First INEOS shale gas planning application published – key details

INEOS montage

Montage: INEOS

Plans by INEOS to drill an exploratory shale gas well in north Derbyshire have been published by the county council.

But the application – the first of its kind in Derbyshire and the first submitted by INEOS – is not yet open for public consultation.

In a statement issued today, the council said notices explaining how people can comment about the proposals would be placed in the local press and posted in the area in the coming weeks.

The council said it first needed to check that the application contained all the necessary information. The Communities’ Secretary also has to rule on whether the application needs an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA): the formal process to assess the impacts on the environment.

Derbyshire County Council decided that an EIA was not necessary. But INEOS and some local people and organisations have asked the Secretary of State to make a ruling.

Bramleymoor Lane INEOS


The application is for 2,400m vertical well in the Green Belt on the edge of the village of Marsh Lane, about 300m from the nearest homes. INEOS said the purpose was to take samples of rock to assess the prospects for shale gas in the area. The application does not include plans to carry out fracking or pressure testing.

If an EIA is not needed, the statutory time limit for deciding the application is 13 weeks. But Mike Ashworth, the council’s Strategic Director for Economy, Transport and Communities, said no date has been set for the proposals to be considered by the planning committee. He added:

“We’re committed to making information available to the public every step of the way throughout the planning process and we’ll keep our website up-to-date with all the latest information – including details of when the planning committee meeting will be held.”

The application contains eight documents and runs to more than 700 pages. INEOS concluded that its proposal should be approved.

The company said the application complied with local and national planning policy because “the impact of the proposed development on the environment is acceptable, and will not cause irreparable or unacceptable damage to interests of acknowledged environmental importance”.

But the application has provoked opposition locally. The application documents include written feedback from some of the people who attended two public exhibitions held by the company in Marsh Lane earlier this year. According to results collected at the first exhibition, 86% said they objected to the application and none supported it. At the second, 65% strongly disagreed that the site was acceptable, based on proximity to the highway network, natural screening and the distance from nearby homes.

Link to the application documents

Details of the application

DrillOrDrop has collated the following information from the application documents. We will also report on the consultation and the continuing planning process.

Key facts

Application numberCM4/0517/10

Address: Land adjacent to Bramleymoor Lane and B6056, Marsh Lane, Derbyshire

Size of proposed site: 1.84ha


INEOS Bramleymoor Lane well

Diagram: INEOS



  • Construct a well site and new access track
  • Mobilise drilling and welfare facilities
  • Drill vertical hydrocarbon exploratory core well to 2,400m or 7,900ft
  • Mobilise workover rig for listening well operations
  • Suspend well for use as a listening well to monitor subsurface impacts of other operations
  • Retain site for temporary period of five years
  • Restore or submit further planning application for additional work

Purpose of the well: Test geological properties of the underlying strata, particularly Bowland Shale and assess potential to produce gas.

Flow tests and fracking: INEOS said it has no plans to flow test or produce gas by hydraulic fracturing but it said:

“If results show that shale has potential to produce gas and that further development is likely to be acceptable from a planning safety and environmental viewpoint then further assessments may be undertaken to support a separate planning application for further work.”

Proposed total duration of the scheme: 5 years


Nearest villages: Marsh Lane (nearest homes 370m), Eckington 1.7km), Apperknowle (1.6km)

Nearest homes: Ten Acres Farm (300m) and Heatherlee Farm (320m)

Present site use: agricultural land

Landscape: arable farmland

Nearest listed buildings: Ash Lane Farm (500m to south)

Nearest Sites of Special Scientific Interest: Moss Valley (2.3km to northeast), Moss Valley Meadows (2.1km to north), Moss Valley Woods (2.2km to north east)

Landscape protections: North East Derbyshire Greenbelt, Moss Valley Conservation Area (250m to north) and West Handley Conservation Area (700m to south), Special Landscape Area (300m to south)

Nearest water courses: Tributary of River Rother (750m to south west) and tributary of River Moss (850m to northwest)

Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) area: 300

Licence work commitment: Drill one vertical well, drill and frack one horizontal well, carry out 2D and 3D seismic surveying

