Endorsements

"probably the most prolific anti frack website in the UK"
- Ken Wilkinson - prominent pro-fracking activist and industry supporter (Yes we know , he doesn't know what "prolific" means does he)

Defend Localism!

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?

PNRAG 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

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"

Yes you!

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

We are not for sale!

England is not for sale!

Wrongmove

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"

Wrongmove

Be a flea

"Many fleas make big dog move"
Japanese Proverb quoted by Jessica Ernst

No to Fracking

Love Lytham Say No to Fracking

Make sense?

The Precautionary Principle

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

Unwelcome Visitors

Cuadrilla are trying to claim today that fracking will result in a tourism boom for Lancashire.

They even shipped over a bombastic B&B battleaxe from Yorkshire to try to make their point for them.

However, it won’t.

How do we know?

Why because their planning expert witness told us just that at the Blackpool Inquiry last year (as reported on the Drill or Drop website).

Robin Green, the barrister for Roseacre residents, put it to Mr Smith: “You said it was possible jobs could be lost in the tourism sector but this was likely to be short-term. It was speculative and unquantifiable and linked to public perception of fracking.”

Mr Green asked why the impact on tourism jobs would be short-term.

Mr Smith said: “In the longer term, when the industry is established and people are aware of the actual impacts, tourism will recover.

He suggested that perceptions would change because the company had assessed the impacts of fracking to be minor and negligible.

Mr Green suggested:

“Come to Lancashire home of fracking that will have the tourists flocking”

He put it to Mr Smith:

“There is no evidence that the public are moving towards acceptance of fracking as an industry.”

Mr Smith replied

“I don’t have any evidence. There may be evidence but I don’t have the knowledge”.

Mr Green said:

“As a tourism draw, fracking is unlikely to be up there as draw.”

Mr Smith replied: “There is no evidence of fracking having an impact, I have not seen the evidence.

Even the government’s own most optimistic assessment of the impact of fracking on tourism is that it will be broadly neutral. Their conclusion is that losses from tourists avoiding the area due to shale gas operations may perhaps be off-set to an extent by increased hospitality to new workers.

If the US experience is indeed replicated here in Lancashire as Lancashire For S(h)ale suggest it will be, what we *can* expect to see are significant increases in employment for sex workers, drug pushers and policemen, along with an increase in STDs, car crashes, drug-related crimes, and sexual assault.

Fracking flares are really not going to be the new Blackpool Illuminations whatever Cuadrilla might want you to believe!

Cuadrilla’s incredible vanishing act

Most of us are by now aware that there were two significant earth tremors in the Fylde in early 2011, which coincided with Cuadrilla’s fracking at Preese Hall. It seemed for a while that as reported by the Daily telegraph in 2011 that “Cuadrilla admits drilling caused Blackpool earthquakes” and by the Blackpool Gazette that “Drilling did cause ‘earthquake’”

Cuadrilla’s own Senior Geoscientist, Huw Clarke, appeared to admit as much in a co-authored research letter which concluded that;

The fault was reactivated by the hydraulic fracturing in a strike-slip mode because of its steep dip and optimal orientation relative to the current stress field, elevated pore pressure, high-stress anisotropy, all of which resulted in a high slip tendency.” (Our emphasis)

How strange then that when the Daily Telegraph posted an article on Cuadrilla’s mounting financial losses (Cuadrilla cuts costs to stem losses as shale project faces further opposition) they should have to edit it to remove a reference to Cuadrilla having caused the earth quake.

 

What was even stranger though was the fact that a factual and polite comment pointing to Mr Clarke’s research letter was deleted.

After 3 deletions I got a little more pointed

This of course got deleted too.

So why, we have to ask ourselves are Cuadrilla so keen on removing all reference to these tremors from public discourse? After all they previously seem to have been prepared to admit that they were their responsibility?

And why is a supposedly reputable paper like the Daily Telegraph apparently prepared to both kowtow to Cuadrilla’s demands in this way and also to remove any references to evidence that questions their position?

Could it be that as they approach the point where they hope to start fracking that Cuadrilla are so worried about the prospect of causing a further quake, which would surely result in a ban for their industry even from this supine government, that they are attempting a sort of Stalinist revision of history?

To be honest I find both their and the Telegraph’s actions quite incomprehensible here.

Cuadrilla’s incredible shrinking supply chain Part 2

Back in April we noticed that Cuadrilla had failed to issue and update in 2017 Q1 as promised, and commented that we’d noticed an apparent reduction in the number of companies claimed to be registered on the supply chain portal.

