The oil company, Angus Energy, has applied for permission to produce from its Lidsey site near Bognor Regis in West Sussex for another 10 years.
The previous planning permission, granted in 2006, expired earlier this month, on 17 February.
The site has two boreholes: the vertical Lidsey-1 well, drilled in 1997, and the horizontal Lidsey-X2, drilled last year.
The company said it was not seeking to drill further wells or carry out hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at Lidsey.
A public consultation is now underway until 15 March 2018. The application is scheduled to be decided by West Sussex County Council’s planning committee.
Angus Energy said the application followed local and national planning policies. It said:
“The site at the Lindsey has been operational for many years and it has been successfully managed as a production facility without impact on the local community or environment.
“The proposed development can be carried out with no adverse effects on the localised environment and has no impact upon nearby communities.”
The site is 0.6km east of the village of Lidsey and just over 500m from the nearest homes. The company said:
“The site’s relatively remote location enables it to continue production operations from the existing two wells and will not result in any unacceptable environmental or amenity impacts.”
“the proposed retention of the Lidsey Oil Site will make a significant contribution towards meeting the government’s desire to maximise indigenous oil and gas production and serving energy needs through the production and sale of hydrocarbons.”
Data provided by the company to the Oil and Gas Authority shows that Lidsey produced no oil in the period November 2016 to October 2017, the most recent 12 months for which figures are available.
According to the data, Lidsey last produced oil in December 2015 at an average rate of 13 barrels of oil per day. In the 12 months to December 2015, the site produced 758m3.
On 17 November 2017, Angus announced that in tests the new Lidsey-X2 well flowed “below expectations” at a rate of 40 barrels of oil per day. Five months earlier, the company had predicted a sustained rate of 400 barrels per day.
In the following week, Angus explained that the new well had experienced significant gas locks, causing the pump to fail. A second pump did not fail but the rate declined significantly every six hours.
On 15 January 2018, Angus said the installation of a new pump to “maximise production flow” would be completed in February 2018.
West Sussex County Council’s planning committee has meetings scheduled after the close of the consultation period for 27 March, 24 April and 22 May 2018.
Details from Angus’s planning application
Application number: WSCC/008/18/BN
Previous application: BN/31/05 granted 17 February 2006 for 12 years for a three-wellhead and pump beam oil production facility, expiring 17 February 2018
New proposal: Retention of existing two wellheads and boreholes to enable renewed production operations for Lidsey 1 and Lidsey X2 production boreholes.
Duration of new application: 10 years
Site established: 1985
Lidsey-1 borehole drilled: 1997
Lidsey-X2 borehole drilled: 2017
Site size: 1.6ha with additional area beyond site security fence with a 2m high screen bund.
Location: 0.6km east of Lidsey, 1km SW of Shripney and 1km south of Woodgate
Landscape: Predominantly agricultural with sewage treatment works next to the site
Rights of way: Footpath runs along the Southern Water access road and another runs from the access road to the west of the compound.
Closest homes: Lidsey Farm buildings (585m) and Woodgate caravan park (500m)
Groundwater: No licensed groundwater abstraction within 1.85km
Surface water: 112mx124m pond 134m north of the site. Small river runs around the southern boundary.
Production: The site produces crude oil, water and gas. Produced water is re-injected into the same reservoir or exported to an off-site treatment facility. Treated crude oil is exported by tanker to oil storage facilities.
Working hours: Previous condition to continue limiting work to 7.30am-6pm on weekdays and Saturdays and no working on Saturdays or public holidays.
Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) movements: Previous estimate continues of eight return HGV journeys per week (eight in and eight out) by road tankers exporting crude oil and up to two return journeys per week (two in and two out) of tankers delivering diesel and chemicals.
Lorry route: A previous Section 106 legal agreement will continue requiring HGVs to drive from the A29 through the Lidsey Farm industrial estate on entering and leaving the site. No access is allowed over part of the access road linking the A29 to the Southern Water Sewage Works.
Staff presence: Two on site during normal operations.
Updated 20/3/2018 to clarify that HGV movements are per week.