Fracking

Consultation on proposed Prohibition of Fracking Bill

A proposal for a Bill to ban unconventional oil and gas extraction, including by means of hydraulic fracturing, has been lodged in the Scottish Parliament by Claudia Beamish MSP.

The consultation runs from 4 November 2016 to 17 February 2017.

Read the consultation document outlining the proposal, and view a short video of Claudia Beamish setting out the main reason behind the proposal (limiting CO2 emissions), and inviting participation in the consultation.

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First imported fracked gas arrives at Grangemouth

The Guardian   27 September  2016

The first ever shipment of shale gas from the US is set to arrive in Britain less than 24 hours after the Labour party vowed to ban fracking, the method by which the controversial energy source is extracted.

Ineos, the petrochemical company founded and chaired by a billionaire, Jim Ratcliffe, will take delivery of a tanker full of ethane at its Grangemouth plant in Scotland on Tuesday, marking the first fruit of a $2bn investment.
Labour's pledge to ban fracking in the UK is 'madness', says GMB
Read more

Fracking is subject to a moratorium imposed by the devolved government in Holyrood. But the Grangemouth plant will receive 27,500 cubic metres of ethane extracted from beneath western Pennsylvania in the US, where shale gas production has boomed.

The imports are due to replace dwindling supplies from the UK’s North Sea reserves.

The gas has travelled more than 3,500 miles via a “virtual pipeline” of eight tankers to reach Grangemouth, where Ineos has built an import terminal as part of an overhaul costing £450m. The ethane will be fed into “crackers” that convert the gas into ethylene, used in the production of a range of plastic products.

“Shale gas can help stop the decline of British manufacturing and today is a first step in that direction,” said Ratcliffe.

Read more

The Telegraph   26 September 2016

Britain's first import of fracked gas from America is due to arrive in Scotland tomorrow morning, as billionaire Jim Ratcliffe taps the spoils of the US shale revolution.

Ratcliffe's company Ineos plans to sail its 'Insight' ship carrying a cargo of 27,500 cubic metres of US ethane to its Grangemouth petrochemicals plant, where it will be used to replace declining supplies from the North Sea.

Ineos almost closed the loss-making plant near Falkirk in 2013 following a dispute with unions but eventually agreed a rescue plan to make it profitable again, with the import of cheap US ethane at its centrepiece.

The company says it has invested £450m in an overhaul of Grangemouth, including the construction of a massive tank with capacity to hold more than 60,000 cubic metres of the gas.
.  .  .  .  .
Ineos said the import marked "the start of a shale gas renaissance that secures competitive raw material supplies for Grangemouth supporting thousands of manufacturing jobs in Scotland and the wider UK".

Read more

'Banning fracked gas a recipe for mass unemployment' 
GMB press release 27 September 2016

Calling for imported fracked gas to be stopped is campaigning for mass unemployment in central Scotland says GMB Scotland.

GMB Scotland has commented on the arrival today of the first shipment of US shale gas in Scotland. Refinery owner Ineos said that the gas would replace dwindling North Sea supplies and secure the future of the plant’s workforce.

Shadow Energy Secretary Barry Gardiner announced at the Labour conference in Liverpool that the next Labour Government would ban fracking in the UK.

Gary Smith, GMB Scotland Secretary, said:

“Hundreds of millions have been invested in Grangemouth. Tens of thousands of jobs depend on the site - calling for imported fracked gas to be stopped is campaigning for mass unemployment in central Scotland.

Instead of indulging in King Canute stuff, the Greens should be entering in a real world debate about where we get our gas from”

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North Yorkshire fracking operation approved

The Independent      23  May 2016

The North Yorkshire County Council planning committee voted seven to four in favour of an application by UK firm Third Energy to frack for shale gas near the village of Kirby Misperton.

Councillors have approved an application to carry out fracking in England for the first time in five years.

The North Yorkshire County Council planning committee voted seven to four in favour of an application by UK firm Third Energy to frack for shale gas near the village of Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire.

The application is the first to be approved in the UK since 2011, when tests on the Fylde coast, Lancashire, were found to have been a probable cause of minor earthquakes in the area.

The application was passed despite the presence of hundreds of protestors, who gathered outside County Hall in Northallerton throughout the hearing which began on Friday.

Vicky Perkin, a council planning officer, told the committee there had been 4,375 letters of objection and 36 of support for the application.

