Industry

UK fracking tremor rules “absurd and unworkable”, says Ineos – campaigners accuse company of “aggressive and misinformed attack”

pnr 181225 ros wills4

Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site, 25 December 2018. Photo: Ros Wills

The UK’s biggest shale gas licence-holder has accused the government of “shutting down shale by the backdoor” with rules on fracking-induced earth tremors.

In a press statement this morning, Jim Ratcliffe, owner of Ineos Upstream, called on the government to “make shale workable or shut it down”. It should not, the statement said, “use politically expedient, slippery back door manoeuvres to end shale”.

Opponents of the industry described it as “a suicide note from a desperate industry” and again threatened legal action if the government changed the rules on earth tremors.

“Traffic light system”

OGA TLS

Part of OGA infographic on Traffic Light System

The regulations, known as the traffic light system, require shale gas operators to stop activity for 18 hours if fracking induces earth tremors measuring 0.5ML (local magnitude) or more.

Cuadrilla’s fracking operation at Preston New Road near Blackpool caused three of these red events in October and December 2018 (DrillOrDrop Tremor tracker).

The largest, measuring 1.1ML, was felt.

There were also five trailing events, where earth tremors measuring 0.5ML or more happened after fracking.

These were recorded by the British Geological Survey at levels between 0.5ML-1.5ML. The largest trailing event was described by one person as like a car hitting his office building at speed.

181214 bubble chart refracktion

Seismic events at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road shale gas site up to 14 December 2018. Source: Refracktion

Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, and Ineos executives have previously called in the media for the 0.5ML red limit to be raised.

But as recently as 14 January 2019, the energy minister, Claire Perry, stood by the 0.5ML limit in a parliamentary answer. Last year, in response to Mr Egan, Ms Perry said the current system was “fit for purpose” and there was “no intention of altering it”. In October, she told journalists:

“It would be a very foolish politician who would do things that would be considered to be relaxing regulatory standards when we are trying to reassure people about safety”.

The Ineos statement described the UK threshold as nearly 180,000 times lower than the US equivalent, “typically set at 4.0”. It said 0.5ML “has no sound basis in science and betrays a total lack of understanding of the shale extraction.”

Jim Ratcliffe said:

“The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) seems to lack a basic understanding of the Richter Scale. It is a logarithmic scale.

“The limit within the United States is typically set at 4.0 – a level that the US Environmental Protection Agency feels is safe and will not lead to any damage to land, property or people.   To put that into perspective, magnitude 4.0 is 3,162 times higher than 0.5 and 177,827 times stronger in terms of energy release.”

He said the government was “shutting down shale by the backdoor and is betting the future of our manufacturing industry on windmills and imported gas from countries which are potentially unstable”.

He added:

“The Government’s position is unworkable and unhelpful.   They are playing politics with the future of the country.   We have a non-existent energy strategy and are heading towards an energy crisis that will do long term and irreparable damage to the economy and the Government needs to decide whether they are finally going to put the country first and develop a workable UK onshore gas industry”

The UK’s 0.5ML limit was recommended in a government-commissioned report on Cuadrilla’s earlier fracking-induced earthquakes at Preese Hall in 2011. In a letter to ministers in November 2012, Cuadrilla accepted the proposed traffic light system. The company said the rules were designed to ensure there were “no ‘felt’ seismic events at surface”.  It did not challenge the 0.5ML limit. A month later, a written ministerial statement confirmed the 0.5ML level as the red light for fracking-induced seismicity.

“Point of transition to larger seismicity”

peter styles 2Last month, one of the report’s authors, Dr Brian Baptie, of the British Geological Survey, argued that the limit could be raised safely to 1.5ML.

But another author, Emeritus Professor Peter Styles (left), told DrillOrDrop today:

“The 0.5 limit isn’t where anyone believes there will be damage or even disturbance.

“It is the point where we think we have a transition between fracking-related micro-earthquakes and the onset of stimulation of natural fractures which can move and generate seismic events which may be much larger depending on the scale of the fault and the associated geology.”

