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RESIDENTS OF BLACKPOOL, WYRE & FYLDE – DEMONSTRATION 31 AUGUST

RESIDENTS OF BLACKPOOL, WYRE & FYLDE

PRESS RELEASE

When: Saturday 31 August 2019

Where: Outside the gates of Cuadrilla’s fracking site, Preston New Road, A583

Contact: Mark Mills on 01772 688980

 The community surrounding Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire are planning their second demonstration, in the wake of over a hundred seismic events and earthquakes which have caused property damage throughout the area. The largest earthquake recorded from fracking in the UK has measured 2.9ML on the Richter scale on the morning of 26 August 2019.

Mark Mills, a local businessman and resident of Preston New Road, said:

“If the government isn’t listening, we will need to keep up the pressure to ban fracking once and for all.

“Following the impromptu peaceful and successful protest by 450 residents on Monday 26 August, incensed by the earthquakes, we will gather peacefully together again on Saturday 31 August at 2pm in greater numbers.

“We are urging the government to ban fracking with immediate effect.

“Cross-party pressure on the government must be applied for a unilateral ban. We will not be fobbed off any longer.”
ENDS

 

Notes to the Editor:

  1. Photo opportunities and interviews with residents who felt the earthquakes and suffered structural damage to their properties will be available on the day. 
  2. Please contact spokesperson, Mark Mills on 01772 688980, for further details

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: RESIDENTS TAKE FRACKING BAN URGE TO CUADRILLA’S FRONT DOOR

27 AUGUST 2019

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Today, residents of Fylde, Blackpool, Wyre and Lancashire, gathered outside Cuadrilla’s Bamber Bridge Headquarters, where they handed in a letter of request for hydraulic fracturing to permanently end at Preston New Road.

In reference to the uncontrollable earthquakes, residents believe impacts have reached an intolerable level, including impacts on community mental health, structural damage and a lack of responsibility from both the government and fracking industry.

A spokesperson from the group said:

“Public confidence in fracking is at an all-time low. Residents have absolutely had enough of the spin, lies and ridiculous comparisons of earthquakes to fruit and household items.

“The Oil and Gas Authority have suspended operations at Preston New Road and now we are demanding that a permanent ban be implemented against fracking with immediate effect.

“Our lives and wellbeing should be prioritised over a private company’s financial gain.”

 

ENDS

  1. Image attached outside Cuadrilla’s HQ in Bamber Bridge
Claire Stephenson

claire@write-type.com
+44 07929 969664

www.write-type.com

PRESS STATEMENT: LARGEST FRACKING EARTHQUAKE IN THE UK TO DATE HITS LANCASHIRE

26 AUGUST 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

At 08.31hrs, a fracking-induced earthquake struck Lancashire, following Cuadrilla’s operations at Preston New Road. It has measured 2.9ML on the Richter Scale, making it the biggest fracking-induced earthquake in the UK and registering on seismographs as far as Wales and Scotland.

This is not a trailing event. According to Emeritus Professor Peter Styles, one of the co-authors of the seismic Traffic Light System (TLS) that Cuadrilla have to operate under, and a former advisor to Downing Street, he stated:

“There is no such thing as trailing events. They are an artificial construct by someone (DECC, BEIS, industry?) and certainly not by me, Professor Peter Styles, who was part of the triad who established the Traffic Light System. These are events which occur as the fluid hydraulic changes and stress changes propagate away from the immediately fracked region and are, and always have been seen as an integral part of the seismicity response of the subsurface.

“The earth’s response to the fracking event is not instantaneous and to somehow pretend that they are not a consequence of the fracking process is derisory.”

A spokeswoman for Preston New Action Group said:

“At 2.9ML, this is the largest fracking induced earthquake to have happened in the UK, it is very frightening when you hear a loud bang and things in the house rattle.

“Given that this quake was felt across Blackpool, the Fylde Coast and beyond, what is likely to have happened beneath the ground to the well at the source?

“We should not be being subjected to this level of stress and fear. So many people have felt it and are trying to log it that it is proving difficult to get onto the British Geological Survey site. Fracking must be stopped immediately.”
A spokesman for Frack Free Lancashire said:

“This morning, there was an earthquake measuring 2.9ML. This is the largest ever recorded in the area and human-induced from fracking operations.

“It was felt in Wesham, Kirkham, Lytham, Wrea Green, Blackpool and as far away as Chorley. As yet, Cuadrilla have failed to respond to this event but we call upon the government to halt fracking operations immediately.

