Who wants to drill where? Spring 2016 update


Bridge Trafford Red Polls

Red Poll cows on land near a new IGas site in Cheshire. Photo: Huw Rowlands


Summary of recent activity on UK fracking and onshore oil and gas, including applications, consents and withdrawals. 

The list is organised alphabetically first by country, then county and site. (Spool down for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.)

Please let us know if information in this post is missing, inaccurate or out-of-date.

We want to make this as complete and accurate as possible. Contact here.



Bridge Trafford, PEDL190


On 1 April 2016 it was revealed that IGas’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Star Energy, has acquired two new sites at Bridge Trafford. Local people say geological faults underlie the sites and they are near the epicentre of an 18th century earthquake which was one of the most powerful in the UK. IGas said once the results of seismic testing were known the company would consult with local people on plans for the sites. More details

Ellesmere 1, Portside One, Portside North, Merseyton Road, Ellesmere Port, PEDL184


Opponents of oil and gas drilling in Cheshire have called on IGas to give up this exploratory well, following the company’s decision to pull out of Mickle Trafford and Upton (see below). The well, also known as Ellesmere Port-1, was drilled in November–December 2014 and recorded by DECC as drilling for shale gas. The site was granted planning permission (09/02169/min) in 2010 for two coal bed methane exploratory wells, appraisal and production for 25 years. IGas held a community day on 11th August 2015 in Ellesmere Port. Parts of the area were included in seismic testing being carried out for IGas by Tesla around the same time.

Lesters Lane, also known as Bretton Lane, Lower Kinnerton, Chester, PEDL147


A small protest camp has established at the site. IGas confirmed in a letter to Alyn and Deeside MP, Mark Tami, released on 23 March 2016, that it had no plans or permissions to work at the site. More details : A former operator of the site, Greenpark Energy, drilled a well between July and August 2011 under planning permission 10/11458/MIN.

Marsh House Lane, Kings Marsh, Farndon, Chester (also known as Churton), PEDL188


Dart Energy drilled an exploratory coal bed methane borehole in March 2014, known as Churton-1. Planning permission (10/10146/MIN) was granted in 2010 and extended (13/02180EXT) 8th July 2013. A condition of the more recent planning permission required work to be completed within one year of the start date. The site is not listed on the IGas website (IGas took over Dart in 2014). A camp was established outside the site.

Plot 11, Ince Resource Recovery Park, Marsh Lane, Ince, PEDL190


Opponents of oil and gas drilling in Cheshire have called on IGas to reveal its plans for this exploratory coal bed methane well drilled in November 2011. Planning permission (09/02568/min) was granted in 2010 for 25 years from the start of work.

Salters Lane, Picton, near Mickle Trafford, Chester, PEDL189


On 5 February 2016, IGas announced it was pulling out of this site, saying it did not meet the company’s criteria for coal bed methane development. More details.

Bailiffs arrive

Police prepare to evict protest camp at Dutton’s Lane, Upton

Dutton’s Lane, Upton, PEDL189


On 5 February 2016, IGas announced it was pulling out of this site, saying it did not meet the company’s criteria for coal bed methane development. More details. The news came just over three weeks after IGas enforced an eviction order for the protest camp at the site, at an estimated cost to Cheshire Police of £200,000. The company has not responded to a request by the PCC for Cheshire to pay the costs. Tom Pickering, operations director of INEOS, told the Chester Chronicle in March 2016 the Upton site could be developed for shale gas, which is at greater depths than coal bed methane. INEOS farmed into the IGas Cheshire licences last year.

A trial of nine people arrested during the eviction is due to start on 18 October 2016 at Chester Magistrates Court and is expected to last up to seven days.

Other sites with permissions in Cheshire

Land east of Cow Lane, Foulk Stapleford, also known as Hargrave: Planning permission (10/10978/DIS )

Dog Kennel Farm, Shocklach Hall Lane, Shocklach, Oviatt, Malpas: Planning permission (09/10639/CPO)


Crawberry Hill 131115  Decomissioning

Well decommissioning at Crawberry Hill

Crawberry Hill, Walkington Heads, PEDL183

Rathlin Energy

The last equipment was moved off this site near Beverley on 11 April 2016. Details and pictures. Restoration followed the announcement on 12 August 2015 that Rathlin Energy was withdrawing for technical and commercial reasons. It cited the low oil price and said the costs of testing the well could not be justified. More details

