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Fracking Employment

From the Financial Times 16 October 2013

AMEC forecast just 15,900 to 24,300 nationwide - direct & indirect

Jobs would typically be short term, at between four and nine years

Only 17% of jobs so far have gone to local people

Rubbish!

Looking for misinformation, scaremongering, lies or stupidity?

It's all on this website (but only on this one post ) featuring the Reverend Mike Roberts.

(Oops - there's more! )

Here though is our favourite Reverend Roberts quote of all time - published in the Lancashire Evening Post on 5th August 2015

"If you dare oppose fracking you will get nastiness and harassment whether on social media, or face-to-face"

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Cuadrilla’s incredible shrinking supply chain

After the hullabaloo they made about the launch of their Community Commitments Tracker it was surprising that Cuadrilla have failed to update it as promised on a quarterly basis.

Could the reason be embarrassment?

In the launch version they claimed that in November 2016 they have 715 Lancashire based businesses registered on their supply chain portal. The next update will of course have to tell us how many are registered now.
How interesting therefore to read a Big Issue article that states

Recent direct action by campaigners against supply chain companies has brought some success in persuading them not to do business with Cuadrilla.

and in which UKOOG’s Corin Taylor states that

Cuadrilla has 400 local companies registered on its portal to be notified of contracts. There is definitely an interest in this industry from the local supply chain.

So it would seem that they have lost nearly half of the 715 they had registered in November.

We look forward to reading the next version of Cuadrilla’s Community Commitments Tracker with great interest.

It was also interesting to read that Corin chose not to mention his own ludicrous 74,000 jobs estimate in this article, preferring to quote a lower Ernst & Young figure. If even he won’t stand by his own work, who else will?

Watching the Defectives

So, with the usual PR fanfare Cuadrilla announced their shiny new environmental measurements portal.

We are glad that they are at least acknowledging the potential impacts of their activities, but we don’t really think it’s appropriate they they seem to be being left to mark their own homework here.

Interestingly Page 10 of the government response to the Energy and Climate Change Committee’s Fifth Report of Session 2010–12 states that :

The environment agencies do not monitor air quality at unconventional gas operations unless there are specific permitted activities on site (e.g. large scale refining or combustion of gas) however it may make recommendations as part of the planning application process to ensure operations’ designs allow appropriate management of emissions to air.

Local authorities also have a statutory duty under the Government’s Air Quality Strategy and Local Air Quality Management process to monitor and assess local air quality. If necessary local authorities may take action to reduce emissions in the event that they might risk contributing to any breach of air quality standards.

So we would like very much to know what LCC are doing at the moment to fulfil that statutory responsibility with specific reference to the area around the PNR site. Leaving it to Cuadrilla to put up a few pretty graphs that don’t even state which month they are showing is not fulfilling it is it?

In the meantime given that Cuadrilla can’t manage to keep the simplest of promises relating to public information (Remember the Lancashire Commitments Tracker that was going to be published every 3 months but hasn’t been updated since November?) we will not be holding our breath to see if they manage to do better with this one.

As the toothless officers at LCC were reported as saying at the recent community liaison group meeting that LCC cannot enforce breaches of the traffic management plan whilst trucks are being brought in under police convoy, we don’t have a great deal of faith in their capabilities either.

Is this really the gold standard regulation that Mark Menzies tries to claim exists?

Board and Bodging

After the shock announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange by Cuadrilla’s parent AJ Lucas that a study they commissioned “estimated a still very large but significantly reduced GIIP resource compared to that estimated by Cuadrilla“, Cuadrilla have now announced a shake up of their management team.

The New Board of Directors, with immediate effect, is shown below:

 

Kenneth Williams Syd James David Brent
CEO
Kenneth Williams
Operations Director
Sid James
PR Director
David Brent
Kenneth's lengthy experience in carrying on regardless makes him uniquely suitable for this high pressure role. Ooh er Matron!As the star of Carry On Cowboy, Sid brings a wealth of relevant experience to looking after the rigs, frack towers and other erections.David's reputation for sincerity made him the obvious choice for controlling community engagement.
Jimmy Carr KFrank Spencer Baldrick
Finance Director
Jimmy Carr
Technical Director
Frank Spencer
Strategy Director
Baldric
Jimmy's experience of off-shore tax arrangements will be invaluable should the company ever find a way to extract gas in the UK profitablyAll technical matters will now be in the more than capable hands of Frank Spencer. "Mmmm — nice!"We desperately need a very cunning plan. Baldrick's track record for innovative, blue sky thinking made him the right man for the job.
Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf
Corporate Affairs Director
Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf
Muhammad has been looking for a new Oil & Gas related post for some time. His media handling skills will strengthen our communications capability.

