A last-ditch legal challenge to prevent fracking in Lancashire is being launched at the court of appeal. The case brought by anti-fracking protesters, to be heard on Wednesday and Thursday, seeks to overturn planning consent that was granted to Cuadrilla by the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, last October. Lancashire council had rejected the plans in 2015 but Javid approved them following a public inquiry. Campaigners tried unsuccessfully to challenge the decision through judicial review, which was heard in March and dismissed by a high court judge in April, but were given the right to appeal.
Guardian 29th August 2017 read more »
David Smythe: For nearly three years, the press and the penny-investor bulletin boards have been excited by the alleged finding of a potential oilfield in the Weald Basin, bigger than the North Sea in oil content, below Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Hampshire. It started with the oil flow testing results reported from Horse Hill-1 (HH-1) – the so-called “Gatwick Gusher” – drilled by a partnership including UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) in the summer of 2014. What is surprising is that the ‘discovery’ implies that the traditional oil majors somehow collectively failed to find this gigantic Weald reserve during their explorations in the 1980s. The Gatwick Gusher’s results are anomalous because UKOG drilled a fault zone. It is irresponsible and misleading to apply those local flow results outside that and other similar fault zones, i.e in the 95% or more of the KCF which is not affected by a fault zone. There will be no KCF bonanza in the Weald – unless the countryside is indeed industrialised to permit wholesale fracking of horizontal wells throughout the region, with a 1-3 km well pad spacing similar to, say, NE Pennsylvania. But UKOG doesn’t want us to know that.
Drill or Drop 29th Aug 2017 read more »