Professor Styles added:

“We recommended a very nuanced traffic light system which DECC decided to simplify to the cartoon version.”

This suggested the well should be shut down immediately for any induced tremors measuring more than 0.5ML. For seismic events during or after fracking measuring 0.5-1.5ML, the report recommended there should be flow back from for the well for at least three days. For events measuring more than 1.5ML, flow back should last at least 10 days.

Seismicity flow chart Baptie Styles and Green

Recommended traffic light system by Green, Styles and Baptie

The current guidance from the Oil and Gas Authority states that if a seismic event of 0.5ML or above happens during fracking an operator must “suspend injection, reduce pressure and monitor seismicity and ground motion for any further events before potentially resuming”.

“Desperate fossil fuel industry”

Frack Free Lancashire, which campaigns against Cuadrilla’s operations at Preston New Road, said:

“This aggressive and misinformed attack by Jim Ratcliffe on the government who have already reiterated that they have no plans to change the traffic light system on fracking, only goes to show how very desperate this fossil fuel, climate-change-exacerbating industry has become.

“Coming from a man who now lives in Monaco, and wants to frack in the UK – not for energy security – but to produce yet more plastics, is quite unbelievable.

“Previous seismic events at Preese Hall in 2011 caused damage to the wellbore and also reported damage in surrounding properties: these seismic events were greatly below the magnitude 4 that Ratcliffe is promoting.

“It would indeed be a “foolish” politician who made adjustments to these levels, as Claire Perry MP has stated recently, but it would be a risk that communities would not accept and would readily take legal action upon.

“Cuadrilla agreed to these levels, and were key to their inception. Begging the government to shift the goalposts at this point is both ludicrous and unacceptable.

“We’d like to know where the recommendations of Professors Baptie, Styles and Green disappeared to: they previously wrote that the traffic light system should shut-down at 0.5ML with a three-day delay and implement a 10-day delay if seismicity levels reached greater than 1.5ML, not the 18 hours that the regulations currently state.”

The group added that the practical significance was not in whether the tremors were felt at the surface but in potential damage to the borehole and creating gas pathways from shale towards larger faults towards aquifers and the surface.

“Suicide note from a desperate industry”

Steve Mason, of the UK campaign network Frack Free United, said:

“This is a suicide note from a desperate industry. I am surprised this has taken so long for INEOS to call for a raise in thresholds. Good to see they are taking community concerns under consideration as usual.

“We welcome the Government position that there are no plans to increase the magnitude limits. I hope they treat this with the contempt it deserves.

If INEOS and the other companies cannot frack the complex geology of the UK safely, then don’t frack at all. It’s that simple.”

“Industry will probably never work in UK”

The Conservative MP, Lee Rowley, whose constituency includes the Ineos site at Bramleymoor Lane, said:

“As residents know, I have long opposed fracking and it’s time to recognise that the industry will probably never work in the UK. And Ineos can’t have it both ways – criticising the regulations today having previously said they go ‘some way to assuring the public of the minimal risks’. Even the industry is now saying fracking is probably unworkable in the UK. I agree. So let’s not bother.”

“Understandable frustration”

Ken Cronin, chief executive of the industry body, UK Onshore Oil and Gas, said:

“I can understand the frustration of our membership. In 2012 it was recognised by the Government that the traffic light system to regulate micro-seismicity was cautious and would be reviewed as experience developed. This is backed up by guidance from the Oil and Gas Authority. These statements are the basis on which investors have invested – to date – many hundreds of millions. In the last 100 days there have been 88 seismic events recorded by the BGS in the UK, yet none of the Lancashire events featured in the top ten and only 1 in the top 25. None of these seismic events recorded caused harm to people or buildings.

“Leading geoscientists have commented that a review of the micro-seismicity rules can be accommodated safely. We now have the data and experience and hope that Government make good on their commitment to review the rules based on the evidence and science. The current rules for shale gas extraction are the strictest in the world and are much stricter than for any other industry involved in creating seismicity in the UK. From the data gathered so far we know that there is good quality gas in the Bowland Shale.

