming, 52, was most recently chief financial officer at Siccar Point Energy. The business went from start-up in 2014 to production of about 9,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boepd), before it was sold to Ithaca Energy in 2022.

Before that, Mr Fleming had senior roles at Centrica Energy E&P and Venture Production plc.

IGas’s interim executive chairman, Chris Hopkinson, said:

“I am delighted we have brought in someone of Doug’s calibre and experience to the Board. Doug brings senior expertise drawing on 27 years’ working in E&P, corporate banking and venture capital.”

Mr Fleming described this as an “exciting time” for IGas:

“I am very pleased to be joining IGas and bringing my experience to the team. It is an exciting time for the company – the company’s cash generative oil and gas production gives it an excellent platform from which to drive its growing geothermal business.”

  • IGas’s chief executive, Stephen Bowler, left suddenly in September 2022 after seven years.
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Saltfleetby gas – quarterly volume of 5.6m therms

Tue, 01/03/2023 - 02:48

Angus Energy has reported that its Saltfleetby gas site in Lincolnshire produced 5.6m therms between October and December 2022.

Saltfleetby gas site Image: Google Earth Imagery (c)2019 Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky, Imagery (c)2019 CNES/Airbus, Getmapping plc, Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky, Maxar Technologies, Map data (c)2019

The company said this was above what had been predicted in January 2020.

Average daily flow rates were 5.5 mmscfd (million standard cubic feet per day), Angus Energy said. Rates were highest in November at 6.0 mmscfd but lower in December because of scheduled and cold-weather shutdowns.

Peak daily flow rates from the two producing wells, A4 and B2, were about 6.4 mmscfd throughout the final quarter of 2022, the company said.

Gas condensate averaged 120 barrels/day, which was higher than expected. Water production, all from the A4 well, at 20 barrels/day, was lower than expected.

Sidetrack

Angus Energy said drilling on the final section of the SF-07 sidetrack was due to resume on Thursday 5 January. Well testing was expected in the second half of the month, the company said.

If successful, the well was expected to use most, if not all, of the additional process capacity from the site’s second compressor. The compressor, now on site, is expected to increase processing capacity to close to 12.8 mmscfd, Angus said.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Latest onshore oil production – October 2022

Tue, 01/03/2023 - 02:45

DrillOrDrop’s review of the latest UK onshore oil data for October 2022: the monthly volume of flared gas was the highest reported since records began six years ago

Key figures

Daily production: barrels per day (bopd): 14,190

Weight: 57659 tonnes

Volume: 69,933m3

Volume of onshore as a proportion of UK total oil production: 1.9%

Volume of flared gas at UK onshore oilfields: 1,308 ksm3

Volume of vented gas at UK onshore oilfields: 115 ksm3

The data in this post was compiled and published by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) from reports by oil companies. This is published about three months in arrears. All the charts are based on the NSTA data.

Details Daily production
  • October 2022 saw the second consecutive monthly fall in daily production
  • But October 2022 recorded the fourth highest daily figure in the previous year
  • It was also up slightly on the same time a year earlier (14,190 bopd, compared with 14,064 bopd in October 2021)

Volume and weight
  • October 2022 was up on both measures on the previous (shorter) month
  • Volume and weight were also higher in October 2022 than the same time a year before
  • But they were lower than both August 2022 and December 2021
Contribution to UK oil production volume
  • October 2022 saw the onshore contribution to UK total oil production fall below 2%, despite the new contribution of the Wressle field in North Lincolnshire
  • This followed two months when the onshore contribution was comfortably above 2%
Flaring and venting
  • The volume of flared gas, at 1,308 ksm3, was the highest level reported since records began in October 2016
  • October 2022’s volume of flared gas was up 63% on September 2022 (801 ksm3)
  • This was largely a result of increased flaring at the IGas site at Singleton in West Sussex
  • Vented gas rose by 5%, up from 110 ksm3 to 115 ksm3
Top 20 fields
  • The top six oil fields onshore in the UK maintained their places compared with September 2022
  • In the top 10, all but Wytch Farm and Scampton North increased their monthly production (in tonnes)
  • Other fields which reported falling production in October 2022, compared with September 2022, included Cold Hanworth, Horse Hill, Palmers Wood and Storrington
  • Production resumed at Keddington, up at 127 tonnes in October 2022
  • Brockham appeared to half production in October after four months of records between June and September 2022
Wressle
  • The newest production field in the UK onshore reported stable production between August and October 2022
  • The site retained its second position in the top 20 rankings and stayed above 5% of UK onshore oil production
  • Daily production, volume and weight at Wressle were all highest in the first formal month of production (July 2022)
Wytch Farm
  • The UK’s biggest onshore oil producer dropped two percentage points in its contribution to total onshore production (79.42% in September to 77.43% in October 2022)
  • The weight of oil produced at the field fell slightly (0.14%) from 44,706 tonnes in September to 44,642 in October 2022
  • Daily oil production was down 3.36%, from 11,451 bopd in September to 11,066 bopd in October 2022
Singleton
  • This IGas site in West Sussex saw a 71% increase in the volume of flared gas in October, compared with September 2022
  • The volume of oil produced at the site rose 23% between the two months
Horse Hill
  • All measures of oil production at the UKOG site at Horse Hill in Surrey fell in October, compared with September 2022
  • Daily production was down from 55 bopd to 48 bopd. Oil volume fell to 237m3 (from 266m3) and weight was down from 225 tonnes in September to 200.5 tonnes in October
  • The volume of water produced at the site was down from 185m3 in September to 135m3 in October 2022
Whisby

The BritNRG site at Whisby in Lincolnshire reported at 75% increase in production, up from 262m3 in September to 460m3 in October. Daily production was up from 54.9bopd to 93.3bopd.

Increased oil production was also accompanied by a large rise in produced water, up from 262m3 in September to 1,427m3 in October.

Non-producers

There was no production at 12 UK onshore fields.

Egdon Resources’ Keddington site in Lincolnshire left this list, while Angus Energy’s Brockham site in Surrey rejoined:

  • Angus Energy: Lidsey and Brockham
  • Britnrg Limited: Newton-on-Trent
  • Egdon Resources: Dukes Wood, Fiskerton Airfield, Kirklington, Waddock Cross
  • IGas: Avington, Egmanton, Nettleham, Scampton, South Leverton
Operators

IGas plc increased its total monthly production by nearly 13% in October 2022. It was back above 7,000 tonnes after a fall to 6,565 tonnes in September. The company’s contribution to UK onshore oil production rose to 12.84%, up from 11.66% in September 2022.

Egdon Resources held its third place in the operators’ table for onshore oil. It reported total weight of oil up to 3,053 tonnes, from the Wressle and Keddington sites. The company increased its contribution to UK onshore oil to 5.29%, up from 5.02% in September 2022.

Perenco increased its total production to 45,309 tonnes, up from 45,179 tonnes in September. But the company’s share of UK onshore production fell in October to below 80%. 98.5% of the oil produced by Perenco comes from Wytch Farm.

Britnrg Limited reported a 75% increase of oil produced in October, compared with the month before This followed the rise in production at the company’s Whisby site.

UK Oil & Gas plc fell from fifth place in the operators’ table in September to sixth in October. The company’s contribution to UK onshore oil dropped to 0.35% with falling production from Horse Hill.

Europa Oil and Gas oil production fell 15% in October 2022, compared with September, down to 142 tonnes.

Angus Energy left the operators’ table in October, with no reported production from Brockham.

2022 onshore oil data archive

September 2022

August 2022 – see note about revised data

July 2022 – see note about revised data

June 2022

May 2022

April 2022

March 2022

February 2022

January 2022

Categories: G2. Local Greens

January 2023 headlines

Mon, 01/02/2023 - 03:38

Keep up to date with January 2023’s news with our digest of daily updated headlines about the business, regulation and campaigns around UK fracking, shale, and onshore oil and gas.

