Aurora Energy drops application to drill at Altcar Moss in Lancashire

A British fracking company has vowed to challenge the effective ban on shale gas projects after withdrawing its application for two wells in Lancashire.

Aurora Energy Resources blamed the government’s “de facto ban on shale gas activity” for its decision to drop an application to frack at Altcar Moss in west Lancashire.

The Aberdeen-based gas company has reignited an industry row with the government over its decision late last year to follow the Scottish government’s lead by ending fracking in England.

Ian Roche, the managing director of Aurora, said it was “unsurprising” that council officers in Lancashire felt unable to make a decision on the application, which it submitted months before the government imposed a fracking moritorium in November.

Continue reading Aurora Energy drops application to drill at Altcar Moss in Lancashire

Fracking at greater depths can lead to ten times the risk of earthquakes, study finds

Fracking operations that drill deeper into the earth can make triggering an earthquake almost ten times more likely, according to a new study. The report, published this week in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA), is based on data from more than 1,300 single well sites across Oklahoma.

The study found that in one rock layer, the likelihood that fracking triggered seismic activity increased from 5 to 50 per cent with increasingly deeper well operations, from 0.9 to 3.4 miles (1.5 to 5.5km).


Lancashire MP welcomes statement that the Government will no longer support planning consent for fracking

A Lancashire MP has welcomed a statement from a government minister which further closes the door on fracking.

Friday, 17th July 2020, 12:15 pm
Following Minister Kwasi Kwarteng’s comments last month that ‘fracking is over’, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper wrote to him seeking confirmation that this was Government’s policy.
He responded: “On the basis of the current scientific evidence, the Government has confirmed that it will take a presumption against issuing any further Hydraulic Fracturing Consents in England, which are required before hydraulic fracturing operations can take place.”
She said: “The Minister has now accepted what I and anti-fracking campaigners have been saying for many years, and has admitted that fracking is over. The evidence that fracking can be undertaken safely is not available”.
I am pleased to have received this assurance and that Government will take a presumption against issuing any further Hydraulic FThe moratorium will remain in place ‘unless compelling new evidence’ can be produced to address concerns around seismicity.
racturing Consents.”
She added: “This is fantastic news for my constituents in West Lancashire where there were plans to frack at a site in Altcar and to the county council who took the brave decision to refuse the initial application.”
Maureen Mills from Frack Free Lancashire said: “Despite the moratorium on fracking consents and withdrawal of government support for fracking, Aurora are continuing with their application which is likely to be determined by LCC in August or September. Thereby they continue to put residents through the trauma of the threat to our health, the environment, our countryside and its agricultural heritage.”               
The future of Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site remains uncertain as planning permission to frack at the site ran out in November 2019 and if no new permission is granted the site must return to farm land by August 2023.






Fermanagh politicians divided on their positions over fracking in this county.

Two Fermanagh politicians have failed to give a definitive answer on whether they or their party are opposed to fracking in Northern Ireland.

On the BBC’s Inside Politics podcast with Mark Devenport on June 29, DUP councillor, Deborah Erskine, and UUP MLA, Rosemary Barton were responding to a question from anti-fracking campaigners Tom White and Frankie McMurray which asked do the representatives and their parties accept that “we should divest from fossil fuels and follow the growing evidence from around the world that fracking in Northern Ireland is over and ban both fracking and the importation of fracked gas into Northern Ireland”?

In response, Councillor Erskine said she believes that “we should be allowing the experts to come forward with the environmental assessments they have made”.

“In 2015 the Executive had a strategic planning policy and that set out that there was a presumption against fracking unless you know there was robust evidence being brought forward in terms of the environmental impact.


Continue reading Fermanagh politicians divided on their positions over fracking in this county.

Government squashes Cuadrilla hopes to resume fracking in Lancashire anytime soon

The government has moved to dampen industry hopes that fracking will resume in Lancashire from 2021. Australian energy giant AJ Lucas, which as of February 2020 owns 93% of the shares in Bamber Bridge-based oil and gas exploration company Cuadrilla, said the company expects the United Kingdom’s ban on fracking to be lifted from 2021 onwards. 

The company said once the ban is lifted it will continue with hydraulic fracturing once “appropriate measures” were agreed upon to “manage and mitigate risks” from seismic activity.

Continue reading Government squashes Cuadrilla hopes to resume fracking in Lancashire anytime soon