Legal

IGas granted injunction for three exploration sites

180804 owl day at Misson 2 FFM

Shale gas protest at the IGas Springs Road site at Misson, Nottinghamshire. Photo: Frack Free Mission, 4 August 2018

A judge at the High Court in London has granted an interim injunction to IGas for sites in the East Midlands and Cheshire.

The draft order, published online on the IGas website, covers sites at Springs Road and Tinker Lane in north Nottinghamshire and at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire.

The interim injunction was granted by Mr Justice Morgan, who recent granted a similar injunction to Ineos. This is now the subject of a case at the Court of Appeal.

The IGas injunction was considered at a private hearing on 31 August 2018 and granted on Monday 3 September 2018.

It covers three categories of “persons unknown”. It prohibits:

  • Trespass on IGas land
  • Unlawful interference with access to IGas land
  • Obstruction of the highway on specified exclusion zones, including by slow walking, lock-on and lorry surfing protests

The court order states that any breach of the injunctions is a contempt of court which could lead to imprisonment, fines or seizure of assets.

A statement from IGas said the injunction “does not prevent anyone effectively exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression”.

The order will be considered again at a hearing on Tuesday 2 October 2018.

People who wish to challenge the injunction should send evidence to the court and serve it on IGas by 4pm on Friday 14 September 2018.

Stephen Bowler, chief executive of IGas, said:

“We have given careful consideration to seeking this interim injunction as we fully respect the right to lawful and peaceful protest.  However, there have been a number of incidents where activists are putting themselves and others at risk and we have a duty of care to take the appropriate steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone in and around our sites.

“We are pleased that the High Court has granted this interim injunction which gives assurance to employees, contractors, suppliers and the general public that they can go about their lawful business safely and without the risk of harm resulting from any unlawful activity undertaken by activists.”

The court required IGas to serve the order by notices at the site and leaving copies at protest camps at Misson Springs and Tinker Lane.

The company is also permitted to serve the notice on an agreed list of organisations and groups by email, private message, website contact forms, Twitter or Facebook.

The shale gas sites at Misson and Tinker Lane are currently preparing for drilling. The first borehole is due to be drilled at Tinker Lane in the final quarter of this year, IGas said in  a trading update last month.

Testing gas flow at the existing borehole at Ellesmere Port site was refused planning permission in January 2018. IGas has appealed and the application will be heard at a public inquiry at a date and venue still to be confirmed.

Should this latest injunction be unchallenged or approved, it will be the fifth granted to onshore oil and gas companies in the UK in the past year. Oil and gas sites are currently covered by injunctions granted to Ineos (23 November 2018), Cuadrilla (extended in July 2018), UKOG (3 September 2018) and Europa (extended for 14 hours on 4 September 2018).

41 replies »

  1. I was wondering where Igas were reference injunctions.

    Seems they were just exerting a little more patience, or, perhaps, awaiting a little more precedent.

    In (almost) the words from Jaws: ” I think we are going to require a bigger Crowd”.

    • Not really IGas “exerting a little more patience” at all.
      There have been instances in which IGas contractors’ employees at the Misson Springs site have waved Ineos injunctions in peoples faces. To no effect of course, because the Misson Springs and Tinker Lane sites are not mentioned in the Ineos injunction.
      So it was more a case of ‘IGas chancing its arm and getting it wrong’.

  2. It has to be remembered that both Misson Springs and Tinker Lane are exploratory wells and neither have permission to be fracked. There is a lot of unpolluted water to go under these particular bridges yet.

  3. That’s patience then David. They took time to try the easy option first, then waited, then acted. Perhaps Justice Morgan saw it as patience.

    Bit like Friday. INEOS have indicated after two “freebies” their patience is running out. That result will be interesting.

  4. Money to buy the law. And intimidate. And hold local people in contempt. This and every fracking company has no social licence and is desperate to prop up their share price with the illusion of progress. Meanwhile the clock ticks on the viability of fracking as renewables continue to tumble in price. And the opposition continues to grow. The first person to go to prison for peacefully inconveniencing a truck might even hit national headlines. Just what the frackers don’t want!

    • So the viability of fracking, clock ticking?

