Ineos to challenge Scots fracking ‘ban’

Posted: January 10, 2018 by oldbrew in fracking, government, Politics
Tags: ,

Grangemouth plant [credit: Ineos]


One report says £50 million was spent on acquiring two fracking licenses and planning permissions, only for the company to find its hands tied. Meanwhile it is importing shale gas from the USA.

Grangemouth refinery operator Ineos is to challenge the Scottish government in the courts over fracking, reports BBC News.

Petrochemical firm Ineos has launched a legal challenge to the Scottish government’s effective ban on fracking.

Ministers announced the prohibition in October 2017, and it was subsequently endorsed by a vote of MSPs.

Ineos Shale has applied for a judicial review of the decision, citing “serious concerns” about its legitimacy.

The Scottish government argues that it took a “careful and considered approach” while coming to the decision, with “detailed assessment of evidence”.

It first introduced a moratorium on fracking in 2015, while undertaking a series of reports and a public consultation on whether to give permission in future.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse told MSPs last year that this moratorium, enforced via planning powers, would continue “indefinitely” after consultations showed “overwhelming” opposition to fracking from the public.

Labour and the Greens called for the ban to be put down in legislation, but Mr Wheelhouse insisted that the existing method was “sufficiently robust”, and ultimately only Conservative MSPs voted against the move.

The development was welcomed by environmental organisations, but slammed by business groups, with Ineos among the most vocal in its criticism.

Ineos, which operates the industrial processing plant in Grangemouth and which holds fracking exploration licences across 700 square miles of the country, said the government’s decision was “a major blow to Scottish science and the engineering industry”.

Ineos Shale Operations Manager Tom Pickering said the group had “no option” but to raise a legal challenge alongside business partner Reach.

He said: “We have serious concerns about the legitimacy of the ban and have therefore applied to the court to ask that it review the competency of the decision to introduce it.”

“Ineos, Reach and other operators have invested significantly in unconventional development over the years, against a supportive regulatory and planning backdrop.

“If Scotland wants to continue to be considered as a serious place to do business, then it cannot simply remove the policy support that attracted that investment in the first place without proper procedures being followed and without the offer of appropriate financial compensation.”

Continued here.

Comments
  1. spetzer86 says:

    Why frack when you can send your hard-earned money to the US or Russia?

  2. Graeme No.3 says:

    “If Scotland wants to continue to be considered as a serious place to do business, then it cannot simply remove the policy support that attracted that investment in the first place”
    Translated for politicians – we can go elsewhere. Not soon but gradually and when we leave there will be a lot of people out of work, and all of them will get a “Sorry you have to go, but it is all the fault of the Scottish Government”.

  3. oldbrew says:

    Cuadrilla thriller…

    UK SHALE TESTS REVEAL ‘EXCELLENT’ FRACKING CONDITIONS
    Date: 13/01/18 Jillian Ambrose, The Daily Telegraph

    Cuadrilla’s controversial bid to frack for shale gas in Lancashire has struck a rare gush of good luck after tests unearthed “excellent” conditions for fracking.
    . . .
    Following the test results, Cuadrilla boss Francis Egan said he was “confident that there is a very sizeable quantity of natural gas in the Bowland Shale”.

    “In addition we can confirm that the rock composition is very suitable to hydraulically fracture. This give us great confidence as we start drilling what will be the first horizontal well drilled into UK shale rock,” he said.

    http://www.thegwpf.com/uk-shale-tests-reveal-excellent-fracking-conditions/

  4. Jamie Lawson says:

    Tom Pickering says that if Scotland wants to continue to be considered as a serious place to do business, then it cannot simply remove the policy support that attracted that investment in the first place without proper procedures being followed and without the offer of appropriate financial compensation.

    Although energy policy is reserved to Westminster, their control over the planning system means they can block any application to frack.

    Paul Wheelhouse, the SNP Energy Minister, sought to justify the ban by arguing the move had overwhelming public support, fracking would add only 0.1 per cent to Scotland’s GDP and it would be concentrated around densely populated areas in central Scotland.

    This is a predictable and desperate attempt by an industry sinking under public protest in England to try and salvage the last drop of commercial benefit in Scotland. – said by Mark Ruskell – Scottish Greens’ energy spokesman

  5. oldbrew says:

    ‘an industry sinking under public protest in England’? – not really

    Cuadrilla prepares for fracking in Lancashire after gas discovery

    Fracking firm Cuadrilla Resources said it has discovered a “very sizeable quantity” of natural gas at its exploration site in Lancashire as it prepares to drill what will be the UK’s first horizontal well in shale rock

    https://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2018/01/13/cuadrilla-prepares-for-fracking-in-lancashire-after-gas-discovery/

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