Industry

IGas plan for Notts shale gas drilling at Tinker Lane open for comment

Tinker Lane impression Bassetlaw Against Fracking

Photo montage by Bassetlaw Against Fracking

The public consultation on plans by IGas to explore for shale gas at a second site in north Nottinghamshire is now open.

Tomorrow (Saturday 4 June 2016) there is an information day about the proposals for the site at Tinker Lane, organised by the local community liaison group.

The consultation runs for six weeks until Friday 8 July 2016. A decision is not expected before September.

The application for a single exploratory well and groundwater monitoring boreholes has been submitted to Nottinghamshire County Council by the IGas subsidiary, Dart (East England) Ltd.

Representatives from the company, along with the industry body, UK Onshore Oil and Gas will be at tomorrow’s information day. Also taking part are Misson Community Action Group, district and county councillors and organisations opposed to the plans. Details

In a separate application, IGas has given details of plans for shale gas exploration at Misson, also in Bassetlaw. More details here  and link to application 

Details from the application

DrillOrDrop has picked out key facts from the planning application. The full documents can be read here. We will report on reaction to the application in future posts. DrillOrDrop will also be reporting on the progress of the application as part of the RigWatch project

Proposed site

TinkerLaneSite

Size: 2.2ha

Location: on the A634 near the villages of Torworth (1.4km, Blyth (2.6km) and Barnby Moor (1.5km) on the northern edge of the Sherwood national and regional character areas.

Use: Farmland

Nearest homes: Beech Farm (630m), Jubilee Farm (670m), Bill Button Cottage (690m)

Nearby Local Wildlife Sites (LWS): Tinker Lane Barnby Moor (250m) and Daneshill (1.6km)

Groundwater: The site is on the Nottingham Castle Sandstone Formation, classed as a Principal Aquifer and considered vulnerable to pollution. It is in a groundwater source protection (SPZ) 3. This means it is connected to areas where groundwater is abstracted and may be used for public supply. SPZs 1 and 2 are 2.4km away and the nearest groundwater abstraction downstream is 0.9km. Fish lakes at Torworth Grange are 1km downstream of the site.

Proposed development

TinkerLane1BAF

Photo: Bassetlaw Against Fracking

IGas proposes to drill 1 vertical exploration well to be called Tinker Lane-1 along with 9 groundwater monitoring boreholes grouped at 3 locations.

Purpose: The company says the well will take samples from the Bowland Shale (estimated at 70m thick) and Millstone Grit Group shales and tight sands (estimated at 300m thick)

Hydraulic fracturing? Not included in this application

Other parts of the application: Permission for security cabins already on site (see photo), site construction work, drilling and evaluating the well and monitoring boreholes, decommissioning and restoration

Application period applied for: 3 years

Application prepared by:
SLR Consulting Limited, Xodus (noise),
Land Research Associates (soil),
Ramboll (lighting)

Proposed phases of work

  1. Site construction

Proposed work includes:

  • New site access (7.5m wide for 15m from public highway)
  • New gates, security fencing and CCTV
  • Soil stripping and storage
  • Wellsite platform of geotextile membrane covered with aggregate
  • Installation of two wellhead cellars (spare cellar described as a contingency)
  • Bunded storage area for chemicals and surface water tank
  • Staff welfare accommodation and onsite parking
  • Monitoring boreholes drilled down to maximum of 50m using a truck-mounted drill

Fencing details: 2m heras fencing on perimeter, 2.5m hoarding inside heras fencing, 3m high weld mesh fencing and gate at entrance. All to be coloured dark green.