Should you have any questions about the above appointments please contact Cuadrilla’s information line, where you can speak to the nice boys and girls at PR company Lexington Communications.

Facilitation takes some strange forms

It is inarguable that Lancashire Constabulary are going above and beyond the call of duty in facilitating Cuadrilla’s operations, but some of the things we hear are quite frankly bizarre.

This story was sent to us by a motorcyclist who had some unexpected (by him at least) interaction with the boys in blue this week.

“Earlier today (21/04/2017), I was ‘trapped’ / ‘coralled’ (on my Honda Crosstourer bike) by a ‘fleet’ of police cars.

I was travelling along Fleetwood Rd, towards the M55, with 2 motorway police cars a little further ahead.

One pulled into a private road on the left (to get behind me), the other carried on to the roundabout (Wesham Cir it’s called).
When I got to the roundabout he blocked the entrance, and I was sat directly in front of him for about 5 minutes – waiting.
(He was holding me (and all other traffic) up, I assume so that he could ensure that more backup got there).

He then pulled onto the roundabout and through, off onto Fleetwood Rd (so they had the road behind me ‘blocked’ and the only other exit road ‘blocked’). This ensured that if I was avoiding them, my only route was the motorway; I took the M55 slip-road.

I noticed a police car join about a 1/4 mile behind me, steam up the outside lane, then pull in behind me (reading my plate).
At this point, I noticed 2 other police cars coming up behind him.

He over-took me, pulled in front of me and displayed a message saying “FOLLOW ME”, the other police cars sat close behind.
He pulled over onto the hard-shoulder (and I followed, with the trailing police cars pulling in behind me).
They all got out of their cars, and the lead Police officer came to me.

Long & short of it: he told me that someone on a BMW GS motorcycle (resembling my bike) had been ‘tailing’ Cuadrilla lorry drivers, and they were just checking that it wasn’t me.

I told the officer that I supported what you guys are doing, but, they could see that my bike was not a BMW GS.
(How they think that it is illegal to ‘tail’ lorry drivers anyway – I have no idea).

What they did with me was complete over-kill – at one point, they had me stopped within 5 feet of a police car at the roundabout! Why didn’t he just get out of his car and walk up to me?

Why did they intentionally try to get me onto a motorway, where I can do 130 mph to avoid them?

How many people did they inconvenience stopping all traffic?

It was like some kind of ‘SWAT’ operation!

The officer himself was courteous / polite, but, they had no reason whatsoever for this stop. (They knew my bike type – they had me stopped in front of them for 5 minutes).

This is obviously official procedure; it was too ‘organised’, and what annoys me most is that I get a feeling that it was either:

a) a ‘practice’ session or


b) an attempt to get a threatening ‘warning’ to the BMW GS owner,
and this, regardless of the inconvenience caused to unrelated people.

I fully support what you guys are doing, and, this kind of treatment makes me think: ‘should I be doing more than just ‘supporting’?’.

I’d like to know how much Cuadrilla are paying the police to cover the cost of this tax-paid police ‘operation’, and I will be writing to the Chief Constable to ask that question.”

We will update here with any response that is received.

 

PR-eposterous

So Matt Lambert – the head of Cuadrilla’s PR army gave an interview at that nice Mr Haythornthwaite’s festival of UKIP on Lytham Green this week – funny that we have been told that the covenants on the green prohibit its use for business purposes, but heck, what’s a regulation or two when it comes to unlocking shareholder value eh?

He stated ” probably as early as the beginning of next year we’ll be heating homes in Lancashire with Lancashire Gas“. Even the interviewer found this one hard to swallow and repeated the claim incredulously. But hey, there’s nothing like a optimist is there?

He then went on to claim that “the studies have ranged between, you know, tens of thousands of jobs and even up to about a hundred thousand in this area.”

Well Matt, as the highest estimate I’ve seen for job forecasts in the entire UK (including the entire supply chain) and not just “this area” was the IoD’s very suspect 74,000 job scenario. I wonder which report supports your interesting claim of 100,000 jobs in this area.

