Lord Howell of Guildford on fracking

i Oct 21st No Comments by

Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 11.44.50In May this year, Lord David Howell published this short opinion piece on fracking, in the Journal of Energy Security.

He opens by saying that he had recently attended two key meetings, that between them “gathered just about all the expertise in the planet on shale oil and gas and fracking issues.”

And then he summarises the current situation, and lessons learned from the USA, before drawing five conclusions for fracking in the UK.

I’ve summarised his points below, though to be honest his piece is very short and you would likely be better off reading the whole thing here.

And what I think this means for us in Ryedale is:

  1. Ryedale must be very close to the top of the target list for fracking, since our population density is so low.
  2. They know fracking damages the water supply, and has other ‘environmental’ impacts, but they want to go ahead anyway.
  3. Fracking in the UK is currently only borderline achievable, physically, financially, and politically.
  4. They believe (or Lord Howell believes) that people have the potential to stop fracking in its tracks, physically, and economically, and politically.

Remember also that since this article/viewpoint was published,

i) Rather than trying to negotiate, the government has chosen the path of confrontation, seeking to impose fracking via the so called ‘Infrastructure Bill’,  currently before the House of Lords.

ii) Third Energy has made planning applications to NYCC to put in place some of the critical infrastructure without which it would not be able to frack.

(more…)

Crawberry Hill extension granted amid controversy

i Oct 3rd No Comments by
Anti-fracking protesters outside County Hall in Beverley

Anti-fracking protesters outside County Hall in Beverley

East Riding councillors have approved an extension to existing planning permission at Crawberry Hill to allow Rathlin Energy to complete controversial exploratory test drilling for oil and gas at the site. Rathlin had requested a two-year extension to the original approval, granted in 2010. However, the council’s planning committee agreed to give the company another 12 months to complete the test drilling, as well as another six months to restore the site to its previous condition.

The 11-1 vote in favour of the extended deadline was greeted with cries of “Shame” from protestors in the public gallery at County Hall in Beverley. Many more local protestors were locked out of the proceedings, and the meeting was overshadowed by controversy surrounding the number of objections, many of which had not even been processed before the Planning Committee made its recommendation.

To add insult to injury, Rathlin presented the local protestors with three owl nest boxes, which would obviously compensate for another 18 months of noisy, smelling drilling and an uncertain future. Not.  Read a report of the whole sorry experience on the HEY Frack off blog.

West Newton drilling site making locals ‘sick from noxious smells’

i Sep 19th No Comments by
You might need one of these if you're going anywhere near West Newton ...

You might need one of these if you’re going anywhere near West Newton …

People living near a Rathlin’s exploratory gas-drilling site in West Newton, near Beverley, have complained to the Environment Agency about feeling sick from noxious smells.

“The smell is hideous, very distinctive, pungent and nauseous. It comes in waves. It started last week and has continued since. It fades in and out. The area where they are drilling is very rural and the smell drifts easily a mile away,” says Debbie Stabler, who lives 400m from the drill site near West Newton.

“Depending on the wind, it has at times reached villages like West Newton and Withernwick,” said Stabler, who with others have also complained about gas flaring and light pollution from the round-the-clock operation.

A sombre warning if we ever allow exploratory drilling in Ryedale …

Read the whole Guardian article here.

Lorries arriving at West Newton site, E.Yorkshire

i Aug 3rd No Comments by

This is an example of what it would be like if we allowed fracking in Ryedale.

This film was shot in Yorkshire in July 2014. .

There were 25 vehicles in this particular convoy. We have heard stories of 50 or more vehicles arriving in one convoy, with residents in tears.

Remember that when you hear talk of “an average of three vehicles per day.”

Fracking company is Barclays Bank

i Jul 31st 2 Comments by

“Barclays Bank is backing the search for shale gas in Yorkshire and could fund fracking in the area as early as next year [ie 2014!, The Sunday Telegraph can disclose.” (Nov. 2013)

Click to read article

 

“Third Energy, which is 97pc-owned by Barclays Natural Resource Investments, a private equity arm of the bank, took shale rock samples while drilling in Kirby Misperton, Ryedale, this summer and is now analysing their potential.” (more…)

“No Fracking” message appears on Humber Bridge

i Jul 28th No Comments by

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This is probably related to the “shale gas exploration well” at the site at Crawberry Hill, Walkington near Beverley in East Yorkshire.

The well was drilled last summer under the guise of being purely conventional, but also penetrated the Bowland Shale to take core samples (“by accident”).

Drilling company Rathlin now want to return to continue testing the well, including a ‘mini-frack’ on the Bowland Shale to test whether it is possible to hydraulically fracture the formation.

A camp has been set up outside the site and the community is getting organised to resist Rathlin’s plans.

For more information about Rathlin’s plans in Yorkshire, see Fracking Yorkshire: Rathlin Energy’s Plans Revealed.