Regulation

Updated: New details of oil and gas licence commitments, extensions and relinquishments

PEDLs

Source: UK Onshore Geophysical Library

Oil and gas companies have given up 14 UK onshore exploration licences, according to information released by the government today.

In 17 licence areas, the government has allowed companies more time to carry out exploration. And in another 16 there are new agreements to drill, frack or carry out seismic surveys. Five companies have agreed to give back part of their acreage (or updated maps go to section headed Partial relinquishments.

The areas are in nearly 50 Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDLs), mostly issued in 2008, that came to the end of their initial term yesterday.

To find out about your area, go to Regional Details at the end of this post.

Relinquished licences

The data, released  by the Oil and Gas Authority, revealed that eight of the licences handed back to the government were held by IGas or its subsidiaries. Celtique Energie and Coastal Oil and Gas handed back two each and Egdon and Hutton both gave up one.

Four of the PEDLs were in the East Midlands, three in North West England, three in the Weald, two in Yorkshire and two in South Wales.

Under the agreement with the government, companies that had not completed the agreed work programme, which usually included drilling a well, would have been expected to hand back the licence. But wells were drilled during the licence period in four of the relinquished PEDLs.

Analysis by DrillOrDrop has shown that wells were not drilled in 18 PEDLs that have not been returned.

The relinquished licences include the IGas PEDL 187 covering the site at Borras near Wrexham. Coastal Oil & Gas has given up PEDL 219 which has sites at Dyffryn and Llantrithyd in the Vale of Glamorgan, and PEDL 220, which had a site at Llantrisant in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Full list of relinquished PEDLs: 173, 174, 178, 179, 185, 186, 187, 207, 208, 219, 220, 231, 237, 243.

New drilling, fracking and seismic commitments

According to the data, operators of 16 PEDLs have moved onto the second term of their licence with new commitments to drill, frack or survey.

Of these PEDLs, operators must drill a total of 15 wells, two of which will also be fracked.

The fracked wells are in:

  • PEDL 165 in Lancashire held by Cuadrilla, which includes the proposed fracking sites at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood
  • PEDL 193 around Salford, which includes the shale gas well at Barton Moss (Irlam). This licence is operated by IGas but the government data assigns the commitment to INEOS.

Commitments for new wells include:

  • Balcombe (244): Cuadrilla is required to flow test the Balcombe 2z well by 30 June 2019 and drill one well by 30 June 2021.
  • East Yorkshire (PEDL 183): Rathlin is required to drill a well to 2000m and test it by 30 June 2018
  • Cheshire: IGas is required drill new wells in PEDLs 184, 188 and 190
  • Bassetlaw: IGas is required to drill one well by 31 December 2017and a horizontal well by June 2021 in PEDL 200, which includes the proposed Tinker Lane site.
  • Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL), which operates the Horse Hill site near Gatwick in PEDL 137 is required to drill a side track to the well to keep its adjoining licence, PEDL 246.

PEDLs where wells must be drilled: 165, 183, 184, 188, 190, 191, 193, 200, 201, 202, 209, 210, 244, 246

PEDLs where seismic testing must be carried out: 165, 184, 188, 193, 200, 210 (all IGas), 183, 246 .

Licence extensions

The data shows that the government has extended the initial terms of 15 PEDLs and the second term of another. Europa announced last month that its PEDL 143 had also been extended, although this wasn’t on the list issued today.

For many of the licences, this will be second time the initial term has been extended.

Among the extensions, 13 PEDLs had their initial terms increased for two years. They include:

  • PEDL 234, sold by Celtique Energie and Magellan Petroleum to UK Oil & Gas Investments on condition that the licence was extended
  • PEDL 164 in west Lancashire and Sefton, where Aurora is preparing to carry out seismic testing.
  • Four licences held by companies run by Gerwyn Williams in South Wales, along with three by IGas.

Three PEDLs have had their first term extended for one year. No wells have been drilled during the licence period so far in any of these PEDLs.

