Commenting on the news that Grangemouth operators INEOS have acquired further shares in IGas licenses in Scotland and Northern England, Friends of the Earth Scotland Head of Campaigns Mary Church said:

“This latest INEOS-IGas deal is hardly a surprise given the companies' existing links. The industry’s game of musical chairs with fracking licenses will have little effect in Scotland where the unconventional gas industry is caught up in the recent moratorium. INEOS will be unable to exploit shale and coalbed methane reserves near Grangemouth or anywhere else in Scotland any time soon.  Despite the UK Government’s support for this risky industry the company will face strong opposition from communities in Northern England.

“As part of this deal INEOS will inherit the controversial Airth coalbed methane project which was opposed by two local authorities, several community councils and thousands of local people and went to a public inquiry before Ministers called it in. While the moratorium means this project is on hold, if INEOS have any sense they will listen to the community and abandon this deeply unpopular proposal immediately.

“We are convinced that a full, robust examination of the environmental and health impacts of the industry will lead to a complete ban on unconventional gas extraction.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

1. Britain's IGas strikes shale gas deal with Ineos (Reuters 10/3/15) http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/03/10/uk-igas-ineos-shale-idUKKBN0M60…

2. Friends of the Earth Scotland is:
* Scotland's leading environmental campaigning organisation
* An independent Scottish charity with a network of thousands of supporters and active local groups across Scotland
* Part of the largest grassroots environmental network in the world, uniting over 2 million supporters, 74 national member groups, and some 5,000 local activist groups.