VIDEO: IGas faces questions of Notts shale site

UPDATE: Nottinghamshire County Council's debate over the first fracking exploration plan in the county continues with questions for the firm who hope to begin drilling.

Island Gas Energy (IGas) has presented plans to the council's planning committee today (Wednesday, October 5) for plans to drill two wells to conduct geological testing and explore the commercial viability of a potential shale deposit 3,000 metres below Misson in North Nottinghamshire.

The county council are discussing the first such application to explore in Notts.

The county council are discussing the first such application to explore in Notts.

At the committee meeting chief of the firm John Blaymires was asked about stories of previous wells releasing methane into the air.

He said: "There is some evidence coming out of America of fugitive emissions. That happens across the UK today in the national grid infrastructure. This is an exploratory well, we will not be producing any methane.

"The gas will not flow naturally. When your doing an exploratory well and not fracking no gas will come out of well.

When asked if he can offer assurances there won't be any seismic activity as a result of the well he said: "

Councillors quiz IGas on impacts of Misson Springs plan to explore for Shale gas.

Councillors quiz IGas on impacts of Misson Springs plan to explore for Shale gas.

"My short answer is yes." He later reiterated to questions around potential fault line under the area: 'there is no fault'.

Cllr Stan Heptinstall, liberal democrat on the committe, said: "When I make a decision today it won't be on fracking in principle. it will be on the two things - the location, and the control of the potential environmental consequences of the activity.

Mr Blaymires says: "You're trying to ascertain if this is a proper and appropriate application. We are under enormous scrutiniy. The onshore industry has a lot more (regulation) we have, 24/7, someone looking over our back fence as to what we are doing.

"We've been operating for 30 odd years and having to deal with that on a day to day basis. We are under more scrutiny than virtually any other industry, perhaps due to some inflammatory remarks in headlines that are unfortunately not always base don facts. The consequence is that we are held to account every day, 24/7

"Rainfall is the biggest issue we have - moving rainfall off the site.

"We transport everything off the site. For 0.83 of a hectare, water that would normally go into the system is being captured on-site and being disposed of at a licenced facility."

He also claimed that most of the fears around shale gas and environmental hazards are the result of 'misinformation'.

Mr Blaymires added: "We have failed to communicate to people what we do, how we go about it, how well regulated we are.

"We've gone about our business responsible, very effectively. The fears that Councillor Heptinstall has raised are born out of misinformation."

In public comments, objector Helen Mitcham said: "We talk about financial stability, so the rep from IGas says the comapny is stable. That could be a matter of opinion. In case you haven't seen (IGas's three month accounts) they're not a viable prospect."

"If they do go into administration the site could be abandoned and who would clear up the mess?

"The government said nothing is going to happen in the Shale Oil and Gas industry unless it is environmentally safe."