“Against a backdrop of nearly 75% of our gas being imported within the next 16 years, increasingly from countries that have both work and environmental regulations significantly below our standards, there is a moral, economic and environmental imperative to be looking at our onshore oil and gas resource.”

  • DrillOrDrop invited the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to comment. This post will be updated with any response.

Seismic limits

DrillOrDrop found evidence of two states in Canada, Alberta and British Columbia, which use the 4ML threshold. In December 2018, fracking operations in north eastern British Columbia were suspended for at least 30 days after seismic events measuring 3.4-4.5ML.

We also found evidence from US states which use thresholds above the UK’s 0.5ML but well below 4.0. The threshold in Oklahoma was lowered in February 2018 from 3.0ML to 2.5ML, with a mandatory delay of six hours. The threshold for activity to stop in Ohio is 1.0ML.

188 replies »

  1. Well said, Sir Jim.

    Campaigners think you are “misinformed”!!

    If that is their defence, having read many contributions from such “informed” persons over the years, not much there to cause a problem.

    Centre for Policy Studies seems to recognise reality.

      • And there are no antis who live outside the UK some of the time, Jono?

        Oops.

        I suspect Sir Jim enjoys his knighthood wherever he is living-he does have several houses. He might not enjoy being one of the highest payers of UK tax, but it still has not stopped his huge financial contributions to UK charities and sports.

        • Cuadrilla have also put money into Fylde based football; rugby and education.
          Doesn’t make them truthful or community conscious though.
          Won’t be many sports clubs or schools around if they ever turn our area into the largest onshore gasfield in Europe as they promised /threatened all those years ago!

          • Yep, Peter. Science education.

            (See Cuadrilla latest news.)

            Can understand your concern. The Fylde may end up with some young engineers who know why red diesel is red! Or, to visit Barclays BANK, if they want a loan to set up their business, or whether new build houses may require piling support.

            Oops.

            • It’s called telephone banking, reaction.

              Saves an awful lot of diesel and protects the environment.

              Many real people do it, especially those with a job that prevents them visiting a bank.

              Hence the extra supplies of coffee shops!

            • I know English is a struggle for you Matron, but you seem to be saying you can visit a bank when you can’t visit a bank. No wonder we have so much trouble understanding the Collywibble 😉

            • You and I “visit” DoD fairly frequently, reaction.

              I can even “visit” the NHS on line now, or by telephone.

              No wonder you have so much trouble with the concept of fracking, you appear to be living in the Dark Ages!

            • Oh dear Martine taking contrarianism being taken to the Nth degree.

              Never, ever, heard of someone visiting anywhere by telephone! You might ‘reach’ somewhere by telephone (or email) but not ‘visit’ them.

              Ridiculous and inaccurate attempt at pedantry by DoD’s resident 🤡.

              Refracktion you either have the patience of a Saint or you like torturing wounded animals.

            • Yes, contrary fact to fiction, Pavlova.

              Do you sometimes visit a website? How does that work then?

              But thanks for the constant reminders of where the misinformation is coming from. Illuminating.

    • Well Mertin.

      The Guardian reports that “In a statement issued on Monday, Ineos attacked the government for setting the limit at 0.5, which it called “a level that has no sound basis in science and betrays a total lack of understanding of the shale extraction process”.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/04/ineos-chairman-jim-ratcliffe-criticises-government-fracking-policies

      How funny that Mr Egan should have congratulated himself to the then Energy Minister stating that “In conjunction with industry experts and your team at DECC we have developed a “traffic light” seismic monitoring and mitigation system”.

      It would seem that Mr R is calling Mr E and the team at DECC idiots who don’t understand the shale extraction process then wouldn’t it?

      Who do you think is misinformed then Merton – Mr Egan or Mr Ratcliffe. It must be one or the other surely?

      • Refraktion – without a doubt Cuadrilla was wrong in agreeing to these limits – a huge proportion of hydraulic fractures create events greater than 0.5 Ml. I guess Mr Egan was just given the wrong advice at the time.