On 31st May Cuadrilla finally released an updated “quarterly” tracker (that’s a full five months into 2017) covering the period to 31st March.

Aside from the interesting increase in community funding, which still doesn’t seem to be winning them many friends, the most striking difference is indeed the downward trajectory of their supply chain portal registrations.

For this to be the case presumably 283 business must have actively de-registered between 1st December and 31st March.

Perhaps the local business community is starting to see that the leprechaun’s pot of gold at the end of the fracking rainbow is not worth chasing after all?

If Cuadrilla would like to offer any alternative explanation we’ll be happy to publish it here.

Manifestly wrong

Theresa MaySo we now know what the Conservative Party has in mind for fracking if they get re-elected in June. Or at least we know what they would like us to believe they will do, as a manifesto promises from the Conservative Party haven’t always been reliable.

Here is the passage from the manifesto dealing with shale gas:

Natural gas from shale

The discovery and extraction of shale gas in the United States has been a revolution. Gas prices have fallen, driving growth in the American economy and pushing down prices for consumers. The US has become less reliant on imported foreign energy and is more secure as a result. And because shale is cleaner than coal, it can also help reduce carbon emissions. We believe that shale energy has the potential to do the same thing in Britain, and could play a crucial role in rebalancing our economy.

We will therefore develop the shale industry in Britain. We will only be able to do so if we maintain public confidence in the process, if we uphold our rigorous environmental protections, and if we ensure the proceeds of the wealth generated by shale energy are shared with the communities affected.

We will legislate to change planning law for shale applications. Non-fracking drilling will be treated as permitted development, expert planning functions will be established to support local councils, and, when necessary, major shale planning decisions will be made the responsibility of the National Planning Regime.

We will set up a new Shale Environmental Regulator, which will assume the relevant functions of the Health and Safety Executive, the Environment Agency and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This will provide clear governance and accountability, become a source of expertise, and allow decisions to be made fairly but swiftly.

Finally, we will change the proposed Shale Wealth Fund so a greater percentage of the tax revenues from shale gas directly benefit the communities that host the extraction sites. Where communities decide that it is right for them, we will allow payments to be made directly to local people themselves. A significant share of the remaining tax revenues will be invested for the benefit of the country at large.

So let’s look at what they say and see what it means shall we? The introductory paragraph paints a rosy picture of the US shale gas industry. Whilst is is indisputable that increased volume of natural gas in the USA has exerted downward pressure on prices, the narrative above totally ignores the huge influence that OPEC countries strategy over the last five years has had on oil and gas prices. It is generally accepted that, because the European gas market functions as a discrete entity that over here there will be no significant downward pressure on wholesale or consumer gas prices as a result of fracking. Even Cuadrilla themselves admit as much. Their ex-Corporate Development manager, Mark Linder, told Greenpeace in 2013 – “We’ve done an analysis and it’s a very small…at the most it’s a very small percentage…basically insignificant”.  Lord Browne, ex chairman of Cuadrilla said broadly the same “”We are part of a well-connected European gas market and, unless it is a gigantic amount of gas, it is not going to have material impact on price“.  Pinning an energy strategy strategy on the hope that, against all the evidence, UK produced shale gas will lower prices looks rather desperate, but that is clearly what the Conservatives are trying to do here.

Then we have the greenwash – “because shale is cleaner than coal, it can also help reduce carbon emissions“.  It is indeed generally agreed that burning gas is cleaner than burning coal, but reducing carbon emissions is only part of the story as far as climate change mitigation is concerned.  As has been frequently pointed out, the issue of fugitive methane emissions in the process of shale gas extraction and production means that shale gas’s much vaunted “cleaner” climate change profile may be very questionable indeed.  The Conservatives’ apparent concern for this issue would be more credible if there were a single reference to “Carbon Capture and Storage” (CCS) somewhere in the document.  Perhaps, though, this would have been a little embarrassing as they broke a previous manifesto pledge when they cancelled their £1bn competition for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology just six months before it was due to be awarded back in 2015.

So, based on the very shaky premises that UK shale gas production will result in US style price reductions, and that it will help to mitigate climate change in the absence of CCS, the Conservatives “will therefore develop the shale industry in Britain“. Note the the word “therefore“.  Their reasoning is as clear as it is fallacious.

They admit next that there are severe challenges in achieving their goals

We will only be able to do so if we maintain public confidence in the process, if we uphold our rigorous environmental protections, and if we ensure the proceeds of the wealth generated by shale energy are shared with the communities affected.

