Fracking by Stealth – it’s starting in Antrim!

It’s called Fracking by Stealth – companies apply for permission to drill, not to frack. They take the position that drilling is harmless and the UK Government agrees with them – no Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) needed for drilling. And even if eventually EIAs will be required, it will be for the hydraulic fracturing (fracking) stage only.

Let’s look at what can now be done without EIA

• The operator arrives on site with his first 120 trucks.

• Builds a pad.

• Brings on the rig, lighting, cement, portocabins, accommodation block, toilets, generators, compressors

• Brings on the drilling mud with drilling chemicals.

• Drills the well through an aquifer.

• Cements in conductor and then surface casing (you hope) – nobody check in the UK – there are no regulations and no inspection.

• Drills through intermediate stage

• Cements in Intermediate casing (you hope) – nobody check in the UK – there are no regulations and no inspection.

• Maybe an Formation Integrity Test executed. (Tests quality of casing)

• Drills to final depth (a mile or more)

• Cements in production casing (this definitely happens as it is needed for operator)

• Mud drill waste all transported by truck to local waste facility (this caused radioactive monitors to go off repeatedly in the States).

• Brings on the kit needed for fracking, sand (silica), chemicals in their raw 100% form, water abstraction ready – if no local supply, compressors for getting to 6,000+ psi.

• Then he is ready to frack and applies for permission to do that.

Then – AND ONLY THEN – is an EIA required in the UK under the “old” EU regulations. And now, with the complete climb down by the Commission, even this is not necessary!

Fracking by Stealth will happen because it is a good way to divert attention away and means the planners have to pass the initial permission because they need proper reasons for rejecting and just drilling a hole in the ground is hard for them to reject and so they don’t.

Planning permission for drilling has now been granted to oil and gas company Infrastrata to drill an exploratory well in County Antrim. No EIA required.

(Thanks to Mike Hill for details of drilling and title “Fracking by Stealth”)



  1. Mary Bohan says:

    Looks like we have a huge battle on our hands. Hope our Government will not follow Cameron’s line. Mary Bohan

  2. I hope so too, good luck all in Ireland.

  3. Fracking by Stealth – It’s even worse in Northern Ireland – apparently the Infrastrata application came under “permitted development” which means they did not actually have to apply for proper/full planning permission, because they said that the well would be drilled in under 4 months. What kind of planning law is that? !!

  4. Screw the Petitions. Screw the peaceful protests.

    These parasites have been told “No” time after time and they are still here “exploring”. They are willing to destroy the land and endanger the lives of people who don’t want them here.

    The time for talking is over. We have asked them politely to leave. They haven’t. Now we need to make them leave.

    Make no mistake about this…. This is a war…. They’ve come to the wrong place if they want a war….

  5. ~ has ANYONE considered what the SEISMIC MOVEMENTS inevitably associated with HYDRAULIC FRACKING will do to the CEMENT ANNULUS SEALING which is SUPPOSED to prevent oil and/or gas from migrating OUTSIDE THE STEEL WELL-CASING up the vertical well hole and into ANY LOCAL AQUIFERS, and/
    or the ATMOSPHERE . . . ?


    ~ failure of cement annulus sealing is the only issue about fracking, which ACCORDING TO THE FRACKING INDUSTRY’S OWN SURVEYS, PROVES beyond doubt that FRACKING IS A CRIME . . .

    ~ this issue is being totally ignored by all the anti fracking activists everywhere in the world, its f***ing SPOOKY ! !

    ~ see how the aquifers coincide with the proposed fracking areas ?
    SHADED AREAS INDICATE PRINCIPLE AQUIFERS !…/8962/5170/ho_january_2014.jpg?

    • We in GEAI have been talking about this for two years. You are right and this is an aspect of fracking that is largely ignored. ALL wells leak over time and the potential of contamination of aquifers is much higher than people think.

  6. Thanks, GM

  7. I apologize if someone already answered these 2 questions:

    Is this a photograph of the site in Antrim? And when is the proposed drilling supposed to happen? Can someone offer a link as to how this set up is progressing?

  8. Please advise what has happened since with Infrastrata in Antrim. They are in Swanage now:

  9. Grey says:

    Excellent. The positives from fracking far out weigh the negatives from fracking despite what the alarmist industries contrives.Besides no country that wants to move out of a third world economy into a prosperous economy will not be able to justify the loss of such a valuable resource.

    • Mary Bohan says:

      I think you have got it badly wrong. Do you think people in Leitrim and Fermanagh and maybe many other counties should sacrifice our tourism sector , our agri and organic food sector, and more importantly the human and animal health and allow the greed of a few to destroy the places we live in and love. They will take their profit and leave us to clean up the mess. It’s time to say STOP. Mary Bohan

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