I have asked the Cuadrilla Information Line to confirm which study Matt was referring to and will update here when they respond.

You can hear the whole interview here http://podcast.ukfast.net/fracking-could-heat-lancashire-homes-by-2018.mp3

Down in my estimation

We were struck by two different exercises in estimation today.

Firstly, AJ Lucas, Cuadrilla’s parent company had to publish a response to the Australian Stock Exchange regarding their “historically publicly reported Cuadrilla’s internal Gas Initially In Place (“GIIP”) estimate of the Bowland Prospect in England”.

The regulators had asked them some specific questions and the answers are rather interesting. ( (Point 4 is the very interesting one but do read 1-3 first for context)

“Dear Sir,

AJ Lucas Group Limited (Company)
The questions in your letter dated 11 April 2017 and the Company’s responses are as follows.

1. Has the Company retained or commissioned any independent company or person to assess or analyse and report on the Company’s GIIP in relation to the Bowland Prospect?

The Company retained an independent consultant in early 2015 to evaluate early stage work by Cuadrilla and others relating to the potential gas-initially-in-place (GIIP) in the Bowland-Hodder Mudstone shale sequences within Cuadrilla’s PEDL-165 / EXL – 269 onshore UK licences.
2. If the answer to question 1 is “yes”, please confirm whether the Company has received a completed or final report in relation to the analysis of the Company’s GIIP for the Bowland Prospect.

No. The Company refers to its answer to Q4 below.

3. If the answer to question 2 is “yes”, please explain why this report or the results of the report have not been previously disclosed to the market, commenting specifically on whether it is in compliance with the Listing Rule Requirements, and if not, why the Company believes the report is not in compliance with the Listing Rule Requirements?

Not applicable. The Company refers to its answer to Q4 below.

4. If the report referred to in question 2 is not in a form that is capable of being disclosed to the market or otherwise does not comply with the Listing Rule Requirements, please confirm whether anything in the report is inconsistent with or varies materially from previous statements made to the market in relation to the Company’s GIIP for the Bowland Prospect.

The work referred to in Q1 above concerned the potential GIIP (the estimate of gas believed to be physically in place). It did not concern (recoverable) resources or reserves (the amount of gas, if any, that may ultimately be produced, having regard to technical, and, in the case of reserves, regulatory and economic considerations).

(the amount of gas, if any, that may ultimately be produced, having regard to technical, and, in the case of reserves, regulatory and economic considerations).

The consultant provided the Company with interim feedback, for discussion, on Cuadrilla’s estimates. Its work was incomplete. The consultant has stated that its interim work product does not necessarily reflect its final position, and does not consent to publication of any part of it. No completed or final report was issued and the interim work product is not compliant with Listing Rules 5.25 to 5.28.

Based on the work it had undertaken, the consultant’s interim feedback was that using a different approach, which it preferred, to calculate one of the key input parameters, it estimated a still very large but significantly reduced GIIP resource compared to that estimated by Cuadrilla. The consultant did not rule out Cuadrilla’s estimated range, but expressed a view that it might be considered a maximum or near maximum value. Further, the consultant found that the in place gas values estimated by Cuadrilla could be replicated within acceptable limits based on Cuadrilla’s input parameters and using a different model.

Continues…”

So without wishing to sound uncharitable it loooks rather as though Cuadrilla and AJ Lucas have paid a consultant in 2015 to estimate the amount of gas in place in their licence area, and not liking the “significantly reduced” answer, have buried the report and not taken it through to publication.

This did not impress the investors on the AJ Lucas Hot Copper stock board. Here is the very first comment :

The second sort of estimation that interested us today was by our old pal Peeny, who masquerades under various IDs on pro-fracking boards. Here he is as “Jim Georges” on Backing Fracking.


He points here to an article which he seems to think supports the viability of fracking in the UK. In fact the article suggests that US shale operators have got costs down to a level where, in the US, they can be profitable and attractive investments with oil at about $60 a barrel.  UKOOG on its website acknowledged that costs may be up to 3 times higher in the UK than in the USA , so the break even line has to be a lot higher here.  The problem for UK frackers is that even at $60 a barrel most would suggest an equivalent gas price of around 45p a therm, and not one published study of the costs of UK extraction that we have seen suggests UK shale gas can be extracted for less than 48p a therm. It isn’t hard to see why this is problematic is it?

