Campaign grows against INEOS Yorkshire fracking surveys

Castle Howard south lakeNorth Yorkshire

Castle Howard, owned by Nick Howard, one of the signatories of the letter to the Gazette and Herald.  Photo: Richard Watson

More landowners in Yorkshire have joined a campaign opposing fracking and access to their property for seismic testing.

Last week (23 February 2018), 15 owners, holding more than 80,000 acres, wrote to The Times saying they had no wish for their land to play any part in extracting gas or oil.

They included Nick Howard, of Castle Howard, Sir William Worsley of Hovingham Hall, Sir Richard Storey, of Settrington House and the television presenter, Selina Scott.

Yesterday, they were joined by another 27 names in a letter to the Gazette and Herald, the local newspaper in the area where Third Energy wants to carry out fracking. Full letter by landowners to the Gazette and Herald

The signatories said:

“We …. encourage all landowners of every type, shape and size here, to resist the blandishments of the fracking companies, and stand with us.”

The letter is aimed at INEOS, the UK’s biggest shale gas company, which is currently seeking access to land to carry out seismic testing in the area.

The landowners described seismic testing as “a likely precursor to the siting of well pads for fracking”.

The said they deplored INEOS’s action to bring a legal challenge against the National Trust, which has refused access for seismic surveying at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire. They said:

“We are taking the same, perfectly reasonable, stand.”

Clumber Park Nottinghamshire

The National Trust’s Clumber Park. Photo: Richard Watson

They added:

“We expect this resistance to be supported by all our political representatives, specifically including our MP, as we lobby national government to dispense with this flawed policy.”

The Thirsk and Malton MP, Kevin Hollinrake, told DrillOrDrop:

“Every constituent’s view is equally important to me. I do understand local concerns about shale gas exploration and am working extremely hard to make sure any development has no significant impact on the environment and landscape and is consistent with meeting our climate change obligations. Despite our huge investment in renewables, gas will still play an important part in heating 22 million UK homes and electricity generation for a number of decades and, given the above conditions, it does make sense to produce gas rather than import it. I will be responding to the letter in full in due course.”

Mike Amesbury 180228 Parliamentary TV

Mike Amesbury MP

Yesterday, the INEOS seismic surveys were raised in parliament at Prime Minister’s Questions. The Labour MP, Mike Amesbury, told Theresa May about a Weaver Vale constituent, who had, in his words, been “door-stepped” by INEOS agents. A few days after she refused access, she received an unsolicited pre-named contract giving INEOS the right to survey her land.

Mr Amesbury asked the Prime Minister if she knew what it felt like to get an unsolicited letter from “a group that won’t take no for an answer”.

On record in opposition to fracking

The Yorkshire landowners said in their most recent letter:

“We would like to place on public record our opposition to fracking not just in Yorkshire, but everywhere.”

They dismissed the arguments in favour of fracking that the gas was needed for national security or as a bridge fuel to a low carbon future. They also raised concerns about industrialisation of the countryside and landowner liabilities.

The letter continued:

“We remain deeply concerned about an activity which would industrialise this area of glorious countryside, bringing potential air and water pollution, as well as HGV nuisance on already potholed roads (and that’s without mentioning the plastic which could be created, as Ineos does – exacerbating the plastic crisis that the world currently faces).

“Landowners (of whatever acreage) in this PEDL area, which includes Malton and Norton, have already been offered licence agreements, with proposed schedules of payments, to allow seismic tests to be carried out on our land. This is a likely precursor to the siting of well pads for fracking.

“But you may be surprised to read that after the fracking company has gone (and the licence expired), the landowner is left with the residual liability for any well. Imagine the cost if the casing deteriorates and catastrophic water pollution then occurs. It, like asbestosis, could be devastating to all concerned (as well as whatever protection – eg insurance – might be put in place, after all possible proceeds have been exhausted), wherever in the vicinity you live.”

INEOS response

INEOS previously gave the following statement on this issue to DrillOrDrop. We have invited the company to respond specifically to the Gazette and Herald letter. We’ll update this post with any response.

“The key message here is that if shale gas proves to be successful in the UK it will become a vital piece of the nation’s infrastructure, and will provide the UK with highly competitive energy, meaning we will be less dependent on foreign supplies. It will also generate enormous levels of investment and jobs in the North of England where they are desperately needed, and will also help the UK to meet its climate change commitments.

