Angus Energy submits new planning application for Brockham


Brockham oil site. Photo: Weald Oil Watch

Surrey County Council has confirmed that Angus Energy submitted a planning application today for its oil site at Brockham near Dorking.

The submission had been expected since the company told investors in October it was preparing an application.

It has not yet been published. But a council document seen by DrillOrDrop suggests the application covers the drilling of a sidetrack well in January 2017 but not commercial production from it.

The application is the latest stage in a planning dispute between the company and the council over the sidetrack, called BRX4Z.

The company has argued consistently that it had planning permission to drill and produce oil from BRX4Z. The council maintained that neither drilling nor production from the sidetrack was covered by existing planning permissions.

At the time of writing, Angus Energy has not issued a statement to investors about the application.

Surrey County Council

Surrey County Council headquarters in Kingston. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Timeline to an application

1 August 2017

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) contacts Surrey County Council about Angus Energy’s application to complete [make it capable of flowing hydrocarbons] the BRX4Z sidetrack well. The OGA invites the council to discuss the planning dispute. Link

7 August 2017

Angus Energy tells OGA it intends to “conduct a trial production period to gather long term production performance information” on the Brockham X4Z (the sidetrack). Link

It quoted from an addendum to its Field Development Plan:

“The well will be initially put into production using underbalanced perforating and with downhole gauges present.

12 October 2017

The OGA approves completion work on the BRX4Z well. Link

20 October 2017

Formal production consent from the OGA for the Brockham site. LInk

23 October 2017

Angus says in a statement to investors it has the go-ahead from the Oil & Gas Authority to produce oil from the Kimmeridge layers in the BRX4Z well, starting with a 200m section of interbedded shale and limestone.

25 October 2017

In another statement to shareholders on 25 October, Angus says it will submit a planning application to Surrey County Council for the BRX4Z sidetrack:

“After a careful and considered review, the Management team and Board of Directors of Angus Energy will, as Operator of the license, submit a normalisation application for the continued surface activities of the production plant required for well BR-X4 and notably, its inclusive sidetrack BR-X4Z.”

The company also says it will begin production from the Kimmeridge in the first quarter of 2018.

Also on this day, Angus submits a screening request to Surrey County Council. This is one of the first stages in the planning application process. The company set out what it was applying for and asked the council to rule on whether an environmental impact assessment was needed.

According to a Surrey County Council document, Angus Energy was seeking a screening opinion on:

  • The retention of the BRX-4 wellhead for a period of up to three years;
  • The drilling of a sidetrack well (BRX-4Z) from the existing BRX-4 wellhead, to assess the longer term production prospects of the Portland Sandstone, and to collect data from the deeper Kimmeridge horizons;
  • Production evaluation of the BRX-4Z sidetrack well, to determine whether the flow and volume of oil would support commercial production.

The company said of its proposal:

“In order to assess BRX4Z it will be subject to an extended period of production evaluation in order to confirm whether the volume & flow of oil is economically viable to support commercial production. In order to allow sufficient time to complete this process, permission will be sought for a 3 year period. Wherever possible these works will utilise the existing site infrastructure.”

7 November 2017

The council responds with its screening opinion that an EIA is not needed. Surrey County Council screening opinion on Brockham Wellsite (07-11-17)

One of the reasons for this is the conclusion that the proposed development will not include production. The screening opinion says:

“The development would involve an evaluation of the productive potential of the BRX-4Z well, but would not involve commercial hydrocarbon production.”

This is repeated several times throughout the document, including:

“The proposal to undertake production evaluation of the BRX-4Z sidetrack well would not involve the extraction of hydrocarbons (oil) at a commercial rate, but would seek to establish the rate and volume of flows from the well to ascertain whether such future production might be commercially viable.”


“The proposal to undertake production evaluation of the BRX-4Z sidetrack well would not involve the extraction of hydrocarbons (oil) at a commercial rate.”

Questions over permission

A planning application for an oil and gas that does not need an environmental impact assessment should, under government guidelines, usually be decided within 13 weeks.

Technically, this new application from Angus Energy could be decided by the end of the first quarter of 2018, assuming it is validated quickly by the council and there are no delays.

But assuming that the application is consistent with the screening opinion this won’t give permission for commercial production from the BRX4Z.

Surrey County Council has confirmed that the company has not submitted any other screening requests.

DrillOrDrop asked Angus Energy today whether it intended to apply for planning permission for production from the BRX4Z sidetrack well and, if so, when this was expected. We also asked the company whether it still intended, as stated in October, to begin production from the Kimmeridge layers in the first quarter of 2018. This post will be updated with any response.




28 replies »

  1. More ducking and diving by Angus Energy . [Edited by moderator] I don’t imagine SCC will make this easy for them considering their previous form. This news must have been leaked today judging by the share value increase , must be good to have been given the nod before making public.

    • Yes Jono, it is also curious in another way, that Angers’ are applying for a sidetrack well to carry out a production evaluation, when in fact they have all ready drilled an unauthorised one, and one would presume have all ready carried out a production evaluation? Otherwise why drill it in the first place?

      A case of the Carte blanche before the Brockham horse so to speak?

      Fairly typical Angers’ reverse logic it seems?

      Honestly, for an industry that claims to be so perfect and clean and beneficial, the actual operators act more and more like “Carry On Faking Fracking” or perhaps more like “Carry On Up The Angus”?