So it seems there just may not be that wonderfully tempting 200 tcf of gas in place  under Cuadrilla’s licence area after all and in spite of the apparent optimism from anonymous American shills, it may be not be financially viable to extract what there is of it.

Oh dear!

A letter to Chief Inspector Keith Ogle

Dear Keith

Today I stood by the roadside at Preston New Road. I had several interesting conversations with members of your staff about the right to protest, how it could or should be manifested, and the problems perceived by those at the roadside with the way that your staff  are clearly facilitating Cuadrilla’s actions.

Whilst we were talking I counted 14 protestors. 10 on the opposite side to Cuadrilla, and 4 on the Cuadrilla side of the road including one (Nick) in a wheelchair. I don’t, of course, mean to detract from Nick’s capability as a protester as he is formidable. He was also one of the youngest and quite possibly the strongest of us. We did a quick straw poll and estimated that the average age of the protesters there was about 60.

Imagine our surprise to count no less than 5 TAU vans, each containing 9 policemen disgorging their contents to facilitate the withdrawal of 3 vans from the Cuadrilla site. Yes, that was 54 policemen plus the 4 police liaison officers – nearly 60 policemen deployed to deal with 14, mostly elderly, protestors.

You cannot fail to be aware that there are some very serious questions about the role that the police have adopted in actively facilitating Cuadrilla’s actions, but this is just totally separate level of stupid. Which operational commander could reasonably make the decision to deploy trained police officers in numbers that  outnumber  pensioners by four to one? What on earth did that commander think was going to happen here?

The police’s management of this entire situation, from a promising start has since been crass and insensitive throughout.  You have steadfastly refused to become involved in issues breaches of planning permissions , but you have made every effort to ensure that Cuadrilla’s operations are not affected by protest. You have blue-lighted their lorries through red lights (a councillor tells me she has evidence of this) and you have threatened protestors with arrest if they attempt to test the legitimacy of slow walks. The result is that your force has created such an imbalance that your staff are manifestly struggling to manage the tensions that are now simmering at the road side, and everyone is agreed on both sides of the argument that the cost of this ineffective policing is frankly ridiculous.

For everyone’s good take a step back, reappraise the situation and come to the table with something more workable. This is going to go on for years. You cannot want this ridiculous and very public example of disproportionate  policing to continue any more than we all do.

Kind regards

John

Sent on 19 April 2017 at 15:37

Weil Bodies

A week or so ago number of Protectors were on the roadside by Wensley’s farm and noticed that a cow, which seemed to have been isolated in the field next to his house, had a very red udder.

Today, while at Preston New Road I went to inspect Cuadrilla’s new protest pen. It’s in the area covered by an injunction granted to 12 claimants, who include two Cuadrilla companies and 10 other interested parties, so the fact that Cuadrilla have claimed that just one of those parties, Mr Wensley, claim that they grant limited permission for access doesn’t really change a thing. Access would still clearly be in breach of the injunction granted in Manchester by HH Judge Raynor

Anyway, for obvious reasons I didn’t go in, but I did read the notice pinned to the fence outside the protest pen. Here it is.

Note the highlighted section which reads:

An anti-bacterial station is positioned at (sic) the area and users of the area are advised to use that station when entering and exiting the area. Please observe the signs in the area regarding leptosporosis

Now, I am familiar with leptosporosis because it is also known as Weil’s Disease, and as a water-sports enthusiast I have to be careful of rat infested water as rat’s urine is a common vector for this nasty disease.

NHS Choices tells us

Leptospirosis is a type of bacterial infection spread by animals. It’s caused by a strain of bacteria called leptospira.

In 90% of cases, leptospirosis only causes mild flu-like symptoms, such as a headache, chills and muscle pain.

However, in some cases the infection is more severe and can cause life-threatening problems, including organ failure and internal bleeding. In its most severe form, leptospirosis is also known as Weil’s disease.

The common mild symptoms mean most leptospirosis infections are hard to diagnose. Diagnosis is easier if the infection causes more serious problems.

Leptospirosis is spread to humans by animals.

You can catch it by touching soil or water contaminated with the urine of wild animals infected with the leptospira bacteria.

