Ineos gets Permit to drill in Derbyshire
Ineos has succeeded for a second time in having national authorities override a local UK Council decision not to allow shale gas exploration on its territory. The National Planning Inspectorate has given the olefins and polyolefins giant permission to drill test wells near Bramley Lane, Eckington in Derbyshire.
The permit issued despite massive opposition from the Council and local residents will let Ineos erect a 60-meter tall drill on the site and drill a single vertical core well to see if adequate shale reserves lie below the surface. Depending on the size and quality of the deposits, the Swiss-headquartered group could apply for a fracking permit.
On an appeal by Ineos, the UK government some years ago established the planning inspectorate as the final instance in awarding drilling permits. The decision in favor of a Derbyshire drill follows a similar ruling in Rotherham, Yorkshire. In both cases, the councils had cited traffic, dirt and noise as reasons for opposing exploration.
After winning its appeal against a decision by the Rotherham Counci earlier this yearl, Ineos Shale submitted a second planning application in June. The new application is for a drill site at nearby Woodsetts, where the council has also refused drilling permission. For both locations and for Derbyshire, the permit allows drilling for five years.
Alongside residents, representatives of local political parties criticized the planners’ latest decision. The Labour Party in Derbyshire said: "Britain urgently needs to tackle the causes of climate change and invest in real renewable solutions to our energy supply, rather than simply finding more ways to extract dwindling supplies of fossil fuels.”
The Liberal Democrats in Sheffield called fracking “dangerous and short-sighted,” adding that the decision “doesn't bode well for local democracy.”
By contrast, industry body UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG) welcomed the inspectorate’s move. “Ultimately, the inspector has concluded that she has given substantial weight to the potential to improve resources for energy supplies, something we strongly agree is a nationally important priority,” said UKOOG Chief Executive Ken Cronin.