The company behind plans to produce oil at Wressle near Scunthorpe in Lincolnshire is to appeal against a refusal of planning permission.
Egdon Resources plc said yesterday:
“We can advise that we will submit a formal appeal against the refusal of planning consent at the earliest opportunity.”
North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee voted last month against the plans for 15 years of oil production. DrillOrDrop
The scheme included options to carry out a proppant squeeze, which involves pumping sand and gelled water under pressure into the well, and acidisation, where, in this case, diluted hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid would be injected to improve oil flows.
Egdon said these were standard conventional oil field techniques and council officers had recommended approval of the application.
But opponents of the scheme described proppant squeeze as an unusual form of low-volume, high pressure hydraulic fracturing and said acidisation was a huge risk. British Steel had objected to the application because it said there was a risk to water quality from a borehole it used to supply a plant at Scunthorpe.
Councillors rejected the application on the grounds that they had insufficient information to allay fears about the risk of contamination and damage to the environment and the local economy.
Egdon said yesterday it would also submit a new planning application for Wressle. In a statement the company said:
“This will include even more detailed information to address the specific concerns outlined by North Lincolnshire Council in their refusal.
“We will look to progress both the new application and the appeal through the Planning system as quickly as possible. We believe that this dual track approach will provide the best opportunity for a successful outcome with the minimum delay.”
Egdon has revised down its forecast for average production for the financial year ending 31 July 2017. It had predicted 165 barrels of oil equivalent per day but the revised number is now 100-110 barrels. But it said the impact on net cashflow would be negligible.
The Wressle project had been predicted to produce 500 barrels of oil equivalent per day. A partner in the Wressle project, Europa Oil & Gas, said this would almost double its existing production.
Europa’s chief executive, Hugh Mackay, said:
“We are keen to see this conventional oil field brought into production as soon as possible”.
Steve Staley, the chief executive of another partner, Upland Resources, said:
“We are pleased that Egdon Resources has chosen to prioritise both an appeal of the North Lincolnshire Council’s decision as well as a new application which will address the specific concerns outlined in the initial refusal.”