14th Round of PEDL licences threaten the whole of North Yorkshire

The UK government has announced the results of the 14th onshore PEDL licensing round. The latest announcement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC ) confirms that large areas of North Yorkshire and beyond have already been sold off, or are being lined up to be sold off in the near future, to the UK fracking industry,

For a downloadable list of every town or village included in the 14th Round, please click on the link below:

alphabetical-list-of-licenced-towns-and-villages-v2

So how did this happen?

The 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round was launched on 28 July 2014 and closed on 28 October 2014. A total of 95 applications were received from 47 companies covering 295 Ordnance Survey Blocks. DECC today announced that 27 onshore blocks from the 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round will be formally offered to companies with a further 132 license blocks to follow later in the year following a public ‘consultation’

The bad news for North Yorkshire is that on top of the existing PEDL licences already held by Third Energy a further 30-35 are likely to be awarded by the end of the year for Oil and gas exploration in and around North Yorkshire and its surrounding boundaries with South & East Yorkshire. The new awards (following a consultation) could allow the fracking industry to potentially explore for shale gas in the North York Moors National Park, the Howardian Hills & the Wolds. Furthermore the new awards combined with the pre-existing licenses completely cover the centre of York City, Pickering, Malton, Norton, Scarborough, Filey, Selby, Driffield, Bridlington, Robin Hoods Bay, including nearly every town & village in the districts of Ryedale, Scarborough and then onwards into the district of Hambleton.

The purpose of this post is to help inform concerned residents and business owner in North Yorkshire of the implications the latest Fracking licensing sell-off will have on them and to provide the must up to date data available. we will also offer advice on ways in which you can engage in the fight against fracking in your local community.

We will split the brief report into 3 sections:

  1. An overview of the DECC’s 14th onshore licensing round
  2. An analysis for each individual region, town and village (based on current information) including the provision of maps
  3. Advice on how we can stop fracking in your community and beyond.

1 – An overview of the DECC 14th onshore licensing round

We have analysed the data that has been published on DECC’s website and we now understand that in addition to the current PEDL blocks managed by Third Energy the following additional fracking companies have been issued with licenses in Yorkshire in the first ‘tranch’ of awards announced on the 18/08/15. They are;

  • Cuadrilla resources (SE95) – Infamous for causing the 2011 earthquake at Presse Hall in Lancashire and more recently for their failure to gain planning permission for 2 fracking application in Lancashire in July 2015. Cuadrilla have now successfully bid on at least 1 block on the boundary between North and East Yorkshire and to the East of York. Cuadrilla will be working in partnership with French companies Centrica & GDF Suez
  • Hutton Energy (SE42) – According to their website are ‘a London based E&P company founded to pursue oil and gas exploration and development opportunities in Europe’. Hutton have been awarded 1 license block to the south of Leeds.
  • Igas (SE41) – whose shale gas exploration activities at Barton Moss in 2013/2014 led to huge amounts of public protest have been awarded 1 license block also to the south of Leeds
  • For further details a map is provided below

For more info on the first 27 awards please click here

Fore detailed analysis on the future PEDL awards in North Yorkshire please continue to read on…..

cover image

Subject to consultation the latest awards will allow shale gas exploration companies the opportunity to explore for shale gas reserves within their respective licence areas with the likelihood that these companies will first seek to conduct 3D seismic surveys before applying to the local council, county council and Environment Agency for permission to drill any potential exploration wells and conduct the relevant test fracks. This would follow a similar pattern which has been the case with Third Energy’s KM8 well site located in Kirby Misperton, Ryedale.

For further information on seismic surveys please click here

Summary of latest awards in North Yorkshire

The bad news for North Yorkshire is that on top of the existing PEDL licences already held by Third Energy a further 30-35 are likely to be awarded later in the year for Oil and gas exploration in and around North Yorkshire and nearby East Yorkshire. The new awards (subject to a consultation) will now allow the fracking industry to potentially explore for shale gas in the North York Moors National Park, the Howardian Hills & the Wolds. Furthermore the new awards now cover the centre of York City, Pickering, Malton, Norton, Scarborough, Filey, Selby, Driffield, Bridlington, Robin Hoods Bay, including nearly every town & village in the districts of Ryedale, Scarborough and then onwards into the district of Hambleton.

  • DECC have awarded 30-35 new licenses in North Yorkshire and areas boarding East & South Yorkshire
  • DECC have awarded numerous license blocks that are situated inside the boundaries of the North York Moors National Park.
  • The new awards are inside highly populated urban areas and alongside rural communities (see below for detailed maps)
  • The new awards clash with dozens of SSSI’s, Nature reserves & National Trust sites.
  • The new awards clash with key tourism locations such as York, Malton, Scarbourough, Pickering & Filey  (not to mention the National Park, Howardian Hills etc..)
  • The new awards will compete with our farming industry for precious agricultural land in the districts of Ryedale, Scarborough and inside the North Yorks National Park.
  • The potential health implications and environmental risks associated with the increased industrialization that fracking will bring to  North Yorkshire  should concern every resident.

Please click here to visit DECC’s interactive online map or continue below onto section 2

image for post

2 – An analysis for each individual region, town and village (based on current information)

DECC have commissioned AMEC to complete an assessment on the future PEDL license blocks and the results have now been published. A link to the full report can be found here.

