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Take the advice of Greg Clark, ex-Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government

Greg Clark

"Those who are prepared to organise to be more effective and more efficient should be able to reap substantially the rewards of that boldness ...

Take power now. Don’t let yourself, any longer, be ruled by someone else"

How many wells?

Click the image from more information on Cuadrilla's plans for PEDL 165

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


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"

Yes you!

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr Seuss

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England is not for sale!


Join the ever growing number of households who have signed up to the Wrongmove campaign!

Tell Cuadrilla and the Government that your house is "Not for Shale"


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When an activity or occurrence raises threats of serious or irreversible harm to human health or the environment, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.

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Public Opinion

Rouble at mill

The behaviour of the Russian state has come under scrutiny recently with the recent events in Salisbury.

Predictably these events have been used to try to bolster the shale gas/energy security myth. After all who wants to be reliant on an unpredictable or unprincipled regime for something as important as energy?

Before we allow ourselves to fall for this rubbish though, we should take note of the written answer provided in the House of Lords by Baroness Neville-Rolfe.

Yes, you did read that correctly. Russian imports amount to “much less than 1% of our total gas supply.

I think we should worrying about Mr Putin and turn our thoughts to how we can transform our power generation to take account of our climate change commitments under the 5th Carbon Budget.

Will the earth move for you?

We woke up this morning to earn that Mosser in Cumbria (NW of Buttermere) had been the epicentre of the UK’s latest significant earthquake (Mag 3.2) , following the one in Wales 2 weeks ago (Mag 4.6).

The location of this quake is about 60 miles from the centre of Cuadrilla’s PEDL 165.

The earth tremors allegedly caused by Cuadrilla at Preese Hall in 2011 were nowhere near as powerful as either of the two recent quakes, measuring as they did 2.3 on the Richter scale on April 1st 2011, followed by an event in May that measured 1.5 on the scale.  However, the two 2011 tremor were sufficient to deform the well casing of the Preese Hall well. On that occasion the integrity of the well bore was not compromised but it clearly demonstrated the potential for a pollution event being caused by seismic activity.

Because of the logarithmic basis of the Richter scale, each whole number increase in magnitude represents a tenfold increase in measured amplitude; as an estimate of energy, each whole number step in the magnitude scale corresponds to the release of about 31 times more energy than the amount associated with the preceding whole number value. So as we can see the two naturally occurring earthquakes in the last couple of weeks would have had the power to do rather more damage to any sub-surface infrastructure close to their epicentres than the quakes at Preese Hall did.

Maybe this is why Professor Mike Stephenson – Director of Science and Technology – British Geological Survey went on record as saying:

“What you have to be able to do when you decide you want to hydraulic fracture is make sure there are no faults in the area. That’s really very very important”

Is the Fylde a faulted area? It would appear that it is! Draw your own conclusions.

(Image courtesy of Prof David Smythe)

So shale gas is a damp squib

Damp squibIt was all going so well for the frackers. Report after report told us that UK shale gas was going to provide security of supply, cheaper gas, and oodles upon oodles of jobs.

Doubters were caricatured as unpatriotic, Putin funded, fools who could not see the fossil fuel El Dorado that our government was predicting, nor understand the key role that fracked gas was going to play as a bridge fuel.

But then it seemed somebody seems to have told the government some things that it found distinctly unpalatable, and which it has (not totally successfully) tried to bury at the same time as continuing its dash to foist shale gas developments onto unwilling communities.

A report (discovered by FoI by Greenpeace) seems to have been published in 2016 which told the government that far from expecting 4,000 wells to have been drilled and fracked by 2032, it was likely that by 2025 we will only have seen 155 drilled, leaving an incredible 550 wells in each remaining year to be drilled to reach that target.

And what does that 155 well forecast actually mean? Using the Estimated Ultimate Recovery rates from the IoD report (3.2 bcf a well) we get a total extracted (over the 20 – 30 year life of the well of about 930 bcf). If we allow 20 years that’s just 47 bcf a year of production from wells drilled up to 2025.

In the last 4 quarters reported in the Government DUKES report the UK has used 2,900 bcf of gas, so the average annual production expected from those 155 wells is about 1.6% of UK demand. Even if we used Cuadrilla’s highly optimistic forecasts of 6 bfc a well that only makes a drop look like a drip – maybe 3% of UK annual demand?

