Ineos Wins Environment Permit for Derbyshire Drill

04.07.2017 -

The UK’s Environment Agency has granted Ineos Upstream, subsidiary of the Switzerland-based chemical group, an environmental permit allowing it to drill an exploratory borehole at a site in England’s Derbyshire.

Specifically, the permit covers drilling, waste management and low-risk testing but not fracking at the site on privately owned land at Bramleymoor Lan, near Marsh Village and Eckington.

If Ineos decides to conduct further exploration, or even fracking, on the site in the future, it must submit separate applications specific to the site as well as conducting an environmental risk assessment and extensive public consultation, the agency stressed.

“As with all decisions on whether to issue environmental permits, we will assess a company’s proposals to ensure they meet strict requirements. If an activity poses an unacceptable risk to the environment, the activity will not be permitted,” a spokesperson for the authority told the UK press.

Derbyshire County Council is currently reviewing a full planning application from Ineos for the Marsh Lane site.

Ineos Shale’s operations director, Tom Pickering, called the environmental permit “an important step in the process of gaining all necessary consents required before any drilling can take place.”

While Pickering said Ineos Upstream is “keen and willing” to continue its engagement with a formal community liaison group, residents of the area for the most part strongly oppose its proposals. Campaigners have organized a number of public meetings, set up a Facebook page and also marched through the village in protest.

In Nottinghamshire, the County Council (NCC) last month added further restrictions on where and how Ineos can carry out its 3D seismic survey activity without planning consent. The petrochemical giant’s roughly 25,000-hectare (96-square-mile) survey area also extends into Derbyshire and Rotherham counties.

NCC said the firm will have to maintain specific distances when surveying land near to Creswell Crag. Maximum vibrations levels and monitoring when surveying near designated sites will be required, and no shot holes are to be drilled on any current or former landfill or spoil disposal sites.

Ineos plans to carry out the shale survey in England’s East Midlands over a six-month period ending in December. Any further development in Nottinghamshire, including test drilling to explore for shale gas below ground, will require a full planning permission, NCC said earlier.