Fracking banned on Nottinghamshire council land

Nottinghamshire County Council has banned fracking on its land.


WhatsApp Image 2023 01 19 at 17.52.18

 Fracking involves the hydraulic fracturing of rocks by pumping water and chemicals at high pressure to release gas to be used for energy.

A motion put forward by the Independent Alliance at the county council, which was amended by the Conservatives, was passed unanimously by councillors at the full council meeting on January 19. The motion stated: “The council believes that fracking has the potential to detrimentally impact the environment.

“This council does not support fracking in Nottinghamshire or outside county boundaries which could adversely affect residents in our county.

“This council, therefore, commits not to allow any fracking activities, including survey work, on Council owned or controlled land and property, unless and until national policy changes.”

In 2019 the Conservative party made a manifesto commitment to ban fracking, but in September 2022 then-Prime Minister Liz Truss lifted the ban. The ban was then reintroduced in October 2022 under Rishi Sunak’s leadership. 

Supporters say it can create energy at a low cost and create jobs, but many environmental campaigners have opposed it, saying it can harm wildlife and cause pollution.

Cllr Mike Adams (Con), Environment Ambassador for the county council, said during the meeting: “I am not willing to be a passenger on the energy bus that we are travelling on.

“Although fracking is here and continually seems to show its face in the energy discussion, it is definitely not the future of energy.

“The way we’ve got to keep ensuring that is the case is listening to businesses and residents.

“If we can take that step and push businesses along, the need for these panic button situations to get fracking on board when bills go up, is not needed as much.

Cllr John Willmott (Ind) said the prospect of fracking should be “kicked into the long grass”.

He said: “The best way of doing that is to have a policy against fracking.  Scientists have proved it’s a health hazard. Green modern energy is the answer.”

Cllr Penny Gowland (Lab) said: “Fracking is not the answer. it will put Co2 into the air. We must oppose it.”

Councillor Steve Carr (Lib Dem) and a member of the Independent Alliance seconded the motion and said after the meeting that it was a “historic day for Nottinghamshire County Council”.

He said: “It was the day we finally said no to fracking.  We have sent a clear message to the Conservative Government that value we our environment.  I was pleased to play a central role in forcing a council the Council to protect our environment for future generations across Nottinghamshire.”

Speaking after the meeting Cllr Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council, said: “We are delighted that as a result of our campaigning, Nottinghamshire County Council has now changed its policy on fracking. Let me be clear – fracking will be an environmental disaster and will not cut energy bills by one penny. Independent Councillors are really making a difference as the opposition in County Hall. This is yet another example.”


Is a moratorium enough?

Fracking: Is a moratorium enough?


Councillor Georgia Taylor, representing Forest Row and Groombridge, East Sussex County Council, discusses the response to her ‘no to fracking’ motion – and what it tells us about the state of the Conservative Party.




Cuadrilla seeks go-ahead to generate electricity at Lancashire gas site

A public consultation began today into plans by Cuadrilla to generate electricity from gas extracted at its Elswick site in the Fylde region of Lancashire.



Elswick-1 wellhead. Photo: Cuadrilla Resources

The company has applied for a bespoke environmental permit that would allow gas to be piped from a single well to a new gas engine at the site between the villages of Elswick and Roseacre.

The well, known as Elswick-1, would not require fracking, Cuadrilla said.

The application to the Environment Agency said the well was drilled in 1990 by a British Gas subsidiary to a depth of 5,300ft into the Collyhurst Sandstone reservoir.

Production began in 1993. Cuadrilla said gas from the well had been used to generate electricity for several years.

The well has been shut-in since 2014 because the generator needed a major upgrade, the company said.

A modern generator has now been installed to produce electricity for the local grid, Cuadrilla said. It estimated that the Elswick-1 well had two-three years of gas production left.

Lancashire County Council granted planning permission in 2020 for another five years at Elswick.

The industry regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority, has given Cuadrilla until June 2023 to evaluate options for Elswick and the fracked wells at the Preston New Road shale gas site.


Today’s permit application listed waste materials that would be produced alongside the gas. They included produced, or formation, water which contains salts, minerals and naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM). Gas extraction also produces waste scale and water-based muds.

