Breaking: Egdon’s bid for more time at Wressle oil site refused unanimously – live news updates

1807 Wressle section planThis post has live updates from the meeting of North Lincolnshire Council’s planning committee which is discussing an application for Egdon’s Wressle oil site.

The company is seeking another year before it has to restore the site near Scunthorpe. This would allow the time for a decision on its other application for long-term oil production at Wressle.

Egdon has said site restoration, which should have been completed by April 2018, is not commercially-viable while the production application is pending.

Planning officers have recommended approval of the extra year. But opponents of the application say this goes against the ruling of a planning inspector earlier this year on when the site should be restored. It is also a breach of planning policy, they say. Background report here from DrillOrDrop 

This is the third meeting in under two years that plans for Wressle have come before the council’s planning committee. Previous applications were refused. Catch up here on DrillOrDrop reports from January 2017 and July 2017, plus the November 2017 public inquiry on the site.

Reporting at this planning meeting was made possible by individual donations to DrillOrDrop


North Lincolnshire Council planning committee, 1 August 2018. Photo: DrillOrDrop

3.37pm: Vote – refusal

The application is refused unanimously. DrillOrDrop report on reaction

mick-grant-nlc3.35pm: Cllr Mick Grant

Cllr Grant says he will vote against because he wants Egdon to get the [production] application moving so that people know what is going to happen.

“I implore Egdon to get the application here as soon as possible”, he says. The planning officer says the application is in the system.

3.34pm: Cllr Sandra Bainbridgesandra-bainbridge-nlc

Cllr Bainbridge says the key factor is: has the company complied with local and national planning policy and the inspector’s recommendation. No it has not she says.

“If the company wanted to improve its position in north Lincolnshire it would have complied but it has not.

“I will not be supporting the application.”

John Collinson3.32pm: Cllr John Collinson

Cllr Collinson says the risk of extra expense to the company does not outweigh the risk to the area.

ivan-glover-nlc3.31pm: Cllr Ivan Glover

Cllr Glover represents with the local area and is also a member of the committee.

He says the extension of planning permission would not concur with local and national planning policy.

He proposes the application be refused.

len-foster3.28pm: Cllr Len Foster

Cllr Foster says he is a former member of the planning committee, who opposed previous applications, He says he expressed his concern then about the lack of faith in the Environment Agency to protect local residents on this and other issues.

The company, their history on this site, is questionable, he says. Its intent to enhance the lives of North Lincolnshire is negligible,  he says.

“They have treated the residents with disdain. They have not helped the people in any way.”

There is nothing new being offered by Egdon, Cllr Foster says .

“There is nothing that improves the lives of people of north Lincolnshire. All it does is to help a company make more money to extract fossil fuels. Fossil fuel extraction is not sustainable.”

“My position has not changed. I think it is the wrong application. It is the wrong place. The company’s motives are questionable.”

holly-mumby-croft-nlc3.24pm: Cllr Holly Mumby-Croft, local “”councillor

Cllr Mumby-Croft supports the residents.

She says she sat through the public inquiry. She says:

“It is really quite simple.

“The inquiry required the structures removed and the site restored no later than the 28 April 2018, which is three months ago.

“I don’t know why Egdon waited until 13 April 2018 to put in an application for an extension. It is disrespectful to the residents when it always intended to put in a new application for production.”

Egdon understood the inquiry inspector’s condition, she says. It is simple.

She points to the committee to a paragraph 144 of the NPPF that requires restoration as soon as possible.

I can see no planning reason to approve the application, she says.

“It is not acceptable to come to the committee and behave like this.”

Paul-Foster-175x2333.16pm: Speaker in favour – Paul Foster

Mr Foster, speaking for Egdon Resources, says planning officers recommended the application should be approved.

He says the application to extend time for the site was submitted before the previous permission expired.

The site has had significant investment, he says. The extension will avoid unnecessary work, he says.

He acknowledges that the extension would not comply with the National Planning Policy Framework and local planning policy. The extension is modest, he adds. There are no operations that would be undertaken, apart from ongoing monitoring and security. It would be only care and maintenance until the application for production is decided.

He rejects suggestions that the site is a blot on the landscape. It is 500m from the nearest home and 800m from the nearest public footpath. It is not a designated area off outstanding natural beauty or landscape importance. The extension will not have an impact on the landscape, he says.

Broughton Town Council had objected because the inquiry extended the site’s life only until April 2018, Mr Foster. He says the new production application could not be submitted in that time because it needed to prepare new documents.

The new NPPF, issued since the committee report, includes new advice for planning authorities on onshore oil and gas. They should facilitate oil extraction and exploration.

The NPPF requires restoration as soon as possible. But there are other considerations, Mr Foster says. There are no adverse impacts on the surroundings or living conditions on local residents, Mr Foster says. The extension would avoid abortive work. Egdon, as an responsible operator, wants to regularise the planning permission, he says.

171108 Wressle PI DoD 13.13pm: Speaker against – Martin Foster

Mr Foster, the British Steel works convenor in Scunthorpe, says he is speaking with the support of local convenors for Unite and the GMB unions.

He says he has seen no evidence that the proposal will protect the British Steel boreholes. If these were contaminated the site would be shut down.

This is another example of a corporate entity that refuses to take no for an answer”

The planning inspector’s instruction was very clear. The company should restore the site by the end of April. This has not started. They have no intention of doing this. This application is a delaying tactic, he says.

It shows disrespect for the committee and the council and he urges the committee to reject the proposal

3.09pm: Speaker against – Melanie Dale

Ms Dale, who lives locally and was brought up at Wressle.

She tells the committee Egdon said it did not plan to frack. But she says she was angry to hear that the company planned to acid frack.

She says there have been a catalogue of errors in the applications. The latest was the objection date advertised in Broughton, which was incorrect, she says.

If we allow the extension we are paving the way to the new application. It starts with one well, she says. This will not be enough. There will be wells across north Lincolnshire.

The Axholme Way will go past the site. This operation is not in keeping with our area anymore. This company is not very competent, she says. The planning inspector identified how the liner and stone were not adequate or appropriate.

“I have no faith in this company to do this safely. Please think about the legacy we are leaving to our grand children.”

3.04pm: Speaker against – Andrew McLeod

Mr McLeod tells the committee:

“I thank your planning officer for drawing your attention to NPPF paragraph 93 and policy CS18, both of which ask you to consider the climate change impacts of your decisions, but I respectfully take issue with his assertion that my objection on climate change grounds concerns only the application for hydrocarbon production.  It does not, it clearly refers to this application.”

He says “Climate change isn’t just about people hurting polar bears and coral reefs; it’s about people hurting people.”

“Africa’s hottest ever recorded temperature, 51.3 degrees, was registered in Algeria on 5 July.

“A few days earlier Oman broke the world record for the highest overnight minimum temperature ever recorded – 42.6 degrees.

And all this is with the global warming of “only” 1 degree that our uncontrolled burning of fossil fuels has already caused.”

Scientists keep on telling us we should constrain this increasing likelihood  of extreme weather events by restricting greenhouse gas emissions as sharply as possible.

“The remaining carbon budget for achieving the 1.5 degree target set by the Paris Climate Agreement will be used up just by burning what’s in the currently operating oil and gas wells alone, even if we stop burning coal altogether.

“We are currently on track to exceed 3 degrees of warming, which will be catastrophic.  Against this background, Egdon must not be allowed to retain their Wressle-1 wellsite with the intention of using it to extract even more climate-wrecking oil and gas.”

Mr McLeod says: “Divestment is one powerful way to hasten the transition to clean energy; refusing permission for new oil and gas extraction is another.  I applaud your steadfast opposition to this damaging and unnecessary development and I urge you once again to stand firm: please refuse this application and immediately enforce compliance with the site restoration conditions.”

3.01pm: Speaker against – Jean Turner

Mrs Turner tells the committee it should oppose the application.

She says she visited the site during the previous inquiry. She said the site bund and membrane had been “shredded” by rabbits.

Egdon has contempt for the council, Mrs Turner says. Responsibility stops with the council, she says.

2.56pm: Speaker against – Elizabeth Williams

Ms Williams said the application would open the site to acid fracking.

She said:

“The people of North Lincolnshire – through their elected representatives (January 2017) voted NO and that the site must be fully restored and exited by the end of April 2017. This was breached while a revised plan was submitted.

The people of North Lincolnshire – through their elected representatives – voted NO again (in July last year) Which this time went to Appeal. And the Planning Inspector ruled NO to long-term production, she says.

Ms Williams says this is now in breach and yet another, third, revised long-term production is looming over us.

So, we are stuck in a permanent scenario of permission creep with each breach being overlapped by another revised planning application. The latest of which included the wrong site map for an entirely different geographical location.

Ms Williams quoted one of the nearest residents to the site, Jim Mallam. He says:

“In addition to my objections earlier this year against the proposal by Egdon Resources to extract oil and gas from Wressle well by the unproven and untried proppant squeeze system, I find it extremely hard to understand that a supposedly professional transparent company who operate within the law, have taken upon itself to show complete and utter contempt and disregard to the authority of North Lincs Council, North Lincs Planning Committee and indeed the residents of North Lincolnshire in general.

“Egdon Resources were lawfully instructed to remove all equipment from the Wressle site by 28th April 2018 and return it agricultural conditions but chose not to comply.

“The fact that Egdon Resources deliberately refused to comply with this lawful instruction, demonstrates the management of this company have no respect for, or indeed have no intention of accepting the authority, instructions or guide lines from North Lincs Council or indeed of any other authority as they feel they have the right to do as they see fit.

“North Lincs Council and Planning are fully aware that this is the first step towards the exploitation of North Lincolnshire by Egdon Resources and the only thing Egdon will bring to the table is pollution and destruction of our environment.

“If this application was to be approved, everyone knows this will be just the foot in the door and North Lincs will be bombarded with applications for additional drill sites for this form of fracking for conventional oil reserves.”

Ms Williamson urges the committee:

“Please can you observe your duty of care to the people of North Lincolnshire – [and indeed the entire planet] – become local and national heroes again Refuse the plan outright and insist that Applicant fully restores the site and leave us all to get on with our lives?”

2.55pm: Start of consideration of Egdon application

Chairman Nigel Sherwood introduces the Egdon Resources application for Lodge Farm at Wressle.

2.45pm: Major applications

2.52pm: Change of condition for biomass facility – granted

2.41pm: Grazing in East Lound – granted

2.45pm: Housing in Keadby with Althorpe – granted

2.05pm: Small applications

2.32pm: Housing plan in Rebourne – granted

2.24pm: Change of use of home to care home in Scunthorpe – refused

2.22pm: Housing plans in Haxey – granted

2.06pm: Housing plans in Ealand – refused

2pm: Meeting opens

Committee chair, Nigel Sherwood, opens the meeting.

Reporting at this planning meeting was made possible by individual donations to DrillOrDrop

44 replies »

  1. You are making up your own argument again John.

    Many of us have nothing against Norway as a supplier, or China as a supplier. BUT-some of us recognise when you buy from overseas you pay them and they generate tax and profit and cover costs. They then have that tax in those countries to invest in their communities. Equally, if Sterling fluctuates in value the costs for the UK can escalate dramatically.

    We would like the tax bit in the UK to invest in our communities, if we have our own resource, and it is price competitive. Like we do with other commodities, when we have them.

    But, I suppose we could just close down all UK industry and grow a few magic money trees and import everything.

    • ‘if we have our own resource, and it is price competitive’

      I agree

      We are a windy island surrounded by sea with reoccurring daylight. Renewable energy is plummeting in cost with provable commercial storage.

      We will still need gas. We are fortunate enough to still have around 20 billion barrels of secure home grown cheap North sea gas.

      If anyone is still worried about gas supplies then as we export around the same amount of gas as we import in LNG then maybe you should campaign to keep North sea oil and gas just for us.

      As we have a healthy £1.5 billion annual trade deal with Qatar I doubt any Government would want to loose that business which would happen if we stopped importing LNG.

      Spare a thought for the many people who work at our modern high capacity LNG terminals whose jobs you are trying to remove.

      Although LNG is dearer than our own North sea and our piped gas from Norway it will always be cheaper than UK shale so I a confident that our LNG workforce won’t be needing to look for alternative careers anytime soon.

      • JP – read the NG Future Energy Scenarios updated for 2018 – loog at gas for 2050 (page 17). Which scenario is your money on? Mine is on SP steady progression or CE consumer evolution. It will be intersting to see – I might make it…. both these have UK onshore shale gas.