Proposed stages of work

Bramleymoor Lane plan INEOS

Proposed site plan: INEOS

Stage 1: Site development and establishment

Duration: 3 months

Working hours: Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat 7am-1pm

Staff numbers: 10 plus 2 security

Vehicle movements over 3.5t: 2,162


  • Surveys and fencing with 2m Heras fencing (which would remain remains throughout the permission) – 2 weeks
  • Development of opening onto highway, access track and parking – 3 weeks
  • Site clearance and development – 6 weeks
    • Removal of top 300mm of soil
    • Creation of soil bunds around site edge
    • Creation of hardstanding area (25mx17m) at centre of site
    • Construction of 2.5m concrete ring for well cellar from which the well will be drilled
    • Lining site with geotextile liner
    • Perimeter drainage ditches with storage pipe
    • Site surfacing: cover liner with 450mm depth of aggregate
    • Construction of concrete pad for rig on hardstanding
    • Installation of cabins
    • Installation of groundwater monitoring boreholes
  • Completion of site works and demobilisation- 3 weeks
    • Seeding soil bunds with grass seeded geotextile blanker
    • Install 1.3m fencing, acoustic screening CCTV, lighting

Stage 2: Drilling, coring and suspension

Duration: 3 months

Working hours: Assembly, drilling, coring, suspension 24-hours a day; site deliveries Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Saturday 7am-1pm

Staff numbers: 25 plus 3 security

Vehicle movements over 3.5t: 2,448


  • Mobilisation and assembly of drilling rig – 2 weeks
    • Delivery of drill rig, drill pipe, water, additives, bottom hole assembly components, logging equipment, mud pumps, casing, cementing equipment
  • Drilling and coring – less than 10 weeks
    • Drill casings: 7” casing down 1,200m, 6 1/4” casing down to 2,400m
    • Rig details: Max height 60m, max length 32m, max width 12m, max weight 350 tonnes, 76 loads (152 movements) to mobilise rig, of which 6 are abnormal loads, overall sound power level 113dB
    • Drilling fluids: Water for drilling upper rock layers; Water-based muds when drilling to base of Westphalian Formation coal measures; Low toxicity oil based mud when drilling through deeper strata
  • Suspension of well – 2 weeks
  • Demobilisation
  • Rig and ancillary equipment, waste and most cabins removed.

Stage 3: Maintenance of suspended well site

Duration: Up to 5 years of application

Working hours: Mon-Fri 7am-7pm

Staff numbers: up to 5

Vehicle movements over 3.5t: 40

Operations: visits (ranging from daily to annual) to check on security, operations, environment, drainage, facilities and wellhead

Stage 3a: Possible workover to re-enter well for maintenance

Duration: 1 month

Working hours: Mon-Fri 7am-7pm except in emergencies

Staff numbers: 10 plus 3 security

Vehicle movements over 3.5t: 438

Operations: well maintenance

Rig height: Maximum 32m

Stage 4: Use of well as a listening well

This stage would take place only for baseline monitoring or when another well was fracked

Duration: Up to three weeks as required

Working hours: Mon-Fri 7am-7pm

Staff numbers: 5-10 plus 3 security

Vehicle movements over 3.5t: 496


  • Mobilisation of workover rig (max height 32m), listening truck, welfare, generators, storage – 2-3 days
  • Placing geophones inside casing
  • Listening operations – up to 15 days
  • Demobilisation – 2-3 days

Stage 5: Abandonment (decommissioning) and restoration

Duration: 2 months

Staff numbers: 20 plus 3 security during decommissioning, 5 for restoration

Vehicle movements over 3.5t: 1648

Operations and working hours

  • Plugging and abandoning the well – 2 weeks, 24-hours
  • Removal of wellsite equipment and surfacing – 2 weeks, Mon-Fri 7am-7pm,
  • Restoration of ground – 3 weeks, Mon-Fri 7am-7pm, Sat 7am-1pm
  • Aftercare – up to 5 years

