Fracking company INEOS’s recent takeover of a rival energy company, Moorland Energy, has revived concerns that the company may be planning to build a gas processing plant near Thornton le Dale. Planning permission for this plant was approved in 2010 by the then Secretary of State for Communities, Eric Pickles, after the application was rejected by the NYCC.

INEOS took control of Moorland Energy in December, creating a new company called INEOS 120 Energy Ltd [1]. Directors of the new company include Gary Haywood and Tom Pickering, both of whom are on the board of INEOS Upstream Ltd, the company’s fracking subsidiary. [2] The number ‘120’ refers to the PEDL licence previously held by Moorland Energy, which stretches across the north of Ryedale from west of Helmsley to East Ayton, near Scarborough. [3]
The move significantly increases the threat of fracking in the area just south of the North York Moors National Park, and also revives concern about the Thornton le Dale gas processing plant, which was strongly opposed by local residents in 2010. INEOS may wish to revive the planning permission already granted for the plant in order to process the gas that they intend to produce from fracking wells situated just south of the North York Moors National Park. Currently companies are not allowed to establish fracking wells on the surface of national parks or AONBs, but are allowed to place fracking well-sites just outside their borders and drill horizontally underneath these protected areas.
PEDL 120 the exploration are recently acquired by INEOS following the takeover of Moorland Energy by the fracking firm.
PEDL 120 the exploration area recently acquired by INEOS following the recent takeover of Moorland Energy

Anti-fracking campaigners warn of ‘industrialisation of the countryside’

Anti-fracking campaigners say this move by INEOS highlights the true intentions of the company and the threat that the fracking industry poses to people living in the area and Yorkshire’s successful tourist industry.

Russell Scott of Frack Free North Yorkshire said, “Fracking is a heavy industrial activity which requires thousands of wells to be financially viable. But it’s not just the number of multi-well fracking pads that will devastate our countryside – there is also a huge amount of related infrastructure that will be needed, including water treatment plants, new pipelines, dehydration plants, compressor stations, new roads – and of course gas processing plants like the one planned for Thornton le Dale.”

David Davis, from Hovingham, says: “Planning permission for the gas processing plant at Thornton le Dale is still valid until later this year, which is a gift to any company wishing to frack Ryedale. INEOS can easily apply for an extension to this permission, and may decide use this gas processing plant in order to process the gas from nearby fracking well-pads

Ian Conlan, of Frack Free Ryedale, added, “fracking entails many such gas processing plants, as well as thousands of lorries near to people’s homes. This move will increase our resolve to oppose the wholesale industrialisation of Ryedale.”

Images relevant to the proposed gas processing plant situated off Hurrell Lane in Thornton Le Dale, Ryedale are shown below and have been extracted from the NYCC planning application portal
thornton gas plant proposed location outlined in RED thornton gas plant proposed elevation Appendix-8.1-Site-Photographs_Part5_Page_1 Appendix-8.1-Site-Photographs_Part5_Page_2 Appendix-8.1-Site-Photographs_Part6

[1] For company’s change of name document, please see attached document, or go to , click on filing history, and scroll down to 14th December]

[2] Again go to the above link and click on the People tab for information on Gary Haywood and Tom Pickering.

[3] see attached screenshot from – PEDL 120 is the dark grey block which includes Helmsley and Thornton le Dale. If you use this screenshot, which you are very welcome to do, please credit Frack Off]