Updated: New start time for Balcombe flow test


180912 Balcombe Lynn Towner

Security staff at the gate of Angus Energy’s oil site at Lower Stumble, Balcombe, West Sussex. Photo: Lynne Tower, 12/9/2018

Updated 13 September 2018

Angus Energy is now expected to begin a long-awaited flow test of the oil well at Balcombe in West Sussex in the last week of September. But this date depends on the company meeting conditions set by the Environment Agency.

Balcombe Parish Council said on 12 September that  the flow test had been expected to start next week.

But this morning (13 September) it said it had received an update from the company. A post on the council’s website said:

“Angus Energy have now informed us that they are progressing with site preparation this week, (installing an impermeable bund), and look to progress the actual flow test in the last week of September subject to final sign off by the relevant regulators.”

Local people have reported activity at the site and security on the gates.

The parish council has said the planning conditions set by West Sussex County Council were discharged on Monday 10 September. At the same time, Angus Energy gave the county council seven days’ notice of the start of the flow test.

That start date has now slipped a week. Frack Free Balcombe Residents’ Association, the local group opposed to oil operations at the site, said:

“FFBRA understands from the Environment Agency that a number of the conditions of the Environmental permit are still outstanding and believe therefore that flow testing cannot start on site until these conditions are discharged.”

The Balcombe well at Lower Stumble was drilled by Cuadrilla in 2013, accompanied by daily protests. But the planning permission expired before the well could be tested.

Permission was extended in April 2014 and again in January 2018. Since then, Cuadrilla has transferred operation of the site to Angus Energy.

180503 Balcombe site plan

Site plan for the oil well at Lower Stumble in Balcombe, West Sussex

A community liaison group (clg) for the site – a condition of the planning permission – met for the first time on 5 September 2018. (link to minutes)

Village representatives for future clg meetings will be chosen at a special parish council meeting on 17 September 2018, at 8pm in the Parish Room, Stockcroft Rd, Balcombe RH17 6HP.

The next clg meeting is on 20 September 2018 at Bramble Hall, Balcombe, Haywards Heath, RH17 6HR. No time has been given for this meeting and it is not open to the public.

10 replies »

  1. Nice of Lynn to drive to the site and take a picture of a site entrance where oil might be produced and taken to Fawley Refinery where a £500m expansion program is being considered at the moment to enable more diesel to be produced.

    Seems almost classical in it’s symmetry.

    Shame we couldn’t see more clearly whether it was the local special-a 4X4 with the ski rack on top!

  2. If you don’t see it Martin then maybe don’t say it ? I certainly would not bet on anything at Balcombe , as you know they are passionate and creative , ask Cuadrila why it cost them £22 million to drill and not test a well that was budgeted around £5 million . Angus have failed to produce more than a few barrels of oil in the Weald despite their promotional video promises which didn’t go unnoticed by Surrey County Council , claims of being fully funded by Lidsey proved to be rubbish and I wont bother to mention Brockham . They couldn’t find oil in a chip shop . The only thing they have learned is not to do it during the summer holidays . BTW how is Johnny Tidswell getting on now that he accidentally sold his shares to some unknown woman from some far away country ?

  3. Who’s talking about betting, Jono? You seem to have a bit of a problem, in that respect.

    If you want to bet on anything, perhaps try betting on how far oil prices will rise now they have broken through the $80/barrel mark-and the storms are still to hit the Gulf of Mexico.

    No, they wouldn’t find oil in a chip shop as according to “well informed antis”-an oxymoron- it is so commonly used in pla(i)ce of red diesel!

    My only interest in this site is to see whether a clearer picture may be produced reference the Weald as a whole. (Angus investors may feel differently.) Think you will find there were quite a few sites in the N.Sea that were positive, quite a few that were not. It is still an industry where EXPLORATION is required before you know which one you have.

    • Diana .This is onshore oil producing.It cost 25% of what offshore production cost .If this 7 day testing is a success.We go straight into production all over the Weald .North see production is in rapid decline.Where do you think we will get U.K. Oil gas from .Just maybe the Weald basin.Vive Angus and Ukog

  4. These small companies are alway putting out hyped up news to get their share price going. It is unlikely they can get things started in at least 2 months.

  5. TW-you need to take a look at what needs to be started. Not much more than a clean up exercise and then started. How long did it take for HH to do something similar?

    Obviously, this site has been moth balled longer, so maybe more chances of adjustments being required but without that, and as long as no delays in bringing the kit into place, really not a long lead time. Maybe, to Jono’s disgust, that is why the share price is moving.

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