Key issues for the application

Bramleymoor Lane 170426 DoD

Bramleymoor Lane. Photo: DrillOrDrop


Total movements for all vehicles at all stages: 14,444. This comprises cars: 5484; large goods vehicles (3.5-7.5t): 2,628; HGVs (7.5-32t): 6,332

Maximum movements per day (all vehicles): Stage 1 site construction: 70; Stage 2 drilling, coring, suspension: 60; Stage 3 maintenance: 32; Stage 3a workover: 59; Stage 4 listening well: 55; Stage 5 decommissioning 62

Maximum impact of development traffic: 1% increase on the baseline on the B6056 near the site (planning statement)

Maximum increase in HGVs: 17%

Proposed route to the site: Leave M1 at junction 31, following A57, A630 and A6102 to Norton. The final 6km follows the B6057 Jordanthorpe Parkway and B6056 Eckington Road and Snowden Lane.

Noise and vibration

INEOS said noise from construction may be audible at times but “it is not expected to exceed assessment criteria”.

Noise from drilling and coring activities was expected to be below the 42dB limit at night. Daytime noise levels would be below 55dB. The planning statement said:

“As the noise will be temporary and below the threshold levels, there is not anticipated to be an adverse effect on quality of life.”

The most sensitive areas were likely to be Ten Acre Farm (140m from the site boundary), houses on Bramley Road and Ridge Road in Marsh Lane (370m), Heatherlee Farm (320m) and Ash Lane Farm (500m to south).

Noise levels at the village school would “be very low and are not expected to have significant effects either inside or outside the school premises”, the statement added.

INEOS said the impacts of noise would be reduced the use of bunds, containers and cabins, acoustic screens, silencers and noise attenuation equipment. Adverse impacts from vibration from drilling were expected to be negligible.

Air quality

The application said emissions would include vehicle and equipment exhaust fumes, dust and potentially methane releases but there would be no planned flaring or venting. It concluded:

“Any emissions which do occur will be short-term and very small in volume and are not expected to have a material effect on local air quality.”

Water and flooding

INEOS assessed the site as having a very low risk of flooding and concluded there would be no effect on the water quality of nearby watercourses because there would be no connection between them and the site.

The application said the site was an area with a secondary aquifer but this was not used for public drinking water and there were no abstractions from the aquifer within 1km.


INEOS said groundwater pollution would be avoided by the use of modern drilling techniques and “a wide range of controls to avoid pollution incidents”.

The site was described in the planning statement as in “a relatively low risk area of coal mining influence”. A geophysical survey showed the site was not above shallow mine workings, the statement added.

Human health

“It is considered that the risk to human health is negligible”, the application concluded.


The planning statement said “there were no known records of protected or notable species within the site boundary” and it described habitats on the site as “low to moderate ecological value”. There would no loss of habitats of local importance and mitigation was not required, it concluded.

Marsh Lane village from Bramleymoor Lane 170426 DoD

View to Marsh Lane from Bramleymoor Lane. Photo: DrillOrDrop


The planning statement said the impacts on the landscape would be moderate at worst. Visual impacts would be moderate or substantial for people living on the western edge of Marsh Lane, at nearby farms and for some in Middle Hanley.

No important landscape features would be lost as a result of the proposal. The most intensive part of the work would last only 21 weeks. Once the drilling rig and main infrastructure were removed, the site would have limited effects on landscape character, the application concluded. The site would not undermine the Special Landscape Area to the south.

Green belt

The planning statement argued that mineral extraction is not inappropriate in the Green Belt, provided it preserved openness and did not conflict with Green Belt purposes. The duration of the activity would be short and it would entirely reversible, the application added.


The application concluded:

“Some medium-value listed buildings could experience a short-term change in their setting, (but) there is not considered to be any long term permanent change.

“It is concluded that the development will not result in substantial harm to the historic environment that any small harm to below-ground remains can be adequately mitigated.”

Climate change

The application said:

“The potential contribution of the proposal to national greenhouse gas emissions would be negligible. Climate change emissions associated with the proposal are expected to be limited primarily to those from vehicles and drilling equipment, which are considered to be small and not significant.”


