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INEOS confirms plans to undertake shale gas survey in Rotherham

Published on Wednesday, 24th May 2017 in Woodsetts news

Rotherham Council has received formal notification from energy company INEOS that it intends to undertake a 3D seismic survey across part of the borough for six months, starting in early June.

The company has submitted details about the areas to be surveyed and how the survey will be undertaken. The full survey area covers approximately 250 square kilometres (approximately 17.32 sq. km. in Rotherham) and also includes parts of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Subject to certain restrictions and giving prior notification to the Council, planning permission is not required for the survey as Government planning rules state that it is ‘permitted development’.

The survey will help INEOS to gain a better understanding of the geology and rock formations below the ground to understand where shale gas might be located. This will help the company to identify sites where future shale gas development could be undertaken. Any future development would require full planning permission.

No hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) would be undertaken as part of the survey and to date, Rotherham Council has received no planning applications for hydraulic fracturing in the borough.

INEOS owns a number of Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDL) across the region. These give the company exclusive permission to explore for onshore oil and gas within each Licence area.  

Paul Woodcock, Assistant Director for Planning, Regeneration and Transportation for Rotherham Council said: “Subject to certain restrictions, the company is permitted to undertake the seismic survey without planning permission in line with national planning rules. However, any further development, including test drilling to explore for shale gas below ground, will require full planning permission.”

INEOS also submitted a screening request prior to submitting a planning application for a "vertical exploration well" on private land in the South of the Borough (Harthill and Thorpe Salvin). 

Whilst Ineos is not legally required to provide an Environmental Impact Assessment for the survey, this was requested by the Council. In response to the request Ineos will submit an Environmental Report addressing, among other topics, the aspects of water environment, ecology, noise, landscape and visual effects, and cultural heritage. The Council will make this information available via its website.

For more information on shale gas and hydraulic fracturing in the borough, see the webpages:

Shale gas and hydraulic fracturing

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