      But nowhere near so funny?

      Hyaah hyaah hyaah!
      Ooooh, No! MayTron!
      Fakir! Off!

  2. Hmmmm. Council leaks document prior to RNS maybe, as it has not been published yet.
    Or Angus submit application and delay RNS for reasons yet to be determined?

    Either way, better to test the well first rather than submit a plan to produce from a well you are not sure will flow, or flow commercial rates.

    Buyer beware as they say

  3. Perhaps Paul Vonk will say it’s just bad reporting again just like the BBC’s news report about the drilling of the sidetrack without planning permission . By the way , what ever happened to David Lenigas suing SCC and thier families ? It’s almost a year since they drilled the wrong well due to not knowing which well head was which , they promised investors production from it last March and also 400 or more barrels a day from Lidsey . Reports that Lidsey is no longer active with the 40 barrels they managed after drilling a new well. Anyone could be forgiven for thinking that Angus don’t have a clue what they are doing .

    • Hello R8 LMX. The Surrey County Council screening opinion was requested and supplied to a member of the public. DrillOrDrop asked the council’s press office whether an application had been submitted and was informed that it had.

      • So someone happens to ask if planning was submitted on the very day that planning actually was submitted? hah! not buying that one

      • Ruth…with respect, nobody buys the claim that someone just happened to ask if ANGS had submitted an application. This isn’t the first time SCC have leaked information to anti-oil activists, all facilitated by a rogue councillor with questionable integrity.

        • Hi R8 LMX. In this case I did ask SCC and the press office gave me the answer. No leaks just basic journalism. Best wishes, Ruth

          • Interesting. So the inference is that in other cases info has been leaked to you.

            No point denying it given previous events and you being given the heads up for your anti-oil exposés.

    • Well well, Happy Winter Solstice everyone! If you find no other reason to celebrate this time of year, then the turn of the darkest shortest day of the winter is always a day to greet the sun and know all energy, by what ever means comes originally from our own star and it is practically free, if we were to but “see” it and use it.

      Here is Ian R Cranes video highlighting amongst other things, the flesh eating genetically modified virus that was used to break down the oil slicks in that infamous disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the Deep Sea Horizon oil rig fiasco.
      Could this be part of the proposed “clean up” chemicals to be used for dealing with highly toxic fracking waste?
      Still no answers to that question?

      As always…….


      • You can access the latest Ian Crane videos by doing a search on for “Ian Crane”.

        To see a rundown of (currently) 114 “Fracking Nightmare” reports, do a search on for “Fracking Nightmare”

        Unfortunately, linking direct to a video in WordPress Comments generates a large screenshot of the video, which can dominate the comments stream. Please avoid doing this, and instead refer to it as “Do a search on YouTube for Ian Crane..”

        Please also link to material which is directly relevant to the article – at present Ian is focussing a lot of his attention on fracking in Lancashire and Yorkshire, which is not (yet) directly relevant to the oil drilling in the South.

        • Like I said I would agree with whatever Paul and Ruth decided, and do whatever is best for Drill Or Drop. I would also point out that you can also put a link to any you tube video in parentheses with a space either side, that prevents the link loading, but the link is still clickable.

          Paul all ready knows I was withdrawing from this website anyway in the new year, but today is in effect the new year so it will be now.

          I will miss you all, and yes I do mean all, but times change, the time for words, for me at least, is over, time to move towards several practical proposals towards a better clean renewable future for us all.

          Maybe i’ll meet you all on the sunny side of the moon, and a more sane renewable wind, tide, electromagnetic and geothermal and solar energy powered earth for everyone.

          Now, have we all been naughty or nice? Yes, neither have I?

          • Bon Voyage Phil C. I shall miss your creative muse. I too am off to do some practical. Take care all. Will ‘drop’ in from time to time, but definitely won’t be ‘drill’ -ing! 🙂

            • Hi Sherwulfe, it’s been a pleasure meeting you, I really enjoy your own creative muse, don’t stop doing it, I keep a pad nearby to jot down whatever pops into my head, relevant or not.
              I wish you well for the future in all your endeavours, and that goes for everyone here too.
              Now let’s see, only half a billion pressies to wrap up, that should take about, what? 20 seconds?
              How does it go again? Hhhhooo hook hoooo? Needs more practice I think?

  4. It would appear that Angus have put in the planning application as it should have been submitted in the first place ( a year ago) as if no side track had been drilled. ( hence for testing,) I imagine this has been advised by the SCC, Start at the beginning as they should have done.
    BTW. Merry Christmas everyone.

  5. No, Jono. Whether or not Angus have yet told investors doesn’t change the fact that SCC engage in the dubious practice of leaking information, not yet in the public domain, to antagonists. All made possible by the rogue councillor who pulls your strings.

    • ‘the dubious practice of leaking information, not yet in the public domain’

      If an applicant approaches the Council requesting ‘pre planning advice’ as is usually the case, the detail of the proposal and advice given is available to members of the public on request but not placed in the public domain.

      Anyone can ask the Council at any time if any pre planning advice has been sought if they name the Company and the area where they think there may be a development.

      This information can inform the public way in advance of an application being submitted.

      Our planning teams have site details of proposed sites in Lancashire which have been considered but not brought into the public domain as a full application was never submitted.

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