INEOS announce plans for up to 4,000 fracking wells for North Yorkshire

INEOS PEDL licences in the North of England

INEOS PEDL licences in the North of England

In an interview with the Press Association on 6th May, INEOS Shale announced that they were ‘firing the starting gun’ on fracking in Cheshire, Yorkshire and the East Midlands, where they hold PEDL licences totalling more than 1 million acres. The company said that seismic surveying would be carried out this summer and planning applications would submitted later in the year.

As part of INEOS’s drive towards widespread fracking, the company posted advertisements for contractors for seismic surveying, security, acquiring land, legal and planning services and environmental monitoring on their website.

Diagrams from INEOS online ad for contractors, showing 30 well sites, 12-14 wells per site and 396 wells per 10x10 km licence are.

Diagrams from INEOS online ad for contractors, showing 30 well sites, 12-14 wells per site and 396 wells per 10×10 km licence are.

In the company’s online advertisement for a Seismic Survey Contractor, the company states that each 10×10 km PEDL licence block could contain “up to 30 well sites within the licence, and up to 396 horizontal wells”. The advertisement, which also includes illustrations of the distribution of possible well-sites, states that these figures are intended ‘to give the community an idea of the maximum numbers of well sites they can expect to see in a licence, as well as the number of wells.”

You can see the full advertisement by clicking on the link below:
INEOS online ad for Seismic Survey Contractor 06.05.16

In December 2015, INEOS was awarded nine 10×10 km oil and gas exploration (PEDL) licence blocks across North Yorkshire, as well as six smaller licence areas, which when added together constitute approximately another 10×10 km block, making ten blocks in total. If all these were developed as described in the INEOS advertsitem, this could mean up to 300 well-sites and 4,000 horizontal wells across North Yorkshire.

A protester makes his feelings known at the demonstration against INEOS in Malton.

A protester makes his feelings known at a demonstration against INEOS in Malton.

Numerous other licence areas in North Yorkshire are held by Third Energy, Cuadrilla and Edgon Resources, all of whom are planning extensive shale gas developments in the future.

In March 2015, John Dewar of Third Energy stated at a government inquiry in Westminster that the company was planning up to 950 wells in their licence blocks across the north of Ryedale. Cuadrilla and Egdon Resources have yet to state how many fracking licences they are planning in their PEDL licence areas.

As well as its licence blocks in North Yorkshire, INEOS hold a large number of licence blocks in South Yorkshire, Cheshire and the East Midlands. See below for a map showing all INEOS’s licence areas – shown in red – in the North of England.

For an interactive map of the PEDL licences held by INEOS and other across the country, see Drill or Drop.

UPDATE – The advertisement for tender shown above was removed from the INEOS website six days after they were put up, and after the issue was raised at the company’s charm offensive meeting with Parish Councillors in Malton. Perhaps they realised that they have revealed too much of their plans for fracking in the North and were trying to cover their tracks?