You would have to be truly desperate to pretend that that will have any significant impact on anything.

It seems that UK fracking really is turning out to be the epitome of a damp squib – a firework that fails to go off – but like any unexploded firework it is still dangerous, which is why we have written to Mark Menzies MP asking him to insist that the government makes this report public. We need to be in possession of the full facts as we face governmental interference in the democratic process, and their attempts to force a failed agenda onto local communities.

It has also been interesting to see how the industry and its supporters have reacted to this news. The Greenpeace article states that:

Cuadrilla, the UK’s largest fracking firm, which produced its own modelling in 2012 that showed many more wells than the government now expects, said the discrepancy could be down to “technical drilling advancements” that “allow operators to access rich gas zones from just one well without the need for multiple vertical wells.”

However in 2012 Cuadrilla Resources were fully aware of these developments as we can see from their evidence submitted to the Energy and Climate Change Committee in October 2012, where they seemed to be suggesting that they has already mastered these “technical drilling advancements”

“In the case of onshore shale development, on-going drilling of new wells does not mean populating the countryside with ever-increasing drilling locations. Horizontal wells can radiate from the same well bore like the tines of a fork, and radially in several directions.”

So given that we know that can’t be the real reason for the discrepancy perhaps Cuadrilla would like to have another go at explaining the discrepancy?

Meanwhile, serial pro-fracking commentator Michael Baker (AKA Yetypu) had this to say on the Daily Telegraph article comments:

Perhaps he hadn’t quite worked out that if the IoD’s forecast for the number of wells was “pie in the sky“, that means that the derived forecasts for investment and employment which depended on that level of activity were logically also “pie in the sky“. Oops!

EUR having a laugh aren’t you ?

Our old friend Ben Webster – the Times’ fracking sage – reported recently on Cuadrilla’s tests from their PNR well which were “very encouraging”. He told us:

Cuadrilla said that the results were in line with estimates in 2013 by the British Geological Survey for the Bowland Shale under northern England.

Cuadrilla expects today to start drilling Britain’s first exploratory horizontal shale well and has permission to drill up to four at the site. The company’s tests suggest that each well could extract enough gas to meet the needs of 5,000 homes for 30 years.

Hmm OK then let’s dig a little shall we (you know like journalists used to do before they just republished press releases)?

According to OFGEM the average home in the UK uses around 12,000 kWh of gas each year (using the medium assumption)

It is the amount of energy that a ‘typical’ household, with a medium level of energy consumption, uses in a year.

12,000 kWh is equivalent to about 39,369 cubic feet of natural gas

So Cuadrilla seem to be saying that from each well (presumably they mean each lateral) they expect their Estimated Ultimate Recovery (EUR) to be 39,369 x 5,000 x 30 or 5.9 billion cubic feet (bcf).

This 12,000 kWh , by the way, is a reduction on historic averages (source https://www.ovoenergy.com/guides/energy-guides/the-average-gas-bill-average-electricity-bill-compared.html)

If we used an average of about 15,000 kWh the EUR would be commensurately higher at an eye-watering (or lip-smacking if you are Cuadrilla perhaps) 7.4 bcf.

This would mean that (assuming they believe these results could be replicated across the PEDL licence area) with the 100  x 40 well pads they are on record as wanting to wanting to develop, they could extract 23 Trillion Cubic Feet (tcf) of gas, which very conveniently is about the amount (20 tcf) they have been claiming to be able to extract. (Or nearly 30 tcf if we used the 15,000 kWh average!)

If you were to take 20 tcf, divide is by 4,000 wells you would get and EUR of about 5 bcf each. If you translated this to houses worth of gas over 30 years you would then get about 5,000.  Of course Cuadrilla’s assumptions are based on core samples and not convenient arithmetic aren’t they?

Less conveniently the suggested EUR figure is almost twice the 3.2 bcf per well suggested by shale gas PR Corin Taylor in the Cuadrilla sponsored IoD report from 2013.

How does this compare to the US experience?

Well every year the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) re-estimates initial production (IP) rates and production decline curves, which determine estimated ultimate recovery (EUR) per well and total technically recoverable resources (TRR). Their publication in 2017 is based on data as of January 2015.