      Renewables tumble in price

      Oh well you’d better tell all the Local Councils pension schemes in the U.K that they have invested in the wrong thing

      Better hurry up because they have £9,000,000,000 to pull out of foreign fracking Companies

      Welsh Local Councils screaming for Government cash to invest in the Swansea Tidal Lagoon when they have enough money invested in foreign fracking operations that could have covered it

      Money to buy the law. And intimidate. And hold local people in contempt. This and every fracking company has no social licence and is desperate to prop up their share price with the illusion of progress. This could have been the sales pitch by foreign fracking Companies to convince U.K Local Councils to invest £Billions…

      • Kisheny

        If the Tidal Lagoon Scheme has been given the green light, it would have been a good bet for any pension scheme or other investor looking for a guaranteed return on the investment over many years. I think it was the lack of a green light due to the high cost of electricity that sank it ( or one high cost scheme too many for the Government ).

        But of course, the councils have no say in how the pension funds are invested, if they did it would already have been invested in local vanity projects or other vote catching money pits, leaving the pensioners out of pocket. Best not to leave investment decisions to those voted in.

    • Ian
      As of now

      Wind power 7%, Coal 6.5%, Gas 48%, Nuclear 22%, Solar 0%, A bit of biomass and French imports as well.

      I was surprised to see the local coal fired station in use on a warm day, must be a shortage elsewhere ( and that was in daylight ).

      So, good that renewables are dropping in price, but storage is the key issue when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine.

      Russian coal as well! But maybe produced using UK built equipment.

      • The coal fired stations have to be lit every few months, even though not required by the grid, to prevent them corroding from the inside out. If you analyse the yearly graphs here you will see your assumptions are not quite right. We export a lot more energy than we import. As with most things in this insane growth at all cost economy we are burning more fossil fuels than we need to in blinkered pursuit of profit. http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/

        • I take it the comments about

          in this insane growth at all cost economy we are burning more fossil fuels than we need to in blinkered pursuit of profit

          You are referring to the Local Councils of the U.K overseas Fracking investments of £9,000,000,000

        • JTF
          Thanks, I will double check with the operators over another pint today ( exercise or asked ).

          Re imports and exports of electricity energy, UK Energy In Brief 2017 note that we are net importers of electrical energy, importing some 6% annually..see page 25 of that report. It also notes that net imports shrank in 2017 due a damaged inconnector, leading to less French electricity. I presume in that case we would just crank up a coal,fired or gas power station to fill the gap ( my assumption ).

          We are also a net importer of gas and oil, though, as we have the refining capacity we export refined products, ie we import oil, refine it and add value then export it. Not that you have mentioned this, but others on DOD wondered why we exported refined products.

          So I am not sure it is correct that we export more energy than we import, given the stays in the report, although we may do so on the day.

          Importing low carbon nuclear from France makes sense. Maybe as more wind is installed in the Southern N.Sea that surplus can be exported. But to do that the grid needs updating.

          Not something anyone wants to invest in, as it could be privatised?

  5. National headlines?

    I think that situation would, at the same time, highlight how many arrests had been made prior to injunctions being sought and the cost of policing to attempt to control the protest. Maybe not in the Guardian, but elsewhere.

    Can’t see that doing anything else but convert a proportion of the two thirds to the support category.

  6. A statement from IGas said the injunction “does not prevent anyone effectively exercising their rights to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression”. Where have I heard that discourse before that’s straight out of Ken Cronin’s office via the Oil and Gas Lobby. They claim they are entitled to human rights and then block others, you couldn’t make this up. Serious questions need asking of Justice Morgan that is for sure!

  7. Or, flfs, you could say that and then watch Channel 4 News from the other night to see what the reality of freedom of assembly and freedom of expression looks like for the protestors without an injunction. 9 arrests I believe. Unfortunately, the antis have left a very large record. But, they like the power of the camera themselves, so quite fair.

    Justice Morgan has the answers for that. The law has been dealing with mob rule for centuries-for, and on behalf, of the many.

    • That law is very different to the corporate law we have today Martin. In fact, these laws are no more than 15 years old, so as for centuries you might want to do a fact check in future. Start by reading the Hampshire waste case, don’t expect similar directions in future I have not got time for lazy people who can’t do proper research.

  8. Yes, laws evolve. And so, your point is what? As smoke screens go, that one has no credibility. Do you not think no one knows mob rule was managed somewhat differently centuries ago and that today, in our different society, then injunctions may be seen as a more civilised method?
    Especially now we have cameras.

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