West Newton-A, Off Fosham Road, West Newton, PEDL183

Rathlin Energy

No work has yet taken place following planning permission granted by East Riding of Yorkshire Council on 26 November 2015 for another three years. At the time, Rathlin said this would allow it to drill a second well. It has described the gas discovery at West Newton A as encouraging.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive found no evidence to support allegations of unsafe working on the workover rig mast at West Newton A. The investigation found that the workover rig used at the site did not have a signed EC Declaration of Conformity. The rig, bought by Cuadrilla in 2010 from Enerflow Industries of Calgary, Canada, was leased by Marriott Drilling. The identification plate carried the CE and Atex marks but the conformity assessment, although 95% complete, had not been finished. Cuadrilla arranged for this to be repeated and completed. More details

West Newton B, Crook Lane, West Newton, PEDL183

Rathlin Energy

Under the terms of planning permission, granted on 4 June 2015, Rathlin Energy must carry out an archaeological survey at the wellsite, overseen by Humberside Archaeological Partnership. No arrangements have been made with HAP and no work has been carried out at the site. Rathlin Energy has permission to drill up to two boreholes to a depth of 2,100m to explore for gas, and possibly oil, in Permian age rocks. More details. Link to planning permission (14/04107/STPLF)


Becconsall, Off Bonny Barn Road, Banks, PEDL165


The company confirmed in November 2015 it was abandoning the site because it was unable to secure equipment in time to meet planning conditions to protect wintering birds. Cuadrilla said it would plug the well and restore the site after the wintering bird season ended on 31st March 2016 and before the deadline set by Lancashire County Council of 31st October 2016. The site had been granted planning permission on 1st May 2015 for pressure monitoring.

Grange Road, Singleton, PEDL165


On 23 February 2016, the Planning Inspectorate announced Cuadrilla had won its appeal against the refusal by Lancashire County Council of application LCC/2014/0084 for a three-year extension of its permission to undertake seismic and pressure monitoring. The council’s decision on 20 May 2015 went against the advice of planning officers. But the planning inspector, Elizabeth Ord, refused the company’s application for costs. She said the council had not, as Cuadrilla claimed, acted unreasonably. Details. Cuadrilla said a decision on Grange Road would depend on the outcome of the planning inquiry over its plans for Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood. The initial term of PEDL165 expires on 30 June 2016.

Preese Hall, Weeton, nr Kirkham, PEDL165


Cuadrilla’s planning permission for restoration of the Preese Hall exploration site expired on April 30th 2015. The initial term of PEDL165 expires on 30 June 2016.

Preston New Road with balloon

Balloon marks the height of a 53m rig at Preston New Road

Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, PEDL165


A 19-day public inquiry ended on 16 March 2016. It reviewed Lancashire County Council’s refusal on 29 June 2015 of Cuadrilla’s applications to drill and hydraulically fracture up to four exploratory gas wells and install a monitoring array. The inquiry Inspector, Wendy McKay, has said she will submit her report on or before 4 July 2016. The appeal has been recovered by the Communities Secretary, Greg Clark. This means the report will be a recommendation and the final decision will be made by Mr Clark. There is no statutory time period in which Mr Clark must make or announced his decision. Mrs McKay’s report will be made public at the same time as the final decision is announced. DrillOrDrop’s Inquiry portal The initial term of PEDL165 expires on 30 June 2016.

Roseacre Wood, PEDL165


Wendy McKay, the inspector considering Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road appeal (see above) is also reviewing Lancashire County Council’s refusal on 25 June 2015 of Cuadrilla’s similar application to frack up to four wells at Roseacre Wood. The inquiry, which heard evidence on the fracking application, also considered Cuadrilla’s appeal against conditions imposed on permission granted for a monitoring array around Roseacre Wood. The report on these appeals is expected to be published at the same time as the Preston New Road decisions. DrillOrDrop’s Inquiry portal. A judicial review of the Roseacre Wood monitoring decision, due to be heard at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, has been postponed until after the announcement of the appeal.

The initial term of PEDL165 expires on 30 June 2016.


Biscathorpe-2, PEDL253

Egdon Resources

The company said it planned to drill this well in PEDL253 near Louth in the first half of 2016. It applied for an environmental permit and a public consultation ended in November 2015. The Environment Agency has yet to announce its decision. Planning permission was awarded by Lincolnshire County Council on 16 March 2015. Egdon has said no fracking is planned.