Looking at “Table 9.3 U.S. unproved technically recoverable tight/shale oil and gas resources by play (as of January 1, 2015)” we can see the average EURs by play within each region for natural gas.

If we sort the plays into ascending order and compare it with what Cuadrilla seem to be claiming we can see that, first of all, the vast majority of plays have EURs less than 1 bcf / well and only 1 play (Haynesville-Bossier-LA ) has an average EUR greater than 3.

If we compare the data with Cuadrilla’s claim it is evident that they must really have had some super special results for them to be claiming average EURs in the order of 6.

Now we accept that we can’t read across exactly from the US experience, but this difference is so massive that the  Booths store at Penwortham must have sold out of champagne as all of the Cuadrilla execs blew by from the office to get some celebration juice.

Bottoms up! It’s a miracle!

(And of course we know from their rugby pitch analogy just how exact they like to be when it comes to figures!)


BEIS Wave 24 gives palliative relief to the frackers

Today’s release of BEIS data for Wave 24 of their quarterly polling gives some palliative relief to the ailing UK fracking industry. It shows that the relentless slide towards single figure percentage support has been, at least temporarily, halted. The industry, however, are still a long way from reversing the plummeting support over the last few years.

Wave 24

Support has gone up from the all time low of 13% to 16% and opposition has fallen from the all time high of 36% to 32%. Keeping in mind that small fluctuations can be expected in any data sample, and that this particular sample’s professed knowledge of fracking was 3% lower than the last 2 samples,  the industry are still a long way from reversing the inexorable trend that is shown below.

Equally interesting is the collapse in the acceptance of the industry’s standard PR lines. When asked why they support fracking the reason “Good for local jobs and investment” has fallen from 28% to 18% and “May result in cheaper energy bills” has fallen from 26% to 21%.

In spite of the huge resources thrown at PR by the industry the story is clear. Their efforts to persuade the general public are failing miserably.

17 pads in Lancashire? Really?

Our friends over at Backing Fracking have been in PR overdrive again. This time they are trying to do some maths but they haven’t really thought it through. Desperate to show that fracking might create some jobs, but having very little to base it on, they have had to rely on the IoD report.

This has forced them to do some pretty bizarre data allocation including this gem.

In Lancashire, where Cuadrilla, Osprey Oil and Gas, Warwick Energy, Aurora Energy Resources and Hutton Energy have licence blocks, we might see 18 sites developed consisting of 720 horizontal wells.

So they are trying to tell us that in all of the Lancashire PEDLs (pictured below) the industry only plan a total of 17 well pads.

Apart from the fact Cuadrilla is on record as saying they plan between 80-100 well pads for Cuadrilla’s PEDL alone (which makes a bit of a mockery of Backing Fracking’s “maths” here) if there really were to be only 17 well pads in Lancashire then, using the IoD figures which Backing Fracking’s article clearly endorses, they would only be able to extract 2.3 TCF of gas from the whole of Lancashire.

This is a little strange given that Cuadrilla have claimed there is between 200 and 300 tcf of gas in place n PEDL 165 alone and that they can extract 10% of it. And the idea that it would be worth fracking Lancashire for 30 years to get about 8 months annual UK gas demand shows how ridiculous the fracking PR machine really is.

No why would they want us to believe that there might be only a fraction of the number of pads that the industry would really need? The 20 TCF Cuadrilla say they can get out of just one licence area – PEDL 165 – would require 160 x 40 well pads at the IoD’s 3.2 bcf EUR. And they expect us to believe that thee would be just 17 pads in all 8 PEDL areas in Lancashire? Really?

Is it stupidity or are they trying to hide the real impacts?

How big would your mess of pottage have to be?

Cuadrilla proudly announced today that local residents, when surveyed, had indicated that they wanted the “community benefit” promised by Cuadrilla to go to their own pockets and not to other local causes. Maybe it’s hard to blame them – if you lose 7% (government estimate from the 2014 Shale Gas Rural Economy Impacts report ) of the value of a property worth £150,000, and most of those within 1km are worth rather more than that,  that’s £10,500 so you can probably be forgiven for thinking that any paltry amounts coming from Cuadrilla should go to you and not the local Scouts’ hut. If you live in a Park Home at Carr Bridge worth say £60,000 you would lose £4,200 at that 7% rate.

