The oil company, Egdon Resources, should get another three years to drill an exploration well at North Kelsey in Lincolnshire, planners have recommended.
The company was granted planning permission in 2014 to construct a well site and drill and test the borehole. But it failed to do more than begin work on the site access before the deadline of December 2017.
Egdon blamed a low oil price, the withdrawal of a partner and delays at another oil site at Wrestle near Scunthorpe.
The company’s application to extend permission until December 2020 will be discussed by Lincolnshire councillors next week.
In a report to the county council’s planning committee, officers have recommended the application be approved, despite opposition from local councillors and some residents.
The report concluded:
“Subject to the development continuing to be carried out in accordance with the conditions attached to the original permission, the proposed extension of time is considered acceptable and can be supported.”
Some opponents of the application have urged the council to limit the extension to one year. The company had said that the duration of the project is a total of 49 weeks. But it said drilling rigs of the type needed for the proposed well were not freely available and usually required a long lead time:
“owing to the nature of the oil and gas industry and as construction has not been completed, Egdon is seeking to extend the existing planning permission for a further three years.”
The site, between Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Market Rasen, is on farmland at the end of a single-track road. Egdon proposes four phases of work:
- Construction of the drill site- 6-7 weeks
- Drilling using a 50m rig – 8 weeks
- Testing – 28 weeks
- Restoration – 6 weeks
Egdon Resources has an 80% stake in exploration licence PEDL241, the area in which the site is based. The other partner is Union Jack Oil. The licence was awarded in 2008 and has seen no drilling for oil for 20 years.
The planners’ report said the application was opposed by North Kelsey and South Kelsey and Moortown Parish Councils, along with two local county councillors and 34 residents. They raised concerns about:
- Number of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)
- Competence of the company
- Egdon’s failure to communicate with local residents
- No value to local community
- Threat to wildlife and habitat
- Inadequate bunds to prevent spills and pollution
- Impacts on health
- Noise and light pollution
- No need for onshore exploration
- Lack of clear information on waste disposal
- Poor record of self-regulation
The report said there were no objections from the Environment Agency, Highways Authority, Network Rail or West Lindsey District Council.
No comments were made by Natural England, the Environmental Health Officer at West Lindsey District Council, Anglian Water, Lincolnshire Police, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust or the Ministry of Defence.
The report’s author said Egdon was not proposing to change its previously permitted operations beyond extending the time limit.
“the Mineral Planning Authority is only required to consider the question of the proposed amended/varied condition(s) and so is not required to reconsider the principle or acceptability of the development itself.”
The report said planners were satisfied that the time extension would not breach local planning policies.
Other conditions on the original permission included:
- No site preparation works involving destruction or removal of vegetation from March-August unless otherwise agreed in writing by the Mineral Planning Authority;
- Limits on the hours that HGVs can enter and leave the site
- Limits on site operating hours
- Day and night-time limits on noise during construction and drilling
Lincolnshire County Council’s planning committee will discuss the application on Monday 9 April 2018 from 10.30am at the Council Chamber, County Offices, Newland, Lincoln LN1 1YL. Link to agenda
A PEDL is issued for exploration, appraisal, and then production if viable.
You are supposed to be granted the licence only if you have the financial and technical ability to carry out the work.
Once the licence is issued you are given time limits to maximise the potential of the resource for the benefit of the country. You are supposed to get the job done and give back what you don’t want in case others want a go.
There is no relevance between the price of oil and exploration.
Councillors should reject this application. It is meant to be a temporary development, and as such any damage is meant to be for a short duration. The company has given no good reasons why they have not started in three years and supplied no evidence that they will not have the ‘withdrawal of a partner’ or ‘delays’ at another site in future.
There is no evidence shown that there is a proven need for this resource.
If there was a proven need for the resource in 2014 we would obviously have issues with oil and gas supplies by now. The government tell us today that is not the case.
No proven need and cannot be considered as a temporary development when considered against the time constraints of a PEDL.
That alone is enough for councillors to reject the application even before other material considerations.
John seriously if you don’t grasp the fundamentals of economics at your age then it’s time to hang up the towel. Enjoy your retirement and leave running the country to younger ppl like myself.
The first application to frack shale in the UK was passed unopposed in 2010.
It is now 2018.
Still no gas.
Looks like the industry have been brought to it’s knees by well organised communities.