“Lancashire voted against this at every level of local government but national government over-ruled and have repeatedly given us bland re-assurances about “gold standard regulations”.

“Enough is enough. People are cowering in their homes and just waiting and wondering when the next quake will be and how much damage it will cause.

“We call upon our local MPs to come off the fence and press for an immediate ban on fracking. We are sick of being treated as human guinea pigs.”

Claire Stephenson

email claire@write-type.com
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*URGENT* PRESS RELEASE: 92ND FRACKING EARTHQUAKE STRIKES LANCASHIRE

At approximately 11.02pm on Saturday 24 August, a fracking earthquake measuring 2.1MLhit Lancashire, with impacts felt across a wide area, from Blackpool, Lytham, St Annes, Wesham and surrounding rural areas.

This was the 92nd earth tremor in just nine days and the community are enraged that this industry has been forced upon them, with no concern for the safety of residents.

Hundreds of reports of the quake have been noted across social media and via email to Frack Free Lancashire, such as houses shaking, books falling off shelves, widespread property damage and people being awoken from sleep from the noise and impact.

A spokesperson from Preston New Road Action Group, one of the local campaign groups said:

“Measuring at 2.1ml, this tremor was the biggest yet with reports of it being felt in Blackpool, Weeton, Westby, Kirkham, St Annes and Wrea Green within minutes of it occurring.

“Several reports of windows and buildings shaking. This terrifying experience is being imposed on our community by an unnecessary and unwanted industry. The government should see sense and re-impose the fracking moratorium immediately before any serious injury or damage is done. Enough is enough.”

A spokeswoman for Frack Free Lancashire said:

“We are livid that we are once again, being put in harm’s way for an experiment that we didn’t ask to be part of.

“Why are our communities being forced to accept this dangerous and contemptuous industry, when it is clear that they have zero control over the impacts that fracking brings with it? There was no fracking today, and yet, the after-effect it has caused, is a sizeable earthquake with widespread reports of property damage. We are angry and demand an urgent reconsideration of a fracking moratorium.”

 

Largest earthquake yet – 1.6 – from Cuadrilla’s operations at Preston New Road

Comment from Frack Free Lancashire
On Wednesday night 21st August at 20.46,  local residents felt the largest earthquake yet – 1.6 – from Cuadrilla’s operations at Preston New Road. Having abandoned their attempts to frack their first well after only being able to fully fracture just two of the planned 42 stages, Cuadrilla are now trying to repeat the process. Therefore, it was a certain grim inevitability to Wednesday night’s events, but what should really give local residents pause for thought, is the fact that these were trailing events and there is nothing that can be done to mitigate them in real-time.
We deplore Cuadrilla’s attempts to downplay and trivialise these quakes by making facile comparisons with milkshakes and bags of shopping being dropped. This is a serious issue and we know that seismic activity at similar levels deformed the well bore at Preese Hall, which Cuadrilla failed to report to the relevant authorities for six months.
This is, in fact, a perfect illustration of why the limits on the seismic traffic light system must not be relaxed. The safety of residents must be prioritised before a private corporation’s greedy drive for profits at any cost.

 

New peer reviewed report declares fracking has ‘dramatically increased global methane emmissions’

PRESS RELEASE

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

NEW PEER-REVIEWED REPORT DECLARES FRACKING HAS “DRAMATICALLY INCREASED GLOBAL METHANE EMISSIONS”

A brand-new study [1] led by world-renowned scientist, Professor Robert Howarth, entitled Ideas and perspectives: is shale gas a major driver of recent increase in global atmospheric methane?has revealed a damning conclusion for the oil and gas industry: fracking for gas has increased global methane emissions

Howarth’s conclusion correlates with previous papers, including the Mobbs Report [2] which was the centre of a recent High Court case by campaign group, Talk Fracking, where a judge declared the government’s policy on fracking planning policy, specifically taking climate change into account, as “…so flawed in its design and processes as to be unlawful.”

Emerging scientific evidence that has been published since 2015, dismissed the UK government’s claims that fracking has a lower carbon footprint than imported liquid natural gas (LNG). The suggestions have been that fracking in fact, exacerbates climate change.

Commissioned in 2017 by Talk Fracking, Whitehall’s Fracking Science Failure: How the Government Has Misled Parliament and the Public on the Climate Change Impacts of Shale Oil and Gas Development in Britain, also known as the Mobbs Report, debunked much of the government’s heavily relied upon, Mackay-Stone report. Evidence outlined in the Mobbs Report was never considered before publishing the revised version of the National Planning Policy Framework in July 2018.

