Oil company bid for more time at Broadford Bridge backed by officials

171223 Broadford Bridge drone 4 BBAG

Broadford Bridge exploration site. Photo: Broadford Bridge Action Group

Planning officers have supported two applications by UK Oil & Gas for another 18 months of work at the oil exploration site at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex.

They said the extension would have minimal impacts on people or the environment and would help to meet a need for local hydrocarbon exploration.

UKOG said it needed more time at Broadford Bridge to review data to decide whether oil extraction was viable.

The applications – one of site operations and one for security fencing, gates and cabins – come before West Sussex County Council’s planning committee on Tuesday 11 September.

A report for the committee concluded that the extension until 31 March 2020 had:

“the potential to result in impacts on the highway, local residents, and the environment.”

It acknowledged there were “a large number of objections” including from the local West Chiltington Parish Council.

But the report said:

  • The number of vehicles required to carry out work at the site “would not be significant enough to raise concerns regarding highway capacity or road safety”
  • Retaining the site would not involve any activity and the site had limited visibility
  • Restoration was over a limited time period and would not have an adverse impact on the area.

The report concluded the development would:

“have minimal impacts on people or the environment and would help to meet an identified need for local hydrocarbon exploration and appraisal.”

Planning permission for exploration, testing and evaluation of hydrocarbons at Broadford Bridge runs out on 15 September 2018. The fencing application runs out on 30 September 2018.

Permission for an exploration site was first granted in February 2013. It was for three years from the start of work. Site construction began in September 2014. Consent was extended for a year in September 2017.

The current applications were opposed by 38 members of the public, as well as the local parish council, Broadford bridge Action Group, Keep Kirdford and Wisborough Green and Campaign to Protect Rural England Sussex Countryside Trust.

  • The applications are due to be discussed by West Sussex County Council planning committee from 12.20pm-1pm. The meeting is at County Hall, West Street, Chichester PO19 1RQ.

23 replies »

  1. Apologies for my ignorance but what are these ‘alternative stimulation techniques’ and what impact will they have in the local area?

  2. Data being gathered at HH to add to that at BB.

    Seems sensible to wait for that data, and then make the decision. No conspiracy, all very logical-almost Gold Standard.

    But, so logical that something needs to be manufactured to generate excitement.

    • Look up Proppant Squeeze Sylvia, but oh, wait, just a minute, that wont do any good because its a made up fantasy term with no scientific validity or definition isn’t it?

      It means anything they want it to mean Alison, including redefined fracking, besides they have to find out which way up to look at the scribbled scrawling’s on the back of the fag packet first?

      • Well its Sunday again folks? And its a bright sunny day here, so i’ll post this quickly and go for a walk with friends maybe down to the coast.

        And what do we see going on in the fracking not fracking scene?

        It seems that the industry hacks have nothing constructive left to say any more do they?

        Not for years now. Just hack and frack and blow the democratic house down and run away to some tax haven or other like Monaco or the British Virgin Islands, or the Channel Islands or wherever?

        And the rights of protest and objection and refused planning permissions by public inquiry are just trashed and overruled?

        And then what do we see our glorious leader doing? Oh, yes, we saw a “preying mantis” impression dance abroad? You couldn’t make it up could you?

        I thought what to do today in this increasingly insane situation where the lunatics are well and truly taking over the asylum? And this sprang to mind:

        this is the Dinah Washington song “This Bitter Earth” and was combined quite beautifully with Max Richter’s music “On The Nature of Daylight” (link to song below)

        For all those who find the Earth to be so bitter,
        they wish to ransack and rape her to assuage their own rage at being born.
        Some of us feel that if we dont protect the earth at this present crisis point, we will be forced to pass on such a poisonous and polluted legacy to our children and many generations hence, that they will forever condemn us all out of hand.

        This Bitter Earth / On The Nature Of Daylight Lyrics
        Dinah Washington

        This bitter earth
        Well, what fruit it bears
        Ooooh, This bitter earth

        And if my life is like the dust
        oooh that hides the glow of a rose
        What good am I
        Heaven only knows

        Lord, this bitter earth
        Yes, can be so cold
        Today you’re young
        Too soon, you’re old
        But while a voice within me cries
        I’m sure someone may answer my call
        And this bitter earth
        Ooooh may not
        Oh be so bitter after all

        This bitter earth
        Lord, This bitter earth

        What good is love
        Mmmm that no one shares
        And if my life is like the dust
        Oooh that hides the glow of a rose

        What good am I?

        Heaven only knows


        We must be able to hold our head up against the ever quaking house of cards of the desecraters in these times. They only need a little push folks, then instead of fighting them for reason and common sense, we can at last spend our time and effort on repairing the damage of the last two hundred years so that our children and theirs can live safely and peacefully in the sunshine once again. In energy terms, only renewables will achieve that, there is simply no other choice.

        Have a good peaceful sunny Sunday with family and friends.