Anti-fracking protest in Misson, Nottinghamshire. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

Click here for headlines from previous months. Please let us know if we’ve missed something important  contact@DrillOrDrop.com

Monday 2 January 2023

Details published on proposed new IGas oil site at Glentworth, Lincolnshire. DrillOrDrop report

Sunday 1 January 2023

3 onshore oil and gas wells drilled in 2022 – official dataDrillOrDrop analysis of official drilling data

Just Stop Oil accuses police and judiciary of “Working for death not life”. A statement from Just Stop Oil accuses government, police and judiciary which chose “power and profit” over “care and reason” of being “complicit in genocide” by signing “the death sentences of billions of people in the years to come”.

2022 headline archive More headlines
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Details published on new oil site at Glentworth

Mon, 01/02/2023 - 03:19

IGas plans for a new oil production site near the village of Glentworth in Lincolnshire have been published online.

Proposed site plan (red line) for new Glentworth oil site. Source: IGas planning application

The 4.4ha site could produce oil for up to 10 years, according to the planning application submitted before Christmas.

But the application documents do not confirm how much oil it is expected to produce.

The new site is less than 500m from the existing Glentworth K oil production site. Any oil and water extracted from the new site would be taken to the existing site by pipeline.

During five of the seven phases of the project, there would be peak heavy goods vehicle (HGV) movements of up to 100/day, the application said.

The proposals are currently due to be decided by Lincolnshire County Council planners, under delegated powers, rather than by councillors.

There are currently no online details of a public consultation.

Key details

These details are based on information from the IGas planning application. DrillOrDrop will report on responses to the proposals.

Application number: PL/0135/22

Location: 2.3km to west of the village of Glentworth. Less than a 500m from the existing IGas Glentworth site. 15km from Lincoln and 8.3km from Gainsborough.

Address: Land to west of Northlands Road, Glentworth

Applicant: IGas

Nearest home: 600+m to south west of site

Nearest public bridleway: 770m to south

Proposed size: 4.4ha, including access track

Current use of site: arable farmland

Closest designations: Grade II* Listed Glentworth Hall approximately 2.25km to the east. No landscape or ecological resources within or close to the application site, IGas said.

Lincolnshire Wolds AONB: The site is 20km west of the AONB.

EIA screening decision: Lincolnshire County Council ruled the application did not need an Environmental Impact Assessment

Oil source: Mexborough Rock. IGas said it had “no plans to drill for shale gas on the site”

Proposed duration of planning permission: 21 years

Predicted maximum production: 2,500 barrels of produced liquid a day, comprising oil and water. The rates and ratios are “unknown at present”, IGas said.

Main drill rig height: 38m

Proposed phases
  1. Construction
    Duration: 5 months. Working hours: 7am-7pm, Monday-Friday and 7am-1pm Saturday. Peak HGV traffic: 100/day.
  2. Drilling
    Duration: 5 months. Working hours: 24-hours per day, 7 days per week. Directional appraisal well would be drilled to a depth of about 1,500m. A lateral production sidetrack may be drilled horizontally. Peak HGV traffic: 100/day.
  3. Extended well test
    Duration: 1 year. Working hours: 24-hours per day, 7 days per week. Tanker movements 7am-7pm Monday to Friday and 7am-1pm on Saturdays. Gas will be flared during the test phase. Peak HGV traffic: 10/day.
  4. Well pad extension and pipeline installation
    Duration: 5 months. Working hours: 7am-7pm, Monday-Friday and 7am-1pm Saturday. Peak HGV traffic: 100/day.
  5. Production well drilling
    Duration: 5 months per well. Working hours: 24-hours per day, 7 days per week. Drilling of up to 6 horizontal development wells over a 10-year period. Peak HGV traffic: 100/day.
  6. Production
    Duration: 10 years. Working hours: 24-hours per day, 7 days per week. Maximum measured distance of each well 3,000m. Gas from the well would be used to generate electricity and in heating units to separate oil and water. Peak HGV traffic: 20/day.
  7. Well abandonment: Working hours: 24-hours per day, 7 days per week. Site restoration working hours: 7am-9pm Monday-Friday and 7am-1pm on Saturdays. Peak HGV traffic: 100/day.

Pre-application consultation: There were 50 individual submissions to the IGas pre-application. This followed delivery of letters to 605 homes, a response rate of just over 8%. IGas said 64% of those that responded (23 out of 43 responses) supported domestic oil production generally and 58% (22 out of 43 responses) supported the development of a new site at Glentworth.

Impacts

Air quality: IGas said “the proposed development would not generate unacceptable impacts on air quality subject to controls the controls to be imposed through the Environmental Permitting regime and regulated by the EA [Environment Agency].

Heritage: IGas said the site could be “assumed to have a low to moderate potential for the recovery of archaeological remains” and is “isolated” from designated heritage assets.

Ecology: The application recommended wildlife enhancements, including bird and bat boxes, refuges for amphibians and reptiles and the addition of species-rich hedgerow and grassland, plus tree and shrub planting. The restoration plan would result in a 42% net gain in biodiversity, the application said.

Hydrology: The risks to groundwater were very low or none, provided mitigation measures were implemented, IGas said.

Landscape and visual impact: IGas said the impact would be “acceptable”.

Noise: IGas said there “will not be any unacceptable noise impact from drilling or production operations during the daytime and at night”.

Transport: The application proposes new passing places on Northlands Road and Kexby Road. The site access and local highway network “can be made up to an appropriate standard for use by traffic generated by the development”, IGas concluded.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

3 onshore oil and gas wells drilled in 2022 – official data

Sun, 01/01/2023 - 07:07

Just three onshore wells were drilled in 2022, despite record oil and gas prices.

Data source: North Sea Transition Authority

Official data from the industry regulator showed that wells were spudded (began drilling) at two onshore sites, in Dorset and Lincolnshire, between 1 January and 31 December 2022.

In the same period, 59 wells were drilled offshore in the UK, the database confirms.

Data source: North Sea Transition Authority

2022 is the eighth year of single-figure well drilling onshore in the UK.

The number of wells drilled in 2022 was higher than in 2021 (no wells drilled) or 2020 (two wells). But the total drilled in 2022 was the third lowest in the past 22 years.

Since 1918, only five years have seen a lower number of onshore wells in a year than in 2022 (2021, 1918, 1924, 1931, 1950 and 2020.

1943 saw the largest number of onshore wells drilled: a total of 162. This was the only calendar year in  more than 100 years when total onshore drilling topped 100 wells. 70 or more wells were drilled in a year in 1939, 1985 and 1986.

Details Extract from Public Wellbore Search of onshore oil and gas wells drilled in 2022.
Source: North Sea Transition Authority

2022 data from the North Sea Transition Authority public wellbore search listed two sidetrack wells at Perenco’s Wareham oil field and one sidetrack at Angus Energy’s Saltfleetby gas site.

The Wareham wells, in licence area PL89, were spudded on 3 May (L97/10-C10) and 25 May 2022 (L97/10-C11).

The Saltfleetby sidetrack (L47/16- 11x), in PEDL0005, was spudded on 28 October.

Location of Wareham wells drilled in 2022 (see red markers).
Source: North Sea Transition Authority Stalled projects

Despite the prospect of increased profits from oil and gas production, some predicted onshore projects stalled again in 2022.

Horse Hill, Surrey: Plans for two production wells, previously expected to be drilled in 2021, were put on hold again in 2022 because of UK Oil & Gas operations in Turkey. The Horse Hill site is the subject of a legal challenge due to go to the supreme court in 2023.

Biscathorpe, Lincolnshire: Egdon Resources was refused planning permission in November 2021 for a new sidetrack well. An appeal was heard in October 2022. The decision is expected in early 2023.

North Kelsey, Lincolnshire: Egdon Resources was refused planning permission in 2022 for a production well. The company has appealed.

Waddock Cross, Dorset and Keddington, Lincolnshire: Egdon Resources has planning permission for wells at both these sites but neither were drilled during 2022.

