Balcombe Village The Centre Of Fracking Protests

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Fracking to take place in UK for first time in five years after tests approved

North Yorkshire councillors have given the green light to fracking tests, despite facing fierce opposition from environmental groups and the public.

The UK firm Third Energy will now be able to conduct tests for shale gas in the village of Kirby Misperton.

Fracking hasn’t taken place in the UK since 2011, when shale gas exploration in Fylde, Lancashire was linked to earthquakes in the area.

The council’s decision was met with boos and jeers from anti-fracking protesters outside the town hall, according to the Guardian.

Environmental groups have been incensed by the decision, while local residents have expressed worries over the impacts of fracking on pollution and health.

The BBC report that Rasik Valand, chief executive of Third Energy means the firm now has “a huge responsibility”.

At the end of last year, Energydesk revealed that Third Energy was owned by a division of Barclays bank and based in the Cayman Islands.

Oil majors face AGMs with climate change at centre stage

Exxon Mobil and Chevron both face annual meetings tomorrow, with shareholders more concerned than ever about the companies plans to address the threat of climate change.

Reuters report that environmental concerns have become important for investors after the Paris agreement. Investor groups are urging both companies to detail what they intend to do to tackle climate change.

Exxon and Chevron have traditionally been sceptical of climate change, and have made few noises about tackling the issue in recent years.

Anne Simpson of CalPERS, which holds $1bn of Exxon shares, was frank about the problems facing both companies.

“This is their Kodak moment,” she said. “If they want to still be in business in 30 years, they have to understand the changes that are taking place.”

Shell has also faced criticism of its climate policy ahead of its annual meeting.

Major shareholder, the Dutch pension fund PGGM, has said it is not convinced by the company’s strategy on climate.

The oil giant is also facing pressure from an activist group called ‘Follow This’ at the annual meeting to transform itself into a sustainable energy company.

Nigeria: Oil production hits 20 year low, boosting price of Brent crude

Oil production in Nigeria has slipped to its lowest level in 20 years, as the country’s oil rich southern region faces attacks by a new militant group.

Bombings and act of sabotage by the Niger Delta avengers have forced oil production in Nigeria to 1.4million barrels a day, from 2.2million. According to the FT, this coupled with problems in oil rich states like Venezuela and Libya has forced the price of Brent Crude up worldwide to nearly $49 a barrel.

In a brilliant explainer, reporters Anjli Raval and Maggie Fick go into great detail about how militants have forced evacuations at Chevron and Shell facilities in recent months and details what the Nigerian government, overstretched by the fight with Boko Haram in the county’s north, is doing to fightback against the militants.

In other news

BP: Oil giant reigns in ambitions due to budget cuts

Climate change: World could face 10 degrees of warming in all fossil fuels are burned

India: Modi announces $500m investment in Iranian port

Poland: Coal addicted country puts limits on wind farms

UK: Solar project which raised £1m collapses