“Manufacturing jobs are not created without investment and there is precious little investment in the North of England in manufacturing.  Recent figures on jobs and investment estimate that the shale industry is expected to bring in £33 billion of investment into England alone over the next two decades

“The resources beneath our feet can be used to create jobs, heat our homes, go a long way towards self-sufficiency and improve our balance of payments and the environment all at the same time.”

Updated 2/3/2018 to include quote from Kevin Hollinrake MP

66 replies »

  1. “National Grid has warned it may not have enough gas to meet UK demand on Thursday and has asked suppliers to provide more. In the event that there is still a deficit, large gas users such as industry and large businesses will be asked to use less gas.”

    So much for how “secure” UK gas supplies are. I can see though there could be a few of the better off in Yorkshire who could be “volunteered” to make a sacrifice to enable the local workers to keep working, earning, free from frost bite and Tiny Tim fed.

    Good day for humbugs.

  2. Excellent news, thank You Ruth, what is this anti antis?


    It seems Ineos have upset some more very influential apple carts? That was inevitable no one likes to be bullied by such new skids under the blocks?

    Ignore and brush off that at your peril Teresa May?

  3. Sitting here freezing to death while Putin controls our gas I say as a matter of national security we start gas exploration as fast as we can.

    • We get less than 1% gas from Russia via Norway. Sadly for you more and more people are educating themselves on this unsafe and unnecessary industry.

    • “National Grid has warned it may not have enough gas to meet UK demand on Thursday”

      Relax Anti anti’s. It’s ok. Don’t panic.

      In 2017 we exported 110,134 TWH of home grown North sea gas.

      We imported only 65,361 TWH of LNG.

      You may be able to see from the numbers that we chose to export nearly twice as much home grown as we imported in LNG.
      This means that if we choose we can cease exporting and save it for us.

      Phew! that must be a relief for worried anti anti’s

      Page 45 table 41

      Click to access Gas.pdf

      If you are still worried that Putin might turn the tap off look how much we got from Europe in Q2 and Q3 of 2017.

      Absolutely nothing but still exported large amounts.

      Page 42 table 4.4

      Click to access Gas.pdf

      Try firing your boiler up again. If it still doesn’t work you may need a gas engineer rather than thinking Putin has shut the valve off.

      Shale gas for plastic and shale gas partly owned by the Chinese really isn’t going to solve our gas energy problems especially when our Government and the international gas union tell us shale is not needed for energy security.

      And remember many anti anti’s don’t support the importing of goods from Norway or China.

      In order to achieve not needing to import anything you may wish to get out and about in your all English Morris Marinas, foraging food from all English hedgerows, and returning home to your bent native English willow framed, wattle and daub clad huts, to cook your all English road kill and native berry sauce over a roaring all English shale gas stove.

      Prepare now before the lights go out forever!

  4. You couldn’t make it up. Running out of gas and the barmy army are still out with their tamberines dancing around a wind turbine preying for it to start rotating.
    What’s the bets they all then go home to turn on the combi boiler, whap out the laptop, stick James O’brien on the radio and start their preaching about topics they’ve read on The Canary.

    • Surely the question is why has the UK so little gas storage? There is no shortage of gas and the UK has an extensive network of pipes and gas hubs to deal with gas being piped in and LNG imports. Fracking is so many years away, if it ever happens, it is not going to resolve any issues we have now. So let us look at the facts and what has to be resolved immediately, not in the decade it would take for a fracking industry to become established. A decade from now things will look very different. Plus unless the government is going to reserve fracked gas for domestic use only, which is unlikely, any gas would be sold on the gas market. Not to mention shale gas would never be able to give energy independence to the UK either. So imports will continue of the foreseeable future.

      • Good god KatT that is the most intelligent thing I’ve seen you post on here. Despite that sounding incredibly derogatory I promise it’s not intended to be. Can you please become the poster girl for the antis and use your intellect to teach them that renewables aren’t the answer for a long long long time if at all ever!
        It’s refreshing to see sensible comments from your side even if only once a year. Think I’ll maybe screenshot it!

  5. These phoney calls about gas insecurity and the related scaremongering tactics are rather pathetic. To maintain over-capacity, to cover all contingencies, is not sound economics. It’s standard practice to run ‘lean’ an buy-in to top up during periods of exceptional demand. Otherwise we’d still see those huge gas storage tanks in every town.

