Regulation

Final call for comments on oil and gas consultations

EA

The deadlines are approaching for comments on four public consultations on onshore oil and gas plans.

Two consultations are about proposals by Third Energy to reinject waste water at gas sites in North Yorkshire. Comments for these consultations must be submitted by just before midnight tomorrow (Thursday 30th July).

The other two consultations – one in North Yorkshire and the other in Hampshire – have a deadline of the end of next week (see details in the second half of this post).

Third Energy reinjection plans

The Environment Agency is consulting on plans by Third Energy to reinject waste water produced during conventional gas extraction. The reinjection wells are proposed at the company’s sites at Ebberston Moor South and Pickering in North Yorkshire.

After a consultation last year, the EA made a draft decision that it was “minded to approve” groundwater activity permits for both sites. But it is consulting the public again before making a final decision.

The campaign group, Frack Free Ryedale (FFR) is concerned that the waste water would contain naturally occurring radioactive material, as well as heavy metals and hydrocarbons. The group says this makes the water hazardous to the environment, wildlife and human health. FFR also draws attention to the link in the US between waste water reinjection and earthquakes.

At Ebberston Moor South in the North York Moors National Park, the gas is taken from the Kirkham Abbey Formation and the waste water would be reinjected into the Sherwood Sandstone layer above it.

FFR says: “We are concerned about the effect this might have on nearby water supplies, in particular the Corallian Aquifer, which supplies drinking water to Scarborough and surrounding areas.”

The group says the two proposed reinjection wells at Ebberston Moor would go through this aquifer and would leave it vulnerable to contamination both above and below ground.

It says the proposed activities at both sites do not comply with UK and European rules, including the Waste Framework and Landfill Directives. It is also concerned that the EA has carried out no independent analysis of the cumulative impact of the two sites. Granting the permits would set a precedent to allow reinjection to be carried out across the country, Frack Free Ryedale also says.

Ebberston Moor details
Reference number EPR/BB3699AW/A001
Address: Ebberston South Well site, Malton Cote Road, Ebberston, North Yorkshire YO13 9PT
Deadline: 23.59 hours on Thursday 30th July 2015
Link to consultation webpage
Link to Frack Free Ryedale comments

Pickering details
Reference number: EPR/BB3699EY/A001
Address: Pickering Wellsite, Malton Road, Pickering, North Yorkshire YO18 8EA
Deadline: 23.59 hours on Thursday 30th July 2015
Link to consultation webpage
Link to Frack Free Ryedale comments

Third Energy environmental permits for fracking at Kirby Misperton

The Environment Agency is also consulting on applications by Third Energy for environmental permits for its plans to frack for gas at Kirby Misperton in the Ryedale district of North Yorkshire.

The company is proposing to frack five sections of the KM8 borehole drilled in 2013. If approved, the well would then be tested and, if commercially-viable, go into production. It is proposed that any gas would be transferred by pipe to the Knapton Generating Station and used to produce electricity.

Third Energy has applied for planning permission but so far North Yorkshire County Council has not validated the application.

The company has applied to the Environment Agency for groundwater activity, mining waste and radioactive substances permits. Its non-technical summary, which accompanies the applications, says a permit for industrial emissions is not necessary because there are no plans to flare gas from the well.

Third Energy estimates that 50-70% of the fluid used to frack the well would remain in the rock formation. This may contain naturally-occurring radioactive materials. An estimated 450m3 to 987m3 of waste fluid would return to the surface. This would be transported by tanker to treatment works, the non-technical summary said.

Kirby Misperton details
Reference: EPR/DB3002HE/A001 for permits for management of extractive mining waste and groundwater activity
Reference: EPR/KB3098DE/A001 for radioactive substances activity permit:
Address: Kirby Misperton A Wellsite, off Habton Road, Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire, YO17 6XS
Deadline: Friday 7th August 2015
(Note this deadline was extended from 10th July 2015)
Link to consultation webpage

Oil and gas in Hampshire

Four local authorities in Hampshire are consulting on new planning guidance about oil and gas developments in the county. The supplementary planning document, when approved, would be considered alongside the Hampshire Minerals and Waste Plan and used to decide on oil and gas planning applications.

Hampshire has three active oil fields: Humbly Grove, near Alton; Stockbridge; and Horndean. The entire county was offered for licence to oil and gas companies last year during the government’s 14th round.

The draft supplementary planning document says oil and gas in Hampshire could meet growing demands for energy, if their extraction represented sustainable development. Policy 1 of the county’s Minerals and Waste plan has a presumption in favour of sustainable oil or gas developments, unless they fail to comply with other policies in the plan.

These include ensuring oil and gas developments: mitigate and adapt to climate change; take account of protected habitats, species and landscapes; protect communities from impacts on health and way of life; and protect soils and water resources.

The document says public consultation will form an important party of every oil and gas planning application in Hampshire. “The views of interested parties and the local communities will be taken into account when coming to a decision”, it says.

Hampshire SPD details
Deadline for comments: Friday 7th August 2015
Link to draft document and consultation webpage

1 reply »

  1. all reinjection of waste water must threaten the environment and drinking water. please stop this dangerous practice before it’s too late

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