Ineos Shale challenges Scottish frac ban

Scotland’s ban on hydraulic fracturing has come under legal attack. Ineos Shale said it is seeking judicial review of the government’s decision in October to extend indefinitely a moratorium in place since 2015.

Scotland’s ban on hydraulic fracturing has come under legal attack.

Ineos Shale said it is seeking judicial review of the government’s decision in October to extend indefinitely a moratorium in place since 2015 (OGJ Online, Oct. 3, 2017).

Ineos Shale holds two exploration licenses between Glasgow and Edinburgh. Its 20% partner in one of the licenses, Reach Coal Seam Gas Ltd., joined it in the challenge.

An Ineos Shale statement alleged “very serious errors in the decision-making process, including a failure to adhere to proper statutory process and a misuse of ministerial power.”

The statement said the 2015 moratorium took effect after Ineos and other shale operators in Scotland, relying on earlier support from the Scottish and local governments, had invested heavily to acquire licenses and permissions.

“Such investment has been rendered worthless as a consequence of the ban, even in areas where no fracing was proposed,” the statement said, noting that a panel of specialists appointed by the government had concluded that shale development can be managed safely.

Tom Pickering, Ineos Shale operations director, said the company “has been left with no option other than to raise this legal challenge.”

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