It seems that we protesters are in fact merely unknowing participants in Cuadrilla’s thought experiment. Like the eponymous cat we appear to exist in two different states simultaneously.
Cuadrilla’s Technical Director Mark Lappin was reported at the most recent Community Liaison Group meeting as stating that protest action at Preston New Road has “not lost Cuadrilla one minute of operational time.”
However, protestors are simultaneously accused of preventing workers from going about their lawful business.
Now we know how logistics planning works, and although it would be foolish to try to claim that Cuadrilla are 6 months behind schedule after just 15 months purely as a result of what happens at the roadside, supply chain disruption does have an inevitable knock on effect on critical path activities and costs of inventory.
We are quite prepared to accept that a great deal of the delay is caused by Cuadrilla not having a full or clear understanding of the difficulties they would face when they began the project – after all we saw that happen at Preese Hall and probably Annas Road too, so they have form there.
Their bravado here is fooling nobody though. Nice try though.
PS: It seems Mr Lappin is not even fooling himself.
Here is what Cuadrilla technical Director is reported to have told the inquiry his afternoon:
It has been extremely rare in the drilling phase that equipment had to be delivered at a set time. During the construction phase, the company was learning how to deal with deliveries. We did get held up during the construction phase, he says, but during then and beyond we have had little down time because of protests because of the method of using the North Sea model. (Note “little”, not “none”, not “not one second”)
Mr Evans asks about the North Sea model.
Mr Lappin says drill rigs need expensive equipment and materials and the cost of the drill rig is the same whether it is working or not so the model is to make sure it is not delayed. Deliveries could be delayed so to make sure you never have expensive equipment waiting you have a different approach. We have adopted this onshore. The equivalent of weather delay in the North Sea is protests.