The battle of Grangemouth, Ineos, the Forties pipeline and Apache Corporation

Lawrence & Wishart

Read about a catalogue of assaults on the trade union Unite at the Grangemouth refinery in 2013.  Workers were forced to accept cuts in their pay and conditions as the Swiss firm’s owner Ineos threatened closure of the complex. To maximise profit, workers’ pensions were attacked, as well as their terms and conditions of employment.

BP sold the Forties oilfield to Apache in 2003, then divested the Grangemouth refinery to Ineos in 2005. Now Ineos plan to purchase the Forties pipeline system. Originating at Apache’s Charlie platform, the pipeline carries 30% of the UK’s total oil production. It reaches land, buried in Cruden Bay, to run 105 miles south to Grangemouth.

‘This is a story of a fight for working people told from the workers’ point of view.  I commend this enthralling book to everyone’ – Jeremy Corbyn

Written by the Grangemouth convenor, Mark Lyon, and published in association with Unite the Union, ‘The Battle of Grangemouth’ is a vital story in challenging times. It demonstrates why – now more than ever – being organised is vital for the defence of basic rights at work.

Pat Rafferty, regional secretary of Unite thinks we need a national debate as Grangemouth oil and chemical complex owner Ineos confirms that it is in discussion with BP about buying the Forties pipeline system. If the deal goes through, Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe will control two pieces of vital national infrastructure.  “There are serious concerns about the welfare of employees who would be transferred as part of any deal. We need a national debate now,” says Pat Rafferty. “Do our politicians believe in an economy where power is widely held and used for the benefit of us all or are they happy with power in the hands of a tiny minority whose biggest concern is their own personal benefit? Is it right or sensible to give the power to turn off the taps- and bring the entire country to a standstill – to one private company, with no democratic involvement or oversight?”

Union fears over pipeline talks: Greg Russell.    Ineos buys North Sea oil fields in £1bn deal.

Forties riser mist


Grangemouth is still suffering from poor management. The site’s future is unclear.

The BP pipeline originates at Apache’s Forties Charlie platform.

Forties Charlie

Do not forget the eight Chinese dragon ships transporting ethane into Grangemouth from the North American shale fields.  Ineos Grangemouth plant rated poor for pollution two years running

Fracking company Ineos Upstream has submitted a scoping requests for fracking sites on Barmleymoor Lane at Marsh Lane near Eckington in Derbyshire, and Common Road near Harthill, Rotherham. These are the first sites in Ineos’s exploration plans for its million acres of fracking licences. A recent Ineos exhibition in Marsh Lane attrached a large counter demonstration of local residents outside the venue. Ineos is also planning to carry out seismic surveys across its licence areas and is targeting 500 square miles of South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire first. Ineos has contracted Fisher German Priestner as their land agent to gain access for the surveys.  Ineos plans for fracked gas at Grangemouth under fire. Underused crackers and fast-tracked frackers – Ineos at Grangemouth. Forviemedia WordPress blog from 2015






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