Ineos threatens legal action against Clumber Park over fracking survey

Clumber Park.
Clumber Park.

Energy firm Ineos is threatening legal action against the National Trust so it can carry out a fracking survey on Clumber Park near Worksop.

The company said it had been trying for almost a year to get permission for a seismic survey at National Trust-owned country park.

Ineos said it has repeatedly tried to arrange a meeting, but that the trust would not talk to it.

Ineos said: “If the National Trust refuses to change its position, Ineos will have no choice but to write to the Oil and Gas Authority, asking for permission to seek a court order enforcing its rights to carry out these surveys on National Trust land.

“The geological surveys are classed as non-intrusive. They involve the use of specialist trucks to create and record sound waves in order to map rocks deep underground.

“The condition of the land is recorded before the survey and restored to the same condition afterwards.

“Ineos has agreed to share the results with the national archives for the benefit of the nation and future generations. Hundreds of other landowners have already agreed to the surveys.”

Ineos has government licences to test for shale gas and its suitability for extraction across large parts of the area.

If the tests prove successful, it could lead to applications to remove the gas through the controversial process of fracking.

Ineos has asked the National Trust to respond to its letter and agree to the surveys, but warned it may “reluctantly” have to pursue legal action if refused.

A National Trust spokesman said: “The National Trust is opposed to fracking on its land and will reject any fracking requests or inquiries. Consistent with this, we say no to surveying on our land for fracking purposes.

“The fossil gas that fracking releases is a finite resource: non-renewable, its combustion produces greenhouse gases which contribute to climate change.”

Ineos has just begin seismic testing near Worksop.

Testing is being carried out on land close to Netherthorpe Aerodrome.

Ineos said: “Ineos Shale is conducting a 250 sq kilometre 3D seismic survey in the East Midlands.

“The data from this will provide a clear image of the underground rock structure and assist us in determining our future drilling activities.

“We started last month in the Harthill area and are now moving in the direction of Worksop. “

The firm will not be surveying in Worksop itself, but general agricultural land where it has permission.