Laughton Lincs rig

Laughton, PEDL209

Egdon Resources

On 14 March 2016, Egdon Resources announced it was abandoning this well (pictured left) after hydrocarbon shows were “not sufficiently encouraging to warrant testing. (Link to statement). The well was spudded on 12 February and drilled to a depth of 1,700m. More details

North Kelsey-1, PEDL 241

Egdon Resources, Celtique Energie, Union Jack Oil

Barton Wilmore, planning consultant for Egdon Resources, said on its website that site construction would begin in 2016. Egdon’s website said it was preparing to submit an application for environmental permits. Planning permission was granted in December 2014. Egdon has said no fracking is planned. Egdon acquired an extra 40% interest in the PEDL from Celtique Energie last year.

Wressle-1, Scunthorpe, PEDL180

Europa, Egdon, Celtique Energie, Union Jack Oil

On 7 April 2016, Hugh Mackay, chief executive, Europa Oil & Gas, told Proactive Investors he was confident production would begin in the second half of 2016 and would yield 500 barrels per day. He said work was currently underway on a field development plan for the well and Egdon was preparing applications for planning permission and environmental permits. An extended well test in June 2015 reported “encouraging results” but there were problems with downhole testing equipment which prevented a planned pumped flow test of the Ashover Grit oil reservoir.


Ebberston Moor South Well Site, PL077

Third Energy and Moorland Energy Ltd

Third Energy received planning permission on 20 August 2015 to extract up to 15 million standard cubic feet of gas per day and reinject 556m3/day of waste water. It also has consent to drill a second borehole and construct an underground pipeline from the site to Knapton Generating Station. The Environment Agency approved Third Energy’s permit application on the same day.

KM8, Kirby Misperton, Ryedale, PL080

Third Energy

On 11 April 2016, The Environment Agency granted three permits allowing Third Energy to frack the KM8 well. Details. On 15 March 2016, Ryedale District Council objected to Third Energy’s planning application NY/2015/0233/ENV to frack, against the advice of officers. Details. The final decision will be made by North Yorkshire County Council. The council has agreed an extension date with Third Energy of 29th April. But there is no confirmed date for a meeting of the council’s planning meeting where the decision will be made.

Pickering, AL6

Third Energy

On 26 August 2015, the Environment Agency approved an environmental permit (EPR/BB3699EY/A001) for the reinjection of waste produced water from its gas production wells into an abandoned well at its Pickering site in North Yorkshire.


Grantham Road, Radcliffe on Trent, PEDL255

Hutton Energy

The company says it plans to drill two 950m oil exploration boreholes on the site, known as Harlequin 3. There is no confirmed start date. The site has permission until 31 October 2017 (decision notice). The Environment Agency granted environmental waste permit CB3300KR/A001 on 21 April 2015. Planning permission was first granted in 1999 and has been renewed five times but the site has never been drilled. Hutton said its plans did not involve fracking. The proposed wells would not be deep enough to comply with the Infrastructure Act.

Springs Road, Misson, Bassetlaw, PEDL139


In February 2016, Nottinghamshire County Council announced a new determination date of 29 July 2016 for IGas’s planning application to explore for shale gas at Misson. The company wants to drill a vertical well to 3,500m and a deviated well to a depth of 4,350m. It has said it does not plan to frack at this stage. On 19 January 2016, the council approved the company’s application for 12 groundwater monitoring boreholes at the site. IGas began moving equipment on eight days later. A survey of people living in Misson parish found that 87% of participants were against IGas’s plans, 4% were in favour and 9% undecided. More details.


Equipment at the Tinker Lane site. Photo: Bassetlaw Against Fracking

Tinker Lane, Torworth, Bassetlaw, PEDL200


IGas told the community liaison group that a planning application for this site was likely to be submitted in April 2016. The company wants to explore for shale gas and coal bed methane. It submitted a scoping report to Nottinghamshire County Council in October 2015. Local people have complained although there is no planning permission IGas has moved equipment onto this site. Bassetlaw District Council is consulting its lawyers over whether IGas has broken planning rules. More details


Barton Moss (also known as Irlam 1), PEDL193


In January two anti-fracking protesters, charged with aggravated trespass outside the Barton Moss site, were found not guilty. This test case could mean that other similar prosecutions will be dropped. IGas has said it has no plans to return to Barton Moss. The company said the well was drilled to a depth of 7,0004ft in March 2014 and encountered 15 coal seams with a net thickness of 77ft.


Albury Park Wellsite, New Road, Albury, DL004


Surrey County Council expects the IGas application (SCC ref 2015/0230) to use the Albury wellsite for the production of compressed natural gas for 15 years.will be decided at its Planning and Regulatory Committee on 8 June 2016.

