Francis Egan

Francis Egan

Credentials

  • B.E. Civil Degree. [1]
  • M.E. Master of Engineering. [1]
  • M.B.A., University of Warwick. [1]

Background

Francis Egan is the chief executive of UK fracking (hydraulic fracturing) company, Cuadrilla Resources, appointed in 2012. He has spent more than three decades working in the oil and gas industry, having managed the global production division of BHP Billiton Petroleum, based in Houston, Texas. [2], [3]

At BHP, Francis Egan held “numerous leadership roles in the UK, US, Australia, Pakistan and Algeria,” according to a press release from Cuadrilla Resources. [2]

Before joining BHP, Egan held various engineering and commercial positions at Marathon Oil, an American oil and gas company headquartered in Houston, Texas, which has conducted hydraulic fracturing operations in several states. [1], [4]

Stance on Climate Change

August 13, 2018

When challenged in an interview with Compelo about the environmental impacts of fracking, including greenhouse gas emissions, Egan replied: [5]

Renewables are an important and growing share of the electricity market, but are nowhere near meeting all of the UK energy needs, of which electricity is just one third. [5]

Even now, around a third of the UK’s electricity is still generated from gas. Over 80% of homes rely on natural gas to heat their homes and renewables can’t replace this demand at the moment. [5]

By replacing liquefied natural gas imports and continuing to decrease reliance on coal, with shale gas produced onshore, we will reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and provide a cost-effective source of energy for our homes, businesses and industry.” [5]

November 8, 2016

In response to a question from the House of Lords economic affairs select committee in 2016 on how fracking aligns with the UK’s emission reduction goals, Egan said: [6]

Well the climate change committee squared that and the government squared it. [6]

But in terms of how I square it is that we’re going to need gas and that’s going to have to fit into emissions targets or we’re going to have shut off the heating and the cooking in the country, and that’s not going to happen. So really, what we have to demonstrate is that we can produce gas at lower emissions than we can import it. [6]

You’ve got to remember that emissions for us is revenue. So we’re burning dollars or pounds so in terms of emissions, people say we have to be heavily regulated. We don’t have to be heavily regulated, that’s our profit. It’s like Tesco’s throwing away its food. So with best practice you can get down to less than one percent and there’s no reason in the UK why we can’t get down to less than one percent emissions.” [6]

May 11, 2013

Egan was interviewed for an article in This is Money magazine: [7]

People make out that the argument is between gas and renewable energy like solar or wind, but renewable energy is only about electricity generation.” [7]

If all of our electricity was generated by renewable energy, that would still only cut our gas consumption by a third.” [7]

Two- thirds of the gas used in this country is used in central heating or cooking or by industry. Where is that going to come from? The earth doesn’t care if the gas comes from Lancashire or somewhere else.” [7]

Key Quotes

October 30, 2016

In Cuadrilla’s annual report, as reported by City AM, Egan said: [8]

We are now focussed on ensuring that planning conditions are discharged smoothly and plan to begin site build towards the end of the year.” [8]

The year ahead will be a pivotal and exciting one for Cuadrilla. Assessing the commercial viability of shale gas production in the UK is a national imperative.” [8]

January 17, 2015

In an interview with The Telegraph Egan objected to “scaremongering” by opponents; the distribution of “publications that frighten people; people being told they are going to get cancer.” He continued: [9]

I get quite angry about it frankly. If people want to object to it I have no issue with that, but if they are preying on people’s fears in an unfounded way then I think that’s completely irresponsible.” [9]

May 11, 2013

Egan told a reporter with the Financial Mail on Sunday: [7]

Things have become ridiculous… The fear over fracking is completely out of proportion. The UK has been drilling for oil and gas since the 1960s. This is not a cowboy industry. UK companies lead the way in oil and gas in many parts of the world.” [7]

Key Deeds

March 25, 2019

Egan wrote a letter to The Times in response to an article by Conservative MP Lee Rowley published earlier in the week. In it, Egan criticises what he considers the “extraordinarily conservative seismicity limit currently in place,” which has caused the company to halt drilling operations on numerous occasions following minor earthquakes at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire. [18], [19]