Professor Howarth’s findings include that natural gas, from both shale and conventional sources, is responsible for a large amount of the recent methane increases, and to keep in line with the 2018 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, that we should be rapidly moving away from natural gas to reduce emissions from both carbon dioxide and methane.

“Natural gas is not a bridge fuel,” says Professor Howarth, and as well as contributing to climate change, methane emissions impact upon ground-level ozone concentrations which is a public health hazard.

Today, Nick Cowern, Emeritus Professor at Newcastle University, said:

“This work partly explains why the global climate has warmed so strongly in the last few years, affecting summer temperatures, melting sea ice and accelerating sea-level rise. Instead of cutting the atmospheric concentrations of powerful greenhouse gases like methane, fossil industry emissions – dominated by emissions from fracking – have forced up methane concentrations to unprecedented levels.”

A spokesman from Frack Free United said:

“The results in this report confirm the suspicions of climate campaigners everywhere, and shows that fracking is driving climate change: one third of the total increase in global methane emissions since 2008 has come from shale gas, and that shale gas makes up more than half of the global increase in emissions due to fossil fuels.

“Methane is driving climate change faster than ever, and it’s not just that, methane emissions have significant damage to public health and agriculture and the cost implications alone are huge. Time to act. Time to ban fracking.”

 

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

 

  1. Final citation: Howarth, R. W.: Ideas and perspectives: is shale gas a major driver of recent increase in global atmospheric methane?, Biogeosciences, 16, 3033–3046, doi:10.5194/bg-16-3033-2019, 2019.
  2. Mobbs, P. (2017): Whitehall’s Fracking Science Failure: How the Government Has Misled Parliament and the Public on the Climate Change Impacts of Shale Oil and Gas Development in Britain

Another well failure for Cuadrilla

PRESS RELEASE

FRACK FREE LANCASHIRE

10 AUGUST 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

A well failure on a fracking site in Lancashire has raised further complications for Cuadrilla

The ongoing saga of fracking in Lancashire hit yet more complications this week, as Cuadrilla disclosed that the first well to be fracked at Preston New Road on the Fylde Coast, has suffered a cement failure.

Two sleeves within the well (PNR1z) have been unable to be closed, due to a cement failure, rendering the well unable to be hydraulically fracked again unless this blunder can be corrected. Problems with the sleeves were first mentioned in November 2018, so appears this could be an ongoing/recurring problem.

PNR1z has been beset with technical problems, from Cuadrilla racking up the environmental and planning regulation breaches count (including a nighttime convoy breachto the traffic management plan and the unauthorised cold-venting of methane) to triggering 57 earth tremors, forcing Cuadrilla to work on a stop-start basis and under great scrutiny from the national media and local concern.

Additionally, in November 2018, they managed to lose some working tools – a milling tool, a crossover unit and a section of a motor drive assembly – into the well and were unable to retrieve them, so these had to be pushed to end of the wellbore where they will reside forever.

So far, Cuadrilla have only managed to frack just 5% of PNR1z, which clearly is not a commercially viable amount.

It is therefore inexplicable, how they have managed to receive final sign-off from the Environment Agency and the Oil and Gas Authority (whose paradoxical purposeis to “regulate, influence and promote the UK oil and gas industry”to proceed to frack the second well, considering the array of failures with the first well.

Alongside being told about the sleeve failure, local residents attending the Community Liaison Group this week were informed that Cuadrilla needed another 12 months’ time extension for completing the fracking operation, but the next day, Cuadrilla confirmed to the press that the time required was actually 18 months.

A member of the Preston New Road Action Group said:

“Cuadrilla still have a 100% failure rate with their wells. With two sleeves in the well stuck open and failed attempts to cement them closed it seems further fracking of PNR1z is out of the question.

“This highly-monitored, highly-regulated well is no longer fit for purpose. Having got problems with their first fracked well at PNR they now want to frack well 2.

“Let’s hope that they don’t do something that will have a more detrimental effect on people or the environment.”

Miranda Cox from Frack Free Lancashire said:

“Residents have long suspected that Cuadrilla were experiencing some issues with the well. We have little confidence in Cuadrilla’s technical abilities, and this does nothing to allay residents’ very real concerns about future operations.

“It is also troubling that the Environment Agency and the Oil and Gas Authority have only last week granted final permissions to frack well 2, despite Cuadrilla’s inability to successfully frack and seal this first well.”