Initial term extensions for one year:  224, 241, 253

Initial term extensions for two years: 143 (not included on the government list), 162, 164, 189, 204, 214,  215, 216, 217, 233, 234, 235, 254.

The second term of PEDL 163, held by IGas in central Scotland, has been extended for two years.

Partial relinquishments

Under the licence agreements, operators have been required to relinquish part of the PEDL at the end of the initial term. Campaigners have told DrillOrDrop they expected this to amount to 50%, following conversations with the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

But last month, we reported that the government had agreed to change what it called the “model terms” of some licences. This meant that operators could decide which areas they wanted to return and did not need to hand back 50% of the area.

Today’s data shows that operators of eight PEDLs have relinquished area. However of these, six have had extensions to their initial terms, rather than continuing to a second term. Of the PEDLs that have continued to a second term, only two have partially relinquished licence area.

The PEDLs which have given up parts of their acreage are:

  • 165, operated by Cuadrilla in the Fylde, which includes the proposed sites at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood
  • 183 operated by Rathlin Energy in East Yorkshire, which has drilled at Crawberry Hill and West Newton
  • 204, operated by Hutton Energy in Nottinghamshire
  • 214, 215, 216 and 217, operated by Coastal Oil and Gas and UK Methane in South Wales
  • PEDL 224, in South Wales, operated by Sonorex

The proportion of acreage returned varies from about 70% in PEDL 204 to about 6% in PEDL 165.

The OGA has updated parts of its interactive active map to show the new acreage of PEDLs 165 and 183. We’ll add before and after maps for the other licences when these sections area also updated.

PEDL 165 before and after

PEDL 165 before partial relinquishment (left) and after (right)

PEDL 183 before and after

PEDL 183 before (left) and after (right)

For larger version of the new PEDL areas go to the OGA interactive map

Reasons for decisions

DrillOrDrop asked the OGA for details about why some initial terms had been extended and why the size of the relinquished areas varied. A spokesperson said today:

“Regarding the reasons behind specific relinquishments and amended terms for listed PEDLs, we don’t publish the individual reasons for each.”

Links

OGA interactive map

UK Onshore Geophysical Library

OGA spreadsheet (Excel) of PEDL licence changes 30_June_2016_licence_changesv1.1

OGA webpage with links to licence information

Details by region

East Midlands

PEDL 173, Dart Energy (East England) Ltd, Althorpe, North Lincolnshire
Licence ended

PEDL 178, Dart Energy (East England) Ltd, Luddington, North Lincolnshire
Licence ended

PEDL 181, Europa Oil and Gas, Kiln Lane, N and NE Lincolnshire and West Lindsey
No change

PEDL 201, Egdon Resources, Burton on the Wold, Rushcliffe/Melton/Charnwood
Submit a planning application for a well by 31 June 2019 and drill a well by 30 June 2021

PEDL 204, Hutton Energy, Rushcliffe/Melton
2-year extension to initial term and partial relinquishment of 70km2

PEDL 207, Dart Energy (East England) Ltd, Bassetlaw
Licence ended

PEDL 208, Hutton Energy, South Kesteven and Melton
Licence ended

PEDL 209, Egdon Resources, Laughton, West Lindsey
Integrate the results of Laughton 1 well by 30 June 2017, submit planning application for a well by 31 December 2019 and drill a well by 30 June 2021

PEDL 210, Dart Energy (East England) Ltd, Broxholme, West Lindsey/Lincoln/North Kesteven
Acquire new seismic data by 31 December 2018, submit planning application to drill a well by 31 December 2020 and drill a well by 30 June 2021

PEDL 241, Egdon Resources, West Lindsey and North Lincolnshire
1-year extension to initial term

PEDL 253, Egdon Resources, East Lindsey
1-year extension to initial term

PEDL 254, Hutton Energy, Rushcliffe
2-year extension to initial term

North West England

PEDL164, Aurora Exploration (UK) Ltd, Formby, West Lancashire
2—year extension to initial term

