“Devil-mask” fracking protest planned against Ineos at Tour of Britain

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Anti-fracking protesters at the start of the Tour de Yorkshire in Doncaster, 2 May 2019. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Anti-fracking campaigners are to protest against Ineos during the Tour of Britain cycle race tomorrow (14 September 2019) by wearing devil masks of the company’s billionaire owner, Jim Ratcliffe.

They are targeting stage eight of the race from Altrincham to Manchester

This is the latest in a series of protests since Ineos took over sponsorship of the former Team Sky in May 2019. Other demonstrations have been held at the Tour de Yorkshire, Tour de France and in Belgium.

The protest organisers said they aim to highlight what they say is the “true face” of the Team Ineos sponsor. The company is the UK’s largest shale gas licence-holder. It is also a major international chemical company and the biggest producer of virgin plastic in Europe.

Many of the protesters are said to be cycling enthusiasts. They have said they expect the demonstration to be peaceful and respect race spectators.

They said they were opposing what they described as Ineos’s attempt to “greenwash it’s environment-damaging and climate-threatening industries”.

Allan Challenger, from Frack Free Greater Manchester, said:

“To reduce our carbon emissions, fossil fuels need to be left in the ground. Due to its detrimental local health impacts, persistent triggering of seismic events and climate-busting methane emissions fracking is especially toxic and should be banned in the UK as it has been in other countries.”

Andy Gheorghiu, policy adviser and campaigner for Food & Water Europe said:

“Ineos relies on climate hostile fracked gas to produce more cheap virgin plastic”.

“This company plays an active role in increasing the climate and plastic pollution crisis and it shouldn’t be allowed to greenwash its business model with the sponsorship of sports teams.”

Ineos has planning permission to drill exploratory shale gas wells at sites at Bramleymoor Lane in Derbyshire and Harthill in south Yorkshire. No work has yet been carried out at either site.

A third Ineos shale gas application, for the village Woodsetts, also in south Yorkshire, was examined at a public inquiry earlier this year. The inquiry inspector’s report is due to be delivered by January 2020, when the local government secretary will then decide the application.


29 replies »

    • 1. Methane emissions are far higher, when measured by scientists rather than guessed by industry. See Mobbs or Justice Dove’s ruling on NPPF
      2. Extraction from unconventional resources is itself highly energy intensive compared to conventional oil and gas and the wells quickly deplete unlike conventional wells, so there a high energy cost.
      3. Wastewater containing highly salinated and somewhat radioactive water needs treatment which is also extremely energy intensive.

    • Also lots more well pads and consequent infrastructure needed. More easy to cause earthquakes with lubrication of faults. More water pollution as a more intrusive process. Crazy really, more gas is being burnt off the oil fields in the Niger Delta than would ever be extracted from fracking in the UK. Just need to factor in the cost of shipping LNG.

    • 1. With fracked gas we have the scientific evidence that it’s definitely climate hostile. Read for example “Fracking prompts global spike in atmospheric methane” All relevant background sources here

      2. However, fossil gas as such is not a “bridge” towards a fossil-free future but rather a pitfall. We are indeed lacking constant monitoring and indepentdent measurements in Europe, Russia, Qatar and elsewhere. Read for example The Uncertain Climate
      Cost of Natural Gas – Assessment of methane leakage discrepancies in Europe, Russia and the US, and implications
      for sustainability (

      “Amongst the 20 largest natural gas producers, the US, Canada and Russia report gas leakages between 1 % and 2 % [although studies in the US showed much larger methane emissions rate, see sources above], while other countries such as Qatar, Saudi Arabia, China and Norway report essentially no emissions. …
      The paucity of data on methane emissions from gas systems worldwide leads to an ambiguous climate footprint of the different natural gas sources in Europe, supplying Europe (Netherlands, Russia, Norway, US and Qatar) and beyond. …
      Our precautionary principles imply that, unless quickly and definitively proved otherwise, we need to consider high methane losses a realistic conclusion, based on which natural gas cannot be recommended as feedstock of sustainable energy systems nor as a bridging fuel for the transition towards a renewables-based energy system.”

  1. Also need to factor in the cost of currency variations and instability of supply from other countries, plus that other little item of lost tax revenue. Makes you wonder if there are any antis who do pay tax and recognise that is what pays for our public services. Don’t think Qatar send the tax to the UK!

    Wonder how Norway have managed to build up their Sovereign Wealth Fund??

    So, no, it is not a case of just need to factor in the cost of shipping of LNG. Unless you are an exporter of LNG-in which case it would probably be the No.1 sales point/fake news.

    • Like it or not we will continue to buy LNG from Qatar. Why, because,

      Qatar is one of the UK’s largest investors, with investments worth more than £35bn to the UK economy. This is expected to continue to rise following a pledge from Qatar in 2017 to deploy an additional £5bn of investment over a five-year period, half of which has already been invested in the UK. Total trade between the UK and Qatar came to £5.3 billion last year, and according to latest figures around 4,500 UK businesses exported goods to Qatar, with around 500 importing.

      UK shale upsetting that apple cart? You are having a laugh, right?

