Ineos: Rats, Rex & Sabic

Captain Qahn's picture

Rabid dogs bring Black Death back to Europe? ...  Erm, Oh, OK ... not quite :

Sabic invests in Shale Gas imports from the USA:

"... The company is one of the world’s largest makers of chemicals, fertilizers and plastics and has operations at Wilton, near Redcar, which include the Olefins cracker.

The cracker, also known as Olefins 6, was built by ICI in 1979, and supplies products used in plastic bottles, CDs and tyres by taking feedstocks and cracking apart components.

John Bruijnooge, the firm’s Teesside site director, also revealed work is now underway to build a cryogenic tank at Sabic’s North Tees site, between Port Clarence and Seaton Carew, near Hartlepool, which makes parts for medicines, sports equipment and computers, for its gas project..."

"Mr Bruijnooge, who is based at Sabic’s manufacturing headquarters in the Wilton Centre, said it was now looking to the future with greater positivity.

He said: “After a series of years of restructuring and downsizing, we are now re-investing to secure the long-term life of assets.

“With our new shale gas feedstock, we will be well positioned to face competition when the oil price rises again.”

He added the plans will also provide a boost for the 400 contractors the business employs at Wilton and North Tees.

The 49-year-old former maintenance productivity engineer, who is from the Netherlands, joined Sabic in 1996 and moved through the ranks before being appointed a director at the company’s Beijing operations in 2013."

"Sabic's North-East operations also include a low density polyethylene plant, which supplies customers across Europe with materials for plastic packaging for food and electrical goods.

New SABIC Site Director John Bruijnooge says upgrade work to the firm’s Olefins Cracker at Wilton will secure the company’s future on Teesside."


Yup, puts that 5p environmental tax on plastic bags into perspective...

"Petrochemical giant Ineos has signed an agreement to purchase even more shale gas from the USA.

The firm will buy ethane, propane and butane from US company Rex Energy’s source in the Appalachian shale basin near the east coast of America.

The natural gas liquids will be transported to Ineos cracker complexes in Europe.

The transportation of ethane begins this month with shipment of propane and butane beginning next year.

David Thompson, Ineos trading and shipping CEO, said: “This contract adds to our supply portfolio providing for long-term sourcing of advantageously priced US natural gas liquids for our European crackers.

“We are excited about our new business relationship with Rex Energy and look forward to future opportunities between our companies.”

Last month Ineos received its first shipment of shale from the US, with more destined for Grangemouth later in the year."


Earlier this year, Ineos expansion into Shale Gas was announced with imports from the USA reported as follows:

"The first US shale gas sailed into Europe bringing controversy in its wake.

Ineos, the chemical group, said that its own gas carrier arrived in Norway on Wednesday with 27,500 cubic metres of American ethane on board. Shipments to Ineos’s UK refinery at Grangemouth are scheduled to start later this year.

“This is a strategically important day for Ineos and Europe,” said Jim Ratcliffe, chairman and founder of Ineos which has spent $2bn on different aspects of its import programme over five years."

Meanwhile in Skardiborgibadass:

"FIVE Fracking companies to descend on Scarborough Spa! They're determined to shmooze the SBCouncil & businesses into believing that the Toxic Risks of Fracking are 'worth' taking! They've even headed a talk by UKOOG 'The Size of the Prize' ~ their greed knows no bounds, they plan to carve up OUR countryside! Talk about desperate to have a win?!"

Oh, grooming?  Plastic Fantasic ...  I see no plastic ... Do ya spose they could print this on bank cards?

Ah, so ... Florence ...

Hmmm ... Tin, Lights. A Catapult Hat. Can we TM that?

Kipchak Army,  huh?  dyor ;-)  

Shake it Out  ...

Oh.... PKB -  Ineos is an acronym of INspec Ethylene OxideSpecialities, a name derived from their first acquisition in 1998....  "Ineo" is Latin for a new beginning, "Eos" is the Greek goddess of dawn and "neos" means something new and innovative. As a result, the name Ineos represents the "dawn of something new and innovative"

Ethel.   I mean who in their right mind would call a natural gas company Rathlin or Cuadrilla (Godzilla) or I-Gas (I Ceaser) ....  Diabolical Knaves.

TFFT ...  Pie ;-0



Captain Qahn's picture

INEOS: Firing Blanks?

"Petrochemical giant Ineos has "fired the starting gun" on its fracking programme by pressing ahead with plans to lodge test drilling applications by the end of the year.

Gary Haywood, chief executive of Ineos Shale, said it is rolling out a major seismic survey this summer to pinpoint prime sites for fracking across swathes of northern England where it holds licences.

The firm said it is also looking to bolster its team by making six appointments - including a geophysicist, an operations geologist and a commercial director - as it takes steps to scale up the business.

It comes as Ineos Shale looks to set up meetings with parish and town councils in Cheshire, Yorkshire and the East Midlands in the coming weeks in a bid to tackle public concern in areas close to potential exploration sites.

Mr Haywood told the Press Association: "We are firing the starting gun on our programme.

"Up until now, the 3D seismic data that has been shot in England covers around 400-odd kilometres. Over the next 12 months we hope to top that by shooting more seismic data than has ever been shot in the UK.

"We are ramping up the level of activity quite significantly to see if the geology is suitable for the industry in the UK. The economic benefits will be substantial, if the rocks are suitable and it's successful."

Ineos Shale emerged as one of the biggest players in the UK's nascent fracking industry when it won 23 licences in the Government's 14th licencing round. It has vowed to invest £650 million to establish 30 wells.

He added: "We think the next one to two years will be very important for determining what the potential is for shale in the UK."

Mr Haywood said Ineos will carry out its seismic survey over the summer, before lodging planning applications for core drilling at the end of the year.

It expects to press ahead with core drilling - which establishes whether a site is viable for fracking - in 2017, before submitting a separate planning application to carry out test fracks at the beginning of 2018...."


Benefitz Betty's picture

Plucky Stars - Decked & Duped

"The UK government on Friday said it plans to bolster the country's energy security through a package of reforms to the capacity market as the state tries to tighten and improve the all-important auction system.

The capacity market allows electricity generators to bid for the opportunity to supply standby power throughout the year, covering any unexpected power cuts or to cater for periods when electricity usage hits its peak, usually in winter.

Essentially, the government pays electricity generators to keep extra power on standby through the capacity market auctions, but the amount of extra energy that the UK has on standby has dwindled over recent years - prompting the government to take action.

"We face a legacy of years of underinvestment which has left us more open to the risk of any quickening in the pace of plant closures. To address this we need to ensure the right incentives are in place to bring on new capacity as it is needed, largely expected to be gas, to guarantee our energy security in the 2020s," said the Department for Energy & Climate Change.

The majority of plant closures in the UK are of plants that burn coal, which the government is hoping to eradicate in the UK by 2025.

The government held a consultation back in March, and said Friday the reforms that will be made to the capacity market have been confirmed. However, the proposed changes will have to be laid before parliament before being enforced.

The Department for Energy & Climate Change said the industry and other key stakeholders showed "clear support" for three key reforms to the capacity market during the consultation, with 161 organisations filing responses.

"The clear message from industry and investors that we heard as part of the review was that the capacity market mechanism retains their confidence; is the best available approach to our long-term security of supply; that regulatory stability is of crucial importance," said the DECC.


Now if some smart ass crunched the numbers  ... Page 10 ...

Erm, doeth that mean energy prices may double? 

And do the public get a refund for the renewable contribution ...

Ah, so ... Renewable Energy

DUKES not Nukes ...

Dupes more like.

Now, of far more interest, did anyone else spot that convertible with a rabbit n gun in the passenger seat? 

Yup, go ahead, make my day ... lol



Captain Qahn's picture

INEOS: 'trailblazing'

Ineos Nitriles at Seal Sands

Fascinating ...

Seating arrangements at OESG were ...

Now, do ya remember that graphic of fracking under York Minster ... hey ho now 'tis the Shard & Angel .... has there been a hot shoe shuffle? Buttons on.


Captain Qahn's picture

Sabic & Carbon Capture

“SABIC is the second new industrial partner to join Teesside Collective in the last six months. This demonstrates the positive direction and growing support behind our work to decarbonise UK industry. We are determined to drive forward with our vision of a sustainable and prosperous future for the UK, based on the advantages and cost-effectiveness of collaboration with other similar clusters up and down the East Coast.”

Is that a fact ...

Mind over matter?

"TenneT's announcement follows a deal earlier this week between EU North Sea countries pledging greater offshore wind cooperation in the region, while 11 major energy firms also predicted that offshore wind could be cost-competitive with fossil fuels by 2025.

According to TenneT, the island hub would distribute and transmit wind electricity over direct cables to the likes of the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Germany and Denmark.

The ideal location would be in relatively shallow waters with high and stable wind, the spokesman said. Dogger Bank, a sandbank area around 100km off the east coast of England, has been earmarked by the firm as a potential location for a hub to be built sometime between 2030 and 2050.