The letter also claims that fracking in the UK “could reduce its dependency on imported gas by 50 per cent, create £1.8bn in community benefits and up to 64,000 jobs by 2035.” [18]

It ends by saying: “all this jumping up and down by Mr Rowley is probably creating more movement and vibration in the House of Commons than hydraulic fracturing ever will at Blackpool Tower.” [18]

October 31, 2018

Egan called on the government to relax rules on earth tremors caused by fracking operations. He said tremors measuring up to 2.0 on the Richter scale should be allowed, arguing that other countries, including the US and Canada, allow seismic activity well above this level. [10]

Claire Perry, the energy minister, had said two weeks before that she was “not considering weakening the monitoring controls on seismicity.” [10]

July 5, 2018

Egan spoke at the Third UK Onshore Oil & Gas Summit in Birmingham, organised by Open Forum Events. Other speakers included Stephen Sanderson, CEO of UK Oil and gas (UKOG) and Labour MP, Angela Smith. [11]

Among the sponsors of the event was Eclipse Strategic Security, who provide security for onshore oil and gas companies in the UK and have conducted surveillance on fracking protesters, including via social media, as a 2018 investigation by DeSmog and Vice Motherboard revealed. [11], [12]

The event overview acknowledged the difficulties facing the fracking industry: “Growing pressure on the government to commit to renewable energy and the recent banning of fracking in Scotland has further compounded the economic viability of unconventional drilling methods.” [11]

August, 2017

Drilling began at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site in Lancashire. Egan called it “an important milestone for the energy industry in the UK.” [13]

June, 2017

Egan accused anti-fracking protesters of “irresponsible, intimidating behaviour” in the strategic statement of the company’s accounts. [14]

November, 2016

Egan appeared in front of the House of Lords economic affairs select committee to answer questions on the UK’s shale gas industry. In his answers to peers’ questions, he said fracking could be “squared” with the UK’s emissions reduction goals, that it was “remarkably difficult” to get through planning processes to the point of production, and that UK shale gas would largely be competing with imported US liquefied natural gas at around $6 per unit. [6]

October 30, 2016

Cuadrilla was revealed to have made a loss of $18m during the previous year, due in part to the company not being to hire out its drilling rig to other fracking companies, including IGas and Third Energy. [8]

November, 2013

Egan met with then environment secretary and climate science denier Owen Paterson. Former environment agency chief Lord Smith, and the chiefs of two other fracking firms – Andrew Austin of IGas and Ken Cronin of the UK Onshore Oil and Gas operators group (UKOOG) – were also at the meeting. The government refused to release details of the meeting. [15]

November 5, 2013

Egan, along with fellow fracking bosses, Andrew Austin (IGas), Tom Crotty and Andrew Mackenzie (INEOS), gave evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee on the potential for shale gas extraction in the UK. [16]

The men estimated that the UK’s oil and gas would run out in around 2030 and, when asked if they could put their hands on their hearts and “say that fracking is completely safe,” Egan responded: [17]

We would not do it if we did not think it was safe to do it. We live in this country. Our children drink the water in this country. We are not living on a different planet. The risks have been well documented. Water is talked about a lot, and I talked a little about it today. We will use non-hazardous to groundwater fracturing fluid. As Andrew has said, we will construct our wells meeting all the requirements of the UK regulatory system. We will put in an exhaustive seismic monitoring array around each well site and, as we are currently doing, we will have a top-class engineering firm, Arup in this case, complete an environmental impact assessment, and it will tell us — it is not us doing it — if there is something unacceptable there.” [17]

June 15, 2012

Egan was appointed CEO of Cuadrilla Resources. [2]

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

  • Francis Egan does not appear to have published anything in any major outlets.

