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. He took off to Switzerland to save the jobs of thousands within the UK, clinch, having been ignored by the Labour Party to achieve the same whilst staying in the UK. Having achieved that, he then returns to the UK.

    I think Sainthood maybe more appropriate than a PhD. Certainly, a lot of businesses around Grangemouth have told me over more than 30 years that if the future of Grangemouth could be secured than Sainthood would be warranted. Nicola seems to have forgotten that.

    • Interesting shrine you must have at home Martin. Was Jim on his £150million private yacht when he wrote to all the Grangemouth employees telling them they’d have to accept lower wages or leave?

    • more evidence of your omnipotence martin, discussions with companies around grangemouth, fish farming in norway, ear tags for cattle, buzzards, owls, building houses, selling houses, ambulance driving, is there no end to it 😂

      • Don’t forget funding and developing hi tech equestrian research establishments at Universities in Wales. Perhaps Jack (of all trades) would be a more appropriate name.

      • Careful, their doors aren’t wide enough as it is? We will all have to wear sunglasses soon to let us look at any of these sacred anti anti posts?
        Ineos must be considering setting up a tax free church of saint fracking charity?

    • …and the £540 million of evaded tax, which could have saved many lives through the NHS and social care system? The grant from the govenance to build his second yacht?…the tonnes of plastic pollution? No thanks, no sainthood for this devil…

      • You spin me right round, baby, right round, like a record, baby, round, round…….

        Gosh, have they passed the gauntlet to you EKT? But perhaps you are one and the same?

        It’s winter!

        ….again, a storage issue, not supply…..
        You may recall we often run out of grit for the roads at this time of year. Its a simple conundrum. In the UK we have, as yet, very few extreme weather events. Such is then we do not have the permanent resources to cover the larger peaks in weather change. Again, nothing to do with supply, just management.

        • So, just to review, Sherwulfe. The National Grid Operator says there is a gas deficit and that “significant supply losses resulting in a forecast end-of-day supply deficit.” And your reaction is that there is no supply issue. Hmmmmmmmmm. I wonder if you work for BEIS! He he he.

          I agree that the UK isn’t going to run out of gas. But the situation is far from comfortable when industrial users are asked to cut back and the country is exposed once again to the threat of having to pay very high premiums to secure gas stocks. It might be okay for you, but it might ruin some businesses and it might push some who live in fuel poverty over the edge.

          So, it’s great that it isn’t impacting you much, but you might take time to think of others. You might also note that when countries like S Australia and Germany lose business investment because that investment favors nations with more secure and low cost energy supplies, that sends the UK further spinning down the tube of irrelevancy.

  2. Interesting that some seem to feel having some knowledge about what they are posting is so exceptional! I know it is novel on this platform, but I recommend it. You might find you enjoy it if you try it. hrb-if you put together companies around Grangemouth and fish farming in Norway you might gain something-but I can’t promise that is in a nice easy Giggle package. A little more effort might be required.

    • again, a storage issue, not supply…..
      You may recall we often run out of grit for the roads at this time of year. Its a simple conundrum. In the UK we have, as yet, very few extreme weather events. Such is then we do not have the permanent resources to cover the larger peaks in weather change. Again, nothing to do with supply, just management.

      • Curious how the anti antis love this cold weather and use peoples need to keep warm as some sort of twisted justification for their industry?

        Everything else has failed, no science, no logic, no obfuscation, no lies and no bullying has worked for them, all they have left is the criminal misuse of secret courts to get injunctions to overturn centuries of democracy and this cold snap to try and profit from it.

        You can almost see them jumping around and punching the air, “Yes! at last we have an excuse to exploit the need to keep warm to justify this industries ravaging of communities and exploitation of the nations resources!”

        How disgusting is that?

  3. John P – you wanna check those figures??!! not sure they actually say what you said they do??!

      • NS isn’t great value for money these days. Its articles are so short you can easily read them while standing at a news rack. Keep that a secret though! 🙂

  4. Well, Sherwulfe, if Jim had not needed to build his fleet of ships to bring fracked gas halfway across the world, who knows how much tax could have been paid, salaries could have been increased for workers, and even further investment made!
    I suspect we will see that within the Review. There will be concerns about how the day job has been managed to the benefit of the Scottish economy, but those concerns will not be Jim’s to answer.
    Let’s just hope the patch to the pipeline holds together.

  5. You have tried that before Jack. As the USA frackers are not accurately defined as Big Energy, the text immediately demonstrates the false premise. By repeating, it doesn’t solve that.

    rt?? I think they could just be putin their own slant upon things. Now, that would be a first.

    I see Sherwulfe has found a new heating source now that his solar panels are not only obscured by heavy cloud cover but several centimeters of snow. Not a lot of bulls to go around though, unless you have a large estate in Yorkshire.

    • Ok Martin, I think we are all advanced enough on this forum to be able to join up the dots on this one .

      The words ” Oil and Gas ” we’re quoted within the article when defining Big Energy.

      Splitting hairs is a poor way of addressing these serious concerns.

  6. 24% of electricity production today from COAL due to shortage of gas and huge increase in price. And, also parts of industry paid to reduce energy usage. Productivity down, increased bills for the consumer-all looks pretty secure-not.

    Imports of bulls from Middle East may be too late.

  7. Roll on alternative storage solutions. Now the challenge has been identified I bet the British have the genius to lead the world in these innovations if only they’d get their thinking and their subsidies out of the fossil fuel tar pits …. such a waste of time.

  8. Jack-and the point is?

    Addressing these serious concerns requires using sound data. I don’t recognise your quoted reference as sound data.

    I do recognise the analyses just given by an energy analyst on Sky this evening, explaining how the gas connectors from Belgium and Holland have a problem when demand is also high in Belgium and Holland as our pull, is matched by a pull back, hence supply difficulties and a very rapid rise in price. Strange how the anti advocates of the security supplied by these very same systems didn’t factor that in. Heavens, a Beast from the East might actual impact on the East as well. With increased dependence upon gas imports meaning the UK market was more influenced by other countries around the world also seeking to snaffle the same gas. She also mentioned the large impact of the N.Sea storage closing down, which was pointed out to the antis some months ago, which was dismissed. She agreed that these factors could require a review of UK on shore gas production. Not convenient for some, too logical for some, but I’ll give that sort of assessment more credit than rt.

    • So, at 21:50 on 1st Match 2018 renewable power producing double the electricity of CCGT, with over a quarter of demand from just wind.

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