Ineos Threat: Stash Of Asset Stripped Fracking Equipment Found In Cheshire
Speculation that the largest set of fracking equipment in Europe has made its way into the hands of chemical giant, turned fracking company Ineos, has been confirmed after the equipment has been located on a former ICI chemical plant in Cheshire, now owned by Ineos. The equipment including 30 frac pumps and all the other equipment needed to frac 2 separate production wells at one time, is now stored on the Rocksavage Works in Runcorn, Cheshire. The equipment was acquired at knock down prices from bankrupt Polish fracking services company United Oilfield Services (UOS).
The appearance of this equipment significantly increases the threat posed by Ineos, which has clearly leapfrogged Cuadrilla Resources to pose the largest fracking threat in the UK. It had already been confirmed that Ineos has acquired UOS’s fleet of seismic surveying vehicles, which have been observed at PR Marriott’s Yard in Derbyshire preparing for Ineos planned fracking survey in the East Midlands. UOS’s drilling rig is also no longer listed for sale, raising the possibility that this has also snapped up by Ineos. However, drilling rigs are far easier to come by in Europe that fracking equipment and Ineos’s acquisition of UOS’s entire inventory of hydraulic fracturing equipment is a far bigger deal.
Ineos differs from most small speculative fracking companies in the UK, having annual revenues in excess of $50 billion. Ineos has the largest set of fracking licences in the UK, covering 1.2 million acres and has been busy buying up whatever they need to begin fracking, including fracking experts and a variety of services. It has also been trying to buy community support but that will not be as easy to purchase. Given that Ineos’s own documents suggest plans for drilling 10 wells per square mile, which would translate into almost 20,000 wells in its licence areas, the communities it is threatening should be justifiably worried by a development which puts it in possession of far more fracking equipment than Lancashire frackers Cuadrilla Resources.
Hydraulic Fracturing Equipment
UOS’s fracing equipment includes 30 Stewart & Stevenson FT-2251T 2,250 horsepower frac pumps, totaling 67,500 horsepower and enough auxiliary equipment, including manifolds, blenders and sand movers, to kit out 2 completely independent hydraulic fracturing operations. In comparison Cuadrilla Resources has only 6 FMC WQ2700 2,700 horsepower frac pumps, totaling 16,200 horsepower. Cuadrilla’s kit is enough to fracture vertical wells like Preese Hall and the massively slowed down fracturing (1 frac stage a day) of the horizontal wells planned at Preston New Road in Lancashire.
However, for production scale hydraulic fracturing, 30-40,000 horsepower of pumps are needed, where completion of upward of 5 frac stages a day is standard. This puts Ineos in the position of being the only fracking company in the UK which could advance into some sort of production without first having to buy in massive amounts of equipment from the US. Ineos appear to have already created a small fracking setup at the Rocksavage Works and are experimenting with using the equipment (see image left). The asset stripping of Polish companies by the UK fracking industry is an issue that bears careful observation in the future.
Take Action Now
For guidance on opposing a fracking survey in your area read this useful FAQ. Use these Seismic Survey Flyers for raising awareness about the threat posed by seismic surveys in your area. There is also a Seismic Spotter Sheet that highlights the signs and activity that are associated with a survey being carried out in your area.
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