The site will be lit at night during 24-hour operations. Most nearby homes would be screened by the landscape or trees and hedges and INEOS said “there is no potential for direct glare impacts at these properties”. The rig would be lit and visible at night. Lighting would be powered by diesel generators.

Cumulative impact

The application said:

“INEOS are not aware of any other major mineral developments occurring either concurrently or successively, that when combined with this proposal, would have an unacceptable cumulative effect.”


Derbyshire County Council webpage for the application

INEOS webpage for Bramleymoor Lane

Eckington Against Fracking Facebook page

27 replies »

  1. Hi Ruth,
    Please see attached letter from Natasha Eagles that has been posted on various local anti fracking Facebook pages (and as you would expect raised significant number of concerns).
    The letter is as genuine from the originator but for your info.

    Sent from my iPad

    • Ineos stated plans

      30 sites in each licence block and 12-14 wells per site, Ineos ideal scenario would see 396 wells drilled in each 100 square kilometres. (38.6 square miles). This gives the figure of just over 10 wells per square mile.

      A substantial heavy industry in Green Belt requiring continuous well drilling and returns to re frack.

      Intrusive industrialisation of the countryside.

      There is very little support for the realities of the industry.

  2. Good letter, I would vote for her. She has researched and understand the process and potential issues – but she also sees a significant upside. And she recognizes the agenda of Enemies of Industry, Greenpeas etc. and that they are scaremongering to achieve their personal agendas.

    • In a true democracy members of a political party may not always hold ALL of the views of their manifesto; this was proven in Lancashire when the swinging vote for rejection came from a Conservative Councillor.

      However, I would question the motivation of releasing this letter just before the GE. Clearly the ‘leaked’ Labour manifesto has stated they will ban fracking and concentrate on renewables, not because of production problems, but because of human contribution to climate change and the targets we have agreed to; again as part of a democratic process.

      In what may be an uphill struggle for Labour, due to apathetic voters and business run negative media coverage; particularly personal attacks – a method commonly used on here; a form of psychological deflection, instead of concentrating on the real issues – it is hoped that many will look at the offerings and say it cannot be any worse than the austerity government currently run by a self absorbed leader.

      This ‘scaremongering’ name calling is bullshit and you know it, Paul. Greenpeace, FOE etc are not ‘enemies of industry’; there are many they support who give us energy and products that don’t cost the Earth.

  3. I have done my research, including personally with industry, academics and regulators and remain opposed. I am also a supporter of industry, just not fracking.

    • But you are not standing in the General Election as a candidate for the area’s MP. You (and I) have no influence, but the local MP will. Perhaps the Green or Lib Dem candidate who both oppose shale will win? We will see.

  4. This area has just recovered from being ravaged by the coal industry. If you want the area to once again become industrialised beyond your worst fears, then simply do nothing and let them in … the longer term benefits are poor air quality, water pollution, noise, hgv traffic congestion and total desolation of the area.

    Oh and it seems like they’ve already nobbled the Council, so you’d better rally the local campaign troops and demand an environmental risk assessment pretty quickly. This industry comes with an environmental health warning. You’ve been warned!

    Bore Free South …

  5. Seems there is a contradiction with your reference John.

    As no fracking has been concluded in the UK, and current UK gas and oil on shore extraction do not suffer the consequences you indicate, it means your claims are speculation, or worse. I suspect the Councils and other bodies will actually have to look at something a bit more factual.

  6. Sherwulfe-do you really believe that is why Labour has banned fracking??? I suspect you do, which is of course your right to do so. But please do not expect many to accept it as fact.
    Bit like your reasoning for the “uphill struggle”. The real reason is when you select a really poor leader in any organisation, you can not afford to have anyone around that leader who appears more competent, otherwise there will be problems. So, with the bar set that low, you set the bar even lower for the rest of the people on the front bench. The proof is there for everyone to see over the last couple of weeks, even if they haven’t before hand. The Labour party makes it’s own rules, no one else to blame.

    • So Martin, you have of course evidence to support your statements and you are not colouring the sky pink?

      All political parties make their own rules!

