Sunday, January 08, 2017
Fracking On Our Doorstep
The Derbyshire County Council has produced a very important document entitled "Shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (fracking)" for its area. It can be found via this link. The document provides a set of key links of its own, including access to documentation which has been submitted to it by the firm INEOS Upstream Limited. This firm holds authorisation from the Government to engage (under due procedures) in the exploration and exploitation of shale gas reserves across most of North Derbyshire and various others areas.
INEOS are expressing an interest in searching for shale gas in a field on land adjacent to Bramleymoor Lane, near Marsh Lane in the Parish of Eckington. It is border territory and the fields to the immediate south are situated in the Parish of Unstone.
Link here for the two page opening letter from the Office Director of INEOS to the Head of Planning Services at the County Council. This next link is to a 25 page document (including four pages of maps) which is an application to drill a vertical core well in the above field. Then there is a further and important location map to be found via this link.
Yet all of this INEOS documentation needs to be handled with care. It is intended to give the impression that INEOS will merely be engaging in a vertical search for shale gas in an isolated rural area and that little disruption will occur.
Well that will certainly not be the case if they find what they are seeking. For the next stage will be to seek to use this site to engage in horizontal underground fracking, which can cover lengthy distances. On page 6 of the INEOS publication entitled "INEOS - the energy behind UK manufacturing" it claims that its horizontal fracking activities can run up to 2,000 metres (which is around a mile and a quarter).
Near the field they will be operating from there is the built-up area of Marsh Lane. which commences just 300 metres (some 330 yards) from the field they will be operating in. Whilst the full 2,000 metres they claim they can operate over would reach Eckington, Troway, Apperknowle, West Handley and Middle Handley.
Then there is the possibility that horizontal underground fracking could reach much further than INEOS indicate. A firm called Halliburton in the USA have recently engaged in such an operation for a distance of three and a half miles. (See this link). And INEOS can operate at the top level of this technology. So there is even a possibility of them extending their underground operations as far north as Mosborough in Shefield. South to Staveley, Brimington and the northern sections of Chesterfield. East to areas of Killamarsh. Then west to Dronfield over as far as its by-pass.
Even if the above are only extreme possibilities, wide sections of urban areas could still find fracking taking place beneath their homes, schools, roads, shops, churches and the like. We need to be aware of the range of unhappy possibilities.
On top of which, the application to operate from Bramleymoor Lane is likely just to be the tip of the iceberg. Next they will come for the rest of North Derbyshire and surrounding areas. So INEOS need stopping even before they get started.