The application said the produced water would be separated at the surface and stored in a tank for removal by road to a disposal site.

Cuadrilla said it intended to apply for a radioactive substances regulation permit to allow for accumulation and disposal of NORM.

The company’s non-technical summary concluded there was no need for air quality monitoring at Elswick:

“There are no significant impacts arising from the process activity on human health or the environment air quality. Furthermore, the extractive waste generated will not have a detrimental impact on air quality.”

The site condition report, also included in the application, recorded:

“the groundwater within the Sherwood Sandstone Group at this location is highly saline and unsuitable for water supply.”

The application also reported there were no sites of special scientific interest, local nature reserves, areas of outstanding natural beauty or ancient woodland within 1km of the site.

Consultation details

The public consultation continues until 13 January 2023. The application documents can be viewed online.

People can contribute online, by email at or by phone at 03708 506 506.

Venting versus flaring

The application included a cost benefit analysis comparing burning any gas in a flare with allowing it to be released, or vented, into the atmosphere.

Cuadrilla estimated that a flare would cost £61,358 per year, based on rental and running costs.

Venting would cost just £48 a year, the company estimated. This assumed one vent of 0.00678 tonnes per year, at a cost of £252 per tonne of gas.

Flaring is normally preferred by the Environment Agency because it converts methane to the less potent greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2).

Cuadrilla assumed in its calculations that methane has a global warming potential (GWP) of 28 over 100 years.

GWP is the amount of heat absorbed by any greenhouse gas in the atmosphere compared with CO2. A tonne of methane, with a GWP of 28, is 28 times more powerful than CO2 over 100 years.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change considers methane to have a GWP of 84-87, more than 80 times more powerful than CO2, over 20 years.

DrillOrDrop asked Cuadrilla to explain why it had used the 100-year GWP, rather than the higher 20-year GWP and whether this would make any difference to the cost benefit analysis. The company did not respond to our questions.

Greenpeace is suing the British government

Environmental organization Greenpeace has launched legal action against the UK government to stop more than 100 new licenses to explore for oil and gas in the North Sea.

⠀The UK government introduced a fracking ban in November 2019 due to the risk of seismic activity. After coming to power, Liz Truss announced the lifting of the moratorium on shale gas fracking and the intention to issue more than 100 licenses for the extraction of gas and oil in the North Sea to overcome the energy crisis in the country.

⠀Greenpeace has applied to the UK High Court for judicial review of the British government’s decision to issue new licenses. The report notes that two climate protection organizations, Friends of the Earth and Uplift, also sent a letter to British Energy Secretary Grant Shapps urging him to reverse the “illegal” decision made by his predecessor, Jacob Rees-Mogg. The British government declined to comment on the information about the launched legal procedure, but emphasized the importance of maintaining energy security by increasing the supply of its own energy.

⠀At the end of October, speaking to Parliament for the first time as the new British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak said he was sticking to the promises in the 2019 Conservative Party manifesto that fracking was banned, but after these words, the British government did not take concrete steps. Truss did not accept to cancel the decision.





Latest onshore oil production – September 2022

DrillOrDrop’s review of the latest UK onshore oil data for September 2022: First production figures published for Egdon’s Wressle oil site near Scunthorpe in North Lincolnshire.

This article includes revised data released this month by the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) for July 2022 and August 2022. As a result, there will be disparities in the charts between this and the two previous articles in the series.


With Thanks to DRILL or DROP






Anger over bid to extend the life of Preston New Road fracking site by two years

Cuadrilla has announced that it intends to apply for permission to extend “the currently approved period for the completion of all works” at its Little Plumpton operation. 

Although the move would not permit any further drilling or fracking at the site – approval for which has now expired – campaigners and the county councillor for the area have questioned the need for the time extension.

If granted, the application would give the firm until April 2025 to complete the decommissioning process and the restoration of the land, as required under its existing planning permission. A condition attached to that approval means that those works must be finished by 5th April. Cuadrilla was ordered by regulators back in February to plug and abandon its two wells at Preston New Road, but that demand was withdrawn just a month later when the North Sea Transition Authority said that they should instead be plugged temporarily – and until at least the end of June next year.