We have extracted the relevant maps that cover the Districts of Ryedale, Scarborough, Hambleton and York below;

The maps provided were published by Oil and Gas authority on DECC’s website on the 18th August 2015.

York, Selby & surrounding areas

SE65 - Central York SE72 - East of Selby SE73 - East of Selby SE74 SE of York NE of Selby

 Ryedale & the North York Moors – incliding Malton, Norton, Hovingham, Kirkbymoorside, Ebberston, Pickering, Cropton, Sinnington and surrounding areas

SE 66 - Sheriff Hutton Ryedale SE 76 - South of Malton, Ryedale SE57 - West of Hovingham SE67a - Giling Ryedale SE68B - Kirkbymoorside Ryedale SE69 - North York Moors - N of Kirkbymoorside SE77e - Malton, Ryedale SE78F - Sinnington Ryedale SE79 - North York Moors - North of Cropton SE85 - South East of Malton SE86b - South of Malton SE87 E - Norton Ryedale SE87B Kirby Misperton Ryedale SE88C - Ebberston ryedale SE97a - Yeddingham, Ryedale Scarb SE97c - south of Knapton Ryedale

Scarborough, Filey, Robin Hoods Bay and surrounding areas

NZ90 - Robin hoods bay SE97a - Yeddingham, Ryedale Scarb SE98c - Snaiton Wykeham Scarb SE99a North York Moors Scarborough TA07a - Filey South of Scarb TA08 - Scarborough TA09 - North Scarbs TA18 - Filey

Bridlington, Driffield and surrounding areas

SE95 - West of Driffield SE96a - NW of Driffield SE of Malton TA05 - Driffield TA06b - north of Driffield TA15 - east of Driffield TA16 - Bridlington TA17 - Bridlington

3 – Advice on how we can stop fracking in your community and beyond.

Step 1 – Comment and object on the current DECC consultation.

DECC have started a public consultation on the new awards and the general public now have until 29th September 2015 to comment and voice their concerns about this disgraceful and shocking licensing round.

comments on the consultation which has been called the  ‘Habitats Regulations Assessments of 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round’ must be completed online. We have added a link here or visit https://econsultation.decc.gov.uk/decc-policy/habitat-regulations-assessment-of-14th-round-onsho/consult_view for further details.

If you’re not sure what to say, we will be posting guidelines on how to deal with this in the coming days.

Step 2 – Tell everybody you know, Your family, your friends, your neighbours, everybody about this consultation and then –

Step 3 – Join the nearest friendly, local anti-fracking group  or set up your own group in a nearby town, village or street. (details below).

Do you live in Ryedale?

If you live in Ryedale and would like to help us stop fracking and other forms of unconventional gas extraction please email us at contact@frackfreeryedale.org and we will put you in touch with your local group and add you to our mailing list.

Do you live in York?

For more information regarding anti-fracking efforts in York please visit the website of Frack Free York – www.frackfreeyork.org.uk or send an email to frackfreeyork@gmail.com.

Do you live in Scarborough?

Please visit the Facebook page of Frack Free Scarborough

Do you live in Harrogate or Knaresborough, or surrounding villages?

Please visit the Frack Free Harrogate and Knaresborough Facebook page.

Do you live in Selby?

If you live in or near Selby, pleases visit the Frack Free Selby Facebook page.

If you live elsewhere in North Yorkshire – Do you want to set up your own Anti-fracking group?

Please visit the Frack Free North Yorkshire Contact Page, who will put you in touch with all the necessary resources and information to get you started.

Together we can stop Fracking in North Yorkshire and beyond.

(Thanks to Frack Free North Yorkshire for this analysis).

  1. edward raine
    September 15, 2015 at 9:20 am

    “These licences confer exclusive rights on the licensee to “search and bore for and get” petroleum……”.

    I think I’ve asked the following before, and would welcome a reply:

    What rights do private landowners have in objecting to the use of their land for these purposes? And what form of incentive/persuasion do the Government/oil companies operate, if any, in obtaining legal access? In other words, if private landowners do have some form of option in allowing access, have some been open to possible persuasion? I would welcome some information on this. It could influence my opinions.

    Reply
    • Chris Redston
      September 15, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      Dear Edward, in answer to your question, oil and gas companies require the permission of the landowner to go onto their land, either to conduct seismic testing or to drill for oil or gas, whether conventional or unconventional. The Government changed the law earlier this year to allow companies to drill under people’s homes without permission, but the companies would still need permission to step onto the land. Generally what happens is the company approaches the landlord and offers them money to do so, in exchange for a long contract for access [usually 25 years, with the company having the option to extend for another 25 years]. Landowners are sometimes persuaded by ‘easy money’ up front, but most come to regret it – see this article about a farmer in Shropshire, for example: http://www.shropshirestar.com/farming/2015/07/16/stressed-shropshire-farmer-in-gas-drilling-contract-warning/
      Currently if the landowner doesn’t allow the companies onto their land, that’s it, there’s nothing the company can do, as there are no facilities for compulsory purchase orders or similar, as there are with HS2, for example.
      The situation is different to the USA, where the landowner owns the oil and gas below the ground (and can therefore get very rich from allowing companies to access it). In the UK the Crown owns the hydrocarbons, not the landowner (who only seems to own the topsoil…). Hope that helps answer your question.

      Reply

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