Regulation

Egdon applies for 15 years of oil production at Lincolnshire Wressle site

Wressle drilling 2014 Egdon

Drilling at the Wressle site in 2014. Picture: Egdon Resources

Consultations are underway into plans by Egdon Resources to produce oil, and possibly gas, from its Wressle well near Scunthorpe.

The company has applied to North Lincolnshire Council for planning permission to produce what it believes could be 2m barrels of oil from the site over the next 15 years.

Today the Environment Agency announced an application from the company to vary the mining waste permit for the site.

Egdon has said it has no plans to use hydraulic fracturing for shale oil or gas. But the application includes options to inject a slurry of sand and gelled water or dilute acid into the well.

Campaigners against the plans are holding a public meeting next week and the Environment Agency has planned an information session later in July.

There are just under three weeks to comment on the planning application, which can be viewed here. The consultation on the permit application runs for nearly four weeks and can be viewed here and here.

Egdon’s plans for Wressle

The Wressle-1 well, drilled and tested in 2014-2015, found oil and gas in several formations. The company now plans to produce oil from the Ashover Grit. If enough gas is found this would be used to generate electricity on the site.

The application is for up to 15 years. It predicts three additional jobs would be created. At peak times, 40 lorry movements a week are predicted.

The company said the application complied with national, regional and local planning policies.

The proposal includes:

  • Retention of the site and access
  • Small extension to the site footprint
  • Groundwater monitoring boreholes
  • Additional site construction work
  • Side-track and radial drilling in the Wressle-1 well
  • Acidisation and proppant squeeze
  • Oil, and possibly gas, production

The site

Size: Currently 1.8ha, to be increased by 0.12ha

Location: Lodge Farm, Clapp Gate, Broughton and Appleby, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire DN15 0DB

PEDL: 180

Nearest homes: North Cottage (530m to east) and Decoy Cottage (580m to south)

Nearby Sites of Special Scientific Interest: Broughton Far Wood 700m away. Broughton Alder Wood 1.3km

Surface water: The Ella Beck runs close to the boundary of the site and Egdon proposes to discharge surface water into it.

Proposed development

Construction

The company proposes to replace the existing temporary storage tank containment bund with a permanent masonry one, construct a permanent tanker loading area and install oil/water interceptor to allow the discharge of clean surface water run-off to Ella Beck.
Duration: 3 weeks
Traffic: 50 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) deliveries over 3 weeks
Working hours: 7am-7pm Monday-Saturday

Install production facilities

Egdon will install a workover rig to replace the existing well completion.
Duration: 2 weeks
Traffic: 20 HGV deliveries over 2 weeks

Preparation for production

The application says one or more of the following operations will go ahead:

Drilling a sidetrack
Using a 40m rig, the company proposes to drill a 25m sidetrack off the Wressle-1 well at a depth of more than 2000m. Egdon says this would enhance oil flow from Ashover Grit using 40m rig.
Duration: 3-4 weeks
Working hours: 24-hours a day.
Traffic: 85 HGV deliveries

Radial drilling
Two or more drain holes would be drilled through the existing casing into the Ashover Grit to create boreholes of 2.5-5cm diameter up to 100m long. According to the application this should improve oil production efficiency.
Duration: 1 week
Traffic: 30 HGV deliveries

Proppant squeeze
A slurry of 20-30 tons of sand and 100-150m3 of gelled water would be injected under pressure through existing perforations in the casing to create small fractures. Egdon says this would “enhance channels of communication through near-wellbore formation which has become blocked with drilling muds during initial drilling”. The company describes this as a: “small-scale operation which historically has taken place extensively throughout the UK, including Lincolnshire”
Duration: 1 week
Working hours: 7am-7pm Mon-Sat

Acidisation
50m3 of dilute (concentration not disclosed) hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid are injected and left to soak for a few hours. The operation is designed to improve the flow of oil.
Duration: 3 days
Working hours: 7am-7pm Monday-Saturday

Production of oil and gas

Egdon expects the Ashover Grit to produce oil and potentially gas. Fluids are likely to be free-flowing initially but may need a surface pump, it said. Oil and waste fluids would be separated, stored in tanks and collected by tanker. If enough gas were produced it would be used to generate electricity on site. If this were not technically or commercially viable because of low volumes then gas would be flared off.
Duration: Up to 15 years
Working hours: 24 hours a day

Consultation and meetings

Campaigners against the application have said they would be leafleting door-door in the local area. They have organised a public meeting on Wednesday 6 July at the Red Lion pub, High Street, Broughton, DN20 0HY.

Geraldine Clayton told the Scunthorpe Telegraph today:

“Even if this was wholly conventional, it would not necessarily be without problems.”

The Environment Agency is planning an information session at Broughton Village Hall, 59 High Street, Broughton DN20 0JX from 12 noon-6pm on Wednesday 13 July.

The North Lincolnshire Council consultation on the planning application continues until Thursday 21 July. Environment Agency consultation runs until 28 July 2016.

Links

Planning application

Environmental permit application and documents


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

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