Woodsetts, south Yorkshire: Government refused planning permission to Ineos Upstream for this exploratory shale gas well. The company has not appealed.

2022 saw a 49-day lifting of the moratorium on fracking in England by the Liz Truss government. But the moratorium was swiftly reinstated by her replacement as prime minister, Rishi Sunak.

We’ll be watching for any legal challenge by the shale gas industry against the government in 2023.There are no current planning permissions or applications for onshore shale gas development in the UK.

Links to previous analysis of well drilling

2021

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

Categories: G2. Local Greens

What to watch in 2023?

Sat, 12/31/2022 - 08:25

DrillOrDrop’s checklist of what to look out for in 2023 on UK onshore oil and gas

Fracking
  • Will the shale gas industry make a legal challenge over the reinstatement of the moratorium on fracking in England?
  • Will we see another government U-turn?
  • Will there be new scientific evidence on induced seismicity?

We’ll also be watching what happens with Northern Ireland’s overdue review into how firms get fracking licences.

Shale gas sites Preston New Road
  • Cuadrilla’s planning permission for plugging the horizontal wells and restoring the site expires in April 2023.
  • A planning application for another two years at the site is expected soon
  • Cuadrilla also has until 30 June 2023 to develop alternative uses for the fracked wells, to the satisfaction of the regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority.
Misson
  • Nottinghamshire County Council has ordered IGas and the landowner to restore the Misson Springs site. We’ll be watching what happens.
Other planning issues

Decisions are due in 2023 on:

An appeal is due to get underway in 2023 on Egdon Resources’ appeal against refusal of another extension of planning permission at the North Kelsey site.

We’ll also be watching to see whether South Western Energy submits a revised application for Puddletown.

Legal challenges

Sarah Finch takes her long-running case on the climate impacts of oil production to the supreme court in 2023.

The government has until March 2023 to revise its net zero strategy after losing a challenge by Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and the Good Law Project. The high court ruled that the government should outline exactly how the net zero policies will achieve emissions targets.

A decision is due early in 2023 on a challenge by Friends of the Earth against government $1.15bn funding for a liquified natural gas project in Mozambique.

Protect Dunsfold, backed by the Good Law Project, and Waverley Borough Council have sought to challenge ministerial approval of gas exploration at Dunsfold.

Climate campaigners are examining the possibility of legal challenges to the government’s approvals of a new coalmine in Cumbria and offshore oil and gas licences.

Production

Will UK onshore oil production reach 15,000 barrels per day, last exceeded in March 2020?

We’ll be following oil volumes extracted at Wressle, the UK’s newest onshore oil production site. The operator, Egdon Resources, is seeking to generate electricity from waste gases at the site and lift the current permitted limit on oil production.

We’ll also watch how Surrey oil production responds to water injection at Horse Hill and Brockham.

New gas production wells at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-A site in East Yorkshire could be drilled in the first half of 2023, reports have suggested.

Drilling a new production sidetrack should be completed in early 2023 at Angus Energy’s gas Saltfleetby site in Lincolnshire.

But will Horse Hill Developments Limited drill any of its permitted production wells in Surrey? And will Egdon Resources use its planning permissions to drill new wells at Keddington in Lincolnshire and Waddock Cross in Dorset.

Protest

The government’s new public order measures, if approved in 2023, would have a major impact on protest, including new offences of locking-on, going equipped to lock-on and obstruction of major transport works. The police would have extended stop and search powers and could ban people from attending protests under disruption prevention orders.

Other key issues

Emissions: Will the UK government introduce new policies on reducing emissions from the production and use of fossil fuels, as recommended by the Climate Change Committee?

Divestment: Will more councils and universities halt pension fund investments in fossil fuels?

Repurposing and renewables: Will the trend continue for repurposing oil and gas sites for geothermal energy? Will research show that carbon could be stored in old wells?

Public attitudes: How will people feel about fracking for shale gas in a year’s time?

People: Lord Deben is expected to step down at chair of the Climate Change Committee in June 2023

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Anti-fracking tributes to Dame Vivienne Westwood 1941-2022

Fri, 12/30/2022 - 07:55

The anti-fracking movement has paid tributes to the fashion designer and campaigner, Dame Vivienne Westwood, who died yesterday, aged 81.

Vivienne Westwood campaigning at Balcombe in West Sussex in 2013. Photo: Lee Butler

Dame Vivienne famously drove an armoured vehicle to the Oxfordshire home of the then prime minister, David Cameron, in protest at his support for fracking.

She visited anti-fracking protests and protection camps across the country, including Balcombe in West Sussex, Upton near Chester, Preston New Road in Lancashire and Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire.

In 2014, she supported a nationwide series of debates, organised by Talk Fracking, and warned David Cameron in a Christmas message: “Don’t let fracking be the next asbestos”.

During the 2015 election campaign, she was photographed cradling a bloodstained doll with a missing hand in a protest against fracking. She said:

 “I’m trying to get across to people, the danger we’re in. We have to stop the destruction.”

Later that year, she joined rallies in London against the Infrastructure Bill, which sought to allow companies to drill and frack under private land.

Dame Vivienne also played a high-profile role against protest injunctions taken out by shale gas companies, particularly Cuadrilla and Ineos.

She modelled clothes with anti-fracking slogans outside Ineos Upstream headquarters in Knightsbridge.

She also threatened to break the injunction outside Preston New Road.

In 2018, she delivered to Downing Street her representation of Armageddon, which she called Planet Ineos, caused by plastic pollution and climate change.

Also that year, she supported a successful legal challenge against the government’s pro-fracking changes to the National Planning Policy Framework.

In 2020, she was among campaigners, scientists and celebrities who urged the government to replace the moratorium with a permanent ban on fracking. She said:

“If we’re serious about saving the planet from Climate devastation, then Fracking – or any other form of extreme energy extraction under a different name – like acidisation – must be totally outlawed”.

Dame Vivienne had this advice for campaigners:

“Be reasonable: demand the impossible. If in doubt, dress up!”

  • Dame Vivienne Westwood and son Joe Corre outside Downing Street during a protest against Ineos on 5 June 2018. Photo: Talk Fracking
  • Dame Vivienne Westwood with her son, Joe Corre, at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, 16 October 2018. Photo: Anne Thoday
  • Vivienne Westwood and son, Joe Corre, with anti-fracking protesters outside, Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site on 16 October 2018. Photo: Ki Price/Getty Images
  • Nativity-style protest by Dame Vivienne Westwood and son Joe Corre outside the Royal Courts of Justice, 18 December 2018. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent
“Doughty campaigner” and “true radical”

Tony Bosworth, climate and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth, described her as a “doughty campaigner against fracking”. He said:

“Her role in supporting and invigorating the movement in the UK was absolutely invaluable.”

Greenpeace UK described her as a “true radical”.

William McCallum, the organisation’s co-executive director, said:

“She saw the urgency of the climate crisis with clarity and demand action with passion. If we could all live this idea the world would be a better place. Our thoughts go out to Vivienne’s family and friends.”

Claire Stephenson, of Frack Free Lancashire, said:

“Vivienne was a unique force and voice in the world, in the most authentic way.

“She was a powerful advocate for the environment and was vehemently against fracking. The movement will be forever grateful for her and her son, Joe’s involvement and support. From driving a tank to former Prime Minister David Cameron’s constituency home, to walking a pop-up catwalk outside fracking-for-plastics company, INEOS’s London HQ, to mocking former Prime Minister Theresa May’s robotic dancing by being a Dancing Queen outside of Cuadrilla’s fracking site gates in Lancashire…Vivienne continually used her public platform for activism and advocacy, drawing global attention to crucial environmental issues and social causes.

“Frack Free Lancashire’s love and thoughts are with Vivienne’s family at this sad time.”