Proposed working hours: 7am-7pm Monday-Friday and 7am-1pm Saturday

Traffic: Predicted vehicle movements 28 in and 28 out per day. Of these, 18 in and 18 out would be heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)

Predicted employment: 20-25 people

Estimated duration of work: 3 months

  1. Drilling

Proposed working hours: 24-hours a day, 7 days a week

Estimated duration of work: 4 months including installation and removal of drilling rig

Depth of drilling: 3,300m. (A permit application submitted in August 2016 put the depth at 1,840m. IGas said this later figure was the correct depth)

Proposed rig height: Up to 60m with a 11.5m rig platform

Equipment needed

  • Drilling rig
  • Containerised diesel power generators
  • Pumps and storage tanks (up to 10m high) for diesel, water, drilling muds and cuttings
  • Drill casing storage area and pipe rack
  • Other equipment
  • Staff welfare facilities, offices, workshop, stores and parking
  • 24-hour lighting on the drilling rig, from 3m and 5m poles and on site cabins

Other operations

  • Pressure determination test, which IGas says is to test the strength of the rock formation and in-situ pressure. This involves perforating the well in about 10 places and injecting water to create “a pressure pulse”
  • Vertical seismic profiling. IGas said this would use a vibrator machine for periods of a few hours to obtain more information about the geology of the area.

Traffic: Delivering the rig: 13 HGV in and 13 out per day over 2 weeks, including a total of 16 abnormal loads.Drilling phase: 6 HGV in and 6 out per day. Removing the rig: 13 HGV in and 13 out per day over 2 weeks.

Predicted employment: 25-30 jobs

  1. Evaluation

Estimated duration: up to 2 years

Traffic: Up to 5 light vehicle movements in and 5 out per day. 1 HGV trip in and out per fortnight.

Equipment: Wellhead, site offices and security fencing would be retained but other above-ground equipment removed.

  1. Decommissioning and restoration

If the site is not viable, IGas says the exploration well will be plugged and capped and the wellhead removed. The headworks and top 0.5m of casing on the monitoring boreholes would also be removed and the boreholes capped.

Estimated duration: 2-3 months followed by a 5-year after-care period.

Traffic: Predicted vehicle movements 28 in and 28 out per day. Of these, 18 in and 18 out would be heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

Key issues

Traffic

Peak traffic movements: 5 per hour over 12-hour days. See also phases of work above for more details.

Proposed traffic controls:

  • Heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) restricted to A634 and B6045 to access the A1 at Blyth
  • No HGV movements during school drop-off and pick-up times (8am-9am and 3.15pm-4.15pm)
  • Trimming hedges and trees to maintain good visibility
  • Driver training and signage

IGas says the site would not have “an unacceptable impact on road or junction capacity, driver delay, road safety or amenity”.

Air quality

Traffic emissions: IGas concluded the site would generate extra emissions of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulates (PM10) on local and regional roads. The increase in NO2 is described as “slight adverse” in the centre of Blyth and “negligible” elsewhere. The increase in particulates is described as “negligible”.

Pollution from power generation equipment: IGas says modelling predicts Nitric Oxide (NOx) and NO2 emissions would be “slight adverse”. But it says they would not exceed air quality standards at the nearest homes.

Effects on ecology: The application concludes pollution is “not likely to damage” the Mattersey Hill Marsh SSSI. The effect on Daneshill LWS is said to be “negligible” and Tinker Lane LWS “slight adversde”.

Mitigation: IGas says it proposes measures which will reduce NOx emissions by 80%, particulates by 40%, carbon dioxide (CO2) by 90% and unburnt hydrocarbon emissions by 70%.

Noise

Traffic noise: IGas says there will be “an extremely small temporary increase in traffic noise which is likely to be barely noticeable”.

Construction noise: IGas consultants predicted the site would generate daytime noise levels of 49-55 decibels at nearby homes. This would be below the criteria for “a significant effect”, they say.

Drilling noise:  Proposed noise limit: 7am-10pm 55 decibels, 10pm-7am 42 decibels. IGas says these limits comply with planning practice guidance on minerals developments. It also says there will be no noticeable changes in night-time noise levels at locations where baseline noise levels already exceed World Health Organisation noise guidelines.

Vibration: IGas says vibration from drilling operations would be imperceptible at distances of more than 20m.

Water

IGas says the proposals would “not impair the wholesomeness of groundwater or surface water, affect water abstractions, recreational users or ecological habitats dependent on ground or surface water, nor effect designated ecological sites near to the Application Site”.