      I presume by your comments you have not met the Labour leader; talked to the real person, and are just regurgitating the bias press? You have completely fallen into the diversion trap and are not looking at the party as a whole and what its proposals are.

      I personally will be looking at ALL the party’s offerings from their manifestos when ‘officially’ released and making my judgement on these, not where the media attempts to steer me. I hope you do the same.

    (UNCONVENTIONAL GAS AND OIL EXTRACTION) Fourth Edition, 17th November 2016
    Some 200 plus pages of evidence mainly from the USA, Canada and Australia concluded (p209) that, “All together, findings to date from scientific, medical, and journalistic investigations combine to demonstrate that fracking poses significant threats to air, water, health, public safety, climate stability, seismic stability, community cohesion, and long-term economic vitality. Emerging data from a rapidly expanding body of evidence continue to reveal a plethora of recurring problems and harms that cannot be averted or cannot be sufficiently averted through regulatory frameworks.There is no evidence that fracking can operate without threatening public health directly or without imperiling climate stability upon which public health depends”.

    Click to access fracking-compendium-4.pdf

    Moreover, Professor Kevin Anderson a leading authority on GHG emissions has stated that if we are serious about complying with our climate change committments, there is no scope for developing any unconventional oil or gas reserves. Currently, there is 407ppm CO2 in the atmosphere, which increased by 3.38ppm last year, and if that continues it will be 450ppm in about 13 years. 450ppm is considered to be the level of a potential warming of 2C that will be catastrophic.In the absence of CCS and negative emissions technology, by the time the industry goes to scale by the mid 2020s it will have to be abandoned by 2030 at the latest, so it`s unsustainable and pointless starting another fossil fuel industry.

  8. William that’s why the world oil price is at $48/barrel, and fracking is on the rise?

    Sherwulfe-I do not need to meet every politician to be able to determine whether they can talk basic common sense. The Labour financial policies already announced, would be difficult to contemplate at any time within “normal” economic circumstances, but to think you will raise revenue from increasing Corporation Tax and introducing a Robin Hood tax whilst the country is negotiating Brexit is so ridiculous, it beggars belief. It would simply produce an exit of companies, capital and the wealthy which taken together represent the vast bulk of the UK tax income.

    • Martin. no one is asking you to meet all the politicians, just to stop listening the the bias blurb and make decisions based on actual experience and not second hand information.

      Again your statements about the finances and implications are based on media offerings and nothing to do with the actual realities.

      Our country needs objectivity from reporting not entertainment. This is a very important election. For many it will mean the difference between making ends meet and poverty, a good health service or death due to excessive waiting times.

      Like fracking, people react when it affects them. Education, NHS and money in your pocket affects everyone. At the moment all three are being drained of resources to prop up the few. It will be interesting to see if the people of Britain react or just moan about it 😦

  9. My statements Sherwulfe are NOT based on media statements, or second hand experience. You have simply plonked that into your narrative, because it is in need of it.

    Unlike some in the Labour Party, I can do my own calculations on experience, and other factors. I have seen enough Labour governments who always leave higher unemployment than when they gained power, and then in opposition spend their time moaning about the unemployed and the poor. I have been out of work and was delighted to obtain casual work. Now it is demonised as zero hours and should be outlawed-even though the vast majority of workers with this type of contract rate them highly. (Yes, there are still abuses, but equally so on ALL contracts, but no one would suggest banning all employment contracts.) The reality though is 5% Len doesn’t want them because those on them are outside his clutches.

    Before I obtained real experience of life, I voted Labour. Perhaps it would be a good idea to lower the voting age to 16? Oh-someone has seen the possibilities!

    My real life experience that when someone on this site Giggles a reference to the safety record of the UK Shale “industry” but has been posting continuously about the merits of N.Sea oil, we are not supposed to know about the accidents that have taken lives in that industry sector? If he was one of the individuals I used to mentor to improve their customer relationship skills, I would (from experience) indicate that was a move that either insults the intelligence of the customer or achieves the total reverse of what was intended.

    • Unless you work directly for the government or in the financial think tanks of the Labour Party, or any other party, then your information will always be second hand, interpreted with bias and put out for its entertainment value rather than reality.

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