INEOS confirms plans to carry out a shale gas survey in Derbyshire and beyond

12 May 2017

Oil and chemical firm INEOS has sent formal notification to us that it intends to carry out a 3D seismic survey across parts of Derbyshire for six months from early June.

INEOS is one of several companies licensed by the Oil and Gas Authority to extract gas from shale deep in the ground by hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking' − the process of injecting water and chemicals at high pressure deep underground to create tiny cracks so the gas can flow up a well to the surface and be collected.

The survey, which will cover around 35 sq miles in Derbyshire in the Bolsover and North East Derbyshire area, will help INEOS to gain a better understanding of the rock formations below the ground from which shale gas could potentially be extracted.

Details from INEOS about the areas to be surveyed and how it will be carried out are now available on our website.

Under Government planning rules, this prior notification is classed as 'permitted development'. This means the survey work does not generally require planning permission but it is subject to certain restrictions.

Mike Ashworth, Strategic Director for Economy, Transport and Communities, said:

"Under national planning rules, INEOS is allowed to carry out this survey work subject to certain restrictions without applying for planning permission. No hydraulic fracturing would be carried out as part of the survey which is expected to start on 5 June 2017.

"Full planning permission would still be required for any further development."

The survey will be carried out using sound waves to build up a picture of layers of rock lying underground.

Specialist surveying trucks will generally be used but where vehicle access is too difficult, shot holes could be drilled into the ground, around 10cm in diameter and up to 10m deep, which are filled with a small charge. The charge is ignited and the sound waves are recorded to highlight the rock formations underground.

Landowners will be consulted by INEOS on access arrangements and where the equipment is located.

Appropriate health and safety assessments will be carried out to make sure all works are carried out in line with industry standards and the land will be fully restored once the tests are completed. All equipment will be no higher than 15 metres and surveying will take place between 7am − 7pm, seven days a week.

Appropriate steps will be taken to conduct the tests a sufficient distance away from residential properties to minimise noise and vibrations − at least 50 metres.