Those difficulties are rather greater than might be assumed from the way the text is written. They are not in a position to “maintain” public confidence as it doesn’t exist at present. According to the government’s own polling half as many people again oppose fracking as support it. Equally they are not in a position to “uphold” rigorous environmental protections which don’t yet exist. Of the 10 recommendations made by the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering only 1 (the seismic traffic light regulation) has been brought forward so far. They need to create the rigorous environmental protections before they can uphold them. As for sharing the proceeds of the wealth generated by shale energy, we know from the consultation in late 2016 that “The government is proposing a contribution of 10% of all shale gas tax revenues collected to be distributed under the Shale Wealth Fund“. However the same document tells us that “tax revenues are driven by profitability; the profitability of any site is dependent on fuel prices, operator costs and site-specific geology“. They still haven’t explained how, with UK extraction costs forecast to be between 46p and 102p a therm and futures prices for natural gas being consistently below 46p a therm in the foreseeable future, the industry will make any profit to pay any tax on. Without those profits there can and will be no “proceeds of the wealth generated by shale energy“.

Notwithstanding the logical fallacies above, the Conservatives now appear to be prepared to trample over their previous commitments to “localism” and are clearly intent on ensuring that no planning process can stand in the way of the shale gas juggernaut that they wish to unleash onto the North of England.  Initial (pre-fracking) development applications will be waved through and local councils will have “expert planning functions” from central government standing behind them to ensure that they make the “right” decisions. It should also be noted that as the government was clever enough to redefine “associated hydraulic fracturing” based on the volumes of fluid used, certain hydraulic fracturing developments would now be classified as “non-fracking drilling” and so would be “treated as permitted development”. This policy appears to have more holes in it than a Swiss cheese!

In case this isn’t enough “major shale planning decisions will be made the responsibility of the National Planning Regime” which clearly implies that they will be treated as “nationally significant infrastructure projects“. This has two main implications – firstly the likelihood of such an application being turned down, say on the grounds of traffic disturbance or safety as at Roseacre Wood are very slim indeed, and secondly it means that the time-scales for determination are much more strictly defined, so no extended enquiries or appeals would be expected.

We will of course still be allowed to write in with our comments regarding the applications, but even the thousands of objections received for the applications submitted so far start to look futile, given the clear intention to override local impacts and force this industry onto unwilling communities by removing decision making from local councils.

The promise of a new Shale Environmental Regulator must have come as something of an embarrassment to our local MP here in the Fylde, Mark Menzies, as he has been congratulating himself since 2013 on having got us “a body to oversee the industry’s various regulators” (He was, of course, referring to OUGO.)

Even Mr Menzies seems to have realised by 2015 that OUGO was no real sort of independent regulatory body as he asked the following question in parliament

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, if he will bring forward legislative proposals to establish an independent (our emphasis) panel to oversee the regulation of the shale gas industry.

The then Energy Minister, Matthew Hancock, refused to consider this stating: “The UK already has a strong regulatory system which provides a comprehensive regime for exploratory activities”. However, here we are with the Conservative party now belatedly accepting that the current regulatory regime isn’t fit for purpose (or maybe that should be “quick enough at passing decisions”). You should note that the rather important word “independent” used by Mr Menzies above does not feature anywhere in the description of this putative new regulator, so this looks as though it is yet another attempt  to streamline regulation and promote the industry.

And finally, like a dog returning to its own vomit we see the Conservatives just can’t stop themselves appealing, for the second time in just this short passage,  to the greed of potential voters by dangling the prospect of a bigger juicier bribe, to be paid directly to those that want it. (Although it should be noted that they are reserving the right to make the “desolate North” suffer but preserve a share of any benefits for “the country at large”). Of course a “greater percentage” of zero is still equal to zero, so, as we have pointed out above, unless they can work out how shale gas can be extracted at a profit in the UK then this is the emptiest of empty promises.

So all in all this is a prospectus for a disaster for large swathes of the North of England, built on false logic, bad economics and naked self-interest.  If you live anywhere near the Bowland Shale then a vote for the Conservatives is a vote to suffer all of the potential impacts that have been identified with shale gas extraction, whilst the alleged “benefits” being dangled in front of us look very suspect and tawdry indeed.

Of course one good thing is that, as shale gas extraction will rather obviously make local housing less attractive and therefore less valuable, local people’s contribution towards the proposed “dementia tax” will be a little lower than it otherwise might have been. Every cloud as they say ….

Snap Judgements

We received the following press release today and feel that it deserves to be read:

PRESS RELEASE

Local documentary photographer unfairly targeted by police after covering an anti-fracking demonstration for nine minutes.