Animals known to be carriers of the leptospira bacteria include cattle, pigs, dogs and rodents, particularly rats.

I hadn’t been aware that cattle could be carriers, although I have noticed that there is no shortage of rats in Cuadrilla’s working area 😉

In cattle “a peculiar type of mastitis is another distinctive form of leptospirosis.” . I am no vet and it may, of course, be coincidental that one of Mr Wensley’s cattle appeared to have an inflamed udder. If he let’s us know we’ll update this.

Either way it seems very strange that Cuadrilla are inviting people to stand in an area where they clearly believe there is a risk of contracting a potentially fatal disease. The risk is presumably fairly small (there are only 40 cases a year reported in humans in the UK) but the requirement for plastic bottles of hand sanitiser is hardly reassuring. Let’s hope none of the hordes who throng to view the PNR flaring is wearing sandals and there isn’t a footbath!

Perhaps they should not be too surprised to learn that nobody I know was intending to enter the area even before they announced it was a potential source of leptosporosis. However, it does bring into question the fact that vehicles are constantly being allowed to leave the site without the wheel washing, and there is no sign of similar bottles of hand sanitiser at the site entrance /exit. Why not?

We are really not sure what is going on here but if Farmer Wensley or Cuadrilla’s PR consultants on the “Community Information Line” would like to clarify things we will happily include their comments here.

Statement from Frack Free Lancashire

The following statement was put out by Frack Free Lancashire this morning.

Frack Free Lancashire

Frack Free Lancashire

It has come to our attention that certain individuals are using social media to try and undermine the efforts of Frack Free Lancashire, Friends of the Earth, and some of our most well respected anti fracking campaigners for their own purpose/agenda. Until now we have maintained a dignified silence but this has now become a serious matter and we are concerned that others, who do not know the background, will take these allegations at face value.

We do not understand why anyone within the anti fracking community would want to try and undermine the efforts of people fighting this industry. Not only is it divisive and dangerous but it plays into the hands of the industry who must remain the full focus of our attention if we are to stop fracking.

In particular there has been a serious allegation regarding the whereabouts of donations made to Frack Free Lancashire.

This is an extremely serious accusation. Frack Free Lancashire has always made it absolutely clear that all donations collected were to go into the Legal Fund and that is where every penny has gone. FFL wishes to assure everyone who has donated to the Frack Free Lancashire Legal Fund that they can be certain that their donations have ONLY been used and will continue to ONLY be used to directly support the legal challenges of members and their groups. We would like to thank all those people who have so kindly and generously donated to make the legal challenges possible.

We hope that this accusation and other allegations against individuals stop immediately. Online defamation is a serious offence and if it continues we will take legal advice/action.

Frack Free Lancashire is an umbrella for many anti fracking groups and individuals who are all working extremely hard to stop fracking in the UK. The FFL name is known and respected not only in the UK but worldwide. There is no hierarchy. Whilst we may not always agree, we all work together and try to reach a consensus. There is no-one trying to control. There is no impropriety or substance to these allegations. It is by working together we remain strong. To try and destroy this is not only divisive but dangerous and damaging.

Rest assured we will carry on the fight. We believe in unity and will work to unite as many local groups as possible. We have strength in numbers. This is what the industry fears most. We will continue to help those groups who need it most such as the Preston New Road Action Group (PNRAG) and Roseacre Awareness Group (RAG) who are both under immediate threat and have fully embraced the ideology of a united Frack Free Lancashire.

Issued on behalf of Frack Free Lancashire

Commitment Phobia

Our last post was about Cuadrilla’s failure to honour their commitment to a “Putting Lancashire First” tracker. Looking today for an update on their Community Liaison Group it is starting to look as though this failure is systemic. It’s almost as though they are hiding something, or just don’t wish to engage with the local community (apart of course from their pet supporters like Fylde RUFC and AFC UKIP)

According to Cuadrilla’s website, since this time 2 years ago there has only been one meeting of the Preston New Road Community Liaison Group. It seems to have taken place on 20th March according to its agenda. However, Cuadrilla’s PR agency, Lexington Communications, who run the group don’t seem to have quite got round to providing any minutes nearly a month later.

With this level of community engagement is it any wonder that Cuadrilla have no social licence to operate in the area?

I wonder if Lancashire County Council should be giving them a little prod. Administering a CLG is, after all, a part of their planning conditions.

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