Bury Hill Wood, Leith Hill (also known as Holmwood-1), PEDL143

Europa Oil and Gas

On 7 April 2016, Hugh Mackay, chief executive, Europa Oil & Gas, told Oil Voice the company planned to drill this well within the next 12 months. He also told Proactive Investors the resource was an estimated 5.6m barrels of oil and if this were recoverable it would make it the 5th largest onshore oilfield in the UK. The company is seeking to farm-out the site. In August last year, Europa got permission to drill a 1,400m conventional oil well at the site near Dorking, inside the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A planning inspector granted permission after an eight day public inquiry. Surrey County Council has also granted permission for an underground drilling corridor.

Horse Hill 4

Protest outside the Horse Hill wellsite. Picture: Jono Houston

Horse Hill, PEDL 137

Horse Hill Developments Ltd (consortium including UK Oil and Gas)

The consortium has said it is preparing to apply for planning permission for extended production tests, which is not covered by the current consent. On 21 March 2016, the results of an initial flow test were described as “outstanding” and equivalent to rates from the North Sea. UKOG chairman, Stephen Sanderson, said if realised at production it would represent 8.5% of UK onshore daily oil production. People living near the site have complained about smells, spills, light, discharges into a ditch and damage to local roads. Protests continued throughout the flow test and there were several arrests. More details

Land at King’s Farm, Tilburstow Hill Road, South Godstone, Bletchingley, ML021


On 24 March 2016, planning officers from Surrey County Council granted permission under delegated powers for oil and gas production at this site for 15 years. The permission also allows IGas to extend two sections of the site at Bletchingley and to install equipment, including generators for electricity. Full details here


Davyhulme, PEDL193


There’s no news about a start date for the start of coal bed methane drilling at this site. Trafford Council approved IGas’s application on 8 October 2015. The council extended the company’s permission at the site, next to the Davyhulme water treatment works, for 25 years. This will allow IGas to drill two exploration wells and two production boreholes and install equipment to generate electricity from any gas produced.


Land south east of M6 jct 21, next to the Thelwall viaduct, PEDL193


No updates either on this site. Planning permissions were granted on 18th November 2010 (2010/16949) and 4th February 2015 (2014/24921) for two exploratory boreholes for coal bed methane appraisal and production. Woolston and Thelwall Community Protection Camp established in April 2015.


Lower Stumble, Balcombe, PEDL244


No updates on this site, which remains suspended. Cuadrilla has told us it would inform Balcombe residents before flow testing began. As part of the planning permission, Cuadrilla is required to establish a residents’ forum, which we understand is not yet in place. Work must begin by May 2017 and the site must be restored within six months of the start date.

Markwells Wood, near Rowlands Castle, PEDL126

UK Oil & Gas

Planning permission has five and a half months left to run (until 30 September 2016) for the appraisal of the well on this site. There is no news on when work might start. An extension of planning permission was granted on 14 October 2015 under delegated powers by the South Downs National Park Authority. UK Oil & Gas has said it was looking to move the licence from exploration to production and planned to submit a new application for a sidetrack development well.


Broadford Bridge in March 2015: still no activity

Wood Barn Farm, Adversane Lane, Broadford Bridge, near Billingshurst RH14 9EB, PEDL234

Celtique Energie/Magellan Petroleum

Under a revised agreement with DECC, Celtique Energie has two-and-a-half months (by 30 June 2016) to drill a conventional oil well at this site. So far, only the site preparation work has been carried out. If the well is drilled, Celtique will retain PEDLs 234 and 243 until 2019. If not, the company will lose the licences. Celtique is involved in a legal dispute with its partner, Magellan Petroleum, over a $2m contribution to drilling the Broadford Bridge well.  Planning permission, which is for three years from the date work started, is due to expire in under 18 months in September 2017.

Northern Ireland


Woodburn Forest-1 well, Carrickfergus


Staff at the Northern Ireland Environment Agency confirmed on 13 April 2016 it was investigating possible pollution at the site following a second oil spill. No source has yet been identified. InfraStrata confirmed there had been what it called a minor spill over Easter. Opponents have attempted to stop operations at the site, 400m from a drinking water reservoir and nature reserve, saying it is “highly inappropriate”. Drilling began in March after Mid and East Antrim Borough Council approved the waste management plan. The company was not required to apply for planning permission for the project. But a local resident has now put the council on notice of his intention to commence judicial review proceedings. The next step will be to apply to the High Court for leave. InfraStrata failed in the High Court to evict 10 people from a forest path accessing the well site and applied for injunctive relief.


