Residents start air and water testing around Sussex oil site

BB monitoring1

Photo: Weald Oil Watch

Independent experts are to begin monitoring wells, boreholes and air quality around an oil exploration site near Billingshurst in West Sussex on behalf of residents.

The initiative comes as the operator of the Broadford Bridge well site, Kimmeridge Oil and Gas Ltd, prepares to begin flow testing.

The monitoring project is being funded by the Broadford Bridge Action Group (BBAG), which has been campaigning against operations at the site.

A spokesperson said:

“We are not aware of any official baseline monitoring being done above or below ground outside the perimeter of the site so we are conducting our own with input from expert consultancies.

“It’s expensive but how else will we know if there has been any deterioration in water or air quality?”

BB monitoring2

Photo: Weald Oil Watch

The group has offered to extend its testing programme if needed, and is considering crowd-funding to help pay for any extra work.

BBAG said initial advice from its consultant hydro-geologist is that monitoring for the effect of hydrocarbons needs to be ongoing and constant.  The group said he believed water supplies could be at risk during the flow testing process.

BBAG said it couldn’t rely on the Environment Agency A to provide adequate monitoring:

“This is a risky business operating in an untested environment.

“Much remains unknown and it is an industry known to have accidents.

“We are not prepared to put blind faith in the EA, which is under financial pressure and does not have enough experienced staff to commit to monitoring which would need to be a full-time job on site.”

Earlier this week, KOGL’s parent company, UKOG, made a statement say it had all the permissions in place for what it called a “rig-less flow test”, following a review by the Health and Safety Executive.

The closing date for comments on UKOG’s application to West Sussex County Council extend permission at the wellsite for a year is Thursday 10 August 201. Link to West Sussex County Council planning details

34 replies »

  1. Excellent, if the council and government and the industry will not do it, the we will have to.
    They should send the bill to Sajid Javid.

    • If it was up to me would increase production 100%. Get some heavy duty tankers in bellowing noise and diesel fumes, dig up all the surrounding greenland and get pumping that oil!

  2. We await the obviously rigged results. I hope the results will be independently verified and that there will be a full disclosure of all correspondence which has taken place between the consultant and the group.

    Why is the consultant not named. I guess because there isn’t really one…. back yard science

  3. I think this testing is fine. Whoever is doing it needs to ensure they are competent to do it. Any adverse findings from a group committed to opposing the activity would need to be suitable scrutinised by a third party prior to release. Honest as they are, they need to be careful that someone does not spike their samples to either discredit them or UKOG.
    However, what with UKOG monitoring, EA monitoring and the additional monitoring, we can look forwards to an information fest.

    • The results will be made available to everyone , im not saying anything will be found but if it is we will be the first to know , there are many sources being monitored around the site and yes it is expensive but worth it.

  4. The testing is being done by qualified persons , why should they be named just for the benefit of industry Trolls? I do know as I was there . Any rigged results would only come from within the site.

    • Professionals or regulatory approved air quality monitors would gladly give their details. Strange they haven’t!

      • A nearby resident of the Cuadrilla Grange hill site has a well and fishing ponds.

        Cuadrilla approached asking for samples of the well water. The resident asked if he could have the results as well (sounds more than reasonable). Eventually Cuadrilla agreed, but why did they not offer in the first place. The resident said he would like his fishing ponds testing as well. That never happened.

        So once again the industry tries to control the situation and doesn’t deliver what it says.

        Nothing new.

        What happens

        Another very well organised group forms and the Richard Dumbreck Trust goes under scrutiny

    • John Houston
      They should be named to be transparent. If you do sampling with a view to publishing the results then, when published, they will be heavily scrutinised, not just for the benefit of the industry, but for all.
      Sampling is expensive, partly because you have to be able to demonstrate the competence of those doing it ( and competence is not cheap) If not, your results will be ripped apart.
      Outwith any bias either way, there can be no problem with additional sampling. After all, if no adverse readings are found, we would want to be sure that the findings are correct?

      • What are you worried about hewes62; everything will be fine, surely? This is just baseline testing; with the gold standard regulations nothing can change?

        Using Independent experts is something to be encouraged. Puts everyone’s mind at rest. I’m sure the report produced will have the identity of the contractor and then you can do your homework to verify their expertise. Job done.

  5. For any members of the BBAG requiring any advice regarding testing and legal challenges…. It may be worth contacting Trafford, Manchester Breath Clean Air Group ( BCAG.)

