Legal

Rathlin Energy secures bankruptcy order against anti-fracking campaigner

Rolls BuildingEdit

A High Court judge granted a bankruptcy order this morning against Ian Crane, a prominent anti-fracking campaigner, after a request by lawyers for Rathlin Energy.

The case brings to an end a long-running legal dispute between the company and Mr Crane, a broadcaster and former oil executive.

It dates back almost two years to July 2014 when Rathlin Energy sought permission to evict a protest camp outside its oil exploration site at Crawberry Hill in East Yorkshire.

Ian CraneMr Crane and three other people asked for an adjournment of the hearing in the High Court in London. They also asked for the case to be transferred to Hull so that local people could attend. The judge refused their request and granted a possession order to Rathlin Energy.

The company then sought to recover costs from Mr Crane, amounting to £34,000 plus interest and additional legal fees. Last week, a separate judge refused Mr Crane’s application to set aside the default costs certificate which detailed the sum claimed by Rathlin. He also awarded further costs of £7,000 against Mr Crane. DrillOrDrop report

Today, deputy registrar Stephen Lawson made a bankruptcy order at 11.19am. He refused Mr Crane’s request for a further adjournment so that he could challenge the original ruling in the eviction case.

Mr Crane alleged in court that the original decision on the eviction had been based on what he said was inaccurate and misleading information in witness statements by Rathlin’s chairman, David Montagu-Smith, and the landowner, Philip Ellerington.

He said he had submitted an application to set aside the eviction judgement. He wished to examine the statements of both men before a judge and call them to give evidence, he told the court.

Mr Crane, who presents the weekly web-based programme Fracking Nightmare, said an order for bankruptcy against him would be unjust.

“It is my opinion that the whole process here is an abuse of process.”

“Rathlin have made a point of targeting myself as one of the four named defendants. The reason for that is very clear. I have a very vocal critic of Rathlin Energy. I have highlighted many of the problems they have caused in East Yorkshire.”

He said the company was seeking to “limit and restrict” his activities by making him bankrupt.

Tom Shepherd, barrister for Rathlin Energy, told the court:

“The reality is that any appeal [against the original ruling] would have no prospect of success and is woefully late”.

Deputy registrar Lawson said he had to take account of the original judgement and the refusal of the application to set aside the default costs certificate.

“In the circumstances, the only order I can make is to refuse an adjournment and to make a bankruptcy order.”

After the hearing, Mr Crane said:

“It is an inconvenience rather than a catastrophe. I do not have any property or any assets so there is nothing to shut down.”

We asked Rathlin Energy for a reaction and whether it would be pursuing the other named defendants for costs. A spokesperson said the company did not want to comment on the case.

DrillOrDrop reports on the bankruptcy case

Gas company seeks to bankrupt anti-fracking campaigner 23 December 2015

Bid to bankrupt anti-fracking campaigner delayed again 20 January 2016

Surveillance on anti-fracking campaigner revealed in court 28 April 2016

19 replies »

      • Lisa C – This film is about CSG – coal seam gas – not shale gas. Was Crane trying to pull a fast one and confuse us? To help you understand the difference here is a link which explains what CSG is:

        http://www.aplng.com.au/home/what-coal-seam-gas

        There is very little (if any) shale gas industry in Australia. The movie is not applicable to UK or shale gas in the UK. But it is very careful not to mention CSG until quite a while into the movie. If it had been called “Voices From The Coal Seam Gasfields” only those in areas of possible CBM would have bothered to watch it. In any event the removal of trees etc. is no different from what wind farm companies have done over here in large areas of Scotland adjacent to the M74. It is very unlikely that any shale gas comapny would get permission to remove significant amounts of trees in the UK.

        • Were you confused Paul? I wasn’t. The similarities between CSG and shale gas are far greater than the differences, and in terms of environmental impact they are equally destructive. You may be surprised to learn I happen to live in an area which is currently under threat from neither and yet I did bother to watch it,as have a great number of people in my area, because believe it or not, it is not just ourselves we care about, so as lovely as it has been to chat, I’m off now to share the movie some more 🙂

          • You poor gullible person Lisa, tell me does it get better each time you watch it? Make you more determined to live in the 19th century, I’m sure it does, now off you go, share the crap with others of your ilk.

          • Lisa, similarities such as geology, well depth, hole size, casing and cement design, drilling fluids, logging program, hydraulic fracture design and execution, volumes and chemicals, well spacing, rig size, drilling days, production flow rates………. In fact there is nothing “similar” for the two different forms of gas production other than they both produce methane. The movie is misleading and irrelevant to the UK. But don’t let the facts get in the way of a good anti story.

  1. Given Mr Crane has no assets for Rathlin to recover then it follows this action has been done, as Mr Crane claims, to silence him and deter others. I do think they underestimate the resolve of the opposition and history has shown that actions such as this only tend to galvanise public opinion and so will strengthen opposition. No one likes
    a bully and as such I suspect this action will backfire.

