With the oil drill expected imminently at Broadford Bridge, Adversane Lane, the company involved intends to do things for which they haven’t received planning permission.
Local residents have been kept in the dark about plans for drilling at the Broadford Bridge site – and fear unconventional drilling will take place when permission hasn’t been granted. Added to this, the West Sussex County Council website hasn’t been updated with developments either, showing a shocking lack of transparency.
Planning permission was granted for conventional drilling by WSCC in 2013 to Celtique Energie who started constructing the well pad in September 2014. UKOG then bought 100% of the licence from them in June 2016. There was no public consultation in Billingshurst, West Chiltington, Pulborough or elsewhere when UKOG bought the licence – and it appears they plan to do things differently to Celtique.
The new license holders, Kimmeridge Oil & Gas Limited (“KOGL”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of UKOG have stated in their accounts recently released (February 2017) that UKOG’s overall exploration and appraisal strategy is geared towards oil extraction from previously unrecognised naturally-fractured rocks within the Weald. This has not been made clear to residents and there has been no opportunity for consultation, as though the existence of a permission previously granted is for the same process which is clearly not the case.
The exploratory drilling process now intends to take core samples from within the Kimmeridge shale. The geology of the Weald Basin is highly fractured and this form of ‘tight oil’ is very difficult to extract conventionally because it is trapped in low permeability rocks, so usually requires extreme techniques such as high pressure fracturing of the rock and acidisation.
To be economically viable, oil production would require thousands of wells to be drilled across Sussex. Our meadowland, farmland and woodland would be subject to wide-scale industrialisation, causing unfathomable light, noise and air pollution from increased traffic, gas flaring, and drilling, not to mention the potential risk of contaminating the earth or water supply.
How you can help right now:
Comment on an environmental permit yet to be given. The Environment Agency has received a new standard application for an environmental permit under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 from Kimmeridge Oil & Gas Limited.
The deadline to comment on this application is 20th March.
Go now to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/rh14-9ed-kimmeridge-oil-gas-limited-environmental-permit-application-advertisement
Join our roadside protest and leafleting on the corner of Adversane Lane and the A29 RH14 9JH. We will be handing out information from 2-4pm every Saturday throughout March and would love to see you there. If you can’t stop and chat just a friendly blast on your car horn in support would be appreciated if you are passing.