      • John, can you please let me know which horse will lose the next race, and I will plonk my 10p on it and have a guaranteed winner!

        After your comments about plenty of cheap oil and gas sloshing around the world just before the Beast from the East, this one really deserves to be framed alongside.

        Trade routes require protection. Why would Donald be that interested in protecting trade routes for products he is no longer interested in?

    • Does Jim Ratcliffe pay UK tax ? Even the BBC brought up his Monaco tax status during an interview with him. He didn’t answer.

      • Nice Sir Jim pays the tax in the UK he is required to pay. His head office is still in London. So, that means INEOS does as well.

        However, he has also been reported as stating that he has yet to make a profit in UK, whilst he has spent a load of money in UK, so perhaps his tax requirement in UK is not as large as you believe.

        Meanwhile, he might be about to announce another large investment in the UK today, so that will create more jobs for tax to be levied upon. I would suspect, that large investment will not be paying much tax upon profits for some years to come due to tax allowances against future profits to encourage it to be in UK.

        “If the argument is that you’ve made a lot of money and you’ve got to pay tax on it then I would have to move to America or Germany or Belgium where I’ve made a lot of money-but I’ve never made any money in the U.K.”

        Perhaps the BBC are more interested in creating their own news rather than reporting the news that is readily available?


    “Drone attacks have set alight two major oil facilities run by the state-owned company Aramco in Saudi Arabia, state media say.

    Footage showed a huge blaze at Abqaiq, site of Aramco’s largest oil processing plant, while a second drone attack started fires in the Khurais oilfield.”

    Perhaps we won’t be able to source hydrocarbons from the Middle East soon?

  3. Trade is now beyond barter, John!

    Perhaps USA might be a slightly larger market for UK goods, than Qatar? And maybe they are a supplier who can protect the sea routes for their products compared to the customer having to pay that “tax” as with some other suppliers. What are UK naval ships doing in the Gulf?

    Norway also invests a great deal into UK, as well as supplying us with oil and gas. They would do the same investment whether we bought oil and gas from them, or not.

    If a company, or country, produces products another wants, and sells them properly, barter is not required. You need to move on from the Hudson Bay Trading era. I have sold products across the globe. I never had to resort to buying something as a condition.

    • MARTIN ,

      I’M SURPRISED to see you on here today . I thought you’d be out there with your , I love Jim and Fracking banner.

      ANYWAY, just thought I’d pop on to see if you caught what the former Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government , Professor Sir David King said today on RT ????????


      Before we move any further on, here is Processor Sir David Kings qualifications , just so your up to spec as to the quality of the person your dealing with .

      And here is the interview that was broadcast today . A section taken from the LINK below , quote, ” Sir David King about the climate emergency and how fracking is accelerating climate change at an unprecedented rate.”

      MARTIN , you can click on the LINK below and watch the full interview ……. Fast forward through the first 15 mins. The interview with Sir David King is towards the end of the programme.

      It looks like FRACKING is VERY BAD for climate change .

      • RT Jack? You are are joking? Russia hates fracking because the success of fracking in the US is causing them serious revenue problems exporting theit own oil and gas – most of it from the Arctic. Why do Russia have so many ice breakers? Believe what you want but RT?

      • Perhaps you can enlighten us on the possible impacts of this on Monday Jack?

        “Saudi Arabia’s oil production has been severely disrupted by drone attacks on two major oil facilities run by state-owned company Aramco, reports say.

        Sources quoted by Reuters and WSJ said the strikes had reduced production by five million barrels a day – nearly half the kingdom’s output.”

        • PAUL

          Let’s forget the RT channel then, if that’s your main gripe and instead focus on the Man and the message…

          ANY rational thinker , who is not connected to the Oil and Gas industry , will draw from this the real stark warnings that this man is putting across.

          That is, Fossil Fuel consumption needs to be wound down and all but eliminated from the energy pool equation ASAP .

          If you want to debate the RT news channel, Russia , Saudia Arabia or any other country , or political matter then I will be happy to oblige on another Drill or Drop page.

          To go back to what I had initially put forward to MARTIN …….. The point Professor Sir David King makes , is that Fracking is hugely damaging and is accelerating climate change at an unprecedented rate.”

          • “Oil prices soar after Saudi attack”-The Wall street Journal.

            Arithmetic and physics, Jack.

            However, good old Donald is about to release some of his Strategic Reserve to assist the world! Wonder what featured within much of that oil production?

            • MARTIN ,

              Wouldn’t it be great if the UK was less dependant on Oil and Gas and more dependant on renewables ????

              Maybe then we wouldn’t have to lick the boots of repressive regimes for our supplies .

              Hey MARTIN , did you catch the BBC NEWS today ( 16th September 2019.)

              Professor Sir David King , the former UK Chief Scientist gives this stark warning regarding the rapid acceleration of climate change .


              Surely , if only for the sake of your grandchildren….. Do you really need any other reason to rapidly reduce the use of fossil fuels ?????