The island is envisioned by TenneT as being based on a "modular structure" with each module covering approximately six square kilometres. TenneT said this would make the hub big enough to provide space for connecting roughly 30GW of offshore wind capacity, but that the island could also be expandable by adding "one or two" further 6km modules.

"In Germany and more recently in the Netherlands, TenneT has the role of developer and operator of the offshore grid," said TenneT CEO Mel Kroon. "From this responsibility we have taken the initiative to establish a realistic and achievable plan for further development of the North Sea."

As a next step to unveiling its North Sea island vision today, TenneT said it would be entering into talks with the EU and member states over the proposal."

Benefitz Betty's picture

Frack Freeze Frame interesting comment

Fascinating ...

"The German government agreed Tuesday to ban hydraulic fracturing for an indefinite amount of time, though environmental groups have said that the ban does not go far enough, according to recent media reports.
After a parliamentary vote on similar legislation had stalled a year ago as a result of disagreements between Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats and the left-leaning Social Democrats, the two parties have now agreed to an indefinite ban. The compromise, which has yet to be formally approved, calls for the German parliament to reconsider the decision in 2021, The New York Times reported....

"Test drilling will be allowed only if the companies obtain the permission of the respective state government, according to the report.

Friends of the Earth Germany, an environmental nonprofit, criticized the proposal and said that by setting a date to revisit the ban, the government had essentially agreed to allow fracking in five years, the newspaper said.

“The coalition’s agreement on a fracking permission law is hair-raising,” the group’s head, Hubert Weiger, said in a statement to The New York Times. “The law must be stopped and replaced with a true fracking ban.”

Among other European countries, France banned fracking in 2011, and the U.K. allows the process subject to strict environmental and safety guidelines, the newspaper said.

The U.K. government has expressed fervent support for shale gas exploration, and in August proposed to fast-track reviews and approvals of natural gas drilling applications, potentially trumping the planning authority of local municipalities, which the government claims is bogging down shale development in the country."

Ah, so ... Are the anti-frackers driving the frackers off shore?


Benefitz Betty's picture

Challenging Times

Changelings.... Focus:

Whilst I can't even begin to comprehend the scale of this disaster it being over there 'an all ... I would like to ask why oh why do 'some people'  think its OK to carry on exploiting the rest of the world when the UK has its own natural resources...

Wot part of we are all on the same boat do some so called 'socialists' & 'environmentalists' not understand ...

Anyhoos am sure those China people are dealing with it .... you are all invited to North Yorkshire for a cup of tea btw ;-? ...

Ists.... I was just looking up humanists ...

Oh ffs. ""Let's banish pessimists" says Leadsom" ... another lunatic of the assylum.


Benefitz Betty's picture

CCC - Fracking in Threes

"The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) says fracking can go ahead if three key tests are met.

And the government says it already plans to meet those tests – on methane leaks, gas consumption and carbon budgets.

Environmentalists argue fracking will make the UK’s climate change targets impossible to achieve.

But the CCC disagrees. Its tests of government policy are:

  • Emissions should be strictly limited during shale gas development, production and well decommissioning. The CCC says this needs tight regulation, close monitoring of emissions, and rapid action to address any leaks.
  • Overall gas consumption in the UK must remain in line with UK carbon budgets – so UK shale gas must displace imported gas, rather than increasing gas consumption overall.
  • Emissions from shale gas production must be counted as part of the UK’s carbon budgets, and emissions in another part of the economy may need to be cut further in order to accommodate fracking.

Though the government is confident these conditions will be reached, a spokesman admitted that any increase in current carbon emissions in future would make current targets even more challenging.

There is already a growing mismatch between the government's long-term promises on climate change and the policies to deliver carbon cuts according to the CCC and National Grid.

There is huge uncertainty about the projections on fracking from the CCC and the government.

The UK currently has no shale gas production, and many observers believe the potential of fracking in the UK has been hyped."

Captain Qahn's picture

Fracking Review

"CAMPAIGNERS battling a decision to allow Britain’s first fracking operation since the Government lifted a ban on the process, have been granted a judicial hearing.

Friends of the Earth and Frack Free Ryedale said they had been notified that a ‘rolled up hearing’ on the case - for a judicial review over North Yorkshire County Council’s decision to grant Third Energy permission to frack in Kirby Misperton, near Pickering - would be heard before the end of October...."


"The first shipment of shale gas produced by fracking is expected to arrive in Scotland in the next few weeks, it has been reported.

One of a fleet of "Dragon-class" ships is due to arrive with the cargo at the Ineos petrochemical plant in Grangemouth in September.

Ineos Grangemoth has tweeted a picture of a large cargo ship with the statement: "Thanks to an important delivery next month, Grangemouth will once again be a #worldclass petrochemical plant."

Ineos says it has invested more than £1 billion in the Grangemouth facility since it acquired it in the site in 2005, with the company having already constructed the largest shale gas storage tank in Europe.

But with the Scottish Government having placed a moratorium on fracking, it has to import the gas to its Grangemouth plant in the Falkirk Council area.

The Grangemouth plant - which employs more than 1,300 people - also tweeted a link to a statement on the company's website, setting out how the success of its ethane supply project is key to the site's future.

It said: "In response to the 60% decline of North Sea gas over the last 10 years, we have no choice but to source our basic raw material (ethane) from outside the UK...."

No rush.

Captain Qahn's picture

Rats I & Empty Vessels

"The first shipment of US shale gas is arriving in Scotland amid a fierce debate about the future of fracking in the UK.

A tanker carrying 27,500m3 of ethane from US shale fields is due to dock at Grangemouth, the refinery and petrochemicals plant owned by Ineos.

The company said the gas would replace dwindling North Sea supplies and secure the future of the plant's workforce.

But many politicians and environmental groups have criticised the shipment.

The Scottish government - which has placed a moratorium on all fracking in Scotland while a study into its impact is carried out - said ministers were "unavailable to attend" the arrival of the shale gas shipment.

Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos founder and chairman, said: "This is a hugely important day for Ineos and the UK. Shale gas can help stop the decline of British manufacturing."...

"The company said the shipment aboard the carrier Ineos Insight was the culmination of a £1.6bn investment resulting in eight tankers forming a "virtual pipeline" between the US and the UK and Norway.

Ineos argues that with the North Sea's supply of ethane dwindling, plus costs, the shipments from the US are the only way of bringing in sufficient gas at low enough prices to maintain its olefins and polymers business at Grangemouth in the face of global competition.

It believes the US shale gas will provide sufficient raw material to run its manufacturing site at full rates, something that has not been possible for many years.

The Grangemouth facility is home to Scotland's only crude oil refinery and produces the bulk of fuels used in Scotland, with the site said to contribute about 3% of Scottish GDP...."

Ah, so the forgotten 'Crisis' ...


Captain Qahn's picture

Grangemouth - Nicked


"The Grangemouth story has been a modern parable - of the state of industrial relations, the interests of the media, and the condition of Scottish and UK politics – their motivations, silences and prejudices.

There has been much comment and political activity north of the border (not all of it, as we will see below, constructive). In the Westminster bubble which so dominates and distorts English politics, there have been either ideologically offensive and ignorant comments, or more widely, near-complete political inactivity, disinterest and the crashing sounds of silence.

First though, let’s try and dismiss the notion that Grangemouth can be simply seen through the prism of capital/labour relations, tempting though it is. Robin McAlpine’s persuasive piece last week explored part of this, but didn’t touch upon the wider canvas (1). We don’t gain anything thirty years into neo-liberalism’s onslaught by returning to the old left comfort blankets of creating pantomime villains of a big bad boss class, and failing to recognise the inadequacies of other actors – trade unions, Labour and the Westminster political classes.

The Many Dimensions of Grangemouth and Beyond

With the plant now saved for the time being and its long-term future hopefully secure, it is possible to identify a number of different interpretations of Grangemouth at a Scottish and UK level which were at play.

First, there was the agenda of Ineos and owner Jim Ratcliffe; run as a private equity company transferred to Switzerland after he failed to get his way with the UK Government and to defer a huge VAT payment worth millions. Ratcliffe and Ineos in the eyes of some played the role of the capitalist villain.

This was enough for part of Scotland to relight the anti-capitalist rhetoric which has historically and understandably informed much of Scottish public life. This is often an impotent rage against the modern world, and in place of any kind of left interventions about complex issues of ownership, corporation structure, corporate governance and finance. There is in mainstream British political, policy and media discussions, an inability to think about power, voice and the structures in work and business; and a complete silence in industrial democracy. And much of this left anger plays into this, or is a substitute for serious thought.

Second was the role of Unite, the trade union at Grangemouth. They have not exactly been constructive or helpful, instead playing straight into Ineos’s hands from their involvement in the Falkirk internal Labour selection onward. According to Labour’s internal still unpublished report on this stramash, Unite had done nothing illegal, but they had acted unethically and counter-productively with regard to the interests of workers and people locally.

