Ineos Shale Challenges Scottish Fracking Ban



Ineos Shale Challenges Scottish Fracking Ban
Ineos Shale, along with its co-venture partner Reach, is challenging the Scottish government's effective ban on onshore unconventional oil and gas development.

Ineos Shale, along with its co-venture partner Reach, is challenging the Scottish government’s effective ban on onshore unconventional oil and gas development.

The companies have lodged a petition for the judicial review of the recent decision by the government, with Ineos claiming the ban is unlawful.

“Ineos believes that there were very serious errors within the decision-making process, including a failure to adhere to proper statutory process and a misuse of ministerial power,” Ineos said in a statement on its website.

With a ban on shale and all other forms of unconventional oil and gas extraction, Ineos said Scotland will miss out on the ‘numerous economic and employment benefits that will be enjoyed by England, including an estimated 3,100 Scottish jobs’.

“The decision…was a major blow to Scottish science and its engineering industry, as well as being financially costly to Ineos, other businesses and indeed the nation as a whole,” Tom Pickering, operations director at Ineos Shale, said in a company statement. 

“It also removed at a stroke the potential for the country in these uncertain times to secure its own indigenous energy supply. 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,” he added.

Pickering highlighted that Ineos, Reach and other operators have invested ‘significantly’ in unconventional development in Scotland over the years.

“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,” he added.

Commenting on Ineos’ challenge to the Scottish fracking ban, the Scottish government minister for business, innovation and energy, Paul Wheelhouse, told Rigzone that the government had taken a ‘careful and considered approach’ to arriving at its preferred policy on unconventional oil and gas.

“The Scottish government’s position was endorsed by the Scottish parliament…subject to completion of a strategic environmental assessment, and follows detailed assessment of the evidence and consultation with the public,” Wheelhouse said.

In October last year, the Scottish government announced that it would not support the development of unconventional oil and gas in the country, following a four-month public consultation which received over 60,000 responses.

Approximately 99 percent of the consultation responses were opposed to fracking and fewer than one percent were in favour, according to a government statement at the time.

Ken Cronin, the chief executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG), the trade body for the UK onshore industry, has previously stated that the onshore oil and gas industry can generate a further 64,000 jobs in the UK, create a new stream of UK tax revenue and provide direct local investment to the communities that host production. 



WHAT DO YOU THINK?


Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.

Jamie Lawson  |  January 18, 2018
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
BS  |  January 12, 2018
You can't compare fracking and drilling for oil as they're completely different! Fracking involves drilling down into the ground and the injecting water and chemicals in order to fracture the rock under the ground. How can anyone accurately predict where exactly the rock will fracture? Some of the gases released will travel back up the pre- drilled hole but gas realised from fractures away from the hole can travel upwards towards the surface.correvt me if I'm wrong, but isn't this why farmers in Australia have land that's unusable now. They can't even graze cattle on it due to it having H2s (hydrogen sulphide) inches below the surface of the ground.
Bill Morrice  |  January 11, 2018
I agree with the comments here. If there is to be a ban on the development of unconventional oil and gas in Scotland and the governing authorities want to be seen as being professional and thorough, then it should be for the right reasons and not from polling of a poorly informed group.
Gary  |  January 11, 2018
60,000 respondents represent around 1 percent of the Scottish population and half of the responses were petition signatories. Hardly what you would call representative of the community. what about the other 5 million Scottish voices ??
TomS  |  January 10, 2018
As a 43 year veteran in the Oil and Gas Service sector, I have to ask why? I developed many friendships with Scotts in the N. Sea offshore drilling and production endeavors throughout the years. I found N. Sea operations to be some of the safest in the world due to the professional regulatory environment of the N. Sea. Not perfect, but greater than anything you will see in West Texas. So why Scotland? Shale produces jobs. Shale is safe with proper oversight and regulatory standards. If Scotland can drill and produce wells in the fisheries of the North Sea in a safe and responsible manner, why can Scotland not do the same onshore? My guess is that Scotland will do it better and with more thoughtful regulatory oversight than many operations in the US.
MikeM  |  January 10, 2018
Quoting from Scottish government analysis of responses: "Altogether, 55,688 respondents addressed this question. This comprised 142 organisations, 14 discussion groups, 3,422 individuals, 21,077 standard campaign respondents and 31,033 petition signatories." There is high likelihood that most 'responses' were social media clickfests with near-zero knowledge, barely formed or non-existent opinions, and involving multiple repeat votes with minimal verification of actual residency, citizenship or age. In short, near-useless. Unless of course the whole point was to skew the responses to claim an overwhelming mandate to do something stupid and self-defeating to further diminish Scotland's standard of living and defeat an open-goal opportunity to actually provide Scottish industry with an energy cost advantage. Heaven forbid. Bundle up, lassies. Enjoy your winters surviving on jobseekers allowance.
Darryl desmeules  |  January 10, 2018
I’m certain that very few of the 60,000 respondents have virtually zero background or technical qualifications to comment on the process/technology involved. This should be mandatory before being able to have an opinion.