    • I’d imagine your economics applies to grit for the roads as well, hence why there is none. Surely PP you’re old enough to know to make preparations for a rainy day? Ah but then age is only a number after all.
      Now you know how sensible people like myself feel when we have to listen to your stories of earthquakes and armageddon when fracking kicks off.

      • Not ‘my’ economics GBK just modern good practice. Do you think the world’s population should never face exceptional circumstances nor have to adjust consumption patterns accordingly?

        • PP unfortunately you are what I would class as naive but harmless.
          I’ve been to certain parts of the world and seen things that the avg UK citizen will never have to see and I can confidently say that it’s a dog eat dog world out there. The idea of socialism and restraint on consumption will never exist. It’s been tried in the past and present and is called Communism! Restraint for the masses and unlimited luxury for the elite.
          Try and be a bit more……. British! After all its people like me that afford you the luxury of your current lifestyle.

          • So an interesting response from GBK? Would love to see this call centre you all work in. Perhaps you would be better sticking to your own avatars….

          • GBK.. you make assumptions that are completely bonkers and that clearly feed your world view. Would you flip out if I told you that I was conservative (small C) and believe in capitalism? … of an enlightened kind i.e. where corporates observe a triple bottom line: economic, social and environmental. You seem to be bipolar in your Left-Right split thinking where never the twain shall meet. But you’re young and naive. There’s still time to achieve some sanity in your life.

      • Try and think about what you are saying Martin. Take your time. The common sense of what actually happens isn’t that far fetched. What do you advocate? Going back to the bulk storage model?

        I expect contingency prices for additional demand are all pre-calculated. I doubt if there will be any surprises. But why let the facts get in the way of a scary elephant stampede eh?.

  6. You have to wonder at the continuing ability to ignore the elephant when it is a whole herd stampeding across the landed estates.

    So, we buy in to top up when there is exceptional demand! OMG. Supply minus demand equals price. The UK households will find out the truth of that very shortly. Maybe PhilipP will be excluded from that? The population of Yorkshire certainly will not.

    • Perhaps it is Ineos particular white elephants they dont want stomping all over their land and setting up a legal precedent for further access to invade and pollute? Seismic testing is only the first move, as we all know, more will follow and then before you know it, the land is covered in these virus like carbuncles.

      Apparently seismic testing works both ways? You shake my house, and we will bring your entire corporation down. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction?

      Perhaps the lesson is don’t encroach your white elephants on other peoples land? They have gamekeepers with double barrels, and like elephants, gamekeepers never forget, or forgive.


  7. not surprised you get frustrated martin, you obviously know better than everyone on every subject under the sun and yet these awful antis just won’t listen to you, the moment when you are called in by the government as ‘chief advisor – everything’ can’t come a moment too soon in my opinion

    • Absolutely. Why take any notice of the hundreds of medical experts telling us that fracking harm’s our health when Dr Ratcliffe knows exactly what’s good for us. After all, he cares about the people of this country so much that he took off to Switzerland because he didn’t like paying tax.

  8. Moi, frustrated? Not at all hrb. It’s not my “knowledge”, it is what are the facts of the current situation. It has not been me, repeatedly, Giggling a report that states the UK gas supplies are secure as if that makes it fact. When the real FACTS show that is incorrect then, by all means, ignore those facts or try the anti truth. It certainly doesn’t frustrate me, it actually reinforces my faith in the UK population realising the anti truth is still 1984 rather than 2018 because you can conflate until you are dizzy but the gas bills will still drop through the letter boxes-when they have thawed out. Shame for the antis that the weather gods decided to remind the population that winters do happen, and that is why they have a gas boiler in their houses.

    • I don’t have a gas boiler or gas bill, I have an air source heat pump that keeps us warm even in weather like this. Gas boilers should never be replaced, heat pumps should be fitted. Pretty soon we wouldn’t need gas for heating.

  9. Well said Lily, Phillip P & John Powney. Particularly appreciate the links John, but they both take you to the same section (4) – did you mean to refer to another page or section?

    I find it completely baffling why the same old same old pro frackers on these comments pages keep posting the same old same old irrelevant points and nonsensical playground insults – it’s almost as if they can’t read and take in facts, or just have completely closed minds.

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