John Singleton – who represents the Fylde West division on Lancashire County Council – told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) that he was shocked to learn of Cuadrilla’s latest application for more time before vacating the site.

“There is a clear steer from the government [on fracking] – there is a ban. So a two-year extension is totally out of the question and I would be expecting a date of March 2023 for that site to have undergone restoration.

“Why do they want to extend – what’s the reason? I’ll be objecting in the strongest possible terms,” said County Cllr Singleton, who warned that the proposal would cause “upset” amongst residents.

The county council’s Green Party group leader Gina Dowding – who regularly joined protests at the Little Plumpton site when it was being explored and drilled – said “it was time for the fracking industry to face up to the fact that the “writing [is] on the wall”.

“There is no future for fracking in this country – it’s a distraction from getting on with the real energy security measures that will solve the energy crisis. Investment in both renewables and energy efficiency for our homes are the way forward.

“The fact that [Cuadrilla] are applying for an extension will be deeply disappointing to local communities who just want peace of mind that this fracking experiment is truly over,” County Cllr Dowding said.

Continue reading Anger over bid to extend the life of Preston New Road fracking site by two years

Proximity To Fracking Sites Linked To Spike In Children’s Leukaemia Diagnoses

Nearly 20 years ago, the United States started using hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, to secure oil and gas. And while gas companies have repeatedly claimed that the process is safe, new evidence about the health of children living near these fracking sites suggests the opposite.

A novel study from Yale School of Public Health has found that children in Pennsylvania living near unconventional oil and gas (UOG) sites at birth were two to three times more likely to be diagnosed with leukaemia between the ages of 2 and 7 than their peers who didn’t live near the fracking sites.

The study included 2,500 Pennsylvania children, including 51 children who lived within 2,000 meters of a gas well. Of the participants, 405 in total had been diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, also known as ALL. Of the 51 living within the 2,000-meter radius of a gas well, 14 had been diagnosed with ALL, or roughly 27.5% of the children living close to the gas wells.

ALL is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow, and it is the most common type of cancer affecting children. While the long-term survival rate is high, children who survive this type of cancer could be at a higher risk of health issues down the line, including developmental and psychological challenges.

“Unconventional oil and gas development can both use and release chemicals that have been linked to cancer, so the potential for children living near UOG to be exposed to these chemical carcinogens is a major public health concern,” said the study’s senior author, Nicole Deziel, associate professor of epidemiology at the Yale School of Public Health.

Continue reading Proximity To Fracking Sites Linked To Spike In Children’s Leukaemia Diagnoses

Fracking Company Pleads ‘No Contest’ in Pennsylvania

Fracking Company Featured in ‘Gasland’ Pleads No Contest to Criminal Pollution Charges in Pennsylvania

A natural-gas drilling company pleaded no contest Tuesday to criminal charges related to the contamination of drinking water in a rural Pennsylvania town more than a decade ago. 

Coterra Energy Inc. entered the plea in Susquehanna County Court, two years after the Pennsylvania attorney general charged its predecessor, Cabot Oil & Gas Corp., with 15 criminal counts for allegedly causing flammable methane to leak from natural-gas wells into residential water supplies in Dimock, Pa. 

The company also agreed to pay $16.29 million for the construction of a new public water system. The company will provide bottled water while the water system is under construction and pay water bills for between 18 and 20 homes for 75 years, according to prosecutors. 

Coterra said it worked with prosecutors “to resolve historical matters and create a path forward for all parties.” The company said it strives to follow best practices and exceed industry standards. It previously had maintained that the methane in residents’ wells was naturally occurring.

Dimock, a small community in the northeast corner of the state, gained national attention when the 2010 documentary “Gasland” showed residents lighting their tap water on fire.

Under state law, a plea of no contest, or “nolo contendere,” means the company accepts the criminal conviction, but the plea can’t be used as an admission of guilt in a separate civil proceeding.  

Continue reading Fracking Company Pleads ‘No Contest’ in Pennsylvania