PEDL 165, Cuadrilla Bowland Ltd, Fylde area of Lancashire (includes proposed sites at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood
Retention Area 1-North – collect outcrop data and interpret existing 2D seismic data by January 2018, to acquire gravity and/or magnetic geophysical data by 30 June 2019 and to apply for planning permission to drill a well by 30 June 2021.
Retention Area 2-Central – drill and hydraulically fracture a horizontal well by 30 June 2019 and to submit a Field Development Plan by 30 June 2021.
Retention Area 3-South – acquire gravity and/or magnetic geophysical data by 30 June 2019 and to apply for planning permission to drill a well by 30 June 2021.
Partial relinquishment of 63 km2

PEDL184, IGas, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire
Reprocess regional geomagnetic data by 30 June 2017, sample and reinterpret Namurian shale from Gronant borehole by 30 March 2018, acquire new seismic data by 30 June 2019 and drill a well by 30 June 2021

PEDL185, Dart Energy (West England) Ltd. Cheshire West and Chester, Shropshire, Wrexham
Licence ended

PEDL186, GP Energy Ltd, Wrexham
Licence ended

PEDL187, GP Energy Ltd, Wrexham, Flintshire, Cheshire West and Chester
Licence ended

PEDL188, Dart Energy (West England) Ltd, Castletown and Churton, Cheshire West and Chester
Acquire new 2D seismic data by 30 June 2020 and drill a well by 30 June 2021

PEDL189, Dart Energy (West England) Ltd, Cheshire West and Chester
2-year extension to initial term

PEDL190, IGas, Ince Marshes, Cheshire West and Chester
Reprocess of regional Geomagnetic data by 30 June 2017 and drill a well by 30 June 2019

PEDL191, Egdon Resources, Cronton, Liverpool, Knowsley, Halton
Integrate reprocessed 2D data and regional geochemical analysis of offset well by 31 December 2017, submit planning application for a well by 31 December 2019 and drill a well by 30 June 2021

PEDL193, IGas, Barton Moss (Irlam), Warrington, Salford, Trafford, Wigan
Acquire new seismic data by 30 June 2018, submit planning application to drill a well by 30 June 2020, and drill, hydraulically fracture and flow test a well by 30 June 2021

Yorkshire

PEDL 169, IGas/Alkane, Markham, Doncaster/South Yorkshire
Complete new seismic acquisition by 30 June 2019, submit planning permission to drill a well by 30 June 2021/Markham Main Coal Mine Vent Field

PEDL 174, Dart Energy (East England) Ltd, Swinefleet and Ealand, Doncaster/North Lincolnshire/East Riding of Yorkshire
Licence ended

PEDL 179, Dart Energy (East England) Ltd, Newport, North Lincolnshire/East Riding of Yorkshire
Licence ended

PEDL 183, Rathlin Energy, Crawberry Hill and West Newton, East Riding of Yorkshire
Two retention areas – RA1 – drill a well to 2000m and test by 30 June 2018 and to complete geotechnical studies by 30 June 2019, RA2 – acquire and interpret 15km2 new 3D seismic data by 30 June 2018 and to complete geotechnical studies by 30 June 2019. Partial relinquishment of 263km2.

PEDL 200, Dart Energy (East England) Ltd, Lound, Basssetlaw/Rotherham
Drill one well by 31 December 2017, acquire new seismic data by 31 December 2019 and drill a horizontal well by June 2021

Weald

PEDL 126, UKOG, Markwells Wood, West Sussex
Submit a Field Development Plan for the Markwells Wood 1 discovery by 30 June 2017

PEDL 143, Europa, Bury Hill Wood and Leith Hill, Surrey
The company says it’s had a 2-year extension to the initial term

PEDL 231, Celtique Energie, Fernhurst and Horsham/Crawley in West Sussex
Licence ended

PEDL 233, IGas, Graffham, Duncton, Upwaltham, West Sussex
2-year extension to initial term

PEDL 234, UKOG (formerly Celtique Energie), Broadford Bridge, West Sussex
2-year extension to initial term

