Broadford Bridge well needs new planning application, says campaign group 

Broadford Bridge site preparation

Plans to drill for oil near Billingshurst in West Sussex needs a fresh planning application because the exploration target has changed, campaigners said this week.

The Keep Kirdford and Wisborough Green group has written to the county council saying plans by UK Oil & Gas to drill a well at the Wood Barn Farm site at Broadford Bridge were different to those granted consent four years ago.

The former operator of the site, Celtique Energie, said in its planning application, approved in 2013, that it wanted to explore the Triassic sandstone reservoir for gas. It said the gas should flow naturally into the well and it would use conventional, rather than unconventional, drilling at Broadford Bridge. The application said:

“Celtique Energie can guarantee that it will not be using hydraulic fracturing on this well”.

But in August 2016, before drilling the well, Celtique sold its exploration licence for this area to UK Oil and Gas Investments plc, the major investor in the oil discovery at Horse Hill.

A subsidiary of UKOG now wants to explore for tight oil at Broadford Bridge.

Stephen Sanderson, UKOG executive chairman, told DrillOrDrop:

“Our focus [for Broadford Bridge] is on the shallower, naturally-fractured Kimmeridge Limestones as tested [for oil] at Horse Hill.”

This has concerned the campaign group, Keep Kirdford and Wisborough Green (KKWG), which successfully opposed plans by Celtique to drill for oil near the two villages in 2014.

Its chair, Jill Sutcliffe, said:

“Tight oil is a different substance requiring the use of unconventional technology.  UKOG’s overall exploration and appraisal strategy is geared towards oil extraction from previously unrecognised naturally-fractured rocks within the Weald.”

In a letter to the county council’s planning officer, Dr Sutcliffe said unconventional techniques brought new problems. They include pumping acid or other fluids into the well. She said:

  • Unconventional techniques had detrimental environmental impacts
  • The use of fluid in drilling in faulted geology risked groundwater contamination, and
  • According to the Environment Agency there were no suitable facilities in the region for treating waste fluids.

Dr Sutcliffe said Condition 3 of the planning permission required that the development be carried out in accordance with the environmental statement. This proposed only conventional drilling to target the Sherwood Sandstone formation.

The environmental statement included a diagram showing the well passing through the limestone layers that UKOG plans to target. But she said:

“There are no proposals to fracture any of those rocks, either with acid or hydraulically”.

Dr Sutcliffe said

“Failure to develop in accordance with Condition 3 should attract immediate enforcement action, if necessary involving a Stop Notice.”

She added that there was no proposed facility to store acid and no mention of transporting it to the site.

“The absence of any proposal to bring acid to the site and store it there is in our view a sufficient material consideration which, by itself, ensures that UKOG requires an amendment to its planning permission before it could proceed to carry out acid fracturing from its current permission at Broadford Bridge.

“This application now requires re-consideration and a new application to be submitted involving public consultation”.

In reply to Dr Sutcliffe, West Sussex County Council said:

“The planning permission we have issued relates to a specific development, as set out in the Environmental Statement and plans set out in condition 3. If the operator wishes to carry out a different development to that approved they will need to amend the permission.”

Dr Sutcliffe said:

“The local community believes that given the plans lack full information the company should prepare a new application, which should be subject to public consultation.”

  • Kimmeridge Oil & Gas Ltd, the UKOG subsidiary, has applied for an environmental permit for the storage and handling of crude oil at Woodbarn Farm. The application can be viewed at the Environment Agency offices, Guildbourne House, Chatsworth Road, Worthing BN11 1LD. A public consultation runs until 20 March. Link to permit information





20 replies »

  1. No new planning application should be required. Consents from OGA / EA / HSE will be required for the specific well drilled. If there is a material change to highways issues (extra traffic), rig height, site size, noise then theses do need to be assessed by planners.

  2. The conditions linked to the original application by Celtique Energie include one, No 3, written by WSCC whih specifies that all works must be “carried out in accordance with the particulars of the development contained in the application and pland and attached to planning application WSCC/052/12/12 (Environmental Statement dated July 2012, drawing numbers 3261/BB/02 revision A, 3261/BB etc. Just this week UKOG supplied an additonal 22 doucments to support their application at Markwells Wood after organisations found that the company had not supplied enough information. At Broadford Bridge UKOG has supplied no documentation at all.

  3. Dr Jill. Get some friends and a life. You and your cronies have made up the term ‘acid fracturing’ to scaremonger. [Edited by moderator]
    The majority of the UK population couldn’t care less what you have to say [Edited by moderator] The real people want cheaper energy and job creation.

