FRACK FREE RYEDALE PRESS RELEASE – Anti-fracking campaigners slam fracking animation promoted by MP as a ‘Disney Fairytale Fantasy’

Frack Free Ryedale have criticised a video by UKOOG*, highlighted this week on Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake’s website, as grossly misleading and highly inaccurate, and say that the video is the fracking industry’s “Disney fairytale fantasy” of what fracking in the British countryside would look like. [1].

The video claims to be a visualisation of fracking well pads in a typical licence area, but campaigners say the 6 well pads shown over two PEDL** licence areas in the video are only a small fraction of the number of well-pads the industry are planning. They point to a trade ad by fracking company INEOS published last year, in which the company states each 10×10 km  licence block could contain “up to 30 well sites within the licence, and up to 396 horizontal wells”. [2] Even the brochure accompanying the video, which was also produced by UKOOG, says that the average well density would be “between 7 and 11 pads in a 10 by 10km block“. [3]

Ryedale residents Steve and Jo White followed Mr Hollinrake to Pennsylvania to see fracking first hand in 2015. Steve White says, “The animation shows 2  licence areas, yet only shows a total of 6 well pads. This conflicts with the industry telling us “only” 10 pads per licence area. So roughly a third of what they’re admitting to now. Durham University’s Dr Andy Aplin’s view, based on international experience, is that 33,000 wells across 5,000 pads would be needed to make us self-sufficient in gas. [4] This seems to be an order of magnitude discrepancy in well numbers. “

Jo White asks, “What about showing all the pipe laying, compressor stations, gas processing plants, and all the new waste treatment plants they will need? And there doesn’t appear to be any new access roads, which scar the landscape badly.”

Mrs White adds, “Industrialisation of the countryside due to fracking isn’t just the well-pad you end up with at the end. It is also the activity and use of the countryside. Thousands and thousands of trucks thundering through the countryside, drilling noise, fracking noise, dust and vibration on this scale is industrialisation of the countryside. That is a planning fact.”

When in Pennsylvania in 2015, Mr Hollinrake was asked by a Pennsylvania resident where they would put a gas processing plant in his constituency. Mr Hollinrake replied, “Not near my house!” [5] Frack Free Ryedale say that they have asked Mr Hollinrake repeatedly on social media whether he would be happy to live within 400m of a multi-well fracking well-pad, but have never received a response.

Ian Conlan, Malton resident, commented, “This video is nothing more than cynical PR spin, complete with a soothing soundtrack. A more realistic depiction from Kevin Hollinrake’s industry friends would play the 24/7 noise of drilling thousands of wells planned for Ryedale. With 2,000 lorry movements per well, 20-50 wells per pad, scaled up across the numerous licence areas, fracking would lead to the wholescale industrialisation of rural Ryedale and affect the Yorkshire brand so vital for its tourism industry.”

Peter Allen, retired assistant head teacher in Ryedale added: “If I was Kevin Hollinrake, I would be very embarrassed that a presentation that could have been knocked up in half an hour on a home computer has taken a year to complete and at the end of the day tells us nothing except that. in the producers’ opinion, there is less visual impact than the alternatives. If he was in my class I would tell him to go home and do his homework again!”

On Drill or Drop [6], Mr Hollinrake states as regards to fracking, “I think that’s absolutely crucial that representatives of the local area have the ultimate say in this.” Sue Gough, of Frack Free Kirby Misperton commented, “Every parish council near the well-site, the Ryedale District Council and all five Ryedale town councils opposed fracking at Kirby Misperton. Not a single local resident wrote in support, but the application received 4,375 objections. Yet our local representatives were completely ignored and the application was passed by the NYCC Planning Committee, not one of whom lives anywhere near Ryedale. Mr Hollinrake should stand up for his constituents, not spend his time playing fantasy video games with his fracking industry friends.”

Vera Scroggins, a campaigner from Pennsylvania, says in the comments section of the Drill or Drop article [6]: “They told us in Pennsylvania, Industry always made the numbers low for their initial plan released to the public to not scare anyone and then when reality hit, the numbers were hugely more. I’m glad you all know much more than we did before they invaded us. We basically knew nothing.”



* UKOOG = The unconventional gas industry’s trade body, UK Onshore Oil and Gas

* PEDL = Petroleum Oil and Gas Licence area [typically 10 km x 10 km].




[4] 5000 pads:
33000 wells: