Regulation

Notts oil site granted five planning consents runs out of time to drill wells

Harlequin 3

Harlequin-3 well site in 2014. Photo: PSSL

A Nottinghamshire oil site has run out of time to drill any wells, even though it has been granted five consecutive planning consents.

Hutton Energy’s Harlequin-3 site at Radcliffe-on-Trent first received planning permission in 1999. The fifth consent, which allowed for two wells, was granted in 2014.

Nottinghamshire County Council has confirmed that this consent expired on 31 October 2017.

No work has been carried out for more than five years.

A council spokesperson told DrillOrDrop:

“The County Council (as Minerals Planning Authority) is in discussions with the operators regarding the suitable restoration of the site.”

Nottingham POst 150129

Nottingham Post article, 29 January 2015

The first planning permission included a condition which required work to begin within 12 months and the duration to be no more than 60 days.

18 years later, Harlequin-3 remains undrilled, although the site was prepared in 2011.

Hutton acquired the site in 2014 when it took over Newton Energy (UK) Ltd.

Hutton’s community website, which, the company says, has “up-to-date information about our work in UK communities” refers to the now lapsed consent at the Harlequin site:

“This existing permission grants us the opportunity to drill two 950m deep exploratory boreholes to identify how much oil there may be in the reservoir beneath the site.

“The initial appraisal period would include four weeks of drilling activity utilising a temporary rig, after which it would be dismantled. If, after testing and analysis, the site is deemed economically viable, we would then apply for permission to produce oil on a long term basis.”

Two years ago, the company told a community advisory board:

“On Harlequin the company are now looking at drilling in the first quarter of 2016 but a date has not yet been confirmed. Hutton are co-ordinating with other companies which are drilling in the area over the new year in order to secure a rig.”

DrillOrDrop has asked Hutton about its plans for the Harlequin site. This post will updated with any response.

Harlequin-3 timeline

12 January 1999

1st temporary planning permission granted for two oil and gas appraisal wells. Work to begin within 12 months and be for 60 days.

17 January 2002

2nd permission. Expiry date 31 January 2004.

20 February 2004

3rdpermission. Expiry date 31 January 2006

1 October 2010

4th permission. Expiry date August 2013

August 2011

Site and drilling cellar construction began.

16 October 2014

5th permission. Expiry date 31 October 2017

November 2014

Hutton Energy acquired Newton Energy (UK) Ltd

31 October 2017

5th planning permission expires

1 reply »

  1. So another site that has not been reinstated yet? Do they still want to start up but don’t have the funds?
    Do they somehow wish to retain the sites for selling on perhaps, or are they just unwilling to absorb the cost of reinstatement because it is so expensive?
    Or is there some other reason and that these sites might be used for another purpose?
    I wonder what that might be?
    Hmmm.

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