        • This is the Dinah Washington/Max Richter song that was played at the end of the “Shutter Island” movie, which is a most remarkable Martin Scorsese movie concerning the lunatics potentially taking over the asylum (or think they do) and is well worth watching to understand why certain people would rather cling on to an obsessive illusion than the bitter truth that such insanity only brings disaster for us and them and eventually in this present scenario, the entire planet.

          ( )

  3. More nonsense by
    The hypocrites probably using OIL for heating and OIL in their vehicles imported all the way from either russia or the emirates. NIMBIES At their worst .

    I would love to see the NUCLEAR Resarch facility back at WINFRITH near me providing british jobs once again and more locally drilled oil and gas.

    [Edited by moderator]

    CUT IMMIGRATION properly then i might listen to swampies, nimbies and greens [edited by moderator]

    WINDFARM ENERGY cannot be stored for load capacity so only useful as part of a mix and where do they think the energy is obtained from to fuel even electric cars – MAGIC SHROOMS perhaps lol

    • It’s only a few nimby’s and dreamers who believe that we can suddenly stop using fossil fuels and that keep shouting out “keep it in the ground”
      Even the WWF recognises that solar, wind and tidal are intermittent and unreliable, that there is no viable storage solution available and that gas will be the main fuel used to generate the required back up electricity until new technologies come along.

  4. Hope you are not too excited Sylvia.

    150 days tests currently underway at HH, UKOG recently extended their licence stake in the area. Perhaps they will find during the 150 days that BB is not the same “animal” as HH, or maybe they will find at HH that some of their techniques could be tried back at BB. Of course, you need to remember that they have also announced plans to explore at least two new sites and the whole will add to the jigsaw of being able to define the true potential within their licence area as a whole.

    BB was not a dry well. Whether it can be a productive well is still to be decided. It is pretty rare to abandon wells that are not dry until it is fairly certain they will not become productive. Many of the gold mines around the world would never have been put into actual production if initial difficulties were not examined and overcome eg. water ingress, and the same with many coal mines. There are many wells within the N.Sea and elsewhere, where production has been increased via new techniques. Nothing sinister, or that exciting about it-it is why tens of thousands work upon it continuously and ignore those who promote it can’t be done correctly and safely.

    • I agree Martin. The only change I would use is to substitute the word ‘productive’ for ‘commercial’. If a well isn’t commercial using today’s techniques then no further work is required.

  5. I live in the Weald and just down the road from a producing oil well. I wish all industrial units were as clean, tidy and unobtrusive as this is. It can’t be seen from the road unlike ugly windmills and factory chimney’s and the few tankers a day that visit pale into insignificance compared to the many thousands of lorries transporting goods around the country. If oil is found then brilliant in my book. Much more environmentally friendly than transporting it all the way from Norway, Saudi or Russia.In addition it will give a significant tax boost to our economy which we need in terms of funding NHA, Social Care and Education.

  6. Sounds very sensible. If this country wants security of future energy provisions rather than relying on Russia (who could turn the stopcock off at any moment if they wanted to, which they don’t at the moment of course), they we need to find this closer to home. How much closer can you get than under your own feet 🙂

    • Imv I think we need to be investing in alternative energy sources if we want to leave a habitable planet for future life. As an island we have a wealth of opportunities that could provide cleaner and cheaper energy. Fracking is a highly risky, dirty and destructive method of releasing more carbon into the atmosphere which the science clearly is showing is contributing to making large parts of the planet uninhabitable.

    • Shallwe do you get your statistics from Sun headlines?

      Less than 1% of the gas we use gas comes from Russia and 6% of the oil. If we didn’t want Russian oil we would buy more from Norway or someone else.

      Silly scare stories as usual from the dotty anti-renewables faction.

      • Am I the only one getting confused with the anti’s claims over our use and import of Russian gas?

        This week in their campaign against two of the Coal fired boilers at Drax being converted to gas, we had the following.

        Among the letter’s signatories were several local anti-fracking groups, who opposed the project on the grounds that “greater reliance on gas would require either increased Russian imports or dependence on unconventional gas.”

        Yet on here we once again have the claim that “less than 1% of the gas we use gas comes from Russia.”

        I do wish that they would make their minds up.

        Do we import 1%? what about the 9% Centrica buys from Gazprom? or the 40% of Russian gas in the European distribution network that we import from?

  7. Sylvia I agree with the need for investing in alternative energy sources but at the moment wind, solar, wave etc generates electricity to power our homes etc. They do not generate fuel to fly our aircraft, ships, cars, lorries etc. An electric car national infrastructure is years away although I hope the government speeds the process up. I’m not sure I would like to fly in an electric aeroplane even if the technology was available albeit in its infancy. Oil produces many other products from types of cloth to containers we store thing in etc etc. As I understand it they are not fracking in the Weald as the rock structures are naturally fractured. Apart from that fracking is used all over the world apart from the UK and the hype that goes with the protest about its use is unjustified from what I have read. In my book its a bit like the first steam engine and the walking in front of it with a red flag for danger. Hilarious now but serious protest at the time. I cant see anyone who drives a car gets on a diesel bus, flies abroad, receives parcels by delivery can even comment. Hypocrisy in my book. I do agree though we need more investment in alternative energy.

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