O&G - The Environment Agent Event

Captain Qahn's picture

Frack Free Scarborough ask  "Think again. The industry plans to drill nearly a thousand wells through the aquifer that gives Scarborough its drinking water." 

Aswellas Third Energy, Cuadrilla & Ineos that hold PEDL licence's surrounding Scarborough are Rathlin, Igas, Europa and Alkane on the fringe.  Are locals, residents & the public aware of the risks and regulations in place that may transform, transmit or terrorise the territory?  ;-/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suuMJN2K4v4&list=PL-JlphLJ3BoNfP_CDorUQo...

"For the rich and powerful, this is an opportunity not (to) be missed: the multi-billion pound oil and gas industry is in overdrive, pushing its profiteering agenda and trying to disguise how bad fracking is.  You will hear very little on detail via the mass news outlets.  But don't take our word for it: do your own research, google 'fracking' and read the stories of people who live in these gas gields...."  

I guess 'rich and powerful' is rather subjective; all very sheep, shaggy and ... erm, scooby doo.... they all tend to use and share 'contractors', 'consultants' and 'co-exist'.  The question as to how much they 'make' once past their two to three year 'desk top study' remains elusive. Mysterious. Stupendous... . Studentshially? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29zn5-yuOFg&index=2&list=PL-JlphLJ3BoNfP...     

Oh,OK: Lets 'google' :  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/about-shale-gas-and-hydraulic...

Mass media?  Focus: http://www.yorkshirecoastradio.com/news/local-news/2127270/draft-plan-co... & http://www.yorkshirecoastradio.com/news/local-news/2126039/oil-and-gas-r... Yo canna get more mass media than local radio:-?  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPAEFnVZVOs .  Skimpy on the detail mebbe.

Transform?  Shale gas has the potential to create and safeguard jobs, provide economic benefits for local communities and increase energy security and independence.  http://www.ukoog.org.uk/economy/benefits

Transmit?  Fracking can have adverse impacts on health. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/30/doctors-and-academic... .... Oh:  http://www.bmj.com/content/350/bmj.h1791/rr-1

Terrorise?  Abridged: Thousands of HGV movements .... contamination of water supplies.... contaminated with heavy metals and other dangerous chemicals... air pollution... earthquakes... noise pullution... abandoned wells.... climate change.... and lorrddy forbid house price falls... up to 7% !!!. ffs. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37719847


Anyhooos,  enough of the precursor, on balance, it did seem rather ODD that the Environment Agency (EA) were holding this rather impromptu event in Skardiborgas at seven days notice.... so donuts aside wot were they doing? 

Other than providing some great informative literature on the important role that the EA plays in the Oil & Gas industry, the 'event' was assumingly to reassure those that had any doubts about the strength, reliability, resources and powers of the EA in regulating the dimensional of the Oil & Gas industry that is Shale.

The Role:  Protects people & the enviroment.

Effectiveness: Experience, expertise & wide knowledge in environmental risk covering landfills, nuclear, cement, oil & gas refineries, all managed at individual sites.  

The Risks of Shale Gas: Current regulations are sufficient,  controlled, good operational practice, reinforced and reviewed as the industry develops. 

Shale Permits:  Mining waste & groundwater activity.

Protecting Groundwater:  Depend on the nature of activity, geological conditions and risks to drinking water supplies.  (will not permit where there is significant risk to pullution)

Water Requirements:  10000 to 30000m3 per well.  IF the industry scaled up envisage less than 1% of total water used by households, industry & agriculture per year.

Water Resources: Supplied by local water companies.  The EA provide a Water Resources Strategy upto 2050.  By law Water companies produce water resource management plans every five years, to cover a 25 year period.

Chemicals:  Must be approved by the EA and listed in the permit. (no 'hazardous substances')

Waste Waters.   Flow back fluids and process water may contain naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORMS) with a high mineral content. Disposals require facilities and methodology agreed between operator, contractor and EA.

NORMS: Four sites in the UK (all in the North - Leeds, Sheffield, Teeside, Brans Sands (http://www.fccenvironment.co.uk/)

Inspections: Planned, unplanned, audits and spot checks with a free 24 hour incident hotline. Enforcement powers to shut down operations.  

Seismic Risks (Earthquakes) : The proximity of relevant faults (3D siesmic)  monitor before, during and after.  Halt injection if exceeds a predefined level.

Support for Shale Gas?   The UK's energy mix is a policy matter for Govt. Neither for or against. We ensure that any energy technology, be it shale, gas, hydropower, anaerobic digestion or coal fired power stations, operate without causing harm to people of the environment."

All of the above should be found via Google ... obs my goggles aren't working so has been abridged:  Customer Services 03780 506506  Incident hotline  0800807060. 