PEDL 235, IGas, Haslemere, Surrey/West Sussex
2-year extension to second term

PEDL 237, Egdon Resource, Dorset
Licence ended

PEDL 243, Celtique Energie, West Sussex
Licence ended

PEDL 244, Cuadrilla Balcombe, Balcombe, West Sussex
Flow test the Balcombe 2z well by 30 June 2019 and drill one well by 30 June 2021

PEDL 246, Horse Hill Developments Ltd, Horse Hill, Surrey
Acquire new 3D seismic by 30 June 2017, drill Horse Hill 1 sidetrack by 30 September 2017

Scotland

PEDL 162, INEOS, central Scotland
2-year extension to initial term

PEDL 163, IGas, central Scotland
2-year extension to second term

Wales

PEDL 214, UK Methane Ltd, Swansea
2-year extension to initial term and partial relinquishment of 74 km2

PEDL 215, UK Methane Ltd, Neath Port Talbot
2-year extension to initial term and partial relinquishment of 60 km2

PEDL 216, Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd, Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan
2-year extension to initial term and partial relinquishment of 22 km2

PEDL 217, Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd, Bridgend, Vale of Glamorgan
2-year extension to initial term and partial relinquishment of 41 km2

PEDL 219, Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd, Vale of Glamorgan
Licence ended

PEDL220, Coastal Oil and Gas Ltd, Rhondda Cynon Taf
Licence ended

PEDL224, Sonorex Oil and Gas Ltd, Newport, Monmouthshire
1-year extension to initial term and partial relinquishment of 39 km2

Updated 5/7/2016 with maps of PEDL 165 and 189 

Updated 7/7/2016 to reflect changes in OGA information on extension to PEDL234. The original OGA spreadsheet issued on 1/7/2016 said PEDL234 was being extended for 1 year. Version 1.1 of the spreadsheet, downloaded on 7/7/2016 said it was being extended for 2 years. The spreadsheet attached to the post has been replaced with the latest version.

 

40 replies »

    • Not sure what process you mean by water leaking? Oklahoma produces a lot of water with it’s oil, particularly older fields. This produced water is injected into an approved formation, perhaps several. In recent years spent fracked water in large volumes has also needed disposal. As most Oklahoma fracked shales are oil producers the companies are injecting the water via disposal wells, possibly into the same formation. Just about all the experts are agreeing that it is the water disposal that is causing the seismic activity. Perhaps the shale oil wells are in a different area to the conventional wells? Or the disposal formation has reached its volumetric limit.

      The answer is not to reinject huge quantities of waste water. This is causing problems offshore in conventional wells now.

        • John, this from the Igas website, I guess not a credible source for yourself but the best I could find at short notice.

          “What percentage of the fracking fluid is recovered?

          Between 25 and 75% of the fracturing fluid is recovered, this in then recycled onsite in a secure water tank and taken by truck to a water treatment plant. The water that returns from the well is likely to contain small quantities of minerals that have dissolved into the water from the shale rock.

          How is the fracking fluid cleaned and disposed of?

          The water and fluid is recycled onsite in a secure water tank and taken by truck to a water treatment plant, a process regulated by the Environment Agency.”

  1. The point of gas extraction is the injection of water and chemicals to get the gas that’s wanted. Clearly nature hit the maximum of 1-10 quakes a year, Look at you own figures Paul, you proved what I said and that’s exactly what is shown between 2009 and now in the animation.

    Obviously nature decided to have a few thousand more quakes after 2009 specifically around Oklahoma. I don’t need the years I have had in Electromechanical Engineering to understand cause and effect.

    The maps up speak for themselves, max 10 quakes a year = nature, 3/5/900 quakes a year – obviously nothing caused that in a previously stable area.

    What’s outside this is that Oklahoma has a stabilising landmass around it, we in the UK do not.

    Perhaps you are a gambler, but most in the UK are not – despite the recent Referendum where 17million+ want to dictate to the others out of our population of 56million..

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