After the summer ‘battle of Falkirk’, Unite were then prepared to go on strike over the alleged victimisation of union official Stephen Deans who was running his local Labour activities significantly in work time. When the employers took action against Deans, the workforce voted for strike action, and Ineos responded with a lock-out and threatened the closure of the petrochemical plant. This then produced a volte-face by the union, and as more information appeared after the complex was saved, Deans resigned from his job.

Many left-wingers don’t want to talk about the role and responsibility of Unite in this, and the lack of political intelligence and acumen of the British trade union leadership. This increasingly holds back and damages the cause of progressive trade unionism, and is directly related to the retreat of union membership into the public sector and certain parts of the private sector formerly in the public sector (railways, Royal Mail, Grangemouth).

If the Scottish self-government debate is to go beyond constitutionalism and have a wider impact about the kind of society people want to live in, then one thing that will have to change is the sectional, conservative, insular world of trade unionism. What a progressive Scottish trade unionism would entail is a wider social and citizen’s agenda which borrows on the best of STUC history, the traditions of trade councils, and the memory of the contribution of the Communist Party to both. But that won’t come from some ‘radical nostalgia’ (2) about the past, but recognising the impasse and ghetto people have been forced into.

Third, the whole saga began in the words of ‘The Scotsman’s’ Eddie Barnes with ‘the butterfly effect’ of Falkirk MP Eric Joyce hitting three Tory MPs in the House of Commons, and being expelled from the Labour Party (3). Thus began the local Labour selection and Unite over-reaching themselves. Joyce, once an uber-Blairite and ex-Army Major, has at points been the most expensive MP in the entire UK costing in 2007-8 £187,334 expenses. A general provocateur in life, Joyce jumped on Grangemouth to settle some old scores, oblivious to the high stakes at work. He publically aligned himself with Ineos, saying any criticism of the company and of Ratcliffe was suspicious and uncomprehending of wealth creation, and ‘personally motivated’.

Trying to understand this in a context bigger than one individual, highlights the deeper question of what Scots, and in particular, Scots Labour MPs (of which Joyce was one until March 2012), actually do in the House of Commons. Post-devolution, a recent ‘Public Whip’ study showed that they are some of the most inactive parliamentarians in the entire House (4). This can only continue and accelerate as Scottish and UK politics develop in different directions.

Fourth, there is the unalloyed glee of right-wing opinion jumping all over this story. On the day Ineos announced the closure of the Grangemouth petrochemical plant, ‘Spectator Coffee House’, the online version of the magazine, summoned its resources and published four articles on the controversy. Three of these by Fraser Nelson, the editor, John O’Neill and Euan McColm, each parroted without any qualification the Ineos PR campaign line that the plant was ‘losing £10m a month’ (5). They were thus content publicly to buy into a corporate propaganda aiding industrial vandalism, when the slightest checking of facts would have told them those figures were a product of Ineos’s strange world of accounting (counting investment as losses).

Fifth, there is what all of this says about the mindset of the UK media and politics. Grangemouth, a huge strategic site and asset for the Scottish and UK economy, just did not matter to the ideological hothouse of ‘Daily Telegraph’/’DailyMail’ land. Such concerns to them are about the past, whereas they believe in the bright slick Southern future selling multi-million pound houses to foreigners, and clearing central London of the disposed and welfare classes.

Then there were the silences of that supposedly left-wing institution, the BBC. On last week’s ‘Question Time’ despite a twenty-minute discussion on energy prices (and the Westminster parlour game of which party was most responsible for putting them up), and the presence of left-wing commentator Owen Jones on the panel, not one word was said about Grangemouth.

The following day on Radio Four’s ‘Any Questions’ with the plant saved, Grangemouth suddenly emerged from the shadows as top item. This was a hilarious, if it wasn’t so seriously misinformed, discussion. Matthew Hancock, a Tory junior minister, and anchor Jonathan Dimbleby agreed that Grangemouth was 10% of the Scottish economy (it is about 1%). They were then bettered by that sane voice of UKIP Diane James (of Eastleigh by-election fame) who claimed it was 10% of the British economy and who was pulled up. The entire British political classes seem to know nothing about economics, industry or the world of work, but yet are happy to lecture the rest of us on the realities of competition, globalisation and in the Cameron Conservative lexicon, the pressures of ‘the global race’.

The Differing Worldviews of the Scottish and UK Governments

Finally, there us what this says about the Scottish and UK Governments. The UK Government did absolutely nothing pro-actively on Grangemouth beyond Alastair Carmichael, recently appointed Lib Dem Secretary of State of Scotland, making a few phone calls to Lib Dem colleagues such as Vince Cable. In contrast, the Scottish Government, from First Minister Alex Salmond downwards to senior civil servants, were heavily involved in trying to save Grangemouth and the workers’ jobs: getting the parties in negotiation, identifying alternative owners, and making contingency plans.

Scotland’s Government looked and acted like a modern government with a developmental state which cares and bothers about things like the economy, skills and security of oil supplies. The UK Government looked the other way in silence and disinterest, influenced by ideological dogma.

The repercussions of the above are significant for how industry, employment, strategic national interests, and importantly, political economy are spoken about (or not as the case might be). Grangemouth was owned by BP until 2004, and BP was majority state owned until the staged privatisations between 1979 and 1987. Yet even though that last date is only 26 years ago and one political generation back, it now seems like a lost world: to today’s Conservative political discourse, one where a energy price freeze harks back to 1970s East Germany, and such an intervention is the sum of Labour ambition. Where is the debate about ownership and the limits of ‘Open Britain’ where no strategic national interest cannot be foreign owned and controlled? (including parts of the GCHQ-NSA run database state).

The levels of ideological blinkeredness mixed with incompetence in the Grangemouth saga are frightening, nearly shutting the whole plant which would have resulted in the loss of thousands of jobs. The UK Government remained a bit player in this entire episode, deliberately marginalising itself. Right wing hawks circled the plant like vultures braying at the prospect of using it to confirm their anti-union, deregulated dystopia. Journalists like Fraser Nelson should consider checking a few facts before articulating their prejudices and swallowing corporate spin.

Then there was the role of the Unite union: playing a rather unsubtle game of politicking and the very Scottish Labour blurring of party-union boundaries, which in Jack Straw’s words put ‘internal union politics before jobs’ (6). When the Scottish Government’s herculean efforts turned things round at the end of last week, not one Unite official privately or publicly had the decency to thank them for saving over 1,800 highly skilled, well paid, unionised jobs and the countless thousands in related local services.

Some on the right now openly seem to take pleasure in workers losing jobs forcing them to face the harsh winds of competition. But some on the left were equally furious at the successful intervention of the Scottish Government, perceiving it as forcing the union to cave into the employers. Both wish to see a simplistic world of ‘them’ and ‘us’ stand-offs: one supporting a hire and fire employment culture redolent of Dickensian times, and the other, annoyed that the big boss class caricature of their rhetoric, has been denied another chance to come fully into public view.

There are also the limits in today’s world of the ‘Whose Side Are You On? mentality which is self-righteous and never really posed as an attractive invite and more as an accusation. It is the logic of betrayal, ‘class traitors’, ‘scabs’ and worse, and has been given an extended life by the ‘Bliar’ opposition to Tony Blair, and the widespread anger (and impotence) in the face of neo-liberalism. This is associated with the blinkered politics of a left versus right, but it infuses wider politics when they are traduced by advocates to a simple binary choice. An example of this is Scotland’s independence debate being reduced by passionate supporters on both sides to whether you are ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ (7).

The Grangemouth story tells much about the state of modern Britain in the early decades of the 21st century. It is impossible in Westminster circles and the Londoncentric media to have a grown-up conversation about the economy, industrial relations and work. But that then is true of parts of the trade union movement, the left and Labour Party in Scotland as well as the rest of the UK. We cannot get into the escapism of just blaming the free market vandals of the Cameron government and the crony capitalist fantasists of the right; there is a deep conservatism of the right very different from old, and an increasingly old-fashioned conservatism of the left which ill-serves it or the times we live in.

Robin McAlpine was right when he concluded that Britain is not ‘a normal country’, but that prognosis affects all the public institutions of the country: business, political parties, media and unions, and across the political spectrum, left, centre and right. Grangemouth managed to not become a victim of those times and players, but it poses uncomfortable questions for the direction of British politics. Can the Scottish Government challenge the conservative orthodoxies of left and right, and begin to flesh out a different industrial policy and approach to political economy? In the last week, an important step has been made in the right direction against the market myopias of recent times.


1. Robin McAlpine, ‘What’s really happening at Grangemouth and what it really tells us’, Open Democracy, October 23rd 2013,

2. Alastair Bonnett, Left in the Past: Radicalism and the Politics of Nostalgia, Continuum 2010.

3. Eddie Barnes, ‘Grangemouth: How downfall began with a bar-room brawl’, The Scotsman, October 25th 2013,

4. ‘Costa Scotia’, The Economist, October 26th 2013,

5. Fraser Nelson, ‘Unions v. Grangemouth’, Spectator Coffee House, October 23rd 2013,

6. The Daily Politics, October 29th 2013.

7. Gerry Hassan and James Mitchell (eds), After Independence, Luath Press 2013,"

Captain Qahn's picture

SN: Campaigners

Batteries at the ready.