Frack Free Glossop, in Derbyshire, said today:

“For most people she will be remembered as a pioneering fashion designer who was present at the birth of punk. To us though she is Glossopdale’s most famous daughter, and a powerful advocate for many good causes, who joined us for the fight against fracking. She will be missed. Rest in peace.”

Nanas Against Fracking wrote:

“She visited many anti-fracking camps and brought the media attention we needed. Her knowledge was legendary.

“She has been a powerhouse, inspiration and fellow Nana and we will mourn the loss of her.”

No fracking in East Kent said:

“A truly unique person who combined so many interests and fought against fracking here in the UK with her son Joe Corre.

Steve Mason, of Frack Free United, said:

“We would still be facing up to fracking in our communities without Vivienne and Joe’s contribution, support and influence.

“Her contribution to society has been far reaching. Vivienne shaped the mindset of so many people across the decades. Her legacy will live through us all.

“I raise a glass to the queen of punk. Rest in peace Vivienne, and thank you.”

Individual campaigners also paid personal tributes on social media.

Jamie Kelsey Fry tweeted:

“I spent two years working with #VivienneWestwood and her son Jo on an anti fracking project. We travelled the U.K. on a double decker tour bus hosting talks on fracking. She would emerge from her little cabin looking bloody amazing every morning and went 100mph all day.

“She was dedicated to working on the climate crisis, hated the power of corporations and their influence over Whitehall, was kindly and interested towards everyone we met and was genuinely down to earth. Firmly, proudly anti authoritarian to the end. Rest in power.”

Jacqui Stainburn wrote:

“Very sad to hear about Vivienne Westwood.  She was a great support in our anti fracking campaign and visited our protest camp in Upton three times.”

Anti-fracking campaigner Helen Chuntso said:

“I will always remember what good work you did for the anti fracking community.”

Climate campaigner Hannah Martin tweeted:

“She was a true punk and also an avid campaigner against fracking and in the fight against climate change way before most celebrities and influencers got on board.”

Please contact DrillOrDrop if you would like to add a comment to this article.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Review of 2022: the year fracking was off, on, then off again

Thu, 12/29/2022 - 10:41

Fracking in England in 2022 was tied to the fate of the three prime ministers who held office during the year.

The moratorium, introduced in 2019 by Boris Johnson, suddenly looked shaky when he resigned in the summer. His replacement, Britain’s shortest-serving prime minister, Liz Truss lifted the moratorium on her third day in office. 49 days later, it was reinstated by her successor, Rishi Sunak.

Entrance gate to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, 1 November 2022. Photo: Karen Norcross Fracking back on the agenda

After more than a year largely out of the headlines, the debate about onshore fracking in the UK surged back with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

In the following weeks, the industry, supported by some right-wing politicians, media and thinktanks, stepped up lobbying for the lifting of the moratorium in England.

Cuadrilla’s owner revealed it spent more than $1m, partly on strategies to allow fracking to go ahead.

Shale gas supporters claimed the process could deliver long-term benefits for Britain, including help with the cost-of-living crisis. Opponents challenged the claims and the Johnson government stood firm on the moratorium. But there were signs of conflicting messages from government.

Conflicting messages

In February, Cuadrilla was ordered by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) to plug its fracked wells at Preston New Road in Lancashire. The news was opposed by the industry and welcomed by residents and campaigners.

A crane arrived in early March to begin work, to the fury of some pro-shale gas commentators. By the end of the month, the NSTA withdrew the order. Cuadrilla now has until June 2023 to come up with alternative uses for the Preston New Road wells.

Crane at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site, 7 March 2022. Photo: Chris Holliday.

The government’s long-awaited energy security strategy, published in April, had just two references to onshore shale gas. One stressed the need to meet “rigorous safety and environmental protection both above ground and sub-surface”.

Ministers refused planning permission for Ineos shale gas exploration plans for Woodsetts in South Yorkshire and IGas testing proposals for Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. Sir Jim Ratcliffe, of Ineos, was said to be “apoplectically cross” about the decision but neither Ineos nor IGas appealed against the decision.

Also in the spring, the then business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, commissioned a review of fracking science from the British Geological Survey (BGS). This was seen by some as a sign that the moratorium could be lifted.

Spotlight on fracking in leadership contest Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss in the Sun/TalkTV debate, 26 July 2022. Photo: Sun/TalkTV

Boris Johnson resigned as prime minister and Conservative leader on 7 July 2022.

By the end of the month, the list of candidates to replace him had been reduced to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, both of whom supported fracking with local consent.

There were suggestions that fracking companies could poll residents, bypassing local councils. People could be offered money to have a shale gas site in their neighbourhood. Profits from shale gas could be paid into a sovereign wealth fund.

In August, the Daily Mail reported that households could get a 25% discount on their energy bills if they backed local fracking plans. The Telegraph reported that the Treasury would tell the new prime minister that fracking should be given the green light immediately to ease bills in the winter.

Campaign organisations, religious leaders, Labour and Lib Dem politicians, landowners and Conservative environment groups argued that lifting the moratorium would not help consumer prices.

The leadership election result, announced on 5 September, gave Liz Truss, a former management accountant for Shell, 81,326 votes, 47% of eligible Conservative members. Her rival, Rishi Sunak, got 60,399 votes.

On 7 September, the prime minister’s spokesperson told journalists the Conservative manifesto, including the moratorium on fracking, “still stands in full”.

U-turn 1: Lifting the moratorium Liz Truss announcing the lifting of the 2019 moratorium on fracking, 8 September 2022.
Photo: from Parliament Live TV

On 8 September, Liz Truss opened a parliamentary debate on energy and told MPs:

“This is the moment to be bold”.

She said:

“We will end the moratorium on extracting our huge reserves of shale, which could get gas flowing as soon as six months from now where there is local support for it.”

During the debate, the Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, quoted comments previously made by Ms Truss’s new chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, that it would take “up to a decade to extract sufficient volumes” of a shale gas and at “high cost for communities and our precious countryside”.

Opponents complained about “a shocking lack of detail” in the announcement. The government was accused of delivering a “massive kick in the teeth for the vast majority of communities who don’t want fracking”. The industry described the move as “an entirely sensible decision”.

Within hours of the news, the death was announced of Queen Elizabeth II. The formal announcement on the moratorium was delayed for another fortnight.

Warnings and written ministerial statement Protest at Misson in Nottinghamshire, 20 September 2022. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

Despite the period of mourning, the debate about fracking continued.

IGas said it could drill 80 wells by September 2023 with “the right government support”. Initial production could supply three million homes, it said. The industry called for earthquake limits to be relaxed and for decision-making to bypass local councils.

Heads of the Climate Change Committee and National Infrastructure Committee had previously warned Liz Truss:

“our gas reserves – offshore or from shale – are too small to impact meaningfully the prices faced by UK consumers.”

The government’s ex chief scientific advisor, Sir David King, said the government had, in effect, abandoned net zero targets. Campaign groups warned of a “huge backlash” if the government agreed to industry demands to make shale gas production quicker and easier. CarbonBrief explained why fracking was not the answer to the UK energy crisis. Councils passed resolutions against fracking.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, then business secretary, announcing the formal lifting of the fracking moratorium, 22 September 2022. Photo: Parliament Live TV

The formal lifting of the moratorium came on 22 September, when the then business secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg, told parliament that people living or working near fracking sites should “tolerate a higher degree of risk and disturbance” in the national interest.

He accused fracking opponents of “hysteria” and “sheer Ludditery”. He made the unsubstantiated and frequently challenged claim that opposition to fracking had been funded by Russia.

He also said regulators of the fracking system should be “proactive in extending existing consents and permissions where practicable, to support the development of energy resources in the National interest”.

The government published the BGS review, which concluded there were “significant knowledge gaps” that made forecasting earthquakes caused by fracking a “scientific challenge”.

Frack Free Lancashire described fracking as a “failed technology that should be confined to the past”.  Friends of the Earth said the government was planning to “throw communities under the bus”.

