Category Archives: News

“exaggerated and “unsubstantiated assertions” about Surrey drilling plans

County councillors in Surrey are being urged not to accept their officials’ assessment of the benefits of gas exploration near the village of Dunsfold.

Officers have recommended approval of proposals by UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG) when the application is considered by the planning committee on Friday (27 November 2020). But the community group, Protect Dunsfold, said UKOG had been allowed to use “unsubstantiated” and “generally unsupportable assertions” about the proposals.

The company has said the gasfield was potentially the UK’s second biggest onshore and could produce energy equivalent to that needed to power about 200,000 homes per year. In a briefing document released today, Protect Dunsfold said UKOG should be required to provide evidence to back up its statements. The council should also independently verify UKOG’s claims, the group said.

Its director, Sarah Godwin, said:

“we have asked SCC [Surrey County Council] Councillors not to accept the officers’ assessment of the “strategic benefits” claimed by UKOG and to prefer the actual evidence.”

She said:

“UKOG has continued to make potentially exaggerated assertions without providing hard evidence to support them.

“The [company] has completely failed to demonstrate with hard facts as to why the benefits of drilling the well will outweigh the harm to local businesses and developments.”


Councillors have narrowly turned down plans to drill for oil and gas at Dunsfold in Surrey for a second time. Members of the county council’s planning committee voted by six to five to refuse planning permission to UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG) for its proposed Loxley wellsite.

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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Investigates Covia Holdings

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission informed the company, Fairmount Santrol  now called Covia Holdings Corp., that it was considering enforcement action.

Fairmount was selling specially manufactured sand, including one product that was touted as “revolutionary.”  The company’s special sand was never a dominant product, but in a competitive industry its marketing campaign drew attention to Fairmount Santrol. The company merged with another to form Covia in June 2018. It became the biggest frack sand producer in the country. Houston investment bank Tudor Pickering Holt & Co. called the new company the “800-pound gorilla in the sand game.”

Some of its success, however, may have been based on a lie, according to interviews with former employees, multiple whistle blower complaints, and other court documents. They tell the story of Fairmount Santrol scientists running tests on the proprietary sand that found that some of the company’s most-hyped products didn’t perform all that much better than the stuff that came straight from the ground.  One whistleblower said in 2017 in a complaint to the SEC. “This fraud is particularly brazen because the company aggressively markets scientific testing to create the illusion of proven performance and reliability,” The next year another whistleblower blamed executives who “wholly adopted and reinforced a culture of covering up its lies without regard to who might suffer.”

Covia has suffered especially because many drillers grew tired of fancy sand and decided the cheaper, local type worked just fine.        In June 2020, Covia filed for bankruptcy protection.

And sand, it turns out, isn’t such a precious commodity anymore.

Lancashire fracking site leaked greenhouse gas whose damage was equivalent to 142 trans-Atlantic flights


The Manchester University study, which involved taking readings at a monitoring station near the drill site and using drones over head said the amount of the greenhouse gas leaked was the equivalent environmental cost of 142 trans-Atlantic flights.

The research team was led by Prof Grant Allen who said that over a one-week period in January 2019, analysis showed the leak to be a result of the release of non-combusted methane from the flare stack following operations to clean out the 2.3 km deep shale gas well. Claire Stephenson from Frack Free Lancashire said the study showed that fracking was not the relatively “clean” fossil fuel bridging technology that some had claimed. 

She said: “This latest report confirms the serious concerns that we have been voicing for years: fracking increases methane emissions that contribute to the escalating climate crisis. The industry continually dismissed any fugitive emissions as unproblematic, previously calling it “reassuringly tiny”. The fact is, Cuadrilla did not and likely could not, control methane leaks from their operations, which on top of the host of fracking failures – including structure-damaging earthquakes – should sound the death knell for this terrible industry.”

Continue reading Lancashire fracking site leaked greenhouse gas whose damage was equivalent to 142 trans-Atlantic flights


Sorry but everything in the following, to my mind does not quite ring true. I was present at gatherings at Rydale and we were welcomed by the residents. I worked tirelesly against Fracking for several years and we are now living in hope that the Government has finally seen the light.