""" That the CLP considers it's stance on any future hydraulic fracturing  application within our  region, based on the applications individual merits."

That the CLP does not uphold a 'blanket ban' policy covering hydraulic fracturing with disregard to the facts, ongoing research and development of emerging technologies that may compromise our position on an energy policy that may reduce CO2 emissions in the future."

"The basis of this amendment is as follows:

""That the environmental impacts, socio economic
impacts, scientific research,  alongside geo-technical
information need to be thoroughly assessed and analysed  before any CLP view is taken  The CLP should not be moved  into an unknown, unqualified and unquantified position on alternative energy provision given the high cost of energy  not only for domestic use but commercial and public services
use.  For example the closure of the steelworks at
Teeside  resulting in unemployment;  the energy costs of hospitals,  schools and nursing/care homes etc need to be reduced so  finances can be spent on human resources and improve public healthcare. 

Also I would like the CLP to consider the geopolitical issues of importing gas/oil/energy from Countries who do not have the same high standards of regulation, health & safety and worker benefits that
UK  energy companies are quided by under UK legislation.

I  would also like the CLP to discuss the environmental costs  of transporting and importing 'energy sources' both  in the short, medium and long term.   As a CLP we need to  consider the facts on hydraulic fracturing that are relevant  to the UK.  Before forming a 'group think' policy  or CLP view I think the Branch needs to be very aware that the UK Energy crisis is very real, coal power stations are  closing and the Nuclear options are still under discussion  at national level.  Energy provision is of strategic  national importance, especially in the UK  where density of  population and energy usage is increasing both domestically and commercially to meet the demands of  a 21st century  population.

Energy policy does need to be discussed in an
 environmental context but in the wider context of
 alternative energy options, such as nuclear, solar,
biomass,  wind, tidal and many other renewable resources that have yet  to be proven to be less environmentally damaging than  hydraulic fracturing in the UK.  ie how much energy and raw  materials need to be imported to manufacture a wind turbine?  There is plenty of research to be done in my view  before any reasoned view or 'group think' should be  offered as an argument by this CLP towards any organisation  that stands against hydraulic fracturing without considering the proven facts, UK regulations, and the consequences
of  any future energy crisis."

Oh, OK ...

A tad harsh mebbe ...  inadvertently  supporting Middle East conflict while denying the UK energy independence  is imv sheer hypocrisy.


Captain Qahn's picture

NE: A Generation Game

Room with a view for Tarzan :

"“We know £40m is on the table and a lot of work is being done (but) you are left with this uncomfortable question.

“What does the clean-up mean and until you have found out what it means you can’t be precise.”

Local MPs and residents have previously raised concerns over the state of SSI’s works, saying their decay could cause environmental damage, and The Northern Echo previously reported how estimates had put the cost of the clean-up at £600m, with nearly £1bn needed to make the area suitable for housing.

Lord Heseltine’s apparent hesitancy follows a similar speech he made at Teesport earlier this year during celebrations of operator PD Ports’ £35m quay expansion.

At the time, he failed to divulge when work would start, how much it would cost, or where money would come from.

The government has confirmed money will be available for site maintenance and a contamination survey.""

No pews intended.

That's cos Northerner's arn't daft n cos we so darn filthy rich ... innit.


Captain Qahn's picture

GMB Gets Stuck In

"Labour’s third biggest union donor has attacked the party’s decision to pledge a ban on fracking in the UK as “nonsense” and “madness”.

The GMB ...  criticised the move, saying it would force the UK to rely on foreign dictators – “henchman, hangmen and headchoppers” – for gas, as well as needlessly stop the creation of high-skilled jobs."

The move was announced at the Labour conference on Monday by Barry Gardiner, the shadow energy and trade secretary. “Today I am announcing that the next Labour government will ban fracking in the UK,” he said. “Fracking locks us into an energy infrastructure that is based on fossil fuels long after our country needs to have moved to renewables. The next Labour government will back the clean technologies of the future.”

Within minutes, the GMB denounced the proposal, with Gary Smith, its Scotland secretary, saying it was “not ethical” and an “abdication of our environmental and moral responsibilities” to become increasingly reliant on gas from dictatorial regimes overseas.

Stuart Fegan, the GMB’s national officer, added: “It is a nonsense that any political party serious on forming a government after the next planned general election in 2020 could promote a ban on shale gas extraction outright. With our national dependency on gas consumption set to increase in the immediate future, ruling out the possible use of a natural fuel that exists beneath our feet in parts of the UK is ridiculous.”

"Caroline Flint, the former shadow energy secretary, also criticised the proposed ban without there being a policy to replace it. She told a fringe event: “We can’t just be against things. Nobody is going to vote for a policy if they think that [energy] security is going to be at risk.”

Flint's  not daft either....



Captain Black's picture

Routs & Rascals

"Nine out of 10 people on the planet breathe polluted air, even outdoors, the World Health Organisation said.

Some 92% of the population live in places where air pollution exceeds WHO limits, which can contribute to lung cancer, heart disease, and strokes.

The south-east Asia and western Pacific regions account for nearly two out of every three such deaths, it said, with poorer countries "getting worse".

Around three million deaths every year are linked to outdoor air pollution.

When "indoor" air pollution - which includes pollutants like wood smoke and cooking fires - is added, air pollution is linked to one in every nine deaths worldwide, the WHO said.

The air quality model used in the data measures the smallest particles, less than 2.5 micrometres across - which can enter the bloodstream and reach the brain."

Captain Black's picture

Rats In the Wind

"As Ineos takes first shale gas shipment from US, its CEO Jim Ratcliffe says without fracking UK manufacturing’s future is ‘gloomy’ ... banning shale gas would cement the decline of UK manufacturing, as he brushed off environmental concerns about the hotly disputed energy source ... he insists could create jobs in some of the party’s former industrial heartlands.

Asked about the impact fracking could have, Ratcliffe said: “I’m from the north and there are parts of the north that are not happy places.” He added that some towns that once thrived on industries such as coal or steel were now “a bit grim”. ...

Ineos has licences to frack in the UK covering 1m acres, double the size of the Yorkshire Dales national park. ...

Ethane shipped from the US will replace waning North Sea supplies, allowing the plant to run profitably, a plan the company says will secure 10,000 jobs for at least 20 years. The company said the arrival of imports would render the plant profitable “overnight”, a few years after it was losing around £100m a year.

But the gas to be processed at Grangemouth is also part of a lengthy and extremely carbon-intensive journey.

Ethane is separated from gas fracked from the Marcellus shale formation in western Pennsylvania before being sent via a pipeline to the Marcellus Hook export terminal on the US east coast.

There it is cooled to -90C, turning it into liquid for shipping more than 3,500 miles...

The company expects to take around one shipment a week once the transatlantic supply chain is up and running. It will convert the ethane into ethylene, which it can sell for use in a wide range of plastic products, such as plastic bags and food packaging. ...

Despite the choreographed nature of the event, Ineos was not able to unload the gas into its ethane tank, Europe’s largest, due to high winds."

Cuts to the bone.



Benefitz Betty's picture

INEOS writes to JC

"Rt Hon Jeremy Corbyn MP12th October 2016
House of Commons 

Dear Mr Corbyn, 

I am writing with regard to the recent statements made at Party Conference pledging that a Labour Government would ban fracking. 

We were deeply disappointed by this announcement. As the company with the largest number of shale licenses in the UK and as the employer of 4,000 people in this country alone we are surprised not to have had the opportunity to discuss this matter with you prior to your announcement. 

Whilst we clearly do not currently see eye to eye on the opportunity that shale presents for energy, for jobs, and for this country, we would like to make ourselves and our technical teams available as needed to enable us to discuss the rationale for your decision to oppose fracking. In his speech, Barry Gardiner MP placed his support behind renewables as the preferred source for the UK’s future electricity supplies. This leaves unanswered the question of how the UK would then heat its homes, manufacture its products and keep the lights on when the wind isn’t blowing. 

This is not a shale gas versus renewables debate – both are needed in our energy mix in the decades ahead.  Those who are opposed to extracting natural gas must be called upon to articulate what they would do to fulfil societal energy and materials needs – and not simply be allowed to oppose all the things they don't want. Gas is also the basic raw material used to produce a multitude of chemical products, that themselves are used in most everyday items we use – including in the production of renewable energy facilities.  As North Sea reserves decline, it falls upon us to find new sources of energy to maintain the standard of living that we have become accustomed to. We currently import almost 60% of our gas and this figure will only climb in the coming years. 

Is it not better that we source our energy from our own land where we can control the regulation than pay a series of unstable and illiberal regimes to do it for us? 

At INEOS, we believe that there is a firm and proven consensus for the substantial and increasing use of gas in the energy mix for the next several decades, whilst renewable capacity and technologies (including energy storage) are developed.  Gas is by far the fossil fuel with the most benign climate impact, and its use as a bridging fuel is consistent with climate change targets.  We have attached three papers on the compatibility of shale gas with mitigating climate change that you may find useful (1)  These are but a limited example of the type of independent and scientifically robust analyses that have been published on this topic.