ENDS

Frack Free Lancashire’s Response to Cuadrilla’s Announcement of Their Intention to Resume Fracking in Lancashire

Responding to today’s announcement by Cuadrilla of their intention to resume fracking at Preston New Road, Nick Danby from Frack free Lancashire said:

“This is an unwelcome but not unexpected announcement. It seems extraordinary that with the government just announcing a climate emergency, we are contemplating a resumption of fracking on the Fylde.

“Let us remember that Cuadrilla have a long history of failure and that they caused 57 seismic events last time that they fracked.

“They have also recently been taken to task and are being investigated by the Environment Agency for failing to properly monitor water quality, having previously failed to record a methane leak. They simply cannot be trusted to put the health and welfare of the community ahead of their commercial interests.

“Yesterday, we held an event at Preston New Road to mark over two years of peaceful protest and over 150 people attended.

“We will continue to strongly oppose fossil fuels and demand an immediate transition to renewable energy.”
 

Call for Calm: Anti-fracking Nanas to Host 100th Week of Fracking Vigil

 

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Lancashire anti-fracking community, the Nanas, are delighted to announce their 100th Call for Calm taking place on 10 July 2019, Maple Farm Community Hub, Preston New Road from 10.00.

The gathering will be open to any and all visitors and the Nanas will be offering vegan and vegetarian refreshments on the day. Visitors are invited to enjoy a range of community-run activities such as hair chalking, entertainment such as Morris dancing, a samba band and to hear from independent climate action speakers.

The Nanas are a collective of compassionate individuals, fighting to protect communities from the harmful effects of unconventional energy techniques like fracking.

The 100th Call for Calm will be a special gathering designed to honour almost two years of the women from the anti-fracking community holding a weekly Call for Calm, where women have gathered in peaceful solidarity against violence and aggression experienced by protesters against fracking.

 

 

 

 

 

Former chairman of Cuadrilla says that fracking in the UK is not needed

Frack Free Lancashire notes with interest, that the former chairman of Cuadrilla and ex-chief executive of BP, has stated that fracking in the UK is not needed and the extraction technique is illogical.

During an interview in Saturday’s Guardian, Lord Browne stated[1]

“Fracking in the UK doesn’t make much sense. I think it was a test to see if it worked. We probably don’t need to do it.

Lord Browne, who left Cuadrilla in 2015 to work for Russian oil and gas firm, L1 Energy, was implicated as being involved in heavy lobbying within government on behalf of the fracking industry during his time with Cuadrilla, revealed through Freedom of Information requests as having held a series of “urgent” [2] meetings with the Environment Agency over regulations

Back in 2011, the current Cuadrilla chief executive, Francis Egan and Lord Browne strongly lobbied for Cuadrilla to be excluded from environmental regulations adopted in 2011, with Egan stating, “that the Mining Waste Directive does not apply”. [3]

During 2013, the meetings between Browne, Cuadrilla, the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson and the Environment Agency, were held over fracking in both Lancashire and Balcombe. Also involved in meetings, were Lord Chris Smith from Environment Agency and Michael Fallon MP, the then Business and Energy Secretary.

Through Freedom of Information requests, it was claimed by the Department for Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) that “no notes were kept” for the secret meetings between Cuadrilla and government agencies.

This is in strong parallels with the recent failures by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and former Shale Gas Commissioner, Natascha Engel, where meeting notes with residents and industry groups were destroyed and data was not recorded or stored along with GDPR best practice.

A spokesperson from Frack Free Lancashire said:

“Democracy has always been neglected when it comes to the government’s fracking agenda. Private corporations have taken clear priority over the residents and communities that fracking has been inflicted upon. It is only through persistent efforts of campaigners through Freedom of Information requests, that we find out any of this information.

“Lord Browne appears to have confirmed the irrelevance of fracking in the UK’s future, claiming it was only a test run to see if it can actually be done.

“In the ongoing climate crisis, our opposition to this climate-damaging dirty energy source will strongly continue in Lancashire and beyond.”

 

1.    Guardian. (2019). Ex-BP boss John Browne: ‘It’s going to take a long time to take oil and coal out of the energy system’

2.    Unearthed. (2014). Lord Browne held ‘urgent meetings’ with environment minister to speed up fracking project  

3.    Unearthed. (2014). Lord Browne held ‘urgent meetings’ with environment minister to speed up fracking project

 4.  Unearthed. (2019). UK fracking commissioner admits to deleting correspondence with industry