Mark Menzies, Conservative MP for Fylde. Photo: Parliament Live TV

Mark Menzies, the Conservative MP for the area around Cuadrilla’s shale gas site, said:

“There is nothing Luddite about the people of Lancashire”.

Even Cuadrilla’s founder and former lobbyist had said fracking in the UK would be impossible at any meaningful scale.

The shale gas industry welcomed the confirmation. IGas said its shale gas assets had the potential to “provide secure and affordable energy for the UK in the near term”. Cuadrilla said the decision would “help the shale industry unlock UK onshore natural gas in quantities sufficient to meet the UK’s needs for decades to come”.

Within days, Cuadrilla’s owner, the Australian mining group, AJ Lucas, raised about £11.7m in a share placing to fund UK operations.

In an interview with BBC local radio in Lancashire, Liz Truss referred 10 times to the need for local consent for fracking operations. She also admitted she had not been to Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, where fracking-induced earthquakes led to the moratorium in 2019.

Ms Truss announced a consultation on gauging fracking consent. Friends of the Earth, Talk Fracking and Preston New Road Action Group began the first stage of legal action against the business secretary, Jacob Rees-Mogg. He said he would welcome fracking in his back garden and suggested that fracking companies should canvas door-to-door for community support.

Chaotic debate and government collapse Ruth Edwards MP as it was announced that the fracking vote was not a vote of confidence in the government,
19 October 2022. Photo: Parliament Live T V

On 19 October, Labour proposed a parliamentary motion calling for a future debate on banning fracking.

Conservative were initially ordered to vote against the motion or risk expulsion from the party. The government won the vote by 230 to 326.

But there was anger at the government’s tactics and the last-minute climb-down that the division was no longer regarded a vote of confidence.

There were also reports of Conservatives being manhandled into the No lobby – though some denied this happened.

The chief whip, Wendy Morton, said it was “one of those nights that I will probably never forget”.

Liz Truss resigned less than 24 hours after the vote.

New PM and U-turn 2

Rishi Sunak was selected as the new Conservative leader on 24 October.

The next day, in Downing Street, he told journalists that the party’s manifesto, which included the fracking moratorium, was the Conservative mandate.

At his first prime minister’s questions, on 26 October, he said the moratorium would be reinstated. The decision was confirmed two days later.

The fracking industry warned that the decision would come at “great economic, environmental and geopolitical cost”. IGas hinted at legal action against the government. Cuadrilla said the decision “beggars belief”.

Campaigners welcomed the second U-turn. Frack Free Lancashire said: “Fracking is not socially, politically, environmentally and economically viable”. Preston New Road Action Group called for a complete ban and urged Cuadrilla to restore its shale gas site. Friends of the Earth described the decision as “a fantastic victory”.

DrillOrDrop’s review of a decade of fracking and a timeline of moratoriums.

Other oil and gas plans

East Yorkshire: In March, East Yorkshire council backed plans for expansion and long-term production at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-A site in Holderness. A local councillor asked the levelling up secretary to review the decision. In December, the planning permission was upheld. Reports suggested that the first of eight horizontal wells could be drilled in January-June 2023. In September, a plan commissioned by Rathlin Energy revealed that 15 wells could be drilled at West Newton in a decade, costing about £260m. The target for the site switched in September from oil back to gas. Rathlin was also granted a three-year extension of planning permission for its other East Yorkshire site, West Newton-B.

Lincolnshire: Councillors unanimously refused the third bid by Egdon Resources for more time at the undeveloped North Kelsey oil site, near Market Rasen (March 2022). Opponents had accused the company of “planning by stealth”. Egdon has lodged an appeal. The company also appealed against refusal of oil production at Biscathorpe in Lincolnshire Wolds. At a one-day hearing in October, the company was challenged over changes to the Biscathorpe plans. The ruling is expected in early 2023.

Also in Lincolnshire, IGas has submitted plans for a new oil site at Glentworth and battery storage at Welton. Britnrg applied for a new sidetrack production well at Whisby.

Lancashire: Cuadrilla confirmed in December it would be applying to extend the life of its Preston New Road shale gas site for another two years. The current planning permission expires in April 2023. Lancashire County Council previously said any application would not need a detailed environmental statement.

Isle of Wight: In March, UK Oil & Gas plc announced it would not appeal against a refusal of planning permission for oil exploration near the village of Arreton. In June, the company gave up its exploration licence covering the island.

Dorset:In March, South Western Energy withdrew an application for oil production at Puddletown, first submitted in 2019. It promised a new scheme, which would include higher oil output. So far, this has not been published. Also in Dorset, UKOG announced gas storage plans at Portland.

Surrey: Gas exploration plans by UKOG at Dunsfold were approved by ministers in June after an appeal, despite concerns about the impact on local landscapes and business. The local MP, Jeremy Hunt, said the scheme would cause “enormous environmental damage and disruption”. UKOG said this was “wholly false and untrue. Protect Dunsfold, backed by the Good Law Project, and Waverley Borough Council have sought to challenge the decision at the High Court.

Also in Surrey, councillors unanimously refused permission for IGas plans to use methane from its Bletchingley site to produce hydrogen without carbon capture and storage. UKOG plans to change the operation and layout of its site at Horse Hill would need an environmental impact assessment, the county council ruled in July. No application has yet been submitted. The council did approve plans to store more than 100 tonnes of crude oil at the Horse Hill site.

West Sussex: Angus Energy’s appeal got underway against the unanimous refusal of planning permission for well testing at Balcombe in West Sussex (Feb 2022). At the time of writing, the result had still not been published. In May, UKOG was granted another two years of planning permission at the Broadford Bridge oil site. This was the fourth time extension at the site.

Operations

UK onshore oil production in February was the lowest since 2011. In June, it was still at historically low levels. At its highest, onshore oil extraction in 2022 was 2.3% of total UK oil production.

Wressle: The Egdon Resources’ oil site in North Lincolnshire got formal approval to go into production in May. The first official figures were reported in December, at more than 700 barrels of oil per day.

Brockham: Oil production resumed in May at Brockham in Surrey after a gap of more than three years. The most recent data shows the site was producing 13 barrels a day. The operator, Angus Energy, was allowed in 2022 to reinject produced or formation water at the site.

Kimmeridge: For most of the year, Perenco’s oil site in Dorset continued to vent legally hundreds of tonnes of methane. In September, it installed a flare to burn waste gas, three years after it was ordered to use the gas to generate electricity.

Horse Hill: In May, two regulators gave permission for Horse Hill in Surrey to reinject waste water. The site was also allowed an extra year, until 30 September 2023, to drill a second well into the Kimmeridge formation. In March, the operator u-turned on how it would handle waste gas at its Horse Hill site. It sought changes to its environmental permit to burn up to 10 tonnes a day. In 2019, the company had promised to install four generators to turn the gas into electricity.

Misson: In November, council officials in Nottinghamshire issued enforcement notices against IGas and the owner of its Misson shale gas site for failing to carry out restoration work.

Protest

A scaled-back version of the Police, Crime, Courts and Sentencing Bill received royal assent in April. Thousands of people had taken part in nationwide protests against it. Key anti-protest measures were defeated in the House of Lords. But the final legislation still included powers to allow police to clamp down on noisy protests in England and Wales.

In May, the government announced it was reviving some of the defeated powers in a new public order bill. If approved, the legislation would criminalise locking-on, going equipped to lock-on and obstruction of major transport works. It also extended stop and search powers for police and introduced serious disruption prevention orders to allow police to ban people from attending protests.

Fossil fuel campaigners carried out protests across the country, including the Conservative Party conference, major routes through central London, oil terminals, oil company headquarters, the Treasury, Lloyds of London, the National Gallery, the site of a new aviation pipeline, motorways, Schlumberger research centre in Cambridge and Aberdeen Harbour

Several oil and gas companies secured court injunctions to prevent protest at terminals in England. Essex Police said the protests were creating an “unacceptable” risk of harm. In May, campaigners disrupted the Shell and UKOG AGMs.