We are committed to supporting the evidence led assessment of shale gas production based upon sound science.  Our approach has always been, and continues to be, a science based approach that utilises the engineering skills the UK already possesses, along with the lessons that the industry has learned from extensive experience in many parts of the world.  

There is a wealth of independent evidence that has found this industry can be developed safely and with respect to the environment, provided it is properly regulated – including studies conducted by the Royal Society, the Royal Academy of Engineering, and Scotland’s Independent Expert Scientific Panel.  It is also the case that the normal risks associated with this industry (and other extractive industries) are often poorly characterised, contextualised, explained or at worst exaggerated by those opposed, in this case, to the extraction of shale gas. 

Finally, as one of the UK’s largest manufacturers we are passionate about seeing a revival in this sector. Sadly, over the last few decades the nation has seen a collapse in manufacturing and a loss of the high-paid skilled jobs that go with it. We believe that the shale gas industry could reverse this decline as has happened in America. It would a tragedy not to move forward with this unique opportunity which could transform communities across some of the poorest parts of the country. 

As I said at the start, we look forward to engaging with you and your teams on this discussion, when diaries permit.

Yours Sincerely,

Gary Haywood

Note 1

The papers on the climate change impact of gas that are referred to here are as follows (and attached below); 

“Why Every Serious Environmentalist Should Favour Fracking”
Richard A Muller, Professor of Physics, University of California, Berkeley
Elizabeth A Muller, Executive Director of Berkeley Earth

“The Facts About Fugitive Methane”
Elizabeth A Muller, Executive Director of Berkeley Earth
Richard A Muller, Professor of Physics, University of California, Berkeley

“Potential Greenhouse Gas Emissions Associated with Shale Gas Extraction and Use”
Department of Energy and Climate Change
Professor David JC Mackay FRS
Dr Timothy Stone CBE"


Captain Qahn's picture

Fracking & Plastic

Captain Qahn's picture

Anti Frackers - Don't Walk

"COUNCIL chiefs are looking into a number of complaints about the anti-fracking camp at Kirby Misperton.

The camp, which has been there since before Christmas, has gradually grown as more demonstrators join the protest...

"Eddie Thornton, one of the protestors, said: “The parking is something that we are trying to deal with. But in wet weather, people have to park by the road.”

He said that police have told them that cars are allowed to park on the roadside, but added they are appealing for temporary parking in the community..."


spose the fuel in their cars came from erm that pointed finger one in the sky...

Awww ... the comment the comments !!

"You're worried about parking? There won't be any need for parking when all the people driving the cars are dead or seriously ill from drinking flammable tap water laced with poisonous methane. Parking will be a serious problem when earthquakes crack open the ground beneath us! These people are heroes, they are standing up for what we all believe in, WE DON'T WANT FRACKING. The entire nation is behind them, the only people who want Fracking are those who stand to profit from it. The people have spoken, WE SAID NO, WE MEAN NO. FRACK OFF!"

Yep, why don't you frack off to the Middle East ... don't forget your lunchbox ;-)

"I have seen protestors in Surrey lean back on a lorry and claim it hit them.
On the issue of protectors being in contact / pushed by or in collision with a vehicle on the highway:
-It is the responsibility of the DRIVER to act with due diligence and in a manner that is in accordance with other users on the road. (THIS IS WHAT A JUDGE WOULD SAY IF A DRIVER TRIED TO SAY THE POLICE/ THE FAIRIES/ GOD MADE ME DO IT
-If a vehicle COMES INTO CONTACT with a pedestrian whilst the driver is in the vehicle and the engine is on- they have committed and offence. It does not matter how fast the impact is.
They have failed to take action to stop the incident and are negligent. A video is perfect evidence of this."

Kripes ... mind tis not the fracking that folk don't want tis all the shovelling tat that comes with it.

Oh well.

Oooer ...

Cats ...


Ah, so .... somin interesting

Hmmm ....  vodka the new frack fluid....  

Yorkshire Frack Free Vodka !!

Tractors run on vodka..

Prohibition, moi?

Finkle St.... it can wait.

Oh ffs :


;-0  stiff upper lips.


Captain Qahn's picture

Frack Free United

Owt for now't?

"A NEW anti-fracking lobby group has been set up to encourage candidates in upcoming elections to make their position on fracking clear to voters.

The Frack Free United group launched their national project in Hovingham on Monday morning.

With county council elections happening on Thursday, May 4, not only in North Yorkshire but across the country, the group has been set up partly to create an online list of candidates who hold an anti-fracking stance.

The group has penned an anti-fracking ‘pledge’ which potential councillors can take.

All candidates standing for election in authorities where the shale gas industry is a presence are being urged by the group to go to the website and sign this pledge.

The pledge that candidates can sign reads: “If my Council area constituency, division or ward is at risk of fracking, I will actively oppose it and I will oppose fracking nationally.”

Founder member of the group, Steve Mason said:”With 14 counties under threat from fracking going to the polls in May, it is becoming clear that to stop the industry we have to change the minds of those in power or change the people in power making the decisions.

“I don’t want my kids fighting the same battle when they grow up.”

Although it has been established in Ryedale, the new Frack Free United network is made up of campaign groups and communities opposed to the industry across the country.

The group’s website has maps of shale gas exploration licenses which cover areas from Somerset to Surrey, Cumbria to Kent.

Simon Bowens of Friends of the Earth was at the launch. He said: “Councillors will be taking critical decisions on fracking.

“We would urge all councillors to commit to oppose fracking if elected.”

When ballot papers are published, Frack Free United is also encouraging the public to come to the website and find out where the candidates seeking to represent them stand on fracking.

Elizabeth Shields, North Yorkshire county councillor, said:”Recent attention around fracking has been very much focused on Ryedale, but many people don’t realise that now the well at Kirby Misperton has been given the go ahead, other companies, such as INEOS and Cuadrilla, will be heading their way both in North Yorkshire and across the country.

“PEDL licences are held by these companies across huge swathes of North.

“That’s why Frack Free United has to make this an election issue.”

A list of councillors from local areas who have signed the pledge will be found at

The decision to allow a test-frack at the Kirby Misperton ‘KM8’ well was taken by county councillors of the North Yorkshire planning committee in May last year. It was taken in line with the planning officer’s recommendation.

Since then, Frack-Free Ryedale and Friends of the Earth launched a High Court appeal against the decision in November, but after a month of deliberation the judge found in favour of the council, ruling that their decision was lawful and that the terms and conditions afforded “a considerable degree of protection to residents.”

Third Energy, the company who applied to test for shale gas at KM8, are set to carry it out later this year."


Erm ... what about the Landowners?

Fancy a career in County Council?

Join now.

Add that onto your Unite Union Pension (inc job for life)  and hey ho ... tis an Ar*se wipe'd picnic.

Not that Seismic matters....

Aye, forget the Truth ... join the populists ;-))


Ah, so ... anyone for a cruise?


Know your Rats.

Oh Dear,  I seem to have run out of Titanic clips ;-)

Captain Qahn's picture

Ask Yourself One Question?

"A tanker docking in the UK is transporting a controversial cargo of gas from the Peruvian Amazon.

It is thought to be the first shipment to the UK from the Camisea project in rainforest 60 miles from Machu Picchu.

Supporters of fracking say the UK should frack its own gas, rather than importing from sensitive regions like the Amazon.

But opponents of fracking say the practice creates disturbance and pollution and fuels climate change.

The tanker Gallina, owned by Shell, is scheduled to arrive at the Isle of Grain in Kent.

The gas project at Camisea field has been hugely contentious.

A report by the human rights organisation Survival International blamed developers for bringing diseases which killed people from previously uncontacted tribes.

They were later praised for minimising environmental damage and for boosting the economy of Peru.

But the same report said indigenous people had not shared the gains.

Nick Grealy, a shale gas proponent, told BBC News: "Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace oppose fracking - but surely they would be appalled to be getting gas from the Amazon?

"I share their concern about climate change, but environmentalists are scoring own goals with this one."

Friends of the Earth replied: "We think we should leave our gas in the ground and Peru should leave its gas in the ground."

Shell declined to comment on the Peruvian shipment.

"An environmental factor in the fracking debate is the comparison between the carbon emissions from fracked gas and the emissions from compressing conventional gas to ship it from countries like Peru.

The government's official adviser, the Committee on Climate Change, says current evidence suggests that "well-regulated domestic production could have an emissions footprint slightly smaller than that of imported liquefied natural gas".

The committee says that, although gas without carbon capture and storage should be almost eliminated from UK electricity production in the early 2030s, it will still be used for heating up towards 2050.

The committee estimates that burning gas is almost half as bad for the climate as coal.

There are still many uncertainties, though, over the amount of methane - a potent greenhouse gas - that leaks from fracking sites.