Prevention: HSE: http://www.hse.gov.uk/shale-gas/faq.htm

Some further snippets :

What if it all goes wrong?  Under current legislation operators are not bonded.  There is no mitigation procedure.  For example KM8  if they go bust the EA along with Local Authorities can persue the operators for damage repairs and reinstatement.   Should the 'persual' fail the liability falls to the landowner.   


The EA are not allowed to comment on the geopolitcal aspects of energy supply.  Neither are the HSE "If related to world politics we cannot respond"  Our work is based on Risk Asesment around activity modelling. 

The Shale formation sits within jurrasic rock that lies under the entire UK.  Another bowl effect;  there are no licences across the Pennines because the bowl of the shale rises to such a level it seeps out naturally and is too shallow.   The shale gas has to be at the right depth with the right pressure applied to commercially extract the stuff.  

Local Authority scales : the Contamination of Land Act Part 2A

Offshore Responsibility.  This was unsure.   The EA cover 40 offshore operators but not fracking ones.  An onshore fracker fracking horizontally offshore would be monitored.   The distance for EA regulations offshore was unknown but guested at 28 miles and is awaiting confirmation.

It was great to see the Green Party in attendence with a few anti's.  When asked if the event reassured them about fracking "Hell no... Why start a new fossil fuel industry dependent on our natural resource of our water".

Also of note was the high skills and quals of the EA team on hand ... biochemists, engineers etc (an EA jobs link will be posted when goggled.)   The EA is part funded by the industry it serves.  Permits cost money and as the industry scales up so will the jobs in the EA to regulate.  

If you missed this event and would like to attend  a draft list is as follows:


A Hallow special :->

Dooos and don'ts.




Benefitz Betty's picture

'Community' Backs Fracking


"The main steelworkers' union has backed plans for fracking in the UK.

The Community union says the fracking industry will need significant volumes of steel, which will help to protect jobs in the sector.

It has signed an agreement with the body that represents the UK onshore oil and gas industry to promote domestic production and protect jobs.

Community, which has around 30,000 members, is one of the few trade unions backing fracking.

The UK's third biggest union, the GMB union, also intends to organise in the sector.

But a number of other main unions, including PCS and UCU, are opposed to the industry on environmental grounds.

"The future development of home-grown oil and gas has the potential to support thousands of jobs through its supply chain, including in the steel industry," says Roy Rickhuss, the general secretary of Community.

Clash with Labour

The fracking industry will need to drill hundreds, perhaps thousands of wells, to produce significant volumes of gas. That represents a huge opportunity for the struggling steel industry, which will want to supply the steel casings used in oil and gas wells.

Plans for fracking have been approved in two locations in the north of England, potentially creating up to 64,500 jobs, according to a recent industry report.

But while the Community union is affiliated to Labour, its endorsement of fracking is at odds with Labour Party policy.

At the party's conference in September, the shadow energy secretary Barry Gardiner said Labour would ban fracking outright if elected.

The GMB union described the policy as "madness", saying it would leave the UK reliant on "henchman, hangmen and headchoppers" for imported gas."

And there's enough steel to go around ?



Benefitz Betty's picture

IGAS - Shale or Sale




Oh. http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1189501/scotland-fracking-could-bring...

"Allowing companies to drill for shale gas in Scotland could bring billions of pounds to the country’s economy and help give the job market in the area a much-needed boost, industry experts have claimed.

The report, from Health Protection Scotland (HPS), was requested by the Scottish Government ahead of the public consultation expected to open up early next year on shale gas development and fracking.

It found that there would be an increase in traffic for a number of years due to industrial activity were fracking permitted, but that the probability of "felt earthquakes" was "very small". 

The report also forecast a boom in job creation in the region, predicting between 470 to 3100 jobs potentially created, and value added to the Scottish economy to 2062 anywhere from £100 million ($124 million) to £4.6 billion. 

HPS concluded that "the evidence considered was inadequate as a basis to determine whether development of shale oil and gas or coal bed methane would pose a risk to public health".

Scotland currently has a moratorium in force over drilling for shale gas, but it is expected to re-examine the ban and then decide on whether to allow the controversial technique in the country. 

A decision is expected next year, however, before one can be reached, the government is expected to launch a much-anticipated public consultation aiming “to consider public opinion as well as science”.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse pledged the current fracking ban will continue pending the results of “scientific research and consultation”.

The minister said there would be a four-month consultation period starting in January and then there would be a parliamentary vote on the matter.

Wheelhouse said in a televised debate, he “hoped to have the process complete in the second half of 2017”.


SBC is holding a Members training session on 'fracking'  Monday 21st Nov at 2.00pm and which is  open to the public.