Fresh water to be brought in and foul water removed by tanker. No onsite recycling.

Wildlife

IGas’s consultants conclude the surrounding arable fields are “man-made” in character and there is “very low” potential for protected species in or near the proposed site.

Landscape

IGas’s consultants say the development will have moderate visual impacts on people living in nearby farms and villages and users of local roads and footpaths. Physical changes to the nearby landscape will be adverse but the consultants argue the wider effects will be slight and limited because the rig will be in place for four months. They say a 2.5m hoarding around the site will screen ground level activity and hedgerows will be allowed to grow out.

Archaeology and heritage

The application says the site includes part of a Roman field system. It proposes to carry out an archaeological survey before work begins.

It also concedes there are a large number of listed buildings in Blyth, Torworth and Barnby Moor, conservation areas in Torworth and Barnby Moor and scheduled monuments in Blyth.

The predicted impacts on them are classed by IGas consultants as adverse, though not significant because the proposal is described as short-term.

Waste

Drill cuttings estimated at 1,200 cubic metres, to be removed weekly for treatment and disposal.

Reasons for selecting this site

  • Direct access onto the A634
  • No statutory ecological designation
  • More than 200m from homes
  • Not crossed by a public right of way

Future plans

IGas says if the core analysis produces positive results it will apply for permission for:

  • A new horizontal well and extended well testing, which may include fracking
  • Well completion and well testing of the existing vertical well

Links

Application and documents

Information open day (4 June 2016)

Updated 25/8/2016 to include new information about the proposed drilling depth.


This report is part of DrillOrDrop’s Rig Watch project. Rig Watch receives funding from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. More details here

10 replies »

  1. Just to note that during the Second World War there was a grave shortage of imported oil. 40 or so American drillers came over to the UK and drilled 106 deep wells to extract oil in the Nottinghamshire area. No doubt due to the emergency situation their methods would have been quite rough and ready compared to modern safety standards. But I’ve heard no accounts of the good people of Nottinghamshire being poisoned by this vital work. I know this is just anecdotal evidence but it sort of gives the lie to the idea that this some new, spaceage, super-dangerous technology. It just isn’t.

    I guess there is some risk in every human activity, every time a builder erects a house there are various risks but we know we need to build more houses and most people accept the risks for the benefits accrued. I guess in my opinion the same applies to drilling.

  2. Mark you are a brave man.

    No doubt in time you’ll encourage a response to your non-factual, all hypothetical post from Brian and Jackthelad, daring you to abolish this common sense approach you take and demand you provide independent evidence to your above-mentioned claims.

    They may even suggest you get with the times Mark, I mean what you refer to was history, which as we all know one can’t believe in when preparing for the future, it’s the hypothetical that we must address and take as fact, not what has actually happened.

    Now when Brian replies you’ll need to set aside approximately 30 minutes to read his comments, he loves to give long, and what he considers to be informative and factual opposition to what the pro frackers are suggesting. It can be tedious and some may suggest boring reading, but I’m sure there are those out there on this forum who regard him as the new Messiah, the chosen one.

    Moving onto Jackthelad, well he’ll also ask for documentary evidence from you that supports your claims, and if you’re lucky, just very very lucky, he’ll trot out his Holy Grail, his list of what he calls his reputable, professional and not-at-all biased reviews. Just in case you missed it Mark, just revert to looking back over his numerous past posts, you’ll be able to see the list is the same each time.

    Yes indeed Mark, I wouldn’t like to be in your shoes at all 🙂

    • MICHAEL DOBBIE,

      MARK is talking about conventional oil extraction in Nottingham during WW2.

      Michael, please let me help you understand why the people of Nottingham are so concerned. For this we need to go right back to the basics.

      On careful reading in to this matter from readily available, reputable sources on the internet. My understanding is as follows.

      Conventional Oil extraction and Shale gas/oil extraction ( Fracking ) are two entirely different processes and they should not be confused.