        • Fracking Francis sets and marks his own homework and still gets the wrong answer. Not the brightest button in the tin is he!

          • That’s right Crembrule – if only he had your expertise on induced-seismicity all would have been fine

            • That’s the way to do it Judy!

              Nothing says ‘in touch with the proles’ like a condescending, holier than thou attitude. In your particular case Michael Gove has the right outlook on experts.

              Ultimately though as you might have worked out I am not the CEO of a Fracking exploration company, so the quality of the advise on seismic activity I receive or my ability to comprehensively understand it isn’t that important. Franny in the other hand should be a little better at it than I am.

              Don’t worry though Jim’ll Fix It! Or maybe not.

            • Don’t expect Pavlova to have that information Judith.

              He has problems knowing what is going on in his “backyard”, and because he does not know it, then it did not happen.

              Jeremy Clarkson wrote an interesting, but distasteful, piece about this aspect recently. I only mention it as I did see an oblique connection to Blackpool, and Christmas dinner in parts of Italy-but I will leave it there.

            • [Edited by moderator] Matron. No evidence to anything you say as per usual.

              All BS and bluster, the ultimate empty vessel.

              PS. any links to the farmers article in Blackpool Gazette yet? Nah I won’t hold my breath as it’s purely a figment of your fertive overactive imagination .

              [Edited by moderator]

            • Sensitive soul, isn’t he, Judith!

              Adds a lot (lol) of “evidence”, but only of the missing link, tourist attractions in Blackpool, and closed meetings.

              Sounds familiar, but not sure it adds a great deal.

        • Judith, isn’t Mr Egan a pertroleum engineer with considerable experience? I can’t believe for an instant that he/Cuadrilla were not fully involved and informed when theses limits were set. And the industry has had ample time over the years to challenge the level if they considered it a problem. The industry certainly have not had a problem asking the government to change planning and policies to facilitate fracking. Furthermore, Cuadrilla was still insisting just prior to fracking at PNR that they would be able to operate within the TLS, more bad advice?

          • KatT – petroleum engineering is a very broad subject but doesn’t include seismology. I’ve no idea why they agreed to the limit – it could have been a mistake or they may he had too much confidence in the text relating to how the limit would be reviewed. However, it does seem odd that other industries in the UK don’t have to stick to these limits and the UK has the lowest limit in the world. The greens need to think carefully what they wish for here. Countries such as the Netherlands are putting a massive amount of effort into geothermal energy and I believe the UK will follow them. However, if the current limits are applied to geothermal it won’t take off, which is a bit of a shame considering that it has the potential to produce green energy that isn’t reliant on the wind or the sun.

            • Judith – you might want to explain that geothermal wells also need fracking. Most Greenies won’t know that…… huge frack jobs, deep and very high compressive strength granite. The well being drilled in Cornwall is a long way behind schedule; they are advertising for a complete new drilling department with hard rock experience. You would have thought they might have specified this in the first place…..

              http://geothermalengineering.co.uk/news.php

        • ‘I guess Mr Egan was just given the wrong advice at the time’

          Strange because,

          ‘Members of Cuadrilla’s management team have each played leading roles in the drilling and/or hydraulic fracturing of more than 3,000 natural gas and oil wells across the world.’

          The Industry is now in desperate mode.

          And yet more good news

          The amendment, adopted by the council in 2016, says proposals for production of hydrocarbons should demonstrate “net zero impact on climate change.”

          In short if the effects of fracking cannot be mitigated no approval will be given.

          https://www.examinerlive.co.uk/news/kirklees-councils-local-plan-could-15769551

          • John – all other places in the world where fracking is taking place have far more sensible limits so it’s doubtful that they will have come across this issue before. Kirklees council can say what the want as their judgements will be overruled by a higher authority. Also looking at the opinion polls and the possibility that labour will split, it doesn’t look like our Jeremy will be able to step in and save your cause. Happy days

        • But Judith they didn’t just “agree” them. They claim to have “developed” them.