A moratorium on fracking applications is in place while the Scottish Government carries out a public consultation and review. The moratorium does not cover water monitoring boreholes or conventional exploration. No licences were issued in Scotland under the 14th round because oil and gas licensing is to be devolved. In October, the Scottish government imposed a moratorium on underground coal gasification.

Please let us know about any planning applications or permissions for onshore drilling in Scotland.


On 25 March, the Welsh government extended the moratorium on planning applications for fracking to underground coal gasification (more details). No licences were issued in Wales under the 14th round because oil and gas licensing is to be devolved.


Tyla Lane, Merthyr Mawr, Bridgend, CF32 0LT, PEDL216

Coastal Oil & Gas

No updates on this site. Permission granted in December 2014 for five years for test drilling in the Devonian shale. Environmental permit granted on 17 August 2015


Foel Fynddau Forest Pontrhydyfen Neath Port Talbot

Protest outside Foel Fynyddau. Photo: Frack Free Wales

Foel Fynyddau, Pontrhydyfen, Cwmafan, Port Talbot, PED215

UK Methane

On 20 January 2016, Natural Resources Wales granted an environmental permit to UK Methane for this site. Campaigners say they will not give up the fight to stop drilling for coal bed methane, despite planning permission (P2015/0031) granted by Neath Port Talbot’s planning committee on 17 March 2015..

Intervalley Road, Banwen, PEDL148

UK Methane

Work on this site must begin within three months (before 19 July 2016) under the terms of a temporary permission (P2010/1183) to drill an exploratory gas well.


West Nash Road, Nash, PEDL157

Sonorex Oil & Gas

No updates on this application. Permission (11/1351) for a temporary oil and gas exploration site was granted in September 2012 and a waste permit on 30 June 2015. Work must begin by 7 September 2017 and be completed within six months.



Source: Google Maps

Hendre Owen Farm, Llanharan, Pontyclun, PEDL220

UK Methane

On 30 March 2016, Coastal Oil and Gas withdrew its appeal against the unanimous refusal of permission for its application (15/0147/10) for exploratory gas drilling. The company said the wife of the site’s owner had died recently and the company had decided to look for an alternative site. More details

Pantybrad Road, Llantrisant

Coastal Oil and Gas

Frack Free Wales reports that it was advised in January 2016 that the access agreement for this site has expired and the landowner has not renewed but this has not been independently verified. Planning permission (12/1253/10) was approved on 10 October 2013.

SWANSEA City and County

Bryntywod, Llangyfelach, PEDL214

UK Methane

On 8 December 2015, Swansea Council granted planning permission for five years for test drilling for coal bed methane.

Llys Nini Animal Centre, Penllergaer SA4 9WB

UK Methane

Planning permission (2012/1427) approved for coal bed methane test drilling on 1 February 2013 for five years.


Five Mile Lane, Dyffryn, PEDL219

Coastal Oil & Gas

The owner of the site has not renewed the contract with the company so development at this site looks unlikely. Environmental permit granted in September 2015. Planning permission for five years approved on 4th October 2013.

Llancarfan, Llantrithyd, PEDL219

Coastal Oil & Gas

Environmental campaigners have established an “Energise Wales” camp on the A48 near Llantrithyd to raise awareness of unconventional gas. In December, it was reported that Coastal Oil & Gas had abandoned plans to drill at the Llantrithyd site after a villager opposed to the development bought the land and not granted access. The sale has been completed and development here also looks unlikely.

Unit 1, Llandow Trading Estate, Cowbridge, PEDL217

Coastal Oil and Gas

Natural Resources Wales issued environmental waste permit number RB3593HS/A001 on 15th July 2015. Planning permission approved in July 2012 after appeal for five years. Frack Free Wales reports that the landowners has refused to sign an access agreement but this has not been independently verified.


Commonwood Farm, Borras Road LL13 9TF (also known as Holt), PEDL186


PEDL186 has now expired (summer 2016) and no activity is expected in the foreseeable future.

IGas had said it still planned to drill for coal bed methane at the Borras site at Holt, Wrexham, despite the moratorium on fracking passed by the Welsh Assembly in February 2015. Campaigners continued to oppose development at the site. Planning permission was approved by an inspector following an appeal against refusal by Wrexham county Borough Council.

Please let us know if information in this post is missing, inaccurate or out-of-date. We want to make this as complete and accurate as possible. Contact here.

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2 replies »

  1. Hia Pleas e can you tell me is there any work that is to commence next week in Scotland >Apparently it is supposed to be an abandoned project ?? It is supposed to be a big contract ,and there is many engineers to work on this project .I would appreciate correspondence would be appreciated many thanks..

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