You can only get by on ‘it won’t be long now’ and ‘any day soon’ and ‘this time next year’ for so long.
Investors won’t wait forever.
A quick reminder of the ‘sterling’ job those who are running the UK onshore dash for gas and oil are doing.
1 out of 8.
What an achievement after eight years of hard work.
Nonsense John. This is just another site within an area that already enjoys a number of other well sites. If there is oil there, and it can be extracted as per the other wells-ie. without local significant disturbance, no reason against it.
If Wressle was already in production, this one would probably be underway now. However, no rush-except the “fear” of that oil sitting underground likely to “contaminate” every watercourse in the area may be a reason to remove it as quickly as possible. LOL
Normal practice for sites to be brought into operation as and when the oil price warrants. The N.Sea has been a classic case of that.
“an area that already enjoys a number of other well sites”! You clearly don’t live here then. There are no other wells nearby. No flare stacks. No drilling noise. No risk of water courses becoming polluted. None of the local residents would use the word ‘enjoy’. Last time I checked the planning page there wasn’t a single person in favour. And it’s local people who will have to suffer if this well is allowed, while those who take the profits live many miles away.
Please don’t expect planning conditions agreed during the planning process to be enforced or not meddled with later on!
Preston New Road is s prime example where wheel washing facilities were never correctly installed and gold standard monitoring was left in the hands of the anti-fracking movement and environment protectors at the gates of the fracking site.
Speed limits around the site entrance were drastically reduced, after many weeks of site activity, from 50mph to 20mph after accidents and near misses.
Hours of site access were made open ended after environment protectors prevented hgvs accessing the site during the hours permitted by planning conditions. This was retrospective after the Constabulary and Cuadrilla conspired to ram two multi-vehicle convoys into site during curfew hours! No legal action against these organisations followed and the total breaches of planning conditions involved during this disgraceful episode was over 50!
Despite a serious accident being caused when a lorry attempted to make a banned right turn entry to the fracking site, this manoeuvrering has now been legalised by the Planning Authority whenever Cuadrilla or the Constabulary deem it advantageous!
I live near the site. The speed limit was reduced to 20 to protect protestors walking aimlessly back and forward over the road trying to cause accidents. Out of area protesters when they turned up caused traffic chaos and called for ambulances for fake injuries putting local peoples lives at risk. Normally there are just 2 or 3 people there…
As mentioned previously, there is no record of who made the calls for “ambulances for fake injuries” referred to.
OMG-the wheel washing horror re-awakens!
After continuous rain in my area for several days the four major building sites have still to install any wheel washing facilities and the numerous farmers also coming off muddy fields onto roads do so without washing their wheels. However, the locals are appreciative when some attempt is made to remove the worst of the mud off the roads. (Bit like living in a sugar beet harvesting area.)
An absolute disgrace! Let’s all be “whiney and angry”. However, to the two thirds it is pathetic, and simply emphasises how little there is to excite even the easily excited.
Meanwhile “Coast facing oil spill peril after fleet of rescue tugs was scrapped” Times-3/4/2018.
So, we will spend our time and effort removing plastic from the oceans around our shores, and keep the oil (and gas) tankers plying the same oceans with no rescue tugs (only one left in Orkney). According to the chief inspector of marine accidents, there is an accident overdue, as storms intensify and rescue tugs are unavailable.
An absolute disgrace! Shame there are not some maritime Nimbys.
Oh and I forgot to mention the additional request/demand from Cuadrilla to Lancashire county council for permission to:
1. Dump millions of litres of post fracking fluids into the surrounding watercourses that drain into the Fylde Coast bathing waters and fishing grounds!
2. Expand the flaring of toxic gases to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!
By the way all this is just for two temporary test wells at just one pad. What do you think will be the outcome from 100 superpads each with 50 plus multi-vehicle, multi-directional production wells?
Seriously Fracking needs Banning Now!
Why would you ban it Peter when it is going to be so successful as to spawn “100 superpads each with 50 plus multi-vehicle, multi-directional production wells”?
Seriously (LOL) fracking, by your definition, will be too big to ban. That income will be impossible to resist. The writing is on the wall where the Green bottles keep accidently falling.
Think you would be best sending all your gin bottles to the recycling MC; the joke is a dead as a plastic factory.
Hold onto your sense of humour Sherwulfe. You will need it.