          So you ARE saying Cuadrilla haven’t got a clue then.

          I thought as much but it’s good to hear it confirmed by such an expert as yourself.

          • I think Cuadrilla are an excellent company and their current staff are extremely professional. I’ve no idea why they agreed to such a low limit – I’d only be guessing. Maybe it’s the same reason as why they are being so overcautious with other environmental issues. Anyhow, they are certainly not clueless in that they’ve managed to drill two horizontal wells and never caused any environmental problems during their operations.

      • Don’t call me Shirley, reaction!

        No, it must not be one or the other. There is some time between the two statements and some developments also.

        But, thanks for highlighting where the misinformation really lies. Not one of your best attempts to join the dots.

        • Morton – There may be time between the statements but that really doesn’t change the fact that Cuadrilla either knew what they were doing or they didn’t Judoth says they didn’t, and for once I can agree with her.

          • When they agreed initially no horizontal fracking had been attempted in UK, reaction. So, quite sensible to set a very conservative level and then to test. Would you have preferred they pushed for the initial standards to be based upon what was known ie. USA levels? Of course not, and I would agree on that.

            You may want to confuse the process of testing with that meaning starting points are not then open to adjustment, and I can quite understand your reasons for that, but that is not what testing is about.

            That chap with the red flag-still holding up the 3 litre BMW diesel?

          • Refracktion- It seems a typical tactic of anti-frackers to highlight a perceived mistake and then try and insinuate a company is incompetent. Of course, Cuadrilla have extremely competent staff. Who knows if they were just being over cautious or had just taken advice from someone who was over cautious. Either way, the limit is ridiculous and that if greens keep harping on about this too much they are in danger of destroying the geothermal energy industry. But I guess that doesn’t matter to you as long as the energy you use doesn’t get produced in your area you are content

            • ‘Cuadrilla have extremely competent staff’

              The BGS on the Bowland shale,

              “Although we agree with the inference that the events are attributable to the existence of an adjacent fault, we note that the causative fault has not actually been identified, and more generally that there is only a limited understanding of the fault systems in the basin”

              I would have thought that an experienced competent company on their first UK operation would have carried out a 3D survey before they fracked Preese Hall. They did not and look how it has ended up.

            • JohnP – I’m sure you would have thought that but then again you don’t do this for your day job do you? I really don’t believe the 3D survey would have made much difference. People can see faults now that they know they were there but I’m far from convinced they would have seen them without the benefit of hindsight

            • Refraktion – it’s funny seeing you trying to get an answer from us that you want to hear but is no where near reality

            • Judih – it’s funny seeing you trying to avoid giving an answer to us that is anywhere near reality. Your fantasy world where Cuadrilla are all competent yet sadly mislead must be a weird place to be in.

              It must be so hard for you watching Ineos and Cuadrilla making each other look ridiculous though so I’ll cut you some slack.

  2. Why is Rat cliffe getting so concerned about our ‘energy strategy’ when we know that he wants the gas for his filthy plastics industry.

  3. Massive former coal mining areas (many now built on top of) will suffer serious surface problems from underground fracking – especially if Jim Ratcliffe gets his way.

    An invaluable update on the Coal Authority’s discoveries about former mining operations appears in their recent 32 page publication which is a Modern Law Supplement entitled “Meet The Experts”.Although it is not mentioned as such by the Coal Authority, it contains information with wide implications for the dangers of fracking in such areas.

    Amongst the information it supplies is (1) that nationwide it deals with 1,200 incidents and subsidence claims per year, (2) it is currently managing £4 million worth of liability on behalf of the Government, (3) it treats over 120 billion litres of water every year, (4) recently it dealt with a subsidence project where thirty houses had to be demolished, (5) it inspects 10,000 mine entries annually, (6) it has information on 173,000 mine entries, (7) 57,000 such mine entries are situated in urban areas, (8) 130,000 properties lie within only 20 metres of at least one mine entry, (9) most conurbations in Britain (outside London) are sat on coalfields – which is no less than 25% of all properties, (10) it manages a compensation scheme under the Coal Mining Subsidence Act and (11) land effected by coal mining can be restricted in its use, mainly for purposes of public protection – a point it could do with pushing in relation to the dangers of fracking.