Resources

  1. Francis Egan bio,” Open Forum Events. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/2kArJ

  2. Chief Executive Announcement,” Cuadrilla Resources, June 15, 2012. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/mJxqe

  3. Francesca Washtell. “Getting into the flow of it: Cuadrilla’s CEO on safety, earthquakes and political hypocrisy as the company gears up to start onshore fracking,” City AM, October 8, 2018. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/goiGB

  4. Hydraulic Fracturing,” Marathon Oil. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/uurKs

  5. Julian Turner. “Fracking in the UK: Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan talks to Compelo Energy,” Compelo, August 13, 2018. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/wsHTs

  6. Ruth Hayhurst. “Francis Egan on drilling in 2017, low gas prices, financing expansion and how many wells can you fit on a site,” Drill or Drop, November 13, 2016. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Y4uTH

  7. Simon Watkins. “Fracking? There’s 1,000 trillion reasons why we can’t ignore it, says ‘Mr Frack’ – Cuadrilla’s Francis Egan,” This is Money, May 11, 2013. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/WF4wh

  8. Oliver Gill. “Cuadrilla glosses over loss-making year and is optimistic for the future,” City AM, October 30, 2016. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/HDfWJ

  9. Emily Gosden. “Cuadrilla chief Francis Egan: Scaremongering fracking opponents make me angry,” The Telegraph, January 17, 2015. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/zzEhY

  10. David Sheppard, Myles McCormick. “Cuadrilla says UK fracking rules risk ‘strangling’ it,” Financial Times, October 31, 2018. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/IxVrC

  11. The Third UK Onshore Oil and Gas Summit,” Open Forum Events, July 5, 2018. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/bZu9e

  12. Mat Hope, Richard Collett-White. “Investigation: Facebook Surveillance of Fracking Protesters — Background and Key Documents,” DeSmog, July 9, 2018.

  13. Ruth Hayhurst. “Drilling Begins at Cuadrilla’s Lancashire Shale Gas Site,” DeSmog, August 17, 2017. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/9tlxx

  14. Mat Hope. “Fracking Company Cuadrilla Continues to Lose Millions, Accounts Show,” DeSmog, June 11, 2017.

  15. Kyla Mandel. “Owen Paterson Meeting With Fracking Bosses Remains State Secret,” DeSmog, December 5, 2014.

  16. Louise Stewart. “Energy bosses questioned by Lords Economic Affairs Committee,” BBC News, November 6, 2013. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/FHt6m

  17. Unrevised transcript of evidence taken before the Select Committee on Economic Affairs inquiry on the Economic Impact on UK Energy Policy of Shale Gas and Oil,” House of Lords, November 5, 2013. Archived February 6, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/WuMBZ

  18. “All this jumping up and down by @Lee4NED is probably creating more movement and vibration in the House of Commons than hydraulic fracturing ever will at Blackpool Tower…” Check out the full edit of Francis’s letter in The Times today which sets out a few facts,” Tweet by @CuadrillaUK, March 25, 2019. Retrieved from Twitter.com. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

  19. Ben Webster. “Cuadrilla puts fracking on hold after strongest earthquake yet,” The Times, December 11, 2018. Archived March 26, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/CRmoD

Other Resources

Photo: DrillorDrop screengrab via Parliament TV

Related Profiles

APCO Worldwide Background APCO has been described as “one of the world's most powerful PR firms.” [1], [2] According to its agency profile at O'Dwyers, “APCO Worldwide is a global c...
Hugh W. Ellsaesser Credentials Ph.D., Meteorology. [1] Background Hugh W. Ellsaesser, born in 1920, is a meteorologist by training and retired “guest scientist” at the Lawrence Liverm...
Alfred (Al) Pekarek Credentials Ph.D., University of Wyoming (1974). [1]B.A. University of Minnesota-Twin (1965). [1] Background Alfred (Al) Pekarek is a former ass...
Benny Josef Peiser Credentials Ph.D. , University of Frankfurt (1993). Peiser studied political science, English, and sports science. [1], [2] Background Benny Peiser is a sports ...