A photographer has been unfairly targeted by police after covering an anti-fracking protest in Greater Manchester.

Oldham-based Peter Yankowski-Walker, 53, was arrested in Horwich, Bolton, on February 28, 2017 nine minutes after arriving at a demonstration outside AE Yates, a company who have supplied oil and gas exploration firm Cuadrilla with a drilling pad for their controversial fracking work in Lancashire.

While photographing the demonstration, Yankowski-Walker was arrested for obstructing a public highway – after almost being knocked down by on of AE Yates trucks. He was held in a prison cell for 10 hours before being charged. Yankowski-Walker believes he has been unfairly targeted by police because of a government crackdown on journalists sympathetically covering anti-fracking demonstrations.

At his subsequent appearance at Bolton Magistrates Court police presented the criminal record of another man as Yankowski-Walker’s, a mistake they later admitted – yet the same incorrect criminal records was presented at a second court date in Manchester nine days later.

Peter Yankowski-Walker does not have a criminal record.

During his police interview after his arrest, Yankowski-Walker said police tried to coerce him into admitting guilt; he claims this excessive form of policing is part of a government-led attack on protest and suppression of information surrounding fracking.

Peter Yankowski Walker said: “I am trying not to be paranoid, but when sat in a dock after not even committing a crime and to see the effort to prosecute someone for something so trivial is mind blowing and a waste of taxpayers money. Especially as the incident was live-streamed and completely backs up my statement.

“The judge demanded the Crown Prosecution Service remove the wrongful criminal record from my file – but he decided to take my case to a full day’s trial, using as evidence against me body cam footage from four directions. This was pushed forward by two representatives from the Crown Prosecution Services.

“Independent photographers and film-makers are seeing a trend unfolding as in the last few months the police have stepped up their arrest rates on anti-frackers. Valued footage has helped cases to clarify that no wrongdoing occurred and it seems now, those who document and provide evidence are being targeted too. Photojournalists, documentary film-makers and live-streamers have contacted me to say that that they are experiencing less tolerance by the police and more oppression, whist collecting evidence and imagery of social change.

“I feel that my case is being treated more seriously because of the links with documenting the protest against hydraulic fracturing than it would be if it was another subject. I am honour-bound however to continue to do my job; unbiased grass roots reporting is essential in providing a balanced picture.”

Yankowski-Walker under the name Peter Walker is due to appear before a district judge at Manchester and Salford Magistrates Court, Crown Square, M60 1PR Time 9.30am May 15th, 2017.

 

Timeline

February 28, 2017 – Peter Yankowski-Walker is arrested at demonstration outside AE Yates in Horwich, Bolton.

March 7, 2017 – Bolton Magistrates Court. False criminal record of Yankowski-Walker to magistrates. Yankowski-Walker visits Bolton police later who agree that false records were presented in court.

March 16, 2017 – pre-trial, Manchester. Police again present false criminal record of Yankowski-Walker to district judge.

May 15th, 2017 – due to be appear before district judge at Manchester Magistrates Court.

 

NOTES

Images of Peter Yankowski-Walker are available upon request. Email: vital.media@ntlworld.com

Contact Peter Yankowski-Walker:

Email: vital.media@ntlworld.com

Mobile: 07486 858656 home number 01706 661 646

 

You can see some of Peter Yankowski’s images here:

Big issue: http://www.bigissuenorth.com/news/2017/03/tidal-wave-force-fracking/

Drop the Drill: https://drillordrop.com/2017/03/03/protest-weekly-update-27-february-5-march-2017/

Salford Star: http://salfordstar.com/article.asp?id=2673

The Canary http://www.thecanary.co/2017/03/09/first-telegraph-lied-now-police-use-gratuitous-violence-quiet-lancashire-village-video/

Primrose Bank, Past, Present and Future. Social documentary photographic book.

http://www.blurb.co.uk/b/1441726-primrose-bank-past-present-and-future

 

Peter Yankowski-Walker has a Masters in International Photojournalism, having trained with one of Britain’s best know social documentary photographers: Ian Beesley at the University of Bolton. Peter is well known by many for his iconic imagery, documenting the anti-fracking protests in the North West over the last three-and-a-half years. The images will be published in a photo documentary book.

His images have been shared all over the world and have appeared in many magazines and online news journals.

Yankowski-Walker added: “I feel that unrestricted social documentary photography gives a balanced view of contemporary social history as it unfolds, a perspective that is essential to freedom of expression and democracy.”

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.

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

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