Fracking firm exploring sites in Notts gains High Court injunction to stop ‘unlawful acts by protesters’

Credit: Joshua Doubek

A fracking firm surveying sites in Notts for shale gas has gained an injunction from the High Court to stop ‘unlawful acts by protesters’.

INEOS Shale is an oil and gas exploration and production business which is a branch of INEOS, and international chemical company.

The injunctions do no interfere with the right to lawful, peaceful protest.

INEOS presented the High Court with ‘extensive evidence of shale protesters involved in intimidation and direct action, putting themselves and others at risk’.

The injunction is on an interim basis which will be in force until a return hearing, due to be held in September.

INEOS has previously denied they would survey at Sherwood Forest after information obtained via an FOI request in January made by Friends of the Earth revealed there had been correspondence between themselves and the Forestry Commission.

However the company did not rule out exploring other potential sites.

Nottinghamshire County Council has approved two exploratory shale gas well sites on land between Barnby Moor and Blyth, with IGas, and at Misson in Bassetlaw, with Dart Energy.

Operations director of INEOS Shale Tom Pickering said: “We have a duty to do all we can to ensure the safety of everyone on and around our sites, including the protesters themselves.

“We are also clear our people and suppliers have the right to come to work free from harassment and intimidation.

“In these circumstances, it was right and responsible to see these injunctions and we are pleased the court has agreed.”

What INEOS Shale says the injunction prohibits

  • Trespass onto INEOS Shale sites and relevant office locations
  • Obstructing the highway around these sites
  • Obstructing or interfering with INEOS shale business and/or the activities of staff on and around the sites
  • Interfering with, harassing or conspiring to injure people and businesses across the INEOS Shale supply chain, including slow-walking and lock-ons

Mr Pickering added INEOS has a legal duty to ensure safety for everyone.

He said: “Our sites are potentially hazardous for anyone without proper training, so we have a duty to prevent trespassers.

“We safety train our people to avoid the very hazards that militants and protesters naively expose themselves to.

“For instance, standing in front of a moving lorry whose driver may not be able to see you is dangerous.

“Diverting police resources away from local policing is dangerous – applying the court was the right and responsible thing to do.”

Notts TV has contacted Frack Free Notts for comment.

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