Fracking in the UK

Ineos warning on fracking plans -FT

Protestors have taken to the streets in many parts of the UK to try and limit fracking
Getty Images
Protestors have taken to the streets in many parts of the UK to try and limit fracking

Ineos - run by Britain's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe - has warned it could abandon its plans to frack in England unless rules governing the fledgling shale gas industry are relaxed.

That's according to the Financial Times which has received the information from a Freedom of Information request.

Representatives of Ineos told Andy Samuel, chief executive of regulator the Oil & Gas Authority, that the company wanted a new “sensible” limit on the size of earth tremors before fracking had to be halted.

According to the FT, official minutes of the meeting, which did not disclose those present, state that the company was “keen to have a dialogue” with the UK government on the 0.5 seismic limit, which Ineos believes is “artificially low”.

In February, Sir Jim said the government was "shutting down shale by the backdoor" with "no coherent energy policy" in place for the UK.

The women in white who are fighting fracking
BBC Scotland's environment correspondent Kevin Keane travels to Lancashire to speak to those who are for and against fracking.

Oil well decision delayed after 1,000 objections

Rebecca Curley

Local Democracy Reporter

A decision on an application to drill four more oil wells at the Horse Hill site in Surrey - scene of previous public protests - has been postponed because of the number of objections.

Surrey county councillors had been due to consider the request at a planning and regulatory committee meeting on 17 April. But it has now been put back to the following month's meeting.

Chairman Tim Hall told the committee: "Due to a mixture of factors, including 1,000 objections for the Horse Hill oil well site, which have arrived so far - and are still coming - there will not be a meeting on 17 April. Our next meeting will be [on] 22 May."

He said officers needed more time to carry out statutory consultations with other organisations "due to the sheer amount of stuff".

The application was submitted by Horse Hill Developments, a subsidiary of UK Oil and Gas (Ukog), which already has a well on the site, at Hookwood, near Horley, which has attracted protests from anti-fracking campaigners.

Ukog has said it has no plans to use the controversial fracking techniques at Horse Hill, where it has already carried out test drilling.

The plans seek to create four new production wells and to retain and extend the existing well site, which has so far been used for test drilling.

Cuadrilla urges a relaxation of fracking rules

Fracking firm Cuadrilla has renewed calls for regulations on tremors caused by the process to be revised.

It echoes a similar call this week from UK energy firm Ineos, which is also planning to start shale gas extraction..

Cuadrilla is fracking in Lancashire, and said on Wednesday that it had revealed a "rich reservoir of recoverable high quality natural gas present".

But Cuadrilla boss Francis Egan said the limits set for the level of seismic activity allowed before there must be a halt during fracking severely constrained activities.

The government has supported fracking in the UK, but environmental campaigners oppose the process which they say can cause pollution and quakes and undermine efforts to tackle climate change.

graphic on shale gas extraction