    • For the record the Gulf Coast ‘attacks’ on myself and US journalist Deborah Dupre, were orchestrated by a known infiltrator who went under the name of ‘Dr’ Tom Termotto. Termotto appeared on scene to (falsely) claim that he had served a $10million lawsuit on me after I recorded a telephone conversation which proved that he was trying to prevent myself and Dupre from (amongst other aspects of this tragedy) highlighting the role played by BP Company Men Bob Kaluza and Donald Vidrine in the hours leading up to the BP Deepwater Horizon: http://lovingenergies.net/pt/Gulf-doctor-criminal-record-and-infiltration/blog.htm

    • The link in this FB post is to a newsletter I distributed in April 2011 when the ‘attacks’ were increasing in direct ratio to the awareness of the outrageous decisions made by both Bob Kaluza & Donald Vidrine in the 48hrs prior to the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout. The ‘Flak’ always increases in intensity when your right over the target!!

  2. Interesting KT, so you don’t consider Mr. Crane’s actions as bullying yet you do Rathlin.

    Mr. Crane used his position on radio to vocalise his thoughts and position yet Rathlin had no such opportunity, but just because Mr. Crane lost the court action, he is your eyes being bullied, I wonder what your thoughts would have been should he have won………..no doubt in your eyes he would have been a successful pioneer.

    Your response is typical of the short-sighted views of the anti-fracking movement.

    Always two sides to a story KT

    • For the record, every statement I have ever made (and will continue to make) regarding either Rathln Energy or David Montagu-Smith are either based upon information which is already in the public domain or FACTS investigated by me and verified by conversations with first-hand witness. I am very sure that if I have slandered or libelled David Montagu-Smith, I would have heard from his legal representatives! 🙂

  3. As mentioned previously, you could have all chipped in and paid Crane’s costs to avoid this. But it is too late now. Not sure how you can try and make Ratlin out to be the guilty party in this? KT you need to read a bit more about Crane and his past. His life with Schlumberger appears to be non technical – HR or PR, I forget.

  4. Ian Crane has truly taken one for the team of good people all over the world, who are rising up to protect their communities and wild ecology from the self-serving, violatory ravages of this despicable industry. It is a team which is growing exponentially worldwide, and will only be further galvanised and strengthened in its resolve, by this latest blatant and outrageous miscarriage of justice,

    Unfortunately for the self-serving and morally degenerate Frack Dealers ~ bankrupting Ian does nothing to swell their filthy coffers, as he has nothing for them to take ~ and it won’t remotely deter him from continuing to expose their obscene agenda!

    Thank you Ian for putting yourself through this grueling ordeal for many months now, on all our behalfs. For this next year, lunch will be on us :o)

  5. Regarding the desperate and boringly inevitable defamation attempts appearing here – Those who are genuinely opposed to the unconventional hydrocarbon agenda; those who have no nefarious agenda of their own; and those who have taken the trouble to discover the truth about Ian, will know that these preposterous allegations are no more than a symptom of the death throes of a dying entity.

    Those who are not informed; those who are not opposed to this industry; and those who seek to further its ecocidal interests, will continue to attempt, risibly, to discredit him in this way.

    It’s so counterproductive (and exasperatingly predictable) when otherwise intelligent and politically aware people fall for the transparent propaganda, and try to dismiss him as a “conspiracy theorist” et al. If only they would look at how hard and relentlessly he works – as hard and as consistently & effectively as many others put together for the past 3+ years on this – and at how many people he has woken up to the realities of what we are all collectively up against .. Not least by making “Voices from the Gasfields” (see link below) .. Then really think it through, and remind themselves how industry/government shills use the likes of Wikipedia to try to discredit and silence effective voices.

    Those who STILL claim he is in it for the money, have clearly not the faintest understanding of the reality of his situation – or even of the details of this case for heaven’s sake, and are now making even bigger fools of themselves than they were before this Hearing.

    • Frack free Sussex – check your facts please. This film is about CSG – coal seam gas – not shale gas. Was Crane trying to pull a fast one and confuse us? To help you understand the difference here is a link which explains what CSG is:

      http://www.aplng.com.au/home/what-coal-seam-gas

      There is very little (if any) shale gas industry in Australia. The movie is not applicable to UK or shale gas in the UK. But it is very careful not to mention CSG until quite a while into the movie. If it had been called “Voices From The Coal Seam Gasfields” only those in areas of possible CBM would have bothered to watch it. In any event the removal of trees etc. is no different from what wind farm companies have done over here in large areas of Scotland adjacent to the M74. It is very unlikely that any shale gas comapny would get permission to remove significant amounts of trees in the UK.

  6. He only does anything to try and make money? You could justifiably say that about oil & gas companies and investors, but with Ian Crane I can only go on my own experience and that wasn’t the case at all. I contacted Ian on the release of Voices from the Gasfields to ask permission to copy the dvd, and was told to make as many copies as I wanted and distribute as I saw fit. Not in my view the actions of someone only in it for money, in fact if money were the driving force there are far easier ways to make it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s