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INEOS confirms plans to undertake a shale gas survey in the East Midlands

Nottinghamshire County Council has received formal notification from energy company INEOS that it intends to undertake a 3D seismic survey across parts of Nottinghamshire for six months, commencing in early June.

The company has submitted details about the areas to be surveyed, which extend into Derbyshire and Rotherham, and how the survey will be undertaken. The survey area covers approximately 250 square kilometres.

Subject to certain restrictions and giving prior notification to the County 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  would be undertaken as part of the survey.

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

Sally Gill, Planning Manager for Nottinghamshire County Council said: “Subject to certain restrictions, INEOS is allowed 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.

"The County Council welcomes the decision by the company to avoid undertaking any surveying within the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve and other areas of special environmental interest."

INEOS has confirmed to the County Council that no seismic surveying will be undertaken within the following areas:

  • The Sherwood National Nature Reserve, including the Sherwood Forest National Nature Reserve.
  • Special Areas of Conservation
  • Sites of Special Scientific Interest including Thoresby Lake, Welbeck Lake, Hills and Holes and Sookholme Brook, Warsop
  • In addition, no surveying will be undertaken within any scheduled monuments in Nottinghamshire and as an additional measure, a 50 metre boundary zone will be in place to safeguard these protected areas from any nearby ground survey
  • subject to the signing of legal agreements, Nottinghamshire County Council has approved two exploratory shale gas well sites on land off the A634 between Barnby Moor and Blyth (Tinker Lane, Dart Energy site) and at Springs Road, Misson in Bassetlaw (Island Gas).
  • to date, Nottinghamshire County Council has received no planning applications for hydraulic fracturing in the county.
  • to keep up-to-date with the latest information about planning and shale gas development in Nottinghamshire, you can sign up to the County Council’s email subscription service (select the Planning newsletter)
  • view the INEOS Environmental Statement and letter to Nottinghamshire County Council on the website.