              • Well, Big Green Jack, my children do not suffer from eco anxiety and live in the real world. They were not around in the 1970s but may now get the chance to see the consequences of disruption to oil/gas supplies.

                Donald says: “we don’t need Middle East oil and gas but will help our allies”. Yep, thanks to US fracking the rest of the world will see how Donald will help! Could be costly.

                When there are cost effective means of reducing the use of fossil fuel, rapidly, or otherwise, then most will be interested. Until then, some will try and force that by creating eco anxiety in the young but will find, like Australia, that when push comes to shove, the voters are pretty clued up and vote based upon reality. Not only confined to Australia, Germany that Green oasis, showed in a poll they were against a proposed carbon tax even though they agreed tackling climate change should have a high priority.

                So, frightening the children seems the way forward! However, there are many more who will not be frightened.

                “It’s not practicable, voters don’t want it-and it won’t “save the planet.”

                Try dealing with those three issues rather than frightening children, and you may make quicker progress.

  4. Yes, you get surprised about a lot of things, Green Jack. However, here in UK today we have cricket, football and the last night of the proms.

    I am sure you can resort to Giggle to find out something about all three. Shouldn’t be a pay wall for either of them. So, I have plenty to amuse and entertain me today.

    Meanwhile, I prefer the comments of a previous government chief scientific adviser, Professor Sir David McKay, (I think a Professor trumps-oops-a Processor) who said:

    “There is this appalling delusion that people have that we can take this thing (renewables) and we can just scale it up, and if there is a slight issue of it not adding up, then we can just do energy efficiency. Humanity really does need to pay attention to arithmetic and the laws of physics.”

    He seemed to have the three Jacks pretty well summed up there, and the quote was in the Guardian, so it has to be correct! LOL.

    And, even more meanwhile, in UK press today some of us can read about the demise in sales of solar panel systems in the UK and the publics dislike of the current choices/performance of electric vehicles.

    So, Jack, let me know when you have sorted arithmetic and the laws of physics and I may be interested. Until then, it is like the Beano Annual with the section on the world in the future, with speculation that then repeatedly fails. (You can also Giggle Beano.)

  5. With such slow and limited uptake, the 15,000 ‘Devil’ masks enthusiastically printed in North Yorkshire look destined to pollute the environment much longer than ‘Sir Jim’s’ recyclable plastic.

  6. Nope. That is the outcome of individuals deciding not to dispose of material that becomes waste correctly, with Greta joining in.

    Good job you have a plastic keyboard to add your expert contribution Andy. LOL.

  7. Plastic is not evil, it is a valuable and vital material to mankind. It’s plastic waste that is evil.

    That is why plastic manufacturers in Europe have promised to make 60% of all plastic packaging recyclable or reuseable by 2030 with the goal of 100% by 2040.

    Some plastic manufacturers have already reached that target. For example all of INEOS’ plastic can be recycled now following a decision it made several years ago to remove certain additives.

    The problem of plastic nurdle pollution has also been recognised within the industry. Many companies including INEOS have signed up to the global plastic industry’s Operation Clean Sweep®, an international initiative to stop the pellet loss into the world’s oceans and rivers.

    If all the end users could commit to the same level of responsibility for the disposal and recycling of waste plastic, perhaps there wouldn’t be a large pollution problem.

    • You guys simply don’t know what you’re talking about – and you don’t really wanna know. Btw, if reading is too hard for you guys, we have lots of very simply graphs and pictures to make people aware of the problem. [Edited by moderator]

      Biggest plastic market is Single-Use(d)-Throughaway-Plastic. Ineos is UK’s/EU’s virgina plastic producer No. 1 (a large number comes from climate hostile and environmental destructive fracking).

      It’s not about laptops or electronics. It’s about a constant production of toxic waste that we don’t need. Btw, have a look at the pictures in this article

      If you wann pay attention to the facts than doing your homework.

      The plastic production industry (including Ineos as a major virgin plastic pellet producer) is not even capable of avoiding constant plastic pellet production.

      The major plastic problem is supply driven, barelly demand driven. This industry just wants to lock us into their fossil plastic world (so that they can make a fortune with it).

  8. Nobody forces you, or I, to buy plastic. You can always desist-but, your posts show you don’t want to. So, you show clearly you have a demand and that is serviced. And yes it is about many uses for plastic, including laptops and electronics. It is also about building homes, wiring them for electricity from whatever source, and draining waste to treatment plants to name but a few.

    My plastic that can be recycled (called hard plastic locally), is recycled. My other plastic, mainly single use plastic, is incinerated to produce electricity. The only requirement is for me to separate it out and put it into the correct containers. The constant activity of litter pickers locally show that many can’t be bothered-but, they also pick up such goodies as a whole cooked chicken, so the major problem is people who just want to do as they please, which is a bit similar to those moaning about plastic and using a plastic keyboard to do so, that sends a signal down a plastic coated wire.

    All that plastic that will be incorporated in Nice Sir Jims new factory in Bridgend, not least to communicate the orders from the customers to his production staff and then to manage the payroll to the workforce, who will then have the choice to purchase what they want, hoping that Sir Jim makes a profit so their future income is secured.

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