      With CONVENTIONAL methods of oil extraction, companies drill vertically below ground ( whether underwater or onshore ) and hit a reservoir of oil called an oil field, they then proceed to pump out the oil.
      This method has been used to harvest oil pooled deep underground for over a century and is much simpler than that of a fracking ( hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. )

      FRACKING involves a large amount of horizontal drilling and the use of many underground explosive charges to break up the shale rock.

      It also requires large amounts of fresh water, sand and chemicals in order to extract the oil/gas that is tightly locked in shale rock.

      A fracking well can use up to 7 million gallons of fresh water ( water that could be used for human consumption ) large amounts of sand and up to 100,000 gallons of chemicals, many of which can be highly toxic. The water and chemicals are then pumped underground at pressures of up to 18,000 psi.

      To make a simple comparison on pressures, an average car tyre will be pressured to around 36 psi.

      When you consider what fracking involves, CAN ANYONE be certain where this toxic wastewater will end up ?

      CAN ANYONE also be certain that as a result of fracking, NO earthquakes now, or in the future will happen ?

      The above does also not take in to account the other many problems associated with this industry, for instance, the hundreds of tanker ( vehicle ) movements required during a fracking operation. The percentage of wastewater that is recovered from a site, how will it be stored or disposed of.
      These are just several of the many serious issues/problems surrounding this industry.

      Michael, DO YOU now understand why the people are so concerned ?

      I hope I have been of some assistance.

      • Jackthelad, careful reading on the internet? I don’t think so. Please find me a post 1970’s offshore multi well oil or gas field that doesn’t have deviated wells. Look at Shell Brent as a typical large field example – 140 deviated wells drilled from 4 platforms. The only differences between conventional and unconventional wells are the geology the hydrocarbons are contained in, and the use of large volume hydraulic fracturing in most of the unconventional wells. Every other well construction technology is used in both types of wells, particularly offshore but also onshore. Check out BP (now Perenco) Wytch Farm – largest onshore oil field in Europe. Check out Maersk Qatar Al Shaheen Oil Field – horizontal well sections in the reservoir of nearly 11km. I personally drilled a 2km horizontal section in granite in Vietnam – a record at that time. Very few offshore oil wells are pumped – most offshore wells produce naturally with reservoir pressure and GOR drive. I assume you know that it is physically impossible to pump gas?

        All wells that are cased are perforated with shaped explosive charges in the producing horizon. My direct of experience of hydraulic fracture stimulations is that less perforating is used than in conventional wells so that the fracture treatment can be better controlled. I expect this is the same with shale gas wells.

        Conventional HPHT wells have live reservoir surface pressures up to 15,000psi. Far more dangerous than a controlled surface injection pressure of 18,000psi which will have a series of pressure relief valves and can be aborted at any time, and in any case is only a risk to those working on the stimulation not anyone outside the site.

        We have been through the toxicity of chemicals allowed in UK frack jobs a million times – there are no toxic chemicals. The contentious issue is the contamination of flow back fluids with NORM radiation and / or possibly heavy metals from the shale, and the volumes.

        Your misunderstanding of the conventional industry is unfortunately very common with members of the public who have no experience of the industry. The two processes are the same apart from the actual large hydraulic fracture stimulations

    • MICHAEL DOBBIE,

      The list I post is the same each time, because it’s important that as many people know as possible and because I’m still waiting for answers from people like you.

      When I was challenged on fracking safety, I presented you with this list. Very strange, you did NOT respond. Why is that ?

      Are you trying to discredit these highly reputable medical scientists and Cancer organisatuons that warn of the possible dangers of fracking .
      If so, I once again ask for your evidence.

      You try to imply that these cancer and other highly reputable medical organisations are biased. Please supply your proof to substantiate this ?

      I hope this time you will give some much needed answers.

      PS ….. To refresh your memory, do you require another copy of the LIST pasting on this Drill or Drop page ?

  3. MICHAEL DOBBIE,

    Nothing personal intended in the above posts.

    Regards your adversary,
    Jackthelad 🙂

    • Jack
      Was this due to incorrect the application of the response correction factor? These machines are used globally and are not specific to US Shale gas measurements.

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