INEOS Shale has been granted permission to pursue its application to undertake a geophysical survey in Clumber Park to the High Court. The case will be heard by a judge who has the power to grant INEOS access to National Trust land – where similar surveys have been carried out before.
In referring the matter to the High Court, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) noted the UK Government’s support for a shale industry in the UK and that the geophysical survey is required to explore for resources in its licenced area. The Trust’s outright refusal to meet to negotiate applicable terms and conditions despite INEOS’ repeated efforts to engage since 2016 was also acknowledged.
Geophysical surveys have been categorised by the OGA as “non-intrusive” and represent no threat to the landscape and all data gathered would be gifted to the nation for future research. Such surveys are part of INEOS’ obligations to the UK Government under its licences.
Lynn Calder, Commercial Director of INEOS Shale, said: “Legal action has been the last resort and we have used powers which prevent landowners from blocking projects which benefit the wider community and the nation as a whole. These surveys are both routine and necessary across the UK, including on National Trust land.
The National Trust’s position is very disappointing as we have had positive relationships with a range of stakeholders and landowners during surveys. We have addressed a variety of stakeholder concerns in the past and are sorry the National Trust wouldn’t even have discussions with us in this case owing to a political objection to shale gas.
INEOS’ continued investment in shale represents the confidence that it has in its long-term potential. If shale gas proves to be successful in the UK, it provides the UK economy with highly competitive energy and it provides enormous levels of investment and jobs in the North of England where they are desperately needed.
Manufacturing jobs are not created without investment and there is precious little investment in the North of England in manufacturing. Recent figures on jobs and investment estimate that the shale industry is expected to bring in £33 billion of investment into England alone over the next two decades.”