Benefitz Betty's picture

IGAS ... Notts

"15 November 2016

IGas Energy plc (AIM: IGAS)

Springs Road Planning Application Approved

IGas Energy plc ("IGas"), one of the leading producers of hydrocarbons onshore Britain, is pleased to announce that Nottinghamshire County Council's Planning and Licensing Committee has granted planning consent for the application to develop a hydrocarbon wellsite and drill up to two exploratory wells in Misson Springs, North Nottinghamshire. 

Stephen Bowler, CEO of IGas commented:

"I am pleased that the Committee has made this positive determination following the recommendation by the Planning Officer. It has been a long process and everyone has been extremely thorough.  

We have engaged with the community at every step of the process through a local community liaison group.  This is important to us given we operate 30 fields across the country and understand how imperative it is to work in co-operation with local residents whilst we work safely and sensitively.

We are at a critical juncture in the future of our energy mix and supply, as we move away from coal towards lower carbon energy sources. We rely significantly on gas in the UK, not just for electricity, but also in heating 8 out of 10 homes and as a raw material in the manufacture of many everyday products, including plastics and clothing.  We believe the future of the area is as important as its rich history and, with the demise of coal mining in the area, see an important role for shale development in the creation of future jobs and prosperity.

At this stage we, as well as other onshore operators around the country, are trying to establish if the significant quantities of gas that we have identified exists in the right formations to be commercially prospective and address the issue of security of supply that we face.  We now have the consent to develop a hydrocarbon wellsite and drill up to two exploratory hydrocarbon wells (one vertically and one horizontally) to help us better understand the shale gas potential in North Nottinghamshire."

With excellent coverage on Drill or Drop:


Benefitz Betty's picture

Oklahoma Bound...?


"Residents of the small Oklahoma town of Pawnee have filed a class-action lawsuit demanding 27 fracking companies pay for the effects of a 5.8-magnitude earthquake. They claim the companies exercised “reckless disregard for public or private safety.”

"Property damage, reduced property values and emotional distress resulting from a record-breaking September earthquake are all claimed in the lawsuit, which does not specify any sum total that the 27 fracking companies would pay if found liable, according to the Associated Press.

The class-action suit filed Thursday in district court points to the natural gas extraction method of fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, which consists of injecting wastewater into the earth, as the cause for not only the major quake, but also 52 subsequent tremblors...."



"A challenge to the approval of plans by Third Energy to frack for shale gas at Kirby Misperton will be heard in the High Court in London next week.

Frack Free Ryedale and Friends of the Earth have applied for a judicial review of the decision by North Yorkshire County Council made in May this year.

The groups are claiming that the decision to approve planning permission was unlawful because the council:

  • Failed to assess properly the climate change impact of shale gas extracted by the fracking and burnt at a nearby power station in Knapton
  • Failed to secure long-term financial protection against the likely environmental damage to the

The case begins on Tuesday 22 November. If the judge at the Royal Courts of Justice gives permission for the judicial review, the full hearing will go ahead immediately and is likely to continue on Wednesday 23 November.

The approval by the council’s planning committee was the first decision in favour of fracking in the UK since a moratorium was lifted in 2012."


Captain Black's picture

Reinventing 'Stuff'

"By Michael Le Page
ALL of the food you’ve ever eaten originated with sunlight captured by plants just a few months or years before you ate it. But some of the energy on your plate could soon come from sunlight captured by plants millions of years ago, thanks to plans to make animal feed from fossil fuels.
Californian biotech company Calysta has announced the first ever large-scale factory that uses microbes to turn natural gas – methane – into high-protein animal feed. The factory, which will be built in the US in collaboration with food giant Cargill, will produce 200,000 tonnes of feed a year.
The feed has already been approved in the European Union for use with farmed fish and livestock such as pigs. Calysta is seeking approval in the US, too – and not just for farm animals. “We want to take it all the way to cats and dogs, and potentially even humans,” says the head of Calysta, Alan Shaw.
In September, Calysta opened a small facility in Teesside in the UK to produce up to 100 tonnes of feed a year for farmed fish. Unibio, a rival biotech company based in London, opened a similar-sized facility in Denmark in October. Both companies want to rapidly scale up production and are promoting the process as having environmental benefits.
So, is turning fossil fuels into animal feed a good idea? That depends on what you think is most important when it comes to protecting the environment.
If done on a large scale, the process would reduce the demand for land to grow food for livestock, as well as the demand for wild fish to feed to farmed fish. “You need millions of tonnes to have an impact,” says Shaw.
But it would also increase emissions of carbon dioxide, accelerating global warming. “Using fossil fuels as an energy source as opposed to sunlight is not very environmentally sound,” says Bob Rees at Scotland’s Rural College in Edinburgh, UK.
One day, the technology might also feed space explorers. SpaceX head Elon Musk’s plans for Mars exploration include generating methane and oxygen for making rocket fuel. Some could be used to make food, too. “We have been in touch with SpaceX,” says Shaw...."