Egdon Resources plc announced this morning it had begun its appeal against the refusal of planning consent for its Wressle oil site near Scunthorpe.
North Lincolnshire Council rejected the company’s proposal for 15 years of oil production on 11 January 2017 (DrillOrDrop report).
The council’s planning committee voted by 6 to 3 against the application, with one abstention. The vote went against the advice of planning officers, who had recommended approval. The committee said it did not have enough information to allay concerns about risks to the environment, economy and local water supplies.
This morning, Egdon said the Planning Inspectorate was currently validating the appeal documents. This work was expected to take one-two weeks, after which the Planning Inspectorate would inform the company and the council about the timetable for the appeal process.
The company also said it would submit a new planning application this month (April 2017) for the Wressle site. This would, it said, “included detailed information to address the specific concerns outlined by the council”.
Mark Abbott, Egdon’s Managing Director, said:
“We believe our case for the appeal is very strong and we will look to progress both the appeal and the new application through the planning system as quickly as possible. We believe this dual track approach will provide the best opportunity for a successful outcome with the minimum delay.”
Egdon’s application included techniques to stimulate the well and increase oil production. They included 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 techniques were standard in conventional oil fields. But opponents said they were untried, untested and a form of hydraulic fracturing.
The Environment Agency is currently consulting on a permit variation for the Wressle site. The consultation period closes on Thursday 13 April 2017. Link to consultation website
Egdon is the operator of the Wressle site and has a 25% stake. Other partners are:
- Europa Oil & Gas (30%)
- Celtique Energie (30% after the sale of 3.33% to Union Jack Oil – subject to approval by the Oil and Gas Authority)
- Union Jack Oil (15% following approval of the sale)