Tributes were paid following the death of Keith Taylor, the former Green Party MEP, a leading opponent of the onshore industry and a supporter of non-violent protest.

Court challenges Sarah Finch, Horse Hill oil site. Photo: Helena Smith

The UK’s highest court is to rule next year on the climate impact of onshore oil production. Campaigner, Sarah Finch, won the right to take her legal challenge over oil extraction at Horse Hill to the Supreme Court. Her case failed at the appeal court but the judges were divided by two to one. The case will focus on whether Surrey County Council should have taken account of the carbon emissions from using oil extracted at Horse Hill. DrillOrDrop interview with Sarah Finch

The government accepted that its net zero strategy was unlawful, following a successful challenge by Friends of the Earth, Client Earth and the Good Law Project. The organisations argued that the strategy did not comply with the 2008 Climate Change Act because the government had not quantified how the policies would be achieved and by when. The government has until March 2023 to revise the strategy and show how legally-binding climate targets will be met.

A legal challenge to $1.15bn UK government funding of an LNG (liquified natural gas) project in Mozambique went to the High Court in March. The ruling was split. One judge supported the claim by Friends of the Earth that the funding was unlawful. The other supported the decision to fund the scheme by UK Export Finance. In December, the case was heard at the court of appeal. A ruling from that hearing is expected in early 2023.

Three campaigners lost their legal challenge to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the regulator, then the OGA, over the UK oil and gas strategy.

Ineos was criticised in March by the High Court for “improper conduct” and “inexcusable delay” over its injunction against anti-fracking protests. The company was ordered to pay more than £37,000 in costs and its bid to stay the claim (halt legal proceedings) was refused.

Company news

Losses widened at Ineos Upstream, which declared a loss of £3.679m in 2021, up more than 60% on the loss in 2020.

Reabold Resources, a partner in the West Newton sites in East Yorkshire, successfully fought off a bid by a group of investors to replace the directors.

Angus Energy put itself up for sale in January and had six expressions of interest but in April, the company ended the sale process. The company carried out several share placings to raise money: £1.4m in February, £675,000 in April, £2m in July, and £7.1m in December. The company acquired 100% of the Saltfleetby gas project for £14m. It connected Saltfleetby to the national grid and began drilling a sidetrack at the site.

Warwick Energy Exploration Limited, which won three shale gas licences in the 14th onshore licensing round went out of business (January 2022). Hutton Energy was dissolved in February 2022.

Demolition of plant at Third Energy’s Knapton Generating Station in North Yorkshire, 19 July 2021.
Photo: Third Energy

Renewables company Wolfland Group took over the would-be fracking firm Third Energy to rescue stranded assets. The new owners and managers talked to DrillOrDrop in an extended interview. In February, the company was awarded £50,250 government funding for a feasibility study on using old gas wells for geothermal heat. A consultation found that people were strongly in favour.

IGas interim non-executive chairman, Cuth McDowell, retired from the company’s board (January 2022) and the chief executive, Stephen Bowler, left in September after seven years.

A tax credit pushed Cuadrilla into profit, despite being “largely non-operational”, the company’s annual accounts reported.

Cuadrilla’s partner in Lancashire, Spirit Energy, changed its mind about withdrawing from onshore shale gas exploration. The company, a subsidiary of Centrica, said in July 2020 it would exit the Bowland licences. It now has the option to leave before the end of June 2023.  

Egdon Resources announced a 500% increase in oil and gas revenues in interim accounts published in April. The rise, ascribed to increased prices and production from the Wressle site, gave the company a £1.2m profit for the six months to the end of January 2022, compared with a similar loss for the same period a year before.

Wressle oil production also contributed to the strongest interim financial performance for seven years by Europa Oil & Gas and a 1000% increase in revenues for Union Jack.

Major oil companies also announced big increases in profits: BP doubled profits to $6.2bn; Shell announced a record profit of $9.5bn for the second quarter of the year, a record. Profits in Centrica increased five-fold for the first half of 2022 to £1.3bn.

UKOG share placings raised £1.25m in July and another £3m in September to fund work in Turkey.

Climate change

The COP27 climate talks in Egypt produced a landmark agreement to compensate poorer countries that are the victims of climate change. But there was little progress in tackling emissions from burning fossil fuels, a root cause of global warming.

Throughout the year, there were warnings about the need for stronger measures.

Alok Sharma, chairman of COP26, said promises made at the 2021 Glasgow climate talks would be “just words on a page” without action.

The sixth assessment of climate change impacts by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was described as an “atlas of human suffering”.

The UK’s Climate Change Committee (CCC) backed limits on UK oil and gas production and a presumption against future exploration. In May, it warned about the risks of investing in fracking in the UK. Medical leaders also urged the UK government to end new oil and gas exploration.

The UN secretary general, Antonio Guterres, said new fossil fuel investment was “moral and economic madness”. He said emissions must peak in three years to keep global temperature rise to below 1.5C.

In September the NSTA said UK oil and gas production was set to miss its emissions target in 2030.

Research

Support for fracking in the UK increased compared with 2021, driven mainly by older people, according to the annual UK government public attitudes survey. Opposition fell but still exceeded support.

Research by Exeter University found that most people living near two proposed shale gas sites distrusted information from fracking companies.

As in previous years, much of the health research on fracking was carried out in the US.

In April, the Compendium of scientific, medical and media findings demonstrating risks and harms of fracking and associated gas and oil infrastructure concluded that fracking was an environmental injustice where impacts are not felt equally. A study by Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health found that elderly people living near fracking sites had a  greater risk of premature death. Research in Pennsylvania found that children born near fracking wells were three times more likely to develop leukaemia.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Happy Christmas 2022 from DrillOrDrop.com

Sat, 12/24/2022 - 00:23

The DrillOrDrop team wishes all our readers a very happy Christmas.

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to our independent journalism in the past 12 months.

2022 has been a tumultuous and challenging year for many people. Despite this, our readers continued to donate to DrillOrDrop.com and send articles, comments and ideas for research.

We are very grateful for all your support. Without it, much of our work this year would not have been possible.

Between Christmas and New Year, we will publish a review of the important news from the past 12 months. We’ll also look ahead to key events expected in 2023.

Next year, DrillOrDrop will continue to report independently on the UK onshore oil and gas industry and campaign activity.

Please keep in touch and let us know about news and events that you think we should be covering.

We always enjoy hearing when you like what we do. But we also want to know when you think we get things wrong. You can always comment on DrillOrDrop posts or contact us directly.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Crane at Cuadrilla’s fracking site

Wed, 12/21/2022 - 07:08

A crane has been installed at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road suspended fracking site, near Blackpool in Lancashire.

Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, near Blackpool, 21 December 2022.
Photo: Preston New Road Action Group

The company has not told the local community liaison committee or residents about any work at the site.

DrillOrDrop asked Cuadrilla about the purpose of the crane. It did not respond.

The most recent published drone images of Preston New Road, from February 2022, showed the site still contained a flare stack, proppant and containers.

Preston New Road, 26 February 2022. Photo: Maxine Gill

Preston New Road has been largely mothballed since fracking was stopped by the then Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) in August 2019, when operations caused a 2.9ML earthquake.

A crane was last installed at the site in early March 2022 to plug and abandon the two horizontal wells, on orders of the OGA.

The instruction was withdrawn later that month following lobbying by the shale gas industry and a small group of Conservative politicians. Cuadrilla now has until June 2023 to develop alternative uses of the wells.

Planning permission to restore the site and abandon the wells expires in April 2023.

Earlier this month, the company said it intended to seek another two years at Preston New Road. A planning application for the extension has not yet been submitted to Lancashire County Council.

This week, the local MP, Mark Menzies, told the Blackpool Gazette “it is time for Cuadrilla to pack up and go”. He said:

“What I want now is for that site to be cleared, for the wells to be capped and for it to be returned to countryside. That needs to happen as soon as possible.

