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
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
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.
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.
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),
Proposed phases of work
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
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
- 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
- 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
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.
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).
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”.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Updated 25/8/2016 to include new information about the proposed drilling depth.