Over a year into the fracking industry’s latest offensive against local communities the sustained resistance it has provoked its having significant effects. Any major fracking project you can think of is either stalled or running well behind schedule. With over 300 community groups (and rising) pitted against an industry currently starved of investor cash due to low oil prices, the impact of these delays (and the associated increased costs) are not inconsiderable. The fracking industry is busy gathering geological and social data (how much costly disruption would there be to production) with the intention of securing further investment when oil prices inevitably rise again, and the current resistance is slowing down gathering of geological data while producing social data which will worry potential investors.
Cuadrilla’s flagship project at Preston New Road in Lancashire is the largest fracking tests planned to date in the UK, is running 8 months behind schedule and counting, and has already been scaled back from 4 wells to just 2. Meanwhile on the other side of the country Third Energy is going nowhere with their project at Kirby Misperton and Ineos has had 3 planning applications rejected and is having trouble completing its seismic survey in the East Midlands (see below for details). Many areas including Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Surrey, Sussex, and Yorkshire are under increasing threat from the fracking industry and even if you don’t live in one of these areas, the tentacles of these threatened fracking sites spread far and wide, with trucks hauling frac sand, radioactive liquid and solid waste and equipment across the country from Aberdeen to Great Yarmouth.
What can you do? Everyone can make a difference in the fight against fracking:
- Get organised: Is there a anti-fracking group defending your community? If so, join it! If not, form one!
- Spread the word: Organise public meetings, film screenings, street stalls etc.
- Support other communities: At any point in time various communities are under threat and need your solidarity
- Do you live near a fracking support site? Check out our factsheet detailing Cuadrilla’s plans. Your community may be threatened with impacts (e.g. fracking waste being dumped or transported through your community) even if you live hundreds of miles from Lancashire.
Ongoing Resistance To Fracking In Lancashire
Fracking company Cuadrilla Resources has been working on its frack pad at Preston New Road for 1 year and 3 months, and has just announced that it has completed drilling of the first well. This puts the company approximately 8 months behind its original schedule, and even allowing for unforeseen technical problems this is a testament to the impact of continuing resistance from local communities, and the rolling blockade outside the site. Resistance has also spread to sites supporting the construction with regular popup demos outside various support sites. Cuadrilla’s original plans called for drilling and hydraulically fracturing 4 horizontal wells at the Preston New Road over a 2 year period, but this has been scale back to 2 wells in the face of the ongoing resistance. These plans will require upto 20,000 truck movements and produce millions of gallons of toxic and radioactive liquid waste. A second site at Roseacre Wood still doesn’t have planning permission with a new planning inquiry underway now. See: Resist Lancashire Fracking and New Lancashire Threat: Cuadrilla`s Fracking Plans.
Communities Resist Nottinghamshire Fracking
Trucks are rolling in an attempt to construct the East Midlands first fracking sites at Springs Road in Misson and Tinker Lane near Blyth, in the Bassetlaw district of Nottinghamshire. Frack Free Misson and Frack Free Tinker Lane, supported by groups from across the region and beyond, are resisting these ongoing construction efforts. In production fracking in the region could see thousands of wells drilled across the region, if not stopped. Fracking company IGas Energy has plans to drill up to two test wells, including one horizontal well, at Springs Road and one test well at Tinker Lane. The area is in the Gainsborough Trough, a geological formation where the Bowland Shale is thought to contain gas that could potentially be extract. However, exploitation would require coating the area in thousands of fracking wells. See Communities Mobilising To Resist Threat From Nottinghamshire Frack Pads.
INEOS Fracking Threat To Yorks/Derbys/Notts
Fracking company Ineos Upstream, a subsidiary of the chemical giant Ineos, is not having an easy time in its attempts to impose fracking on the communities living in its licence areas. So far all 3 of its planning applications for test sites have been refused, and must now go to costly appeals, while its fracking survey in Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire which was supposed to be completed by the end of 2018 still has large chunks missing due to resistance from landowners. Ineos’s plans for a seismic survey in North Yorkshire are meeting similar problems.The planned Ineos fracking test sites are at Bramleymoor Lane in Derbyshire, and at Harthill and Woodsetts in Rotherham. The planning inquiry for Bramleymoor Lane begins in Chesterfield in Tues 19th June and the Harthill inquiry begins Tues 24th April in Rotherham. See: Local Communities Stand Up To Ineos Fracking Threat and Ineos Fracking Seismic Survey Plans Need Resisting.
Weald Tight Oil Fracking Threat Intensifying
The fracking of large swathes of Sussex and Surrey for shale/tight oil is a growing threat with four major test sites already drilled and a fifth planned. In West Sussex, Broadford Bridge near Billingshurst and Balcombe have already been drilled, while in Surrey
Actions & Events
Planning Applications & Appeals
See our interactive map for all planning applications, licences etc. Active planning applications:
- Cheshire West (Ince Marshes) Shale Gas, Drill & Fracture 2 Wells, IGas Energy Scoping Request See: Ince Marshes Site
- Cheshire West (Ellesmere Port) Shale Gas, Test Existing Well, IGas Energy Planning Application: 17/03213/MIN (Refused) Appeal: Pending See: Ellesmere Port Site
- Derbyshire (Bramleymoor Lane) Shale Gas, One Well, Ineos Upstream Application: CM4/0517/10 (Refused) Appeal: APP/U1050/W/17/3190838 See: Bramleymoor Lane Site Planning Inquiry: Assembly Rooms, Chesterfield, begins Tues 19th June, eight days
- Rotherham (Woodsetts) Shale Gas, One Well, Ineos Upstream Application: RB2017/1577 (Refused) Appeal: Pending See: Dinnington Road Site
- Rotherham (Harthill) Shale Gas, One Well, Ineos Upstream Application: RB2017/0805 (Refused) Appeal: APP/P4415/W/17/3190843 See: Harthill Site Planning Inquiry: Rotherham Town Hall, begins Tues 24th April, two weeks
- Lancashire (Roseacre Wood) Shale Gas, 4 Well Appraisal Site, Cuadrilla Resources Planning Application: LCC/2014/0101 (Refused) Appeal APP/Q2371/W/15/3130924 See: Roseacre Wood Site Planning Inquiry: Blackpool Football Club, begins Tues 10th April, eight days, Tuesday-Fridays
- Lancashire (Altcar Moss) Shale Oil/Gas, Drill & Fracture 2 Wells, Aurora Energy Resources Scoping Request: SCP/2018/0001 See: Altcar Moss Site
- Surrey (Brockham) Shale Oil, Retain & Test Existing Wells & Sidetrack, Angus Energy Planning Application: 2017/0215 See: Brockham Site
- Surrey (Leith Hill) 2016/0170 Shale Oil, One Well, Europa Oil & Gas (Security fencing etc.) (Approved) Site: Leith Hill Waiting on approval of traffic management plan
Local Anti-Fracking Groups
With around 300+ anti-fracking groups organising against the industry across the country, there are now too many to list in a newsletter. Please see our groups page for the full list. If there isn’t one in your community, now would be an excellent time to start one! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you want any help or support and definitely check out our guide to campaigning for new anti-fracking groups here: Get Involved.