    Via a Chart it also shows that (a) 11% of the total UK is situated on coalfields, (b) 600 surface hazards are reported each year, (c) 27% of coalfields are in risk of groundwater flooding, (d) 15% of the coalfield is effected by Radon and (e) 1 in 4 of all properties lie in British Coalfields areas ( presumeably outside of London).

    Page 13 provides a map showing such Coalfield Areas in Britain. These can be studied more deeply
    via using the Coal Authority’s Interactive Map, which can be googled into.

    We could do with knowing how far these Coalfield Areas co-inside with the territory issued to INEOS and others under the Government’s Inland Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDLs).

    • Harry – on what evidence do you base the statement “Massive former coal mining areas (many now built on top of) will suffer serious surface problems from underground fracking”. Have you actually got any expertise in geomechanics or are you just speculating?

        • Harry, although well written the blog doesn’t contain any serious science particularly of the geomechanics nature. Whether or not a science is dead is irrelevant – the key thing that is relevant is safety. I can’t think of anyone who has serious expertise in this area who worries about fracking causing serious damage to the surface. The fact that the fracturing occurs over 2 km below old mines in a stratigraphy with a massive number of fracture barriers (i.e. boundaries with different mechanical properties) will mean that any hydraulic fractures will be very well contained within the target zone. Microseismic monitoring shows that the industry is very good at predicting where fractures propagate.

            • Harry – that link adds nothing to your claims other than if you have such a lack of knowledge about the subsurface that you think subsidence would impact fracking.

              I’ve actually read the article before and one thing that I do like is that you drew to the intention of readers the large amount of waste water that the coal industry dealt with safely. Of course the waste water from coal mines is similar in composition to flow back fluid so you have nicely demonstrated that the UK is well set up to deal with flow back fluid although the quantities many many orders of magnitude lower than will be ever produced by fracking.

  4. “The UK’s biggest shale gas licence-holder has accused the government of “shutting down shale by the backdoor” with rules on fracking-induced earth tremors.”
    A strange comment when the whole industry only got as far as it has as a result of backdoor policies from this government.

  5. So the TLS level the industry agreed to and that has been in place for years, the level that Cuadrilla stated they would be able to comply with before commencing to frack in Lancashire is now suddenly a major problem? A problem that is so significant it will prevent a U.K. fracking industry? The demands of the shale gas industry should be wearing very thin. The government has bent over backwards to meet the demands of this industry and still the demands continue. Whilst undoubtedly still powerful, I wonder if Sir Jim has quite the same influence in Westminster from his home in Monaco and after his decision to invest in Antwerp and not the U.K.?

  6. Except KatT, he has not decided not to invest in UK! If you DYOR you will find INEOS are still looking to invest in all sorts of areas.

    Where did his business start, KatT? Was it not in Antwerp? Is UK about to leave the EU? There are a few dots there-perhaps they join up?

    Goodness, the guy is British, he runs a GLOBAL business. I know that is difficult to comprehend for some, but at least do a little bit of research behind your posts, otherwise Passepartout will need to correct you again. (piling of new build houses in UK.)

    You may wonder, but Westminster will know where tax comes from.

  7. (The government )should not, the statement said, “use politically expedient, slippery back door manoeuvres to end shale”. Certainly not! INEOS reserves the right to use same to facilitate their rape of the planet -,such manoeuvres as bribery, sponsorship of local teams, children’s health schemes to achieve a local presence and acceptance, etc. Who is kidding whom?

          • Yes, he was old fruit. The tax list was only just published for the first time, and the next rich list will be out around May. Hence, apples and pears.

            Many around him? Missed your explanation of that.

            • Here you go Matron

              “Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the petrochemical engineer who was named the UK’s wealthiest individual and was knighted earlier in the summer, has decided to move to the Principality.