    Today in the Weekly News Manchester, paper, the headline is that air pollution is at ILLEGAL levels. It is also said that it is one of the highest levels in the Europe .

    This point was stressed to the EA several years ago, after BCAG commissioned independent air quality testing in the area of Dayhulme, Machester.

    The EA though chose to ignore that information and instead rely upon reports from air testing stations that may just as well of been on the Moon and Planet Mars.

    They then granted the application for the building of a waste incinerator in the densely populated highly polluted area of Davyhulme.

    All this information is readily available on the BCAG Manchester website .

    [Comment edited at poster’s request]

  6. Too many capitalists involved making money out of this sector. Absolute disgrace! Now, when Jezza is in charge it could all be nationalised and the Venezuela model could be adopted. Ahh, I see a slight problem.

    I remember the “monitoring” of Horse Hill “proving” fracking was taking place. The “monitoring” of tyre cleanliness, the “monitoring of lids on skips. Bless them.

    Who said these sites wouldn’t create employment?

  7. Lol this was to expected although I would like clarification as to why they are being classed as “independent experts”. What makes them an “expert”? and does the use of “independent” come under the same guise as this website being “independent”. I don’t mean to upset Ruth but let’s face it she is an “environmentalist” and no matter how unbiased journalists claim to be there is always a certain lean towards their personal beliefs (a bit like Councilors). I’m not going to spell that out again so when I make a cynical view in the future I won’t clarify my comment.
    I don’t think any member of the public should be carrying out ‘tests’ with their chemistry sets they got for Xmas.
    I’m looking fwd to Brexit happening so people have to actually get proper jobs again. Way too much free time on their hands.

    • You seem to be confusing independent and unbiased.

      It’s a brave or maybe foolish person who claims to be unbiased – as you say, we are all a product of our upbringing and personal beliefs.

      Independent means you produce fair and accurate reports to the best of your ability and belief, and those reports are not affected by financial or other ties to people or organisations. As Ruth says, “Independent journalism can’t be bought, but it can be supported”

      • Haha not getting them mixed up Paul, but I do find in the world we live in there will always be a certain amalgamation of the two. I would predict that donations are pretty much all from the anti side. In part that is the pro sides fault, in fact the pro side reminds me of the silent majority that only show up at election time hence why polls are consistently off course nowadays. We should be more vocal but for our own reasons we remain generally silent.
        Your website is the only good site out there as far as I’m concerned when it comes to reporting what is going on in the world of UK onshore O&G.
        For me personally this is not only about fracking but the direction this country is headed in as a whole.
        I’ll stick in a few quid once we strike it lucky as I have enjoyed the use of your labor.

        • Silent Majority? Is that like a Silent But Deadly? I think we caught your……drift…….?!

          Oh! dear, peeny you are a laugh a millennium?

          “Your website is the only good site out there as far as I’m concerned when it comes to reporting what is going on in the world of UK onshore O&G.
          For me personally this is not only about fracking but the direction this country is headed in as a whole.”

          I couldn’t agree more! But we know what you meant!

          What’s that smell? Mercaptan?! No! Its one of those Silent But Deadly Injunktions!……..Phew!

      • Yes Paul the reports are independent, but always negative towards any kind of production. There is always a story of protest, rejection and arrests. I would like to read how the companies are progressing without negativity or without mentioning one low flying buzzard.

  8. This could be quite interesting.
    Not sure if the antis appreciate the “form” that the FOE debacle produced amongst the media, reference accuracy of information. They are playing under a yellow card and will need to be careful, especially if UKOG manage to play an ace to their joker. (I try to input a few every day references as oil/gas exploration is a bit difficult for some to grasp-like flow tests are required to calculate the economics of an individual site/area, what this means for the company concerned and equally for local residents. Once this is done UKOG may be able to discuss with the residents if they would like some more toys to play with. Perhaps a French cookery school? There is a connection but I will leave that to others to work out-hours of innocent fun! I believe Ruth has referenced already, that may help.)

    • Red Card! Back to the dressing room!

      FoE surfing again martin?

      Who is next on the list?

      A bit of Ian R Crane surfing perhaps?

      That always goes down well with the uncognoscenti?

  9. Congratulations to the hydrogeologist for saying that “testing needs to be ongoing and constant” Sounds like a good earner for him.

    • “Seepages”? I think you are referring to mud losses into high porosity, low formation pressure rock. Many readers here seeing the word “seepage” will imagine drilling fluid spewing out at the surface.

Add a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s