So how much are they giving out? Well, this payment is for the second well, so there is already £100,000 to be give to local community projects by the Community Foundation for Lancashire – a body which is in fact based in Merseyside  and at least until recently had Cuadrilla’s good friend Babs Murphy as it’s board member for “Philanthropy Development”. This time they are going to pay the cash directly to the households so:

29 households within 1km of the site will each get £2070

259 households between 1km and 1.5km of the site will each get £150

No doubt we will now see Cuadrilla bragging about what a wonderful windfall this is and using it to try to persuade others that fracking brings meaningful rewards for communities, but it is worth pausing for a second to consider the population density involved here. Assuming these households follow the national average there will be 2.14 people on average in each one.

The area covered by the 1km limit is 3.14 km2 and the area covered by the outer 1-1.5 km ring is 3.9 km2

This leads us to conclude that the population density within 1km of the site is about 20/km2 and in the 1km-1.5km area about 141/km2 (the difference is probably largely due to it including the Carr Bridge site).

These are both considerably lower than the average population density of Lancashire which is 483/km2.

If the “benefit” were divided in areas with average population densities then we would have seen 709 households in the 1km area and 886 in the 1-1.5km area.

If Cuadrilla were to divide the “benefit” to an area with average population density in the proportions they plan to here, with 60% going to the area closer than 1 km and 40% to the area between 1 and 1.5 km then:

709 households within 1km of the site would each get just £85 – if they were thinking of splashing out that would buy nearly 200 B&H, 4 bottles of Bombay Sapphire or a couple of Ryanair flights with no baggage to somewhere miles from any fracking.

886 households between 1km and 1.5km of the site would each get a princely £45 – enough for standard anytime return tickets for two people to Manchester from Kirkham.

Meanwhile if these households lived in houses with the average value for Lancashire  (£161,166 according to Rightmove) and if each were to lose the DECC report’s 7% they would each lose over £11,000 on their houses, with a total loss of property value within a 1.5km radius of almost £18 million.

Don’t be fooled by the shiny £ signs.  Using the government’s own figures they’d have to provide the “benefit” from 180 wells off this one pad before they made up for just the loss in house value forecast by the Rural Impacts report.

So if you are tempted to sell your birthright for a mess of pottage make sure it’s big enough to fill the hole that will be left by this industry. Of course local residents are not selling their birthright voluntarily are they? Their council said “no”. It is the government forcing this industry onto our area and then expecting us to be grateful when the real beneficiaries sweep a few crumbs off the table for “lucky” local residents/receptors to scrat about for on the floor.



Support for Fracking Continues to Slide Towards Single Figures

BEIS Wave 23 shows  almost 3 times as many now oppose fracking as support it.

  • Support for fracking at lowest point since the survey began.
  • Only 13% now support fracking.
  • 36% now oppose it.
  • Strong support down to 1%

Today saw the release of the latest quarterly BEIS Public Attitudes survey. This is wave 23. Questions about fracking have been asked since wave 8 in December 2013.

The results will be shocking for the fracking industry who have seen a 27%:21% lead public opinion in 2013 reverse itself into a devastating 13%:36% deficit in just 4 years

Equally devastating must the slide in those claiming to strongly support fracking from 6% in 2013 to a dismal 1% today.

The data set is available here .

There can be no clearer illustration than this  that fracking has no social licence in this country.  This polling is clear evidence that the people of this country do not want this invasive industry and are reacting very negatively to its expensive but unconvincing PR, and the attempts of companies like Ineos to curb our right to protest.

These results come on the back of mainstream media questioning of industry tactics and impacts as we have seen for example on The Wright Stuff and even in the Daily Mail.

The tide of public opinion is now streaming against fracking in spite of the efforts of their PR teams to demonise protesters.

There is only one way for the UK fracking industry to go now and that is down and out.


Emergency measures

Cuadrilla recently submitted an application to vary their planning permission at Preston New Road.


As part of this they submitted a Supporting Statement

This supporting statement was approved by no less than the Chief Executive of Cuadrilla as can be seen here:

In this supporting statement they made the following highly inflammatory claim

Emergency Calls

During the month of July 2017, there was a number of occasions where ambulances responding to emergency calls were unable to get to their destination using the fastest possible route due to incidents outside of the Preston New Road site. On such occasions, the ambulance returned to the M55 and used Junction 3 to arrive at their destination.