              It is understood that the two other senior executives at Ineos, Andy Currie and John Reece, have also decided to move with him. His company will remain “headquartered” in London.”

              https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2018/08/08/britains-wealthiest-man-sir-jim-ratcliffe-leaves-uk-move-monaco/

            • So, has he sold up his other properties, reaction?

              Of course he has set up in Monaco.

              I think you will find quite a few more making the same arrangements, but possibly not for the reason you think.

            • Well, that was an interesting little exercise!

              Quite a lesson how one group can suggest someone is misinformed and then, once encouraged, show they are so misinformed about the someone! No wonder they keep losing in Court.

            • Juith, it’s more a question of what he could contribute if he didn’t live in tax exile isn’t it?

              How much do you reckon he and the other two Ineos execs save each year by living in Monaco? Just roughly, in hospital wings if you like.

            • Well, reaction, so he plans his tax affairs! Do you not do so? No ISAs?

              Based upon his previous experience of a UK Government that was happy to see his company go to the wall, maybe he has the right idea.

              Think it is called the precautionary principle.

              But, you will have excited the Guardianistas. Try and limit it though-they might target 3 litre diesel BMWs! They may decide what people could contribute should be followed by all.

              Meanwhile, the business is still based in London. The guy is still in the top 5 tax payers in UK and, whilst some do not know and therefore follow the new trend of it did not happen, many do know what other financial support is given to sport and health in UK and elsewhere.

            • You know Matron I think maybe a knighthood wasn’t quite enough for this holy man. I think you should have a word with the Pope about a possible beatification based on what you have said.

            • That’s okay, reaction.

              No need for thanks.

              Just supplying you with the information you are obviously missing so you can make an informed contribution.

              No, not really. I am more of a realist than that but some may be encouraged to do their research.

  8. Ratcliffe states the government should not “use politically expedient, slippery back door manoeuvres to end shale”. So Jimmy boy, going out the way you came in then.

  9. Obese children part of your collateral damage. 1984?

    Perhaps have a look at the interests of Sir Jim, his integration of those into his Corporate culture and then sponsorship into the community. If you find it unacceptable that someone who has done well offers to put something back into society, then you can refuse to accept the offer.

    Unite took a similar blinkered approach at Grangemouth and then realised their dogma would kid no one.

    • I find it completely acceptable that “someone who has done well offers to put something back into society”. Don’t attribute words or attitudes without justification. I do not find it acceptable that he/she uses politically expedient, slippery back door manoeuvres to further his/her personal interests, to “do well” as you put it, Martin. Philanthropy is frequently used by those who have done well, perhaps at the expense of others, to salve their consciences, to justify their greed, to conceal their motives. I have to confess myself puzzled by those who demonstrably act to the disadvantage of their fellow human beings, while dressing their actions up as of benefit to society. Is this not evidence either of hypocrisy, or of a radical disconnect between one’s actions and the consequences thereof? A further example of this culpable disconnect or hypocrisy might be the hundreds who flew into Davos recently at considerable cost to the planet, in order to hear a talk on saving the planet.

      • That’s no way to refer to the young lass from Sweden! Oops.

        Perhaps you should look a bit further into Sir Jim, rather than nebulous comments around frequently and perhaps.

        Maybe in some situations your comments are near correct, in many others they are fiction. You place them out there as if the some situations apply to all. A very lazy way to try and pin the tail whilst blind folded.

        It seems success in industry is a dirty word in some sections of UK society. Interesting they are not normally at the tip of the queue to replace the financial input they rubbish and just then blame austerity upon others. Now, that is what I call hypocrisy.

        • You’ve asked me to look a little more closely into “Sir Jim”, Martin. Will this do for a start, admittedly from an “anti” website (Desmog) and no doubt immediately suspect as ‘fake news’ ? –

          (Ratcliffe) forced the closure of the Grangemouth refinery in 2013 after a dispute with trade unions over working conditions and pension payments.

          While Ratcliffe does not appear to have released an official statement on climate change, Daily Mail reported in 2015 that he was building a new “climate change proof” £4 million beachfront mansion in the UK.

