The UK government has today announced the first results of the 14th onshore PEDL licensing round. The latest announcement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC ) confirms that large areas of North Yorkshire and beyond have been sold off to the UK fracking industry.
This move is likely to further anger residents of North Yorkshire 79% of whom are against fracking according to the latest Yorkshire post poll.
The 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round was launched on 28 July 2014 and closed on 28 October 2014. A total of 95 applications were received from 47 companies covering 295 Ordnance Survey Blocks. DECC today announced that 27 onshore blocks from the 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round will be formally offered to companies.
What does this mean for Yorkshire?
Frack Free North Yorkshire have analysed the data that has been published on DECC’s website and we now understand that additional to the current PEDL blocks managed by Third Energy the following additional fracking companies have moved into the Yorkshire Area;
- Cuadrilla resources (SE95) – Infamous for causing the 2011 earthquake at Presse Hall in Lancashire and more recently for their failure to gain permission for 2 fracking application in Lancashire in July 2015. Cuadrilla have now successfully bid on at least 1 block on the boundary between North and East Yorkshire and to the East of York. Cuadrilla will be working in partnership with French companies Centrica & GDF Suez
- Hutton Energy (SE42) – who according to their website are ‘a London based E&P company founded to pursue oil and gas exploration and development opportunities in Europe’. Hutton have been award 1 license block to the south of Leeds.
- Igas (SE41) – whose shale gas exploration activities at Barton Moss in 2013/2014 led to huge amounts of public protest have been awarded 1 license block also to the south of Leeds
- An annotated map below provides further details of the latest PEDL awards.
Frack Free Ryedale’s response to the latest licensing round
“Today’s announcement by the Department of Energy and Climate Change is a black day for the North of England, which is now officially designated as a “sacrifice zone” in the Government’s reckless and unpopular drive towards fracking. News of new exploration licences all across Yorkshire will send shockwaves through many areas that have so far been free of the threat of fracking.
The effect of widespread fracking across Yorkshire would have a huge impact on the lives of rural communities all across the county, as their lives become blighted by endless HGV traffic, noisy drilling, air pollution, health impacts and threats to their water supplies. The region’s core industries of agriculture and tourism are also under serious threat as the government attempts to green-light the industrialisation of the countryside across Yorkshire.
The latest DECC survey on Public Attitudes showed that support for fracking was at an all-time low, with only 21% supporting the industry (compared to over 75% supporting renewable energy). A recent poll in the Yorkshire Post showed that 86% were against fracking, with only 14% supporting it. (see attached photo of poll results).
The public understands the folly of starting a dangerous new fossil fuel industry at a time when the world is threatened by climate change, and the fight against fracking will only increase as more areas of the country are sold off to the fracking industry.”
Response from Friends of the Earth
“Responding to the Government’s announcement of the companies which have been offered licences to frack under the first tranche of the 14th licensing round for onshore oil and gas, Andrew Pendleton, Friends of the Earth head of campaigns, said:
“Opening up huge swathes of Northern England to a fracking blitz will only provoke more anger and controversy, because wherever fracking has been proposed, it has been opposed by local people.
“The Government’s own report into the rural economy impacts of fracking highlights a myriad of concerns, including a drop in house prices, impacts on tourism, and increased noise and traffic congestion – not to mention local environment and climate risks.
“These offered licences to frack will cause yet more anxiety for people living under the cloud of fracking, now that the Government is allowing companies to drill right through aquifers that are used to supply household drinking water.”
Luckily not everyone has to worry about Fracking on their doorstep
It appears if you live near David Cameron’s constituency of Whitney near oxford you have been lucky enough to escape the latest onshore oil and gas licensing round. A move that has recently been discussed by Prof David Smythe at http://www.davidsmythe.org/frackland/?p=162;
“Inexplicably, DECC has omitted from the offer a big swathe of eastern England, extending from David Cameron’s Witney constituency eastwards to the coast of East Anglia. I say ‘inexplicably’, because there is nothing about the geology of this region that particularly warrants its exclusion. DECC normally takes a pragmatic approach to licensing, and one of the guides to licensing new areas is to take into account whether there has been past interest by the oil industry. Evidence for this is best shown by the drilling history. For example, around Witney there are a score or more of old oil exploration wells within a distance of 10-20 km. Within the east of England ‘exclusion zone’ there are two islands of blocks on offer, and although the historical well density is fairly low there has clearly been past oil industry interest in the region. The Witney constituency itself is densely covered by seismic profiles – another indicator of exploration interest – and the area was licensed for oil exploration in awards made in 1971 and 1981. In addition, one of the seven UK regional seismic profiles compiled on behalf of DECC by the UK Onshore Geophysical Library runs right through Witney town.”
It isn’t only David Cameron’s constituency that has been excluded, but so has the city of London which is conveniently the location of Third Energy’s, Igas’s, Hutton Energy’s and GDF’s offices.
Surely if Fracking isn’t going to be licensed in Oxfordshire or London than it shouldn’t be licensed in the North either?
We will let the reader make up their own mind, but if you do want to help stop fracking in North Yorkshire please read on….
Do you want to know how you can stop fracking in North Yorkshire and beyond?
Do you live in Ryedale?
If you live in Ryedale and would like to help us stop Fracking and other forms of unconventional gas extraction please contact Frack Free Ryedale.
Do you live in York?
Do you live in Scarborough?
For those of you who are from Scarborough please visit the facebook page of Frack Free Scarborough
If you live elsewhere in North Yorkshire – Do you want to set up your own group?
Please contact the Frack Free North Yorkshire team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you with all the necessary resources.
Together we can stop Fracking in North Yorkshire and beyond.
Link to DECC’s annoucment today – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-onshore-oil-and-gas-blocks-to-be-offered
Link to DECC’S onshore licensing round map – https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/454361/14th_Round_Map_First_Tranche.pdf