As nobody in Frack Free Lancashire was aware of these alleged incidents, a Freedom of Information request was made to the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust.

Within Cuadrilla Resources Ltd’s recent application (dated 13 October 2017) to adjust planning permission at their Preston New Road site in Lancashire, they have made the following statement:

“During the month of July 2017, there was a number of occasions where ambulances responding to emergency calls were unable to get to their destination using the fastest possible route due to incidents outside of the Preston New Road site. On such occasions, the ambulance returned to the M55 and used Junction 3 to arrive at their destination.”

Please could you confirm whether this statement is in fact true or not, and provide any correspondence, via email or other records, that would support this claim.

Please also provide any correspondence between yourselves and Cuadrilla Resources Ltd, that may have occurred surrounding this claim

The reply was fairly instant

Further to your enquiry below, I have made contact with the local area manager, Head of Service for Lancashire and our legal department and they are all unaware of any formal submission of this information. I also confirm that we are unable to provided statistics in relation to ambulance delays experienced whilst en-route to incidents, as our reporting system does not capture this level of information.

I hope this information is of assistance.

We would like to know what evidence Cuadrilla have for suggesting that ambulances were hindered, given that even those who manage the service appear unaware of any such issues.

We have written as shown below to the Cuadrilla Information Line and will post any response that we get here.

Dear Sir / Madam

In your recent application to vary planning permission at Preston New Road you made a claim that:

“During the month of July 2017, there was a number of occasions where ambulances responding to emergency calls were unable to get to their destination using the fastest possible route due to incidents outside of the Preston New Road site. On such occasions, the ambulance returned to the M55 and used Junction 3 to arrive at their destination.”

However, according to an FoI response, North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust appear to be unaware of any request from yourselves for information relating to this and therefore logically cannot have provided any to you. They also state that their reporting systems does not capture sufficient detail to provide statistics in relation to ambulance delays experienced whilst en-route to incidents.

Accordingly, I would like to ask what evidence you have for you claim above and what is its source.

I look forward to your response

Those of you with sharp eyes may already have had a hollow laugh at the description on of one of the consultees listed on the application details.

Water water everywhere ….

In an effort to clarify the issue of where the water we drink comes from I put in an EIR request to United Utilities.

It took them some time to come up with a response but here is a summary.

If you live in the Fylde then your water comes from a variety of sources:

*Franklaw WTW
*Hodder WTW
*Haweswater Aquaduct
*Watchgate WTW

If you live in the FY8 area then your water is sourced as follows

So we can see two things here. A large proportion of the water (34%) does in fact come from boreholes, but they are all east of the Woodsfold fault.

The question of whether contamination of the Sherwood aquifer west of the fault could result in issues in the same aquifer east of the fault is still an open one. As Professor David Smythe suggests

There are many connections and pathways for contaminated ‘flowback’ fluid (directly from the fracking process), or for ‘produced’ water (from gas production) to reach the Sherwood aquifer east of the Woodsfold Fault.”

Equally a large part of Cuadrilla’s PEDL 165 is located east of the fault, so whilst any contamination of the aquifer east of the fault from Preston New Road might take some time, contamination of the aquifer from other sites could be much more immediate.

The image below shows a rough visualisation of PEDL 165 and the approximate location of the Woodsfold fault, superimposed onto the Environment Agency’s  map of water abstraction points within it.

What is very clear here though is that when the Fracking PR machine tries to claim that we don’t get water from boreholes that could be affected by fracking in PEDL 165, and it all comes from the Lakes, they are lying to us.

Finally, United Utilities claim not to be aware of the presence of a shallow fresh water aquifer at PNR, although the BGS clearly state that it does exist. We find this surprising but perhaps if it is only used for “private drinking water supply, farms and golf course irrigation” then there is no necessary reason why it should be of any interest to United Utilities.

This does not of course mean that it is not valuable or somehow not worth protecting!

We hope that this clarifies some of the questions regarding the sources of our public and private potable and no-potable water.

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Who's fault?

"What you have to be able to do when you decide you want to hydraulic fracture is make sure there are no faults in the area. That's really very very important"

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