Politics

MP calls for investigation into cause of water problems in seismic testing area in Bolsover

171018 STW problem 4 Dennis Skinner1

The Labour MP for Bolsover, Dennis Skinner, has called on the Prime Minister to investigate water problems in an area near where INEOS has been carrying out seismic testing.

Residents on the Oxcroft estate, an area of smallholdings on the edge of Bolsover, in Derbyshire, complained about discoloured water more than a week ago.

171018 STW problem 4

Discoloured water on the Oxcroft estate, 12 October 2017. Photo: Used with the permission of the author

INEOS Shale has been carrying out seismic testing in the Bolsover area recently. It says there is no evidence to link the problems to its work.

At Prime Minister’s Questions this morning, Mr Skinner said:

“Is the Prime Minister aware that INEOS, the fracking company, has been accused in the Bolsolver area on the Oxcroft estate of creating a massive deterioration in the water supply run by Severn Trent. Will she, as Prime Minister, investigate this matter and call upon INEOS to halt the process whilst the investigation takes place.”

The Prime Minister replied:

“He’s raised an issue which, I’m sure will be properly looked into. But underlying this is the question of ensuring that we are able to get a secure and safe supply of energy* into the future and that’s why the fracking is continuing, that’s why we’re supportive of the shale gas exploration. There are opportunities there for the United Kingdom and I’m sure he’s raised a particular issue that I’m sure will be looked into appropriately.”

You can watch the video here.

DrillOrDrop has been investigating the water problems in the Oxcroft area since last week. We’ll be reporting from the area tomorrow.

Mr Skinner told DrillOrDrop he had asked his parliamentary question in response to a letter and photographs from a constituent. He said he had written to INEOS and Severn Trent about the water problems on the Oxcroft estate but had not received a reply.

INEOS issued this statement:

“INEOS takes its responsibility for all its works very seriously and takes into account all relevant environment and infrastructure before working on site. Underground imaging surveys have played a long-time role in understanding the UK’s geology, particularly in the era of coal.

“In this case, our survey was carried more than 3 kilometres from the leak reported at Bolsover. There is zero evidence that links the Severn Trent water leak to our work.

“Severn Trent is currently investigating the reported water supply issues in the area. In the meantime, we are disappointed that Mr Skinner chose to make his comments in Parliament before receiving our response to his letter. As a former miner, he knows better than most what is underground and the work we are doing in Bolsover. Our invitation to him stands, to meet with our geologists to discuss our activity and its proximity three kilometres from the Severn Trent leak.”

This evening Mr Skinner said he had still not received any response or correspondence from INEOS and he said he would not meet the company:

“Not in a month of Sundays. Who are they kidding? That’s not my style. I’m opposed to fracking.

“We live cheek-by-jowl in Britain. In America you can do fracking in some sites and not be within five miles of people. We are not a country like that.”

*A report on the UK’s gas supply published last week said the UK was not dependent on shale gas for future energy security DrillOrDrop report

38 replies »

  1. “Defending” Ineos against what?

    There is a water leak. Happens all the time, in all parts of the UK. Sometimes just old pipes giving up the ghost, other times it is more to do with groundworks of some nature (my son is a groundworks contractor) disturbing pipelines. (I did it myself once, but with a BT underground cable.)

    Of course, it could have been protestors jumping up and down trying to cause an earthquake. Perhaps Mrs. May should investigate that?

  2. Good response to this post. I do not like the bullying tone of some of the comments. What, seismic drilling may damage the water supply! How could that ever happen (D’oh!) – don’t bother looking for evidence in America, Canada etc.,
    The response shows this post really touched a nerve.
    And as for MPs standing up in the Parliament and raising concerns for the people who elected them… Horrendous, what will they do next – put the majority before the shareholders, bankers and money-grabbers?

    • Vewright
      I agree with you that MPs should be seen to champion the concerns of the constituents ( no matter who they voted for ), when they need to.

      Dennis is well thought of by the in laws in Shirebrook, who have been voting for him seemingly forever. He is quick to reply to queries received.

      In this case one might question why he asked for a halt to surveying, when the answer to the problem had been provided by the water company. It seems he had written to both the water company and INEOS and had yet to receive a reply!

      Maybe there is more to this than meets the eye, but as noted in other posts, brown water is not unusual, and so far ( as far as I can deduce ) there has yet to be a case where seismic surveying has caused damage to water supplies in the U.K. Happy to be corrected if wrong.

  3. Ah the good ‘ol evidence from America and now Canada (seems to be fashionable to throw this country into the mix nowadays).
    Well I guess we can’t question what Google says so we might as well just call it quits on the pro side. I’m off to A&E, got a sore head which apparently means I’ve not got long to go.
    I honestly do wonder what humans did before Google came on the scene!

  4. Suggest you investigate how seismic testing is done vew! Bit more Giggle, but you may find it educational and explain why the reaction is as it is.

    And while you are at it-there are no shareholders in Ineos. It is owned by owner directors, ie. they have put their own resources into the business (obviously with some financial support, as needed, just like most householders in UK do-but on a larger scale.)

    Just think though. When water is taken back into public ownership we can go back to the good old days of continuous water leaks and our seas full of sewage because long term investment dries up and the whole water supply/treatment infrastructure crumbles-again. Mr. Skinner would be in his element.

  5. 5% Len is a very dangerous man indeed. Not to people like myself but to the people that pay his extortionate salary considering he doesn’t do anything.
    When more people start to realise this guy kills jobs rather than supports them he will be booted out.
    The UK doesn’t need militant lefties that don’t practice what they preach.

  6. Brown/orange water. Not uncommon in former coal mining areas. Anyway let’s await judgement based on sound evidence.

  7. To correct the terminology… as Ineos state, they are carrying out a seismic survey. Seismic testing (planning what vibrator force to use, sweep length, etc,) would only be done on the first day.

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