        Click to access fes-2018-in-5-minutes-web-version.pdf

        With regards to your 20 billion barrels the last update I found from the OGA was as follows:

        The OGA estimates that UK reserves are approximately 5.7 billion boe (probable) and these alone, based on current production forecasts and not taking into account potential future exploration successes, have the capacity to sustain production for at least the next two decades.
        However, there is a significant opportunity to add to these reserves by maturing the UK’s considerable contingent resources. The OGA estimates there are 7.4 billion boe of discovered undeveloped resources. Much of this resource is in mature developed areas and under consideration for development. This will require substantial investment in new field developments and incremental projects.
        Replacement of proven and probable reserves remains a concern. In 2016 approximately 600 million boe were produced however only 80 million boe of contingent resources were matured to reserves.
        Exploration success in 2016 helped add 210 million boe to the contingent resources.
        The OGA’s current estimate of prospective (undiscovered) resources is 6 billion boe, with a range from 1.9 billion boe (lower estimate) to 9.2 billion boe (upper estimate).
        Taking account of this range of possibilities for prospective resources, together with the range of discovered reserves and contingent resources shown in the report, the current best estimate of remaining recoverable hydrocarbon resources from the UKCS is in the range 10 to 20 billion boe.

        So not exactly the 20 billion you keep quoting? To get to 20 billion you need to find another 6 billion – however the OGA range is 1.9 – 9.2 billion of UNDISCOVERED oil & gas.

        And to produce the 7.4 billion of already discovered reserves they have to be comercially viable – clearly not at the moment as they would be on production. So a higher oil price and lower OPEX / CAPEX are needed. US shale / Trump are working hard to ensure the first doesn’t happen, the next US President is not likely to change that as their economy is booming.

        So 20 billion is perhaps a little optimistic? Of course the OGA like this range as it keeps them in work.

        Attention all DOD readers – perhaps you should ignore the 20 billion number which appears most times JP posts?

  2. Oh dear John. So much time spent, but so many basic errors!

    Trading with countries is NOT the same as bartering!

    You have no idea about the cost of UK fracked gas. Pure fabrication.

    LNG terminals? How about putting them into reverse gear? I believe Donald has ideas to do the same.

    By the way, this particular site is about the extraction of OIL-cost competitively.

    Take a look at Norway and what they are able to do with income (tax) from their sales of gas and oil. Pretty decent health service and ability to invest in alternative energy sources-just for starters.

    • waffling again MC; stick to ‘selling toxic chemicals’……..unless of course you have a prepared script, in which case you would be best sending it back as it’s getting you nowhere.

    • Something that the anti antis probably do not know

      ‘With demand outstripping supply from the UK’s continental shelf it is perhaps surprising to note that the UK is a large exporter of gas’

      page 93

      Click to access Ch4.pdf

      Maybe the pro frackers should wave their ‘no export’ flags a little higher as they have concerns about the lights going out.

      ‘You have no idea about the cost of UK fracked gas. Pure fabrication’

      Do you think EY, Bloomberg, OIES, and investors in UK shale (for now) Centrica know?

      When you look at the long range outlook for gas prices it would appear that UK shale is not viable.

      Any update on successful profitable fracking sites in Europe?

      We have seen nothing yet.

      I wonder why?

      I will happily adjust my figures for the North sea to 10 – 20 billion boes and the capacity to sustain production for at least the next two decades.

      • And JP you should look at what the 10-20 billion BOE consists of – it would appear that most of it is oil and that gas is in terminal decline. Which makes sense as the big gas fields are all depleted, Leman, Indie, Morecambe etc. The big hope for some gas is HPHT gas condensate, Central North Sea generally, very expensive to develop (and higher risk) due to the 15,000psi equipment required.

        We are not a net exporter of gas, we are a net importer, 2017 UK North Sea produced 465 TWh, 2017 UK Total Gas Demand 875 TWh. So we imported 410 GWh or 47% of our Total Gas Demand.

        The UK-Belgium interconnector (IUK): This pipeline runs between Bacton in Norfolk and Zeebrugge in Belgium, and connects Britain to the mainland Europe gas network. This pipeline has an import capacity of 25.5 billion cubic metres (bcm) a year. It is the only pipeline that is bi-directional, meaning it can both import gas to Britain as well as export gas to mainland Europe. The direction of flow depends on supply and demand and relative prices.

        This perhaps explains the exports – easy for us to buy and sell Norwegian gas to Europe.

        Exports can be added onto both sides of this and are therefore irrelevant.

        [Figure corrected at poster’s request]

  3. Well, that was a bitter little offering Sherwulfe. Not sold many solar panels or wind turbines this week? (You do realise there are “alternative” ways of earning your living?)