“Cuadrilla’s time is up, that is the message I am sending and one which Lancashire County Council needs to send too.”

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Egdon Resources increases oilfield interests with acquisition of Aurora Production Limited

Tue, 12/20/2022 - 02:00

Egdon Resources has announced it is acquiring Aurora Production Limited.

The deal increases Egdon’s stake in two southern oilfield licences. It also adds an estimated 614,000 barrels to Egdon’s prospective resources, the company said.

The privately-owned Aurora Production has an 18.75% interest in the Egdon-operated Waddock Cross licence in Dorset (PL090) and 8.33% of the IGas-operated licence, PEDL070, which contains the Avington field in Hampshire.

If the conditional agreement is concluded, Egdon’s interest in the Waddock Cross field will rise from 55% to 73.5% and its stake in Avington will rise from 28% to 36.33%.

Both fields are currently shut in.

Modelling at Waddock Cross has estimated that a new horizontal well could yield 500-800 barrels of oil per day.

Avington was granted planning permission for continued operations, following an appeal in 2021. Egdon has previously referred to plans to redevelop the field in 2023. There are also longer-term plans for site water handling facilities.

Aurora Production’s owner, Aurora Petroleum Limited, has agreed to pay Egdon £288,000 for liabilities in the licences, including abandonment.

Egdon also said Aurora Production has accumulated ringfenced tax losses of about £90m, which should be available to offset tax on future profits.

Egdon’s managing director, Mark Abbott, said in a statement (20 December 2022):

“This acquisition builds on our existing interests in the shut-in Waddock Cross and Avington oil fields. Both assets have active plans in place to rejuvenate oil production.

“The acquisition therefore adds potential for near-term incremental production, adds to our resource base and delivers substantial tax losses that may be utilised to offset future taxes.”

The deal has to be approved by the industry regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority.

  • The acquisition does not include Aurora Energy Resources Limited, which holds exploration licences in north west England and sought planning permission to drill and frack two wells at Altcar Moss, near Formby. That application was withdrawn in 2020 before it was considered by Lancashire County Council. Aurora Energy Resources’ latest accounts record a loan from Aurora Petroleum Limited, due to be paid by 31 December 2022. The two companies have offices at the same address in Aberdeen and share four officers.
Categories: G2. Local Greens

Operators fined over flaring and production breaches

Mon, 12/19/2022 - 10:40

Three leading oil and gas operators have been fined a total of £265,000 over breaching UK flaring and production agreements.

Source: NSTA video

In an announcement today, the regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), announced sanctions against EnQuest, Equinor and Spirit Energy.

EnQuest was fined £150,000 for flaring more than 262 tonnes of gas on the Magnus Field in the North Sea between 30 November and 1 December 2021. NSTA said the company knew it did not have the necessary consent in place.

Equinor was fined £65,000 for a technical breach of flaring at least 348 tonnes of CO2 above the limit permitted on the North Sea Barnacle Field between June and November 2020.

Spirit Energy was fined £50,000 for exceeding the maximum allowed production volumes from the Rhyl Field in the Irish Sea between 2018-20 and the Ceres Field in the North Sea between 2019-20.

In today’s announcement, NSTA said it aimed to eliminate unnecessary or wasteful flaring and venting of gas. Routine flaring and venting is to be banned by 2030, it said.

Operators such as EnQuest and Equinor must follow a clear process to apply for consent to flare or vent gas, the regulator said.

In 2021, NSTA said flaring was responsible for 1% of UK annual CO2 emissions and a fifth of production-related CO2 emissions from UK offshore oil and gas operations. Vented gas offshore represented about 1% of total UK annual methane emissions.

The regulator said its guidance on flaring and venting aimed to help government meet the target of net zero emissions by 2050.

Earlier this year, it reported that overall emissions from North Sea oil and gas production activities fell by more than a fifth between 2018-2021.

On producing too much oil and gas, NSTA said this could reduce long-term production from a reservoir, threatening UK security of supply. It said where operators want to raise production they must apply for a new consent

Jane de Lozey, NSTA director of regulation, said:

“The NSTA is committed to supporting the UK’s energy security and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, including through the use of our robust consenting procedures, which drive down flaring and venting.

“We are encouraged by recent improvements on emissions and will take action to ensure this vital work is not undermined by companies who fail to meet their obligations.” 

The fines are a tiny proportion of company earnings.

Equinor had record adjusted earnings of $24.3bn for July-September 2022. Enquest reported revenue and other operating income of $943.5m for the six months to the end of June 2022. Revenue in Spirit Energy for the year to December 2021 was £1.3bn.

EnQuest sanction notice

Equinor sanction notice

Spirit Energy sanction notice

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Angus Energy raises £7.1m

Mon, 12/19/2022 - 04:17

Angus Energy reported today it has raised £7.1m in a share placing and subscription.

In a statement to investors, the company said the money would be used as working capital, to fund operations and to settle a hedge liability.

Shares in the company fell about 18% on the news. At the time of writing, they were down 16.67% at 1.55p.

The details of the fundraising are:

  • £1.89m through the placing of 115m ordinary shares
  • £3.7m through a subscription of more than 226m ordinary shares
  • £1.5m through a further subscription of more than 89m ordinary shares, subject to approval of shareholders

The placing shares will be accompanied by the issue of 57.5m warrants. The initial and conditional subscription shares will be accompanied by the issue of 158m warrants.

Each warrant grants the holder the right to subscribe to one additional new ordinary share at the fundraising price, exercisable for three years. This is also subject to investor approval.

The 341m+ first tranche shares bring the total share capital in the company to more than 3.279 billion.

Operations

Angus Energy currently has two producing operations in the UK onshore.

Saltfleetby gasfield (pale yellow). Source: UK Onshore Geophysical Library

The Saltfleetby gasfield in Lincolnshire reported production in September 2022, for the first time after a break of nearly five years. Data published by the North Sea Transition Authority recorded 3,580ksm of gas.

Angus Energy said today the upper sections of the new Saltfleetby sidetrack well (SF7v) had now been cased.

The well had been drilled to a depth of ,2492m, the company said. The reservoir was now due to be drilled for about 3,100m, starting on 5 January 2022. This work was expected to take about 10 days and would be followed by well testing and connection to the processing plant.

Also in early 2023, the company said it planned to run a second compressor at Saltfleetby.

At Angus Energy’s second site, at Brockham in Surrey, oil production resumed in June 2022. The most recent data, for September 2022, recorded monthly production of 49.9 tonnes of oil.

Earlier this month, DrillOrDrop reported that the Environment Agency had granted consent for importing radioactive liquid waste for disposal at Brockham.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Bid fails to revoke consent for West Newton gas plans

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 12:13

Ministers have refused a request to overturn planning permission for expansion and long-term production at a Rathlin Energy oil and gas site in East Yorkshire.

Proposed production footprint for West Newton-A wellsite in East Yorkshire

A local Conservative county councillor, Jacob Birch, asked the levelling up secretary to review the consent for four more wells and 20 years of extraction at the West Newton-A site in Holderness.

Today the housing minister, Lucy Frazer, turned down his bid on behalf of Michael Gove.

In a letter to Cllr Birch, she said

“The Secretary of state does not consider the original decision to grant planning permission was so grossly wrong that revocation is in the public interest. He considers that it is not expedient to revoke the planning permission in this case.”

Cllr Birch opposing the planning application
March 2022.

Cllr Birch, who represents Mid Holderness, said this evening:

“The news that the Secretary of State has decided not to revoke planning permission for West Newton A is very disappointing for many of my residents and myself.

“I know that this decision will come as a shock for the community and many people will not be happy.

“I just hope that during the works taking place the applicant is considerate to the community and follows the rules and conditions as set out in the granted permission.

“I would urge any residents who see or know of any breeches of the planning permission to report this directly and promptly to East Riding of Yorkshire Council.”