US President Donald Trump plans to relax regulations on methane leaks from fracking in order to accelerate America's boom in cheap energy.

Many environmentalists in the UK oppose the practice of fracking.

The process involves large volumes of water being pumped at pressure into a shale rock formation together with sand grains and chemicals, which are used to keep the tiny fractures open in the rock to allow the gas to flow.

In the UK, one shale gas well in Yorkshire has been approved, and in Lancashire construction has started at one site. Drilling is expected to start by the end of the year."

Erm, more methane escapes naturally on't Pennines ...

PS.   Our own 'black-out' for 28 hrs ... thank you Mr Kindness for the sockets  back on :-)

Reasons unknown.


Oh,OK :

Captain Qahn's picture

Kronin on the Case

"From: Ken Cronin, Chief Executive, UK Onshore Oil & Gas, Dukes Place, London.

I HAVE read with interest a number of letters about fracking on your pages in recent days and would like to redress the balance somewhat. On the issue of spills let me be very clear – no spill is acceptable wherever you work, be it farming, petrol stations, petrochemicals or indeed onshore oil and gas sites. All of these industries and many more have to ensure safe handling of chemicals.

But instead of taking the headlines from one report in the US and extrapolating it to the UK, we should actually ask ourselves some important questions: what could be spilled? How are spills contained? Could the spills reach the outside environment? And finally, could it happen here?

In reading behind the headlines, it was interesting to note that the largest spill in the US report was actually a freshwater spill.

This highlights an important point about what we actually use on site and how we mitigate risk – an important element of this is that the chemicals we use must be non-hazardous to groundwater, approved by the Environment Agency and publicly disclosed.

In the UK we have to ensure if spills were to occur that they are properly contained – we have an impermeable membrane on our sites and a system that allows all fluid on site, even rainwater, to be collected. The chemicals we store have to be placed on appropriate bunds and the waste we collect must be put into sealed tanks that sit on bunds which sit on the impermeable layer.

So we do everything to ensure nothing could reach the outside environment. Could spills occur? Yes – just as spills do occur in other industries and also in your home (and let’s not forget many of the chemicals we use are found in things such as cosmetics and cleaners). The important aspect is that we have regulation and industry practise to ensure everything is done not to harm the environment.

I finally note from comments that some believe we are doing this to make profits – yes, unashamedly we are, but I don’t think that is very unusual. It is, after all, an objective of most businesses. What we are also trying to achieve is work for many local companies and jobs but above all with 84 per cent of our homes using gas and a forecast of 80 per cent of our gas coming from outside the UK.

We also have an objective of allowing the country to become more energy sufficient – something we have been doing 
in Yorkshire for many, many years."


Ooops, slight of filing ... language.

Anyone keeping count? Nah, me niether...

Captain Qahn's picture

Walk of the Roses

"11:31am 7th March 2017

Scarborough will host an event this evening to launch the 'No Fracking Way' walk.

This walk will go from Kirby Misperton, where Third Energy intend to undertake test fracking and production, to Preston New Road,  where Cuadrilla are preparing to carry out fracking.

The 120 mile walk is being undertaken in five days by Green Party Councillor Andrew Cooper and seven colleagues.  Other supporters will walk part of the way and hold events en route.

To launch the walk, Frack Free Scarborough and Scarborough Green Party have organised a rally meeting the previous evening with speakers from the walk, from Kirby Misperton Protection Camp, and from several political parties and trades unions.

Green Party Councillor Dilys Cluer, who has helped to organise the meeting, said,

"Both Frack Free Scarborough and the Green Party were intending to hold anti-fracking meetings around this time, so we decided to organise one jointly to support the walk and to make it cross-party, inviting all the parties who officially oppose fracking.

We hope that the public will be keen to support this initiative and come to hear a variety of short speeches and take part in discussion, and to support the walkers as they gear up for a tough five days."

The rally meeting will be in the Concert Room at Scarborough Library at 7pm on Tuesday 7th March and will be chaired by a member of Frack Free Scarborough.  All are welcome."

Oooh... did Paddy almost pepe ;-)


Mind, don't forget the County 'induction' at 4.00pm Wednesday at 'Awl.

'On Ilkley Moor bah Cat'  ... lol


Oh, OK:


Captain Black's picture

INEOS props up Igas

"Ineos has increased its bet on UK shale gas by acquiring a portfolio of onshore exploration and production licences from Engie, the French energy group, in the latest sign of momentum behind efforts to bring US-style fracking to Britain.

The deal came as two other private companies, Cuadrilla and Third Energy, press ahead with plans to start fracking at sites in Lancashire and North Yorkshire, respectively...."

"The fact we are acquiring even more interests on top of an already substantial portfolio speaks for itself,” said Gary Haywood, chief executive of Ineos’s shale division. “We want to do this in the UK and we want to be a significant player.” Ineos planned to submit “about a dozen” planning applications to drill test wells this year, in addition to one application in Derbyshire already under way..."

"... It affects eleven onshore UK licences - in Cheshire, Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, and Lincolnshire - where IGas is partnered with INEOS.

And the ‘carries’ agreed by ENGIE in prior farm-out deals with IGas are now assumed entirely by INEOS...."

Paradise by the Gas Board light ...

Not quite GridwatchUK ...

All those cows may come in handy ;-)

Hmmm ...

" Ineos has drawn criticism from environmental groups for planning seismic surveys around Sherwood Forest but Mr Haywood said the activity was far from the protected ancient woodland associated with the folk hero Robin Hood. “The majority of landowners in our areas have consented to seismic surveys,” he added.

“We want to work with local communities. A lot of the protesters are people from outside of local areas.”

For Engie, the disposal is part of its wider withdrawal from oil and gas in favour of power generation and consumer energy. The company is in talks to sell North Sea and African exploration and production assets to Neptune, backed by private equity funds Carlyle Group and CVC Capital Partners, according to people involved."

Tut Tut

That makes INEOS the largest UK shale gas player, by my reckoning... 

As it was.

Captain Black's picture

Boaty McBoatface

" a nod to the democratic process it allowed silliness to prevail by preserving the name for the remotely operated sub-sea vehicle. Boaty will travel with the DynOPO (Dynamics of the Orkney Passage Outflow) expedition on the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) research ship James Clark Ross, departing from Punta Arenas in Chile on 17 March.

In 2019 Boaty McBoatface will be fitted with acoustic and chemical sensors and sent into the North Sea to “sniff out” signals associated with the artificial release of gas beneath the seabed. A future aim for Boaty will be to attempt the first-ever crossing of the Arctic Ocean under ice, which has the potential to deliver a significant change in scientists’ ability to observe change in this vital region."

'Iceberg basement'   

Royal Yacht.

Stella ...

fascinating ... Quaintness.


Captain Qahn's picture

Ineos Pipelines

"Oil giant BP is in talks with chemicals group Ineos over the sale of the North Sea's largest pipeline.

BP's Forties Pipeline System (FPS) transports about 450,000 barrels of oil per day on average - about 40% of UK production.

The pipeline is one of the oldest in the sector, having started operating in the Forties field in 1975.

BP and Ineos did not give further details about the discussions, citing commercial confidentiality.

In a statement, the oil giant said: "BP can confirm it is in discussions with Ineos regarding a potential sale of the Forties Pipeline System.

"We remain committed to communicating openly with staff and our stakeholders as soon as we are able, and as commercial confidentialities allow, if any deal is confirmed or agreed."

Ineos also released a statement, confirming it was in talks with BP. It added: "At the moment the details of these conversations are confidential and we cannot say any more at this stage."

The FPS system carries oil from the unmanned offshore Forties Unity platform to an onshore terminal at Cruden Bay in Aberdeenshire.

From there it transports oil about 130 miles south to facilities adjacent to the Ineos-owned Grangemouth refinery and chemical plant.

Oil is processed and stabilised there before it is sent either for export or on to Grangemouth.

The union Unite, which was involved in a bitter industrial dispute with Ineos at the Grangemouth refinery in 2013, said it would seek an urgent meeting with the chemicals firm to discuss the possible sale.

Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: "Our members at BP will have major concerns about the possibility of becoming employees of Ineos, a company with a clear history of attacking our members' pensions, as well as their terms and conditions, in order to maximise profit.

"If a sale does go ahead, we will fight to protect our members in every way we can, and Ineos should work with us to allay their fears."

About 300 BP staff currently operate and support the FPS system."


"It was on March 6, 1967, that the first North Sea natural gas was brought ashore at Easington in Terminal in Yorkshire and the oil and gas fields on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) were open for business.

This year also saw the beginning of an extraordinary ten-year programme which saw the conversion of every gas appliance in the country to use natural gas rather than town gas."

Captain Black's picture

Nostalgia - The Binns

Another rather excellent piece:-)

"...  As Scarborough’s native historian, Thomas Hinderwell, explained his town’s insoluble dilemma: “The vicinity of sterile moors and a thinly peopled neighbourhood, without any water-communication with the interior country, are formidable impediments to trade...” Even by 1811, Hinderwell, did not foresee the imminence of steam locomotives running on railways which first arrived in Scarborough only 20 years after his death.