Lorraine Allanson a successful farmer and holiday home owner has now written a book about “one woman’s battle against the environmental army” 

“In 2014, I stuck my head above the parapet and stood up for a controversial energy project”.

and yet she claims to be a conservationist??                                      Obviously had not done any research regarding the dangers of Fracking

“I’m a passionate conservationist and want to look after our lovely part of the world, but there was something not quite right about these intruders,” she recalls. A few locals curious about the impact of extracting shale gas in their backyard were suddenly whipped up by professional activists into an aggressive machine that ran roughshod over the more moderate views of many others.

“The scandal is that if anyone dares to challenge the protesters, their rhetoric or motives, they are targeted and suffer harassment and abuse. Everyone seems to turn their back on the locals, too afraid to help as they are too scared of the protesters.”



Fylde DJ who disrupted Preston Harris Museum fringe play launches court appeal

Fylde DJ who disrupted Preston Harris Museum fringe play by screaming ‘liar’ at fracking protester launches court appeal

A DJ entertainer convicted of public order offences after disrupting a performance during the Lancashire Fringe festival is appealing his conviction.

The performance of ‘Nannas with Banners’ at Preston’ s Harris Museum on May 22, 2019, was interrupted as Geza David Tarjanyi – who also calls himself Gayzer Frackman – entered the performance area, filming and shouting comments towards the women, particularly a campaigner called Tina Rothery.

Prosecuting, Cecilia Pritchard told Preston Crown Court was told Tarjyani and some cast members knew each other as they had taken part at previous protests at the Preston New Road Cuadrilla site, but there had been a ‘falling out’.

Footage from his own camera, which he later uploaded onto Facebook, shows him filming from on a balcony at the museum as their monologues performance took place, before descending and turning the camera to himself, saying: “Just to let you know this is exactly what we are going to do – to stop the lie. No more pain no more fear.”

He then walked onto the round stage area shouting: “I’ve seen enough of this lie, stop the lie. “This is a lie, You’re a liar Tina Rothery.”

In the confusion – which some thought might be part of the play – there was scuffling and shouting as members of the audience apprehended him. He knocked over a stage light and was escorted out of the building.

Tarjanyi, 58, formerly of Lytham but now of Boundary Street, Leyland, had denied using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause Tina Rothery to fear immediate unlawful violence would be used on May 22, and a further charge of using threatening behaviour, but was convicted after a trial at Preston Magistrates’ Court. He launched an appeal but did not attend the hearing at Preston Crown Court.

Five witnesses were called to give evidence.

Cast member Audrey O’Gara said: “What upset me most was I was sat next to a gentleman with two children and the little boy was really scared, so I was looking at him trying to reassure him everything was all right. There was also one of the ladies in the audience, who had been very ill, and it was her monologue that was interrupted – she was really upset.”

The show’s writer Joanne Catlow-Morris, told the court she had written the performance addressing how the women had become empowered by being activists about fracking.

She added: ” We saw a figure coming towards us from the darkness. I could see it was a male and at first – obviously I was sat in the middle of the play – my first initial thought was ‘I think its security, I think we’re going to be evacuated.’ “I could see the person had something in his hand and thought ‘Oh my God, what is it?’ “He ran onto the stage and started yelling: ‘Lies, lies, lies.” “It was just terrifying not knowing what was happening.”

Defending, Matthew Conway asked if, given the play’s theme was about protesting, someone protesting on stage could have been seen to be part of the performance.

She replied: “Maybe by the audience but not by the actors on stage. It didn’t feel like a protest, it felt like an infringement on my creative activity.”

Giving evidence by a video link, Tina Rothery, who was not part of the play but was in the audience, said: ” People I cared about were being defamed in public. We were all scared. “I felt he’d progressed from what I’d been enduring until that point to much more. “I am deeply upset by him, and fearful.”



Northern Ireland to review onshore petroleum licencing

A wide-ranging review of the onshore petroleum licensing system in Northern Ireland is underway, the economy minister, Diane Dodds, said this afternoon.

Speaking in the Northern Ireland assembly, Mrs Dodds said two applications for petroleum licences would not now be decided until after the review had been completed.

She was responding to a motion which called for an immediate moratorium on petroleum licensing for all exploration, drilling and extraction of hydrocarbons, followed by legislation for a permanent ban.

Mrs Dodds said lawyers had advised her against supporting the motion. It was, she said, likely to be challenged.