The ruling closes the latest phase of local opposition to Rathlin Energy’s expansion plans for West Newton-A.

The company’s application had been approved by East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s planning committee in March 2022 by 10 votes to one.

But it had been opposed by eight parish councils and three environmental organisations. There were also more than 400 objections from members of the public.

The scheme is a scaled-back version of an application that had been refused in September 2021.

In his request for a review of the planning permission, Cllr Birch argued against site expansion and the extraction of fossil fuels at West Newton-A. He said:

  • It would have significant effect beyond the local area
  • It was of more than local importance
  • The impacts had not been adequately assessed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council
  • It was contrary to local and national planning policies
  • It would negatively impact on the landscape and amenity
  • It would have negative highway implications
  • It would be a flood risk
  • It had no clear provision for biodiversity net gain
  • It was wholly inappropriate and contrary to the government’s aim of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050

The secretary of state’s power to revoke planning consent is exercised rarely and is justified only in exceptional circumstances. It can be used only where the original decision is judged to be “grossly wrong” and damage is likely to be done to the wider public interest.

Today’s letter said the secretary of state was satisfied that the council had considered relevant local policies and material considerations. It said:

“He is not persuaded that there is a conflict with national planning policies that justify him revoking the permission in the wider public interest.

“On the basis of all the information before him, he further does not consider that there are any material considerations which support revocation.”

The letter also said the risk of having to pay compensation to Rathlin Energy was “a factor that weighs against revocation of the planning permission”, though it had been given limited weight.

The letter concluded that ministers were unable to “reach any conclusions on the legality of a decision to grant planning permission”:

“These are matters which fall under the jurisdiction of the courts and any person arguing that there has been an error in law should seek their own legal advice.”

Background

Minister still reviewing West Newton production plans (20 July 2022)

Councillor asks minister to review West Newton-A production plans (27 March 2022)

Breaking: 20 years of oil production approved at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-A site ((17 March 2022)

Breaking: Councillors reject major expansion of West Newton oil site (30 September 2021)

DrillOrDrop key facts and timeline for West Newton-A

Categories: G2. Local Greens

Older people drive increasing support for fracking – government survey suggests

Thu, 12/15/2022 - 03:16

Opposition to fracking continues to exceed support, according to the annual government survey of public attitudes published today. But support has increased since the last survey a year ago and opposition has fallen.

Support and opposition to fracking
Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Tracker

The survey, carried out during the Liz Truss government when the fracking moratorium was lifted, suggests that rising support for fracking has been among people aged 45 and over.

The latest findings put support for fracking at 25%, up from 17% at the same time 12 months ago.

Opposition was 36%, down from 45% in 2021.

Support for fracking generally increases with age. 16% of people aged 16-24 supported fracking, compared with 36% of people aged 65 and over.

But in the past year, support rose in three key age groups:

  • Up from 12% to 25% among people aged 45-54
  • Up from 15% to 27% among people aged 55-64
  • Up from 23% to 36% among people aged 65+
Support and opposition for fracking by age
Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Tracker

According to the survey, men were both more likely to support fracking than women (30% compared with 21%) and were more likely to oppose it than women (38% compared with 34%).

Women were more likely to say they ‘neither supported nor opposed’ or to say they ‘didn’t know’ (46% compared to 32% of men).

People educated to degree level were more likely to oppose fracking (50%) compared to those with other qualifications (32%) and to those with no qualifications (22%).

People who were very concerned about climate change were more likely to oppose fracking (51% compared to 19% of those who were not concerned). Those very concerned about climate change were also less likely to support fracking than those who were not concerned (19% compared to 38%).

39% of those questioned said they neither supported nor opposed fracking or didn’t know. This was unchanged since 2021.

Reasons for support and opposition Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Tracker

Among people who supported fracking, the main reasons they gave may reflect the war in Ukraine and the impact on energy prices and security:

  • Reduce dependence on other countries for UK energy supply (75%)
  • Need to use all available resources of energy (64%)

Other reasons included:

  • Reduced dependence on other fossil fuels (56%)
  • Cheaper energy bills (48%)
  • Positive impact on UK economy (41%)
  • Good for local jobs and investment (38%)
Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Tracker

People who opposed fracking were most concerned about:

  • Loss or destruction of the natural environment (78%)
  • Should focus on developing renewable energy sources (72%)
  • Risk of contamination to water supply (62%)
  • Risk of earthquakes (54%)

Other reasons, all mentioned by 43%, were :

  • Not a safe process
  • Negative impact on climate change or meeting carbon reduction targets
  • Too much risk or uncertainty
  • Should focus on developing other energy sources
  • Chemicals used in the process

The autumn 2021 survey did not ask questions about the reasons for support or opposition. The 2022 findings on this question cannot be compared with earlier surveys which did ask this question because the methodology is different.

Awareness

The 2022 survey found that 86% of people had at least some knowledge of fracking for shale gas. This was almost unchanged on autumn 2021 (87%).

The proportion of people who said they knew a lot or a fair amount rose to 41% in 2022, compared with 37% in 2021.

People who said they knew a little or hardly anything fell to 45% in 2022, compared with 49% in 2021.

Other issues

The autumn 2022 survey also found:

  • 88% of people said they supported renewable energy, with 56% strongly supporting.
  • 89% supported solar energy, 84% supported wave and tidal energy, 85% offshore wind, 79% onshore wind, 72% biomass.
  • 54% said they would be happy about a solar farm in their local area, compared with 43% for an onshore windfarm.
  • 49% supported fusion energy and 3% opposed
Methodology

The survey was carried out between 1 September and 3 October 2022, which followed a period of industry and political lobbying to lift the fracking moratorium in England. The fieldwork ended before Rishi Sunak replaced Liz Truss as prime minister and reinstated the moratorium on fracking in England. 4,161 individuals took part in the survey, 3,435 online and 726 on paper.

Categories: G2. Local Greens

IGas submits Glentworth oil production application

Wed, 12/14/2022 - 03:21

Formal plans have been submitted for a new Lincolnshire oil site that could produce up to 90,000 tonnes a year.

Proposed new Glentworth oil production site, Lincolnshire
Plan from IGas EIA screening application

IGas said in a statement this morning the application for an additional wellsite at its Glentworth oil field was awaiting validation by Lincolnshire County Council.

The company previously revealed that the scheme would comprise a new well site and access track, a vertical exploration well drilled to 3,000m and up to seven horizontal development wells. It said the new site could extract up to 90,000 tonnes of oil a year and, if commercially viable, could operate for up to 21 years.

In August 2022, Lincolnshire county council ruled that the Glentworth planning application would not need an environmental impact assessment.

The Glentworth oil field, between Market Rasen and Gainsborough, was discovered in 1961. Records by the industry regulator show that oil has been produced at Glentworth, since 2011. In 2021, these wells, also operated by IGas, produced a total of 5,205 tonnes of oil.

The proposed site is on the eastern edge of the shale gas areas identified by the British Geological Survey.

DrillOrDrop will report on the planning application when it is published.

“Maximising recovery”

IGas also reported today it had carried out a production drive in October 2022.

Interim executive chairman, Chris Hopkinson, said:

“We are focused on putting cash generated during high commodity prices to work into maximising recovery from our existing assets and developing near term incremental production opportunities as well as growing our nascent geothermal business into a material enterprise.”

The statement said 18 offline wells had been returned to production. Two wells had been converted from jet pump to beam pumps. Operating costs had been cut and water injection capacity increased. The number of operational rigs had risen from three to five.

IGas said it remained on track to meet its annual production forecast of 1,900-1,950 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd).

The company also said it had restructured its executive committee to “enable improved strategic planning and more efficient decision making”.

  • Today’s statement did not refer to IGas’s shale gas assets or the order to restore the Misson Springs site in Nottinghamshire. In October 2022, IGas hinted it might take legal action against the government over the reinstatement of the moratorium on fracking.
Categories: G2. Local Greens

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