The UK Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG) described as "misleading" a statement made Monday by Greenpeace in which the environmental organization said it would encourage UK landowners to join together in legal opposition to hydraulic fracturing for shale oil and gas.
Greenpeace maintains that, under English law, companies need permission from landowners to drill under their land to avoid being held liable for trespass. The organization said it wanted landowners to object to fracking and create a legal block to it.
However, responding to the statement UKOOG Chief Executive Ken Cronin said:
"This announcement today by Greenpeace is extremely misleading. Operators in this country are abiding by the law which states that activities at depths of over a mile under the ground do not impact landowners. However in line with the law, operators will inform all landowners in a very clear and transparent manner.
"Underground working is hardly something that is employed by just the oil and gas industry but includes, pipelines, fiber optics, geothermal energy and transport tunneling to name but a few.
"We would welcome the opportunity to have a constructive dialogue with Greenpeace and other environmental groups. This is an industry that has successfully been drilling for oil and gas onshore for over 150 years and has the opportunity to provide jobs, tax revenues, electricity and gas for citizens of this country for a long time to come and at a time when it has been shown we need it most."
Recent months have seen protests against UK shale firm Cuadrilla Resources drilling for oil at Balcombe, West Sussex, while the company also announced earlier this month that it had quit a potential exploration site in northern England over concerns that its operations would disrupt bird life.
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