Fracking rig site revealed

By Gareth Dennison | 17/03/2017

Fracking rig site revealed
Proposed Fracking site at Harthill off Common Lane

THIS is the countryside spot where a 60-metre fracking rig will be built for 24-hour gas drilling, under new plans.

Residents in Harthill are organising an opposition strategy to the proposals by chemical giant Ineos Shale for Common Lane.

The firm wants to drill down 2,800 metres for shale gas over a five-year period at the near 1.5-hectare greenfield site.

It has submitted an environmental impact assessment to Rotherham Borough Council, claiming that negative side effects are “unlikely”.

But more than 470 people joined a Facebook page called Harthill Against Fracking in three days and public meetings are being planned.

The Ineos report said: “The potential exists for effects on ground and surface water, air quality, views and noise.

“However the site is located in an agricultural area with few adjacent sensitive receptors and therefore the potential for significant effects is considered to be unlikely.

“Standard proven mitigation measures will be employed as used on other similar type of development.”

Fracking - short for hydraulic fracturing - involves extracting oil or gas. 

Strong opposition has followed the practice because of concerns about underground tremors and disruption on the surface.

Ineos’ proposal is to evaluate the geology with a vertical well to take samples of rock for lab analysis.

Planning permission would be needed for the well, while underground pressures would also need to be tested.

Drilling the well would take up to five months. 

It would be done 24 hours a day, which Ineos said was to maintain operational stability and minimise the drilling period.

Construction of the site would require about 9,000 tonnes of aggregate to be brought by road. During this time, there would be up to 42 HGV movements a day.

Once running, the site would be mostly left unmanned. 

Ineos said the land would be cleared and returned to agriculture after the five-year period.

Ineos, which pledges six per cent of profits to the community, will set up a liaison group with residents to discuss issues connected with the project.

The proposed site at Harthill is 700 metres from the village and about 1.8km northwest of Ginny Spring Whitwell Wood.

Cllr Dominic Beck, Wales ward, said: “The recent developments from Ineos have understandably generated concern from residents of Harthill and surrounding areas. 

“It is vital that the views of the community are listened to and I am fully committed to making absolutely sure that these concerns are indeed taken on board by Ineos.”

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