Ineos Obtains UK Shale Injunctions
Privately-owned UK chemicals group Ineos said July 31 it had secured High Court injunctions against "unlawful acts including trespass and harassment" at its shale gas exploration interests in England.
It said that any obstruction of Ineos Shale’s business, people or suppliers is now a contempt of court – including slow walks, lock-ons and obstructing the highway near its sites – but insisted the injunctions do not interfere with the right to lawful peaceful protest.
The company, the largest UK shale acreage owner, said it presented the court with extensive evidence of shale protestors involved in intimidation and dangerous direct action, putting themselves and others at risk.
Ineos said such evidence stemmed from third-party shale exploration sites operated by Cuadrilla, Europa Oil & Gas, IGas and ThirdEnergy, and also in respect of its own supply chain. Ineos itself though has yet to start any drilling itself. Cuadrilla last month said it expects to drill and frack at its Preston New Rd site in Lancashire in 2H2017; it has faced almost daily protests there. IGas has not applied to frack so far on its licences.
The court order obtained by Ineos – which is an interim injunction that will remain in force until a return hearing in September – states that any breach could lead to imprisonment, fines or seizure of assets.
Update August 7: Ineos plans to drill a shale gas exploration well near Woodsetts, near Rotherham in South Yorkshire, the BBC reported August 4, adding that it has yet to submit an application for test drilling and would first consult with local people.