    But glad to see you have been put back on the daylight shift. The night time one is enough to make anyone grumpy.

  4. So let me get this straight you wan,t Egdon to restore the site back to farm land while its production planning Application is being processed which if passes would require Egdon to re-build the platform & re drill the well. Seems to Be an Exercise in stupidity to me unless they have prior Knowledge as to what the Outcome of the pending planning application will be in which case it smells of corruption.

  5. With the pending Planning Application likely to go to Appeal-if required-and only one outcome likely there, then the Council should be careful about how they act going forward. They could end up with a huge bill, rather than Egdon.

    The share price seems to have reflected that.

  6. For natural gas information look at DUKES 2018.

    The link to chapter 4, Natural Gas is:

    Click to access Ch4.pdf

    This has some interesing information. LNG imports which has been discussed at length on this BB in 2017 came predominantly from Qatar as we all know. However LNG was also imported from Algeria, Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Russia (yes, Russia), Trinidad and the US.

    The question must also be asked about the Belgium interconnector – Belgium is not a natural gas producer, at least not in any signficant quantities. So where does the gas from Belgium originate? It may be the Netherlands but why route it via Belgium. More likely it is “European gas” of which 30% plus comes from Russia?

    • ‘So where does the gas from Belgium originate?’

      UK exports were up 7.5 per cent in 2017, driven by an increase of nearly a third in exports
      to Belgium. Exports to all other countries were substantially reduced – in particular, exports to the
      Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands were down 17 and 31 per cent respectively – meaning that
      volumes to Belgium comprised more than 70 per cent of all UK exports.

      Page 93 (easily missed)

      Click to access Ch4.pdf

      Come on guys. Flags up start marching.

      ‘No more exports’ ‘No more exports’ ‘Lights going out’ ‘No more exports’

      • Net gas imports natural gas for 2017 to UK were 399,261 GWhrs. Exports are a red herring and meaningless. A result of trading, probably selling on imported LNG and Norwegian gas. But you didn’t answer the question – where do the gas imports from Belgium come from? Also interesting is that these, whilst small, have doubled due to 50% reduction from the Netherlands.

        “Imports of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) decreased by over a third to 80 TWh in 2017, with imports of LNG from Qatar dropping by 40 per cent. In contrast pipeline imports increased by 8.2 per cent, with increased imports from Belgium and Norway more than compensating for a halving of imports from the Netherlands.”

        And UK North Sea gas production fell in 2017 if you back out the Rough blow down:

        “UK natural gas production in 2017 was relatively stable on 2016 at 465 TWh, up just 0.3 per cent. However, this small increase includes production of cushion gas from the Rough storage facility as it is prepared for closure, without which production would have fallen 1.5 per cent. Although recent years have seen modest increases in production, the long-term pattern is one of decline and 2017 production levels stood at under 40 per cent of the peak in 2000”

        But you can spin what you want, most readers of this BB will believe you….. perhaps you ought to adjust your record to be more factually correct?

        • ‘Exports are a red herring and meaningless. A result of trading, probably selling on imported LNG and Norwegian gas.’

          Please expand on how our gas exports are imported LNG, Norweign gas, and not North sea gas.

          How is export meaningless when the anti antis say that we have energy security issues?

          Readers of this site will do their own research and make informed decisions.

      • We are not a net exporter of gas, we are a net importer, 2016 UK North Sea produced 465 TWh, 2016 UK Total Gas Demand 875 TWh. So we imported 410 GWh or 47% of our Total Gas Demand. It clearly didn’t come from onshore UK shale…..

        We are a net importer. You appear to think that the exports are included in the Total Demand? I don’t agree as this is what is consumed in the UK.

        So exports are a red herring as they equal an additional amount imported.

  7. Err, John-you do realise output from the N.Sea is in decline and all the low, and middle hanging fruit has already been gobbled up?

    Perhaps it could be your portfolio is over weighted towards the N.Sea and you fear potentially cheaper on shore oil and gas?

    Fabricating the cost of UK on-shore fracked gas will not make it so. We will only know when some tests have been completed. You seem to rely a lot on that piece of fabrication, perhaps you could convince some of the other antis who still talk about thousands of wells marching across the countryside. You can’t both be correct. Perhaps you think by covering all bases you will convince someone? More likely the mixed messages end up convincing no one.

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