‘No Fracking Way’, 30–31 Jan 2016: join this weekend’s nationwide protests against “unconventional gas”

Official facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/481532218695758

Locally: Sheffield and the surrounding areas

When the UK government granted licences to begin oil and gas exploration in 27 new locations last August, most of the sites were in the north of England:

Large swathes of South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire are being opened up to fracking companies for exploration.

Areas being explored in the region are to the east of Sheffield – stretching from Killamarsh and Dinnington up past Rotherham towards Bolton-upon-Dearne.

A total of 27 new licences, mostly in the North of England, have been awarded to companies to explore for oil and gas as the Government looks to push forward with a shale industry in the UK.

And a further 132 areas – many in the region to the west and south of Sheffield – will also be awarded subject to further environmental assessments.1 

If the final go-ahead is now given, my home city Sheffield, the 5th largest city in Britain with a population of more than half a million (1.5 million in the metropolitan district) 2, will soon be encircled by many hundreds of rigs each injecting multiple millions of gallons of water laced with poisonous chemicals that will potentially leach into the groundwater:

The sheer volume of water brought to and from the fracking site means a glut of tanker trucks through your town. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation estimates each well, per frack, will require 2.4 to 7.8 million gallons of water. This translates into roughly 400 to 600 tanker truckloads of liquids to the well, and 200 to 300 tanker truckloads of liquid waste from the well. […]

Further, the one-well model is not an accurate representation of fracking operations, which can consist of 20 wells per “pad” and dozens of pads. Overall, 38,400 to 172,800 tanker truck trips are possible over a well pad life. [from FAQs on “Gasland” website] 3

Given the widely accepted precautionary principle, the very serious and undeniable hazard of long-term contamination of water supplies ought to serve as sufficient reason to ban this dangerous industry. Additionally, however, fracking is known to be responsible for the release of airborne pollutants and has been a direct cause of earthquakes. It is unconscionable for our government to risk irreversible environmental damage and to endanger human life in this way.

Local action:

NO FRACKING WAY – South Yorkshire Day of Action

A series of events to raise awareness about fracking will be held across South Yorkshire on Saturday 30 January, in Barnsley, Wath-upon-Dearne, Sheffield, Doncaster and Rotherham.

Frack Free Dearne Valley
Saturday 30 January, 10am-12Noon
Wath-upon-Dearne (near the Market)

No Fracking in Barnsley
Saturday 30 January, 11am
May Day Green, Barnsley (near Thorntons)

No Fracking in Barnsley
Sunday 31 January
Join us on Twitter using the hashtag #NoFrackingWay in support of fracking awareness events taking place around the country.





Among those companies which have won the 27 licences is Cuadrilla, which is appealing against two refused applications to frack for shale gas in Lancashire.

It has secured a licence for a new area between Barnsley and Doncaster and another for an area between York and Bridlington. 4

The pale green areas show the 27 blocks where new licences have been awarded [Credit: Oil and Gas Authority]

Soon afterwards, in mid-December, parliament voted to permit fracking beneath our national parks. Seizing this opportunity, the government quickly sold off a further 93 onshore licences:

The 93 licences to explore 159 blocks of land could pave the way for more controversial hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking.

Large parts of North East and the North West of England have been opened up for exploration.

There are also licence blocks in the Midlands, the South of England and Wales.

Around 75% of the exploration licences relate to shale oil and gas, which typically requires fracking.

The Oil & Gas Authority said a total of 95 applications for licences were received from 47 companies, covering 295 Ordnance Survey Blocks

Among the biggest winners were Ineos, with 21 licences, Cuadrilla, IGas and Southwestern Energy. 5


For more information:

Links to find more info about ‘No Fracking Way’ protests across the country:



1 From an article entitled “Campaigners and companies ready for battle over South Yorkshire ‘fracking blitz’” written by Chris Burn, published in the Sheffield Star on August 19, 2015. http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/campaigners-and-companies-ready-for-battle-over-south-yorkshire-fracking-blitz-1-7416446

2 The population of the City of Sheffield is a little more than 500,000, but the metropolitan population of South Yorkshire exceeds 1,500,000. It is the 5th largest city by population after London 7.2 million, Birmingham 1 million, Leeds 700,000 and Glasgow 560,000. http://www.ukcities.co.uk/populations/ 

3 From Fracking FAQs published by Gaslandthe movie.com


4 From an article entitled “27 more sites could face fracking as oil and gas licenses awarded” published by ITV news on August 18, 2015. http://www.itv.com/news/2015-08-18/27-more-sites-could-face-fracking-as-oil-and-gas-licenses-awarded/ 

5 From an article entitled “New licences for UK shale gas exploration” published by BBC news on December 17, 2015. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-35121390

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Filed under Britain, campaigns & events, fracking (shale & coal seam gas)

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