As a result, Scarborough’s harbour commerce remained small and almost static. Its two great stone piers were paid for by the huge sea-coal trade passing down the coast out of Newcastle and Sunderland. Scarborough’s exports were mostly agricultural - grain, butter, ham and bacon - and its imports coal, timber, textiles, spirits and wine from Scandinavia, Holland, France and Portugal, and groceries from London.

By 1800, Scarborough’s once-famous annual herring fair had petered out, not because of the lack of herring, but because North Sea fishermen preferred to land their catches at Grimsby, Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and Lowestoft. What had once been for centuries of enormous value to Scarborough’s economy could not be replaced by the annual hiring markets on Holy Thursday and Old Martinmas. Two days a year were no substitute for an international fair lasting 45 days; and the town’s surviving Thursday street market in Newborough and Saturday market at the end of Princess Street were of only local produce for local customers.


Fishing was Scarborough’s oldest occupation, but Hinderwell deplored the failure of the town’s seafaring community to follow the enterprise and daring of their ancestors, or even their coastal neighbours. Whereas Scarborough’s men had once braved the Arctic waters of Iceland and Norway, now most of them were content to venture no further than the Dogger banks for cod and ling. During his lifetime the number of active fishermen had declined from over 100 to less than 60. Again, Scarborough’s chief handicap was poor hinterland communication: as a fish market it could not now compete with Hull or Grimsby. By comparison, Whitby had virtually no commercial contact with its rugged hinterland, but was profiting from Greenland whaling, from alum mining and manufacture, and from stone quarrying and export.

Scarborough’s only major industry in 1800 was ship-building and all the supportive and ancillary trades associated with it, such as sail-making, carpentry, rope-making and iron-smithery. As Hinderwell wrote: “Shipping and its dependencies are the principal branches in which the inhabitants are most generally interested.” Ship-building and ship-owning were precarious businesses, but they were “a great source of emolument”. According to the figures published in the third 1832, posthumous edition of his history, between 1785 and 1831, 301 vessels were constructed in Scarborough harbour, and this was probably an underestimate of the total. Because these were years of alternating war and peace, the demand for sailing ships from the Royal Navy and the merchant marine fluctuated steeply, but the Tindall family company, which accounted for about half of all launches, survived the bad as well as the good.

Just under half the ships built along Sandside were brigantines - two-masted merchantmen with an average tonnage of 300. Tindall’s brigantines and snows (a smaller version), up to 50 of them in family ownership, and usually crewed by Scarborough seaman, had a world-wide reputation for reliability, endurance, discipline and cleanness. They took the first convicts out to Botany Bay without a single casualty, and they were the British government’s first choice as troop transports during the American and French wars.

Scarborough’s two indestructible stone piers in the lee of the castle headland made its harbour the safest between the Tyne and Humber. The east pier, nearly 400 metres long, was then one of the greatest achievements of marine civil engineering. It took half a century to complete and yet, between 1796 and 1805, it gave secure shelter to more than 700 colliers. And not least of Scarborough’s special attractions to mariners was its harbour lighthouse built at the dangerous narrow entrance to the harbour and the town’s first lifeboat, the second of its kind in England after the one at Tynemouth.

Neverthless, as nearly all “visitants” noted when they first ventured to Scarborough, its greatest, unique features were natural, not man-made - the fortunate combination of sea, South Bay’s sands, and the drinking waters of The Spaw. Mrs Thomasin Farrer had discovered the mineral springs at the foot of Driple Cotes (South Cliff) as early as the 1620s; yet accommodation at and access to the two wells was not made acceptable for “the opulent, the gay [happy, not homosexual] and the infirm” until a century later; and it was not until towards the end of the 18th century that bathing in the sea and socialising on the sands came to outfavour taking the purgative waters with doubtful medicinal claims. Clearly, for whatever reasons, the town was very slow to appreciate and exploit the commercial potential of its unique, natural advantages.

However, by 1800, it was obvious that all was not well with Scarborough. During the 1730s, the town’s seasonal visitors compared in numbers, wealth and social rank with any of the country’s fashionable, provincial spas, even Bath’s. In 1732, the duchess of Marlborough had spent six weeks there, though she found the place “very dirty” compared with Bath or Tunbridge Wells and full of poor people. During the next season, no fewer than 695 gentlemen and 360 ladies paid subscriptions to the Long Room, the coffee house and the Spa. They included two dukes, a marquess, seven earls, three barons and five knights, most of them with their ladies. But it did not last: never again did such an aristocratic company spend summer in Scarborough."


Captain Qahn's picture

Lorraine 'Shales Gas'

"SO far the opponents to shale gas have ensured that the benefits of a developing shale gas industry are never allowed to be discussed. Their aim is to hold back our communities, our county and our country.

Shale gas will bring many benefits, the community payments could be used for a variety of services to help residents. Around £100,000 will be paid to the village for this test well, the village, at present is pretty broke. The village will then receive one per cent of the gross revenue from the well site for all shale gas production. That can amount to many millions of pounds over the well’s lifetime, plus the direct payments eventually too.

Much has been said lately on the deprivation, ill-health and isolation of rural dwellers (Andrew Vine, The Yorkshire Post, March 21). Imagine being able to start running a local bus service or a team of drivers to take people for medical appointments or a team of carers for the elderly and vulnerable? How about helping pay the community’s energy bills? What about being able to help pay for youngsters to go to university and train for highly-paid, skilled jobs? Imagine if those jobs were in the gas industry and associated supply chain companies? It may help stop the exodus of young blood from Ryedale. Imagine if they had a choice and not just the prospect of part time seasonal employment

The gas under our feet is an asset, not a liability. Non-residents come, protest, claim to be saving the planet, but fail to recognise the real needs of our region and people. Many have good lives in urban areas with all amenities close by. Public transport, entertainment and a social scene are within an easy grasp for them.

They have opportunities that our locals do not. Wages are much higher, they have options. They are not struggling to find full time, year-round employment. They don’t have to try and afford to run a car on part-time seasonal wages because there is no public transport. They can take a bus or a train. They don’t live isolated from society because there is no public transport and all the village amenities have disappeared. A few living in a protest camp at Kirby Misperton while not working have no right to decide about our futures and local economy. Ryedale needs another industry, and a well pad every few miles will not destroy the area’s tourism nor farming livelihoods. It is poverty, isolation and having no prospects that destroy rural lives."

Well... Being.

Live Long & Prosper

As confirmed by the CCG ... communities that have prospects, live longer and are healthier.


Future in Mind ...

Star Comment:

"Passionate letter by Ms Allanson once again. The truth is life can be very hard in rural areas as she states. People retire there and don't want anything to happen but this alters the profile of the area from being a cross section of ages to a largely retired community. Of course, they do not want any 'industry' You see it time and time again, they complain about the tractors or the smells coming from village farms, yet they bought into that when they moved to the countryside. This is rural life though, and the people who are indigenous to a region know and respect, that at certain times there are the smells and the heavy traffic associated with silage making for example. How do our young people manage to stay close to their families and find good jobs? They don't, they have to move away and inevitably cannot afford to return and buy a home. What ahas this to do with shale gas? It seems there is a delusion amongst the 'Green' community who think we are only a flick of a switch away from powering the whole of the UK with wind and solar. This is nigh impossible and if ever it is, it is certainly decades away. In the meantime what do we do? We use the best, cheapest available option and that is our own gas. It is not just about electricity though, over 80% of homes use gas to heat and over 60% use gas to cook. Can you imagine the bill to convert those to electric because that's what you will get from renewables in the main? A figure was given of £300billion. It is not simple because the whole electric grid will need to be overhauled, expanded and upgraded to be able to cope with the extra demand and supply of electric. Electric is notoriously expensive, far more costlier than gas to consumers and even more so when having to be provided by renewables. There is no easy solution but using our own shale gas would help, not only supply much needed gas but would create revenue for our government to help fund our public services. Importing the gas we require is expensive as all we do is send them a cheque,we do not gain economically from the industry. It would be best if we could do a few test fracks just to see if it is there in sufficient quantities to be commercial. This would also prove that it can be done safely and without too much inconvenience to members of the public."

Quick ... sign Lorraine up for a NYCC puppet ... 'politic'.

Then the Trolls turn up and spoil what is another point of view that is well presented  ... oh well.  Lorraine is not everyones cup of Tea but she sticks to her guns and can hold her own ;-)

Captain Black's picture

INEOS - The Gas

via SKY @ YCR  "1:51pm 2nd May 2017

Staff at an oil refinery have been evacuated due to a gas leak that police have described as a "major incident".

Ineos confirmed the leak at its petrochemical plant in Grangemouth on Twitter, adding: "Our on-site responders are continuing to manage the incident with support from the emergency services."

It later said in a statement: "At noon we detected a leak on a pipeline inside our KG (Kinneil Gas) manufacturing plant.

"Purely as a precaution and to allow our response team to manage the situation, we have closed a number of access gates and are allowing only essential personnel to enter the south side of the site.

