ENERGY company INEOS is holding a meeting today with local councillors from town and parish councils across Ryedale.

The meeting, which includes presentations and a Q&A, is being held in the Milton Rooms in Malton.

Thomas Pickering of INEOS said that the meeting is designed for INEOS Shale, the shale gas development arm of INEOS, to introduce the company to town and parish councillors.

Gary Haywood, INEOS Shale CEO said: “Meeting town and parish councils is the beginning of our long term conversation with communities. We are committed to meeting with and addressing the concerns of local people and are starting with their community representatives.

"It is important for us to be transparent and offer two-way communication with local people. It was a pleasure to meet with town and parish councillors, who approached the subject with an open mind.

"We look forward to our public exhibitions later in the year as part of our continuing effort to tackle misconceptions around Shale gas extraction."

INEOS hold exploratory licenses for several areas across Ryedale, which were awarded in December. Their plans for the coming months involve acquiring seismic data and drilling vertical coring wells to take samples of the shale rock.

Gazette & Herald:

Picture: Councillors from across Ryedale at the INEOS presentation

Around 50-75 anti-fracking protestors from Frack-Free groups were demonstrating outside the meeting to show their opposition to INEOS's plans.

Jackie Cray, who lives in Kirby Misperton where another company, Third Energy, are applying to frack, said that the news from INEOS "shows why it is so important for the North Yorkshire County Council to reject next week's application for fracking at KM8.

"If this is approved, it could open the floodgates for a rash of fracking applications all across North Yorkshire."

The County Council's decision on the Third Energy application is due to be made on Friday, May 20.