Reaction to Angus deal on Cuadrilla’s Balcombe licence

Cuadrilla drilling rig leaves the Balcombe, West Sussex, UK site

Equipment leaving Cuadrilla’s Balcombe site in West Sussex in 2013. Photo: David Burr

Angus Energy announced this morning that it would become the new operator of Cuadrilla’s Balcombe oil exporation site in West Sussex. The deal, giving Angus 25% of the PEDL244 exploration licence, will cost Angus £4m and has to be approved by the Oil and Gas Authority. Details

DrillOrDrop is compiling reaction to the news.  

Keith Taylor 170720 Jono Houston

Photo: John O’Houston

“Out of the oily frying pan into the fire”

Keith Taylor MEP

Mr Taylor, a member of the European Parliament’s Environment and Public Health Committee and the European Chair of the Climate Parliament, said:

“As if having Cuadrilla circling around again wasn’t bad news enough, the people of Balcombe have now been tossed out of the oily frying pan and into the fire.

“As our neighbours in Surrey are only too aware, Angus Energy is a firm that believes it is above local democracy. Angus’s belligerence after drilling without permission in Surrey betrays a company that is, at best, ignorant of the planning regulations imposed on them, and, at worst, feels no duty to abide by them. In short, Angus is a firm that can’t or shouldn’t be expected to be trusted.”

“West Sussex County Council’s unanimous decision to hand Balcombe back to the frackers and oil and gas industry was certainly a sad day for the village but residents have had little time to wallow and have, instead, galvanised and reinvigorated the campaign to protect their homes, their communities and, ultimately, our climate and environment.”

“The further exploitation of oil and gas resources either by conventional or unconventional means is a form of dangerous climate denial, especially when there is such a huge and passionate renewable energy industry in Sussex that is limited only by the lack of Government and local authority support.”

“In just the last week we’ve seen two reports from scientists at NASA and academics at the University of Manchester reveal that not only is the oil and gas industry one of the least sustainable it is also the most responsible for the accelerating global emissions of climate-destructive methane. Methane is more than 80 times more damaging to our climate than CO2 emissions. At the same time, the UK Government’s own Climate Change Committee concluded that unless immediate action was taken Britain will fail to meet its legally-binding climate agreements by a huge margin.”

171108 Wressle PI DoD2“We are even less inclined to trust Angus”

Kathryn McWhirter

Ms McWhirter, a Balcombe resident and campaigner, said:

“We are dismayed that Angus Energy plan to begin work in Balcombe ‘at the earliest opportunity’. They are not wanted here and will be met with opposition.

“We always thought Cuadrilla would sell on, but not so fast and not to Angus Energy! Angus are currently in conflict with Surrey County Council over unpermitted drilling. We never trusted Cuadrilla. We are even less inclined to trust Angus. And how this financially stretched company will fund this new deal is an interesting question.

“There’s been a political imperative in the South East to avoid using the F word – fracking. Hence the pretence that what interests these oil companies are the thin, muddy limestone-rich layers within the shale, which can be dissolved with acid to make oil flow. Angus’s recent announcements about their Surrey and now Sussex wells reveal ever more clearly that their ultimate target is in truth the thick shale above and below the ‘limestone’ – which one day will be fracked.

“After the Balcombe flow-test, Angus promise to fund a ‘Field Development Plan’. That means a lot more wells, in Balcombe and beyond. That field is an oil field.”

“Industrialisation of our countryside and creation of oil fields across the Weald”

Louisa Delpy

Balcombe resident

“We have always maintained this is not just about Balcombe. This is about the industrialisation of our countryside and the creation of oil fields across the Weald. Cuadrilla’s supporters and our elected Country Councillors have allowed these operators a foot in the door, with no regard to the cumulative effect of moving to a production site, and the fact that our community has said no. They will have to live with their naivety, we will have to live with the traffic, noise and pollution for years to come. We will continue to resist them at every regulatory and permit-related turn as we have done for the last five years.”

15 replies »

    • You quote the blog [edited by moderator] as if it adds some credibility? Really? Go read up on Sefton Resources and then think again…

    • Lazy jounalism at its finest…let’s ask a green MEP and 2 anti oil commentators for their view, ignore everyone else and present tgat as the status quo.

      Come on Ruth…surely your investigative journalism can turn over more stones than those lying at your feet?

  1. Ohh, they interest me GBK. Quite instructive how much fabrication can be contained within just two “reactions.” Next, we will be hearing how the Greens gained 500k votes at the last election.

  2. I see two nobodies opinions just above that are of no interest to me either.

    [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

    • Cuadrilla can use that money to shut down their Becconsall site before they run out of planning consent in May.

      After receiving full planning to drill and frack the Becconsall wells, installing hundreds of microseismic inc borehole monitors, only to then withdraw their fracking application, will have made a huge hole in their funds.

      Ongoing wildlife mitigation costs and the cost of removing the monitors will not have come cheap and they still have to plug, abandon, and restore the site before Lancs County Council move to enforcement.

      With Natura 2000 and road networks now a major problem Uk shale is running out of options and haemorrhaging investors money at an alarming rate with not a whiff of commercially viable gas in sight.

  3. Looks like Cuadrilla had to raise some funds rather quickly in order to continue at Preston New Road (PNR). Overspent and overdue? They are doing their best to try and manage the PNR site. The job has not been plain sailing. Not sure that they have the will or resources to take on any more work at present. To be commercially viable they surely need to be much further ahead than they are at present. Are we seeing signs that the stitches are coming apart at the seams? Investors will not hang around forever.

  4. What has transpired over the past year is that Gregory David Clark is a bit of a ‘ditherer’ and I quote that from a senior source within the Government. May wanted him gone in her latest reshuffle however no one wanted the position because no one has ba*ls to make decisions that will cause ‘anxiety’ within our snowflake population of at least 50k!
    Luckily oil and gas prices are moving north and I can foresee things getting worse between Russia and the US before they get better, the Iran, Saudi, Qatar situation is also deteriorating. And yes I know Russia don’t directly supply our gas before a wannabee reporter tries to lecture, although we did take an LNG Russian vessel into port during December!
    The Tories are going to have to deal with our looming energy crisis at some point unless of course Corbyn gets in in which case we will go back to cave life.
    Just sign that little piece of paper Clarky boy and let us get on with it.

    • ‘Luckily oil and gas prices are moving north’

      Excellent news for our indigenous North sea industry where production costs are a quarter of predicted UK shale costs. Although they can operate at low prices any price hike will see North sea production rise.

      Common sense really.

      • Kathryn have you any idea how **** you are by believing in a fraud like Corbyn? Get out of your bubble wrapped onesie.

    • Maybe Gregory Clark is not so much of a fool to award a permission to a dead duck zombie company that cannot produce a legal certified accounts for failing to do so on the last three months deadline, as they did not do so previously before then, that makes them technically an illegal entity.
      After the Carillion debacle Mr. Clark would be hounded out of office and pillaried for doing so, oh how are the mighty trapped in their own machinations.
      No doubt having failed to get a ministerial musical chair relocation option, he is desperately seeking a dumb patsy to carry the poisoned chalice, perhaps you would care to volunteer? Or maybe you could if you were British? Ask me how i know that is an ongoing conundrum?

  5. “Oilfields across the Weald”-glad someone is so sure of what is there! Should be a huge rush from investors today.

    Keep on ramping up the potential like that and local communities will find the decisions are completely taken away from them.

    This is the typical comment to excite a few rather than to consider where those comments may lead for the many.

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