"All non-essential Ineos personnel who would normally be working in this area have been requested to report to their line manager."

Firefighters attended the scene to support the energy giant's on-site team, while the ambulance service sent specialist paramedics...."


Northern Standards:

Wots May upto:

"She experienced first-hand some of the technologies we are evaluating or co-investing in as part of the UK and Scottish Governments’ £180million commitment to the centre, including offshore inspection drones, virtual reality applications and offshore renewable power solutions.

We recognise that a number of important new technologies, like composite materials, robotics and the application of big data, are being widely used in other industries but are not yet common in our industry.

That’s where the Oil and Gas Technology Centre can help.

With clear priorities set by the Technology Leadership Board and supported by industry, we have established five solution centres focused on asset integrity, well construction, small pools, decommissioning and digital.

Together with Aberdeen University and Robert Gordon University, we have agreed to create a centre of excellence for field life extension and decommissioning.

With a £1million fund to support the best ideas, the wells construction solution centre has launched our first call for ideas to transform the way offshore oil and gas wells are plugged and abandoned.

We’re getting a great response from companies who want to co-invest in projects that take new technologies from early stage concept right through to deployment. As a result, we have more than seven field trials planned.

We’re keen to work with companies from across the sector – large and small.

Only by working together, can we extend the life of the UK North Sea, maximise economic recovery, and secure jobs and activity in the sector for many years to come.

To support this, we all need to be brave and embrace new ways of working, new tools and new technologies, but also a new cleaner, greener way of working.

To be part of an integrated energy mix for the UK and to continue to provide critical raw materials to other sectors, we need to have a long-term technology vision and be ready to be part of the low-carbon economy.

Technology has a vital role to play in this transition."

Be brave?

Hmmmm ... Carbon Capture?

"Reporting the type of gas that was leaking would be helpful"?

Nitrous Oxide ...


Benefitz Betty's picture

Rats & Rovers

"BILLIONAIRE Brit businessman Jim Ratcliffe is on the road to creating what could be the UK’s largest independent car maker — with plans to produce up to 25,000 a year.

The chairman of chemicals giant INEOS is moving into the motoring market — and told The Sun how he wants to build a successor to the discontinued Land Rover Defender on the East Coast...

"The 64-year-old tycoon, who owns an original Defender, said in an exclusive interview: “Our preference is to build it in the UK, on the Eastern seaboard.

“We’d like to retain the Britishness and have a bit of passion about UK manufacturing.

“We believe that Britain can produce something as reliable as Germany or Japan if we do it well.”

The project would generate up to 10,000 jobs, he said, including 1,000 in the facility itself, and the rest in the supply chain.

He vowed to pour in £650million to create a new “reliable” Defender, provisionally dubbed Projekt Grenadier after the pub in London’s Belgravia where the idea was conceived.

The Ineos plant at Grangemouth in Scotland is believed to be among the contenders for the work, along with some sites in England, including another of its facilities in Hull."


Anyone got a Roland ?

Captain Black's picture

Take It or Leave It

"The last time the US exported more oil than it imported was 1953, and a ban on oil exports was lifted only in 2015.

Technological developments in drilling and fracking since the turn of this century have unlocked huge reserves of gas and oil trapped in shale rock, and redrawn the energy landscape...

"Today, global oil production is dominated by Russia, the US and Opec members, in particular Saudi Arabia. Russia is second only to the US for gas production, followed by Iran and Qatar..

"By 2030, China will have developed so much that it is expected to overtake the US to become the world’s biggest oil consumer. Asia as a whole is also expected to increase its appetite for gas shipped across the seas, with 70% of LNG predicted to end up in Asian ports by 2040.

Globally, energy demand will keep climbing but more slowly than in the past, largely due to population growth and increasing affluence in poorer countries. By 2040, the IEA expects energy needs to have risen by 30%, or the equivalent of adding another China and India worth of demand...

"Huge installations of solar power by China and India will help renewables to account for 40% of power generation globally by 2040, up from 24% now..."

"There should be no confusion really. According to the Standard Model, the Higgs boson is infinitely small. We can’t measure “infinitely small”, of course, but from the way it behaves, we can set some kind of upper limit on the physical size of a Higgs. This tells us that if the xenon nucleus were the size of a beachball, the Higgs boson would smaller than the finest grain of sand."


Captain Black's picture

Frack & Tax

"a spokesperson for Third Energy said: “As our trade association has pointed out, Mr Bartley needs to be aware of the facts – all UK profits from oil and gas companies onshore are ring-fenced as part of the tax rules meaning that UK profits are subject to UK tax.

“The corporation tax for UK onshore oil and gas companies is currently set at 30 per cent, significantly in excess of normal corporation tax.

“In addition, the industry has committed to a substantial payment to local communities based on the revenue it generates. The Government will also ensure that all business rates will go directly to local councils.

“Any accusations of ‘tax dodging’ are without substance. Third Energy UK is registered in the UK, complies with all UK tax policies and we pay our taxes here.”

tis true :

Associations, eh?


Captain Black's picture

Rocks, Rats & Reptilians

"The company moved upstream from 2015, buying mature and new oil and gas fields. That year, it bought assets from German-owned L1, comprising 8% of UK gas production.

Earlier this year, it bought offshore assets from DONG Energy of Denmark, including fields in UK, Danish and Norwegian waters. Priced at $1bn, they pump 100,000 barrels per day, and have 570 million barrels of viable reserves.

The deal made Ineos one of the top ten UK producers, and the biggest in private hands.

Last month, the company took over the Forties Pipeline Network from BP, feeding Grangemouth with nearly 40% of the UK's oil and gas production, drawing from 85 facilities.

Meanwhile, Ineos is leading the push for fracking in Britain. Scottish MSPs have closed that option, but the company is acquiring fracking opportunities in England. And yesterday, it signed a major deal that will see it shipping fracked US gas to China.

At least two questions arise: where do its ambitions stop, and when will its scale begin to limit its efficiency?.."

Benefitz Betty's picture

Wholesale Shale Shells

"A judge has ruled that an injunction obtained against anti-fracking protesters by INEOS Shale should continue ...

"Mr Justice Morgan said he wanted to change some of the wording to the order to clarify what it covered. He also removed a clause in the original order preventing harassment of INEOS staff and contractors. We’ll have more details of the order when it is available.

The case has been seen as a test of rights to protest and is regarded as important because it may encourage other companies to take similar action against opponents of their activities..."

"Lee Rowley said 88,000 people had signed a petition against the company’s plans for the village of Marsh Lane in Derbyshire.

The planning application currently with the county council had received five thousand objections.

Mr Rowley narrowly defeated the pro-fracking Labour MP, Natascha Engel, to win North East Derbyshire at the last election.

He told MPs the INEOS proposal for an exploration well, though not fracking, was not a “minor incursion into a landscape”.

"The energy minister, Richard Harrington, said he had no local knowledge of the site or the constituency. He also said he didn’t know about the application at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire, where Third Energy is waiting for final approval to frack from the Business Secretary, Greg Clark.

He said shale gas would bring local benefits, citing payments to community and a shale wealth fund."

Oh well.

"Little Miss Inventor has been created as a "positive role model" for girls, its author and illustrator Adam Hargreaves said.

She will be the 36th Little Miss character and joins the likes of Little Miss Sunshine and Little Miss Magic.

The character, with pencils and a spanner in her hair, is described as "intelligent, ingenious and inventive ...

"Those inventions include a backpack-snack-attack fridge for Mr Greedy and a chatter-natter hat for Little Miss Chatterbox - but she's stumped when asked to invent something for Mr Rude."

Ah, so ..


“More boots on the ground will lead to deterioration of the steps and walls, lawns and footpaths, and probably a need for more vigilance and protective ropes.”

Erm.. Chan Chan. ya don't suppose the Caral was the worlds first fracking site?

Hmmm ...  Peru on't Moors

Benefitz Betty's picture

Fracking Extensions

"... This case is about the right to protest, a right which has always been, and must continue to be, a fundamental aspect of peaceful political action in our society. Without the right to protest effectively, the ability of citizens to peacefully challenge injustices will be severely curtailed.”

In his ruling, Morgan told Ineos that it needed to have a clearer definition of one aspect of the injunction - what constituted harassment of its fracking operations."


Cultivate a Norwegian accent


Captain Black's picture

Question Time


Know your Gnomes.

The democratically elected.

"Can never trust party jumpers locally or nationally Jackie. I would have a degree of respect if when jumping from one bed to another they would do the honourable thing by resigning and calling a Bye Election. If they were an Mp or Councillor that is. Sadly few of them are principled enough to do this."

So says Mr. Shagalot.

"There are a lot of killers," Mr Trump replied. "We've got a lot of killers. What, you think our country's so innocent?"

"Russell’s hope was that his tribunals would build momentum toward a people-driven, international peace movement that did more than protest. In his mind, the people — properly organized and motivated — could hold governments in check. It was an urgent idea in 1967; it remains one today."

300 years ago ...


wtf is a Technocrat?