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Third Energy point out that the fracking operation will use an existing two-mile deep well - called KM8 - drilled in 2013 close to the North York Moors National Park, over which a 120ft-high drilling rig will be established.  It could start by the end of the year.

Rasik Valand, chief executive of Third Energy, said the approval meant the firm now had "a huge responsibility".

"We will have to deliver on our commitment, made to the committee and to the people of Ryedale, to undertake this operation safely and without impacting on the local environment," he said.


In response to the decision, Councillor Andrew Cooper, Green Party Energy Spokesperson, said: “North Yorkshire County Council has let down the people of Kirby Misperton by passing this application for fracking today.

"The Green Party will continue to stand by local communities under threat from fracking operations and we will strongly oppose any attempts by central government to impose fracking against the will of local people.”

 

Daisy Sands, Greenpeace's head of energy campaign, said: "Given the pro-fracking bias from central government, there was an air of inevitability about this bitterly disappointing decision.

"It is striking that the overwhelming number of speakers giving evidence at the two-day hearing were against fracking and Ryedale Parish Council voted against fracking at its back door, but North Yorkshire Council has overlooked this and the many, many concerns that were raised locally."

BBC News  23 May 2016
 

Date set for fracking recommendation in Lancashire

2BR News   5 April 2016

It's been announced that the inspector who chaired an inquiry into fracking in Lancashire will put her recommendations to the government on 4th July.

Wendy McKay listened to arguments from both sides during a five-week public inquiry at Bloomfield Road Stadium, which came to an end on 16th March.

Today she's revealed that, based on those arguments, she will put forward recommendations on whether fracking goes ahead at two sites in early July.

Cuadrilla has applied to explore and drill for shale gas at Roseacre Wood, near Elswick, and Little Plumpton, near Blackpool.

Once Wendy has had her say - it will then be up to the Government's Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government to make the final decision.  It's unclear how long Greg Clark will take to reach his final choice.

February 2016   Fracking Rig in Parliament Square

A team of Greenpeace volunteers has built a 10 metre high drill rig – and put it on the doorstep of Parliament in London.

Evening Standard  9 February 2016   Michael Clarke writes:
 

Hannah Martin, Greenpeace campaigner said “We have installed a life-like fracking rig and drill at Parliament Square to show them what people in Lancashire and beyond will have to endure if so-called Communities Minister Greg Clark forces fracking on a reluctant nation.”

“We are here to fight for the future of the English countryside. Ministers are pushing aside local democracy to bulldoze through their unpopular fracking plans."

Campaigners from Greenpeace have focused their calls to stop fracking towards Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark.

In late November Mr Clark said he would intervene and evaluate an appeal made by shale gas explorer Cuadrilla Resources to use fracking to drill in Lancashire against a local county council’s decision to reject the application.

Mr Clark will determine the outcome of Cuadrilla’s appeal following a public inquiry.

Greenpeace says it is also using the sound effects of drilling and lorries to try and get their message across to the House of Commons.

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14,000 objections were lodged when proposals by Cuadrilla for exploratory drilling at the villages of Roseacre and Little Plumpton were considered by Lancashire County Council in November 2015.  Friends of the Earth  -   'Frack-free Lancashire'.
 

November 2015  Minister calls in Lancashire Fracking appeal

November 2015Minister calls in Lancashire Fracking appeal .

It has emerged that the decision to allow shale gas drilling - or fracking - in Lancashire will be made directly by the government.

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Greg Clark informed Lancashire County Council of his intention on 26 November.

The government decided in September to include shale gas drilling in the categories of planning appeal decisions that can be decided directly by the minister.

BBC News  28 November
Judy Hobson, Environment Correspondent, BBC North West Tonight writes:

This was the news some residents in Roseacre and Little Plumpton didn't want to hear. But it won't have come as a big surprise.

Cuadrilla's appeal against Lancashire County Council's decision to reject its plans for fracking will be heard in February.

The appeal will be heard by planning inspector Wendy McKay. But we now know she won't be the one making a decision. Instead, she'll write a report, make a recommendation and hand it to the government. The Secretary of State will have the final say.

Residents against fracking knew this might happen, but they hoped it wouldn't. The government says it wants to decide the future of fracking because it's an issue of "major importance". Anti fracking groups say they fear that means local opinion will count for nothing.

More from BBC News

"Communities furious"  -  Morning Star

Greenpeace launches new petition.

 

 

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