Following the government’s announcement on 2 November 2019 to put a partial moratorium on fracking, we sent an open letter to Government based on the recommendations of our legal briefing Acid Stimulation: Fracking by Stealth, co-authored by Brockham Oil Watch and Harrison Grant Solicitors, with scientific advice from David K. Smythe, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Glasgow (available on request).
We asked the Government to 1) replace the current moratorium with an outright ban and 2) extend this ban to all other forms of well stimulation using acid and other similar techniques to enhance the productivity of onshore oil and gas wells (at exploratory or production stage).
The reason behind this is that multiple communities are still threatened by fracking, even with the current partial moratorium in place (see the list below).
Over 600 individuals and groups have signed our letter including academics, parliamentarians and political groupings, councillors, NGOs, health professionals, environmental professionals and organisations, anti-fracking groups and other campaign groups. Signatories include Jeremy Leggett, George Monbiot, Vivienne Westwood, Joe Corré, Professors David Smythe, Stuart Haszeldine, Anthony Ingraffea, Robert Howarth and Denis Hall; Caroline Lucas, Jenny Jones, Natalie Bennett, Jonathan Bartlett, Alan Simpson, Paul Kennedy, Doug Parr on behalf of Greenpeace UK, Alistair Beaton – playwright and the author of Fracked!, actors Susan Jameson and James Bolam, Josh Fox – Director of Oscar Nominated Film Gaslands, Bill McKibben, Co-founder of 350.org, Dr Gail Bradbrook of Extinction Rebellion and many more.
Fracking sites where communities are threatened (the ones we know about – let us know if we missed one you’re familiar with!):
- Brockham, Horse Hill & Dunsfold in Surrey
- Balcombe in West Sussex (testing plans unanimously refused by councillors in March 2021!)
- Bradford Bridge in West Sussex
- Arreton on the Isle of Wight (exploration proposals unanimously rejected by councillors in October 2021!)
- Ellesmere Port and Ince Marshes in Cheshire
- Wressle in Lincolnshire (n.b. the permeability of the target Ashover Grit is reported as c.55 mD)
- West Newton in East Yorkshire
- Preston New Road in Lancashire (Cuadrilla surrendered environmental permit for key operations in Dec 2020)
- Harthill and Woodsetts in South Yorkshire
- Marsh Lane in Derbyshire (planning permission lapsed in Aug 2021)
- Altcar Moss near Formby, Lancashire (withdrawn!)
- possibly Third Energy’s sites in North Yorkshire, who were going to frack Kirby Misperton, but since sold the business and are now focusing on conventional sites (raising suspicions about what extraction methods those so-called conventional sites will require)
- Springs Road, Misson, Nottinghamshire (now ordered to be restored YAY!)
- Fermanagh in Northern Ireland
- Licenses on the coast of Somerset.