          INEOS has come under fire for its carbon footprint, which it has historically refused to disclose, while some have suggested the group may be one of Britain’s largest polluters.

          “It seems reasonable to assume that INEOS’ emissions amount to millions, if not tens of millions of CO2 every year,” a Christian Aid spokesman said.

          “Yet despite the company’s vast scale, it manages to keep an extremely low profile, releasing only snippets of information about its emissions of greenhouse gases.

          “The fondness for a low profile is shared by majority shareholder Jim Ratcliffe, Britain’s tenth richest man with an estimated personal fortune of £3.”

          Documents released under a freedom of information act request revealed INEOS was also leading a push to use Brexit as an opportunity to exempt the chemical sector entirely from climate change policy costs, The Guardian reported.

          • I thought Grangemouth was open and thriving?? Wonder how that came about? The history is recorded, but somewhat different to what you suggest!

            I think he must be 11th richest man, old man, as I have a £5 note in my pocket. Last years Rich List placed him at No.1, the next one is in May this year so we will see if he is still on pole. But, whilst the figures are wrong and outdated, they do point towards a difference between personal fortune and his share of the business of INEOS. Quite different and that is often forgotten. I suspect he has a bit more than £3 as he is rumoured to have offered £2 billion for Chelsea FC last year.

            His beach side house from 2015 is somewhat old news. He has a number of houses, in different parts of the world and recently decided the Med. was a nice place to enjoy his yachts, and perhaps secure from JC?

            The rest is just speculation, as the “it seems reasonable to assume” flags.

            No, I wouldn’t suggest “fake”, just a lazy mish mash of errors and speculation. Buy his book. Probably a few available at knock down prices on eBay by now. The Grangemouth chapter is quite alternative!

          • Iaith1720

            https://www.desmog.co.uk/jim-ratcliffe#s7

            The Grangemouth Refinery remains open. What Desmog link to is a press report that shows it would be shut unless agreement was reached between the owners and the workforce.

            In this case, agreement was reached. So not shut by a strike, nor Jim …

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grangemouth_Refinery

            While Desmog always makes interesting reading, you need to double check what they say as sometimes they only tell half the story, or miss context ( or just slack reporting in that instance ).

            Context for their comments on CO2 emissions would be that refining and the central belt plastics industry uses a lot of energy. Since Scotland no longer has much heavy industry, the remainder will emit most CO2.

            • The agreement was about a large financial rescue of the failing business that INEOS would only fund if a rescue plan was agreed.

              It was-but, not painless regarding need to correct some previous problems that had led to it failing.

              Looking at Grangemouth investment from INEOS since then, it has been extensive and secured not only high levels of jobs, but very well paid ones.

              Of course, there are some who still do not like the ultimatum given at the time!

            • Probably a lot less cost than the employment costs if that re-organisation had not taken place.

              Good job there are business men running companies and doing what it takes to keep them functioning and employing, rather than being politically correct and putting people out of work.

            • Probably? Come on Marty….

              And what exactly are ‘business men’?

              Good leaders put everyone in the picture, do not need tax payer’s handouts and do not threaten governments [this is the second government, I think?].

              You can shimmy up digitally all you like but that wont get you a place in ‘Jabba’s harem’.

    • I totally agree that regular exercise is good for children. 5000 schools in 44 countries take part in the Daily Mile but Sir Jim can’t take the credit for this. The scheme was begun in 2012 by Elaine Willie, a former head teacher. Sir Jim’s attempt to make his name respectable to the younger generation through the Daily Mile has not gone down well with teachers it seems. The National Education Union (NEU) has passed a motion to oppose Ineos’ sponsorship of the Daily Mile-a scheme for children to run or jog for 15 minutes every day in their nursery or schools.
      Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the NUT section of the NEU said, ” We fully support the notion of the Daily Mile and encourage schools to get involved in it. However, we strongly object to Ineos’ sponsorship appearing in schools. Especially after the latest climate change report it is clear that for our children’s futures we need to move quickly away from a carbon economy.”

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