    [Edited by moderator]

  4. Truth hurts on here so moderator removes.

    Champagne socialists sipping wine in the evening and fight ‘the cause ‘ in the day. Just a hobby for them to tell everyone at the dinner table with their middle class friends.

    Make a charitable donation and tell everyone how great you are. Wipes the conscience clean…….

    • [Edited by moderator]

      I believe the subject of the post was “Broadford Bridge well needs new planning application, says campaign group” or was it an invitation to a diatribe on outdated concepts of class war and the O&G industries curious ability to perceive words written between the lines we mere mortals cannot see? [Edited by moderator] these apparitions are apparently de rigueur to those who support the industry and against all common sense, logic and reasoning by everyone else, who see the process neither social nor acceptable.

      Well, getting back to the subject in hand, [edited by moderator] It seems to me that the original planning application agreement and contract had no idea what the wording or the intention of the meaning behind the wording [edited by moderator]. The resulting actions are clearly beyond the limits of that original planning agreement, therefore it is only sensible, logical and reasonable, that the whole application be ruled unlawfully broken and Kimmeridge Oil & Gas Ltd, the UKOG subsidiary, must therefore make an entirely new application and all present agreements be deemed null and void, the company would then have to withdraw and start the whole process over again.
      Thats easy isnt it? Perfectly proper, clear and legal, nothing to worry about, just the law in action, something we see so much about in these posts.
      Have a wonderful day and enjoy the spring weather, maybe a 120 mile walk is on the cards?

      • Bit too close to the truth safety catch? Yep hit the nail on the head didn’t I!

        This is just an attempt by anarchists to delay the process. You lot find anything to grab onto

        • Perhaps when hitting nails, it would be advisable not to use ones own head as a hammer?
          But in fact I see no nails even approached in your post.
          The issue is “Broadford Bridge well needs new planning application, says campaign group” I think that a reapplication is entirely reasonable honest and legal, there is no “anarchist” content or intent in that, in fact there is none other than in your fevered imagination, just the perfectly reasonable application of the law and its proper use in relation to broken contracts.
          Freedom of speech is why you can post here, however personal abuse is moderated, that is entirely reasonable, I am moderated too, I see nothing wrong with that.

          • The clue is the fact they are a campaign group. The problem people have is that when you lot don’t like something you try to pick holes in planning, approvals etc.. once everything is agreed and signed off you’ll then move to disrupting something which is perfectly legal.

            Then when the authorities take action you move back to picking holes in how the authorities acted. You need to go and protest in some countries that aren’t as liberal and see how you get treated.

            The country needs energy, YOU all use energy and all you’re doing is wasting taxpayers money by trying to delay or disrupt by any means possible.

            You can offer no viable alternative to oil and gas over the next 20/30 years

  5. Read it. Welcome to the internet Paul. Where anyone writes whatever they want.

    As long as this website continues to post completely inaccurate and misleading information I’ll carry on posting thanks.

    As I’ve said. The truth hurts.

    Do these people use gas?
    How about oil?
    Do they have cars?
    Are they living on the breadline trying to make ends meet?
    Or are they just playing at protesting because they’ve nothing to do?
    How many protest about the increased traffic brought about from the new waitrose being built?
    Do they only eat locally sourced goods?

    Are they really actually living the life they’re presenting on here?

  6. There is no basis of fact to the entire article. It’s based on the opinion of someone with an agenda to disrupt and delay.

    [Edited by moderator]

  7. We are currently importing gas and oil from Russia, Norway and Peru.
    Please tell me how that is safer than onshore UK?.

  8. Article a month ago by Drill or Drop… “West Sussex County Council has approved changes to plans by UK Oil and Gas Investments plc for its exploratory oil well at Broadford Bridge, near Billingshurst.

    The original permission for the well, granted in February 2013, identified a single lateral borehole. But UKOG, which took over the site from Celtique Energie in August last year, applied for a “zone of variation” within which the well can be drilled.

    The zone, described as a “cheese wedge” and marked in red on the map, heads north from the drill site at Wood Barn Farm, Adversane Lane. County Council planners approved the request last month (4/1/2017). They said the company had confirmed there would be no alteration to what happened on the surface. The change would also not affect the duration of drilling or how it was done.”

    Do these protestors not read their own website? No fresh application required. I have made my views known that this website would be far better and more trusted if it gave a more factual representation of what is happening. UKOG are extremely environmentally conscious and are doing everything they can to reduce the impact of oil exploration on local communities. Far better than the other companies operating onshore who do not care at all for the locals – why can’t the nimbies see this?

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