Search topics on this blog

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Fracking nonsense

I’m totally opposed to fracking, and since INEOS are at the heart of fracking intentions in Scotland, I’m opposed to this part of their business plan. But ambitious though it is, it’s not quite as ambitious as The National newspaper outlined it in Monday’s edition.

On page 8, a well-written and highly relevant piece by Kathleen Nutt and Stefan Schmid titled ‘Calls for Holyrood to halt all fracking plans’ appeared. with a concise report on the issues, the political state of play and the Infrastructure Bill.

It had one number in it, one crucial number – and that number was egregiously wrong.

It jumped out and hit me between the eyes, as it should have done the editor, and indeed anyone with even the slightest geographical sense of the dimensions of the country of Scotland. But apparently it didn’t …

I addressed it in a light manner on Twitter, fully expecting that someone would have already recognised the error. But no, and although both journalists promptly and courteously replied to my query, one acknowledging the error and promising a correction in Tuesday’s National, none has appeared to date.

(I’ve contacted The National by email – so far, no reply, no correction.)

Here’s the Twitter mini-saga -

TWITTER Jan 26th 2015
Peter Curran @moridura  #fracking What is the radius of INEOS's fracking licences? The National quotes 147m radius. That's 67,887 Scotland is 30,414

Peter Curran @moridura  ·#fracking Scotland's width is 192 miles, length is 254 miles. According to National, INEOS's fracking licences cover a diameter of 294m (radius 147m)

Peter Curran @moridura  ·#frack Today's 'National' p8 - "Ineos .. currently holds the fracking licence for a 147-mile radius around its Grangemouth plant" Does it?

Peter Curran @moridura  #fracking I take it, from the absence of comment, that 'The National' stands behind its 147 mile INEOS fracking radius (of Grangemouth)?
of 294m (radius 147m)

Twitter exchange with co-authors of The National piece, Kathleen Nutt and Stefan Schmid

Peter Curran @moridura @kacnutt Care to comment on my tweet queries on National article (if you were co-author) and Ineos's 147m radius fracking radius re Scotland

Kathleen Nutt ‏@kacnutt @moridura Re article my contribution was on parly votes.

Peter Curran ‏@moridura @kacnutt Thanks, Kathleen - good relevant article - my only query is 147m radius stat.

Peter Curran @moridura  @kacnutt Geographically as well as environmentally, if the 147m radius is not a typo ...

Peter Curran ‏@moridura @StefanSchmid03 Care to comment about my tweet queries on your p8 National fracking radius of 147m for Ineos, Stefan? All I want is facts.

Stefan Schmid ‏@StefanSchmid03 @moridura Cheers for bringing that up. Was just a really sloppy mistake, it is a 127 mile area. Should be in corrections tomorrow.

@StefanSchmid03 Thanks, Stefan. God knows, we all make mistakes. (Are there no editors to pick them up?) Fracking's a serious game

@StefanSchmid03 It's when you're most buried in detailed researched that you're at risk from single key stats (I know!). Last looks vital!

Stefan Schmid ‏@StefanSchmid03   @moridura I’ll be taking the blame for that one, spent a lot of time researching the topic over the past months so shouldn't get that wrong.


  1. The startling fact is that in INEOS we have a monopoly situation. The only refinery facility in Scotland. Like this we can be held over the proverbial barrel.

    We need an alternative facility.

    As to fracking - I'm totally with your line and utter shame should be sitting very heavily on every labour supporter who watched their 'champions' in Westminster sit on their hands to let fracking become a reality.

    I hope the SG has the cojones to tell them to frack-off via the procedures available to it.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thanks for posting.

      The only reason Ineos has a 'monopoly' is because no one else had the will - or the expertise - to run the finely balanced and risky petrochemicals business. For that, Grangemouth and Scotland should be grateful - we'd be in shit state without him.

      But I have no illusions about his intent on fracking, and he is a hard-headed international businessman who could - and would - pull the plug on Grangemouth if his strategy called for it.

      Thanks God Alex Salmond and the Scottish Government recognised that when the unions were digging their heads ever deeper into the sand.