The oil and gas company, Rathlin Energy, has applied to extend its planning permission for a well site north of Hull for the second time.
No work has been carried out at the site, called West Newton-A, since 2014. But Rathlin wants to extend the permission until 2021.
Rathlin said it needed the extension because of delays in the regulatory process and previous low oil and gas prices.
East Riding of Yorkshire Council first granted permission for West Newton-A in January 2013.
Site construction began almost immediately in March 2013. The first well was drilled from June-September 2013 and tested from July-November 2014. This confirmed the presence of gas, Rathlin said.
During the tests, the site breached at least 14 conditions of its environmental permit, as reported by DrillOrDrop. The breaches involved the release of gas from the well head and failures of document management, record-keeping and monitoring.
The site was suspended in November 2014, Rathlin said, until it had data from the proposed well at another local site, known as West Newton B.
In 2015, East Riding of Yorkshire Council gave West Newton-A a three-year extension of planning permission. (DrillOrDrop report)
But since then, site construction has not started at West Newton-B and West Newton-A remains suspended.
In the current planning application, Rathlin said there were three reasons why it needed to extend the permission for the West Newton A site.
- Delay in securing environmental permits for drilling and testing at West Newton B.
- Securing revisions to the Rathlin Energy work programme in the local exploration licence area (PEDL183)
- Turbulence in the global oil and gas markets, particularly falling prices in 2016 and 2017.
The planning statement said results from drilling and testing the West Newton A-1 well had been very encouraging.
“A further 36 months would allow for the drilling and testing of the second well at the West Newton A wellsite. The additional time would also allow the Applicant to obtain additional information during the drilling and testing of up to two exploratory wells at the West Newton B wellsite, which was granted planning permission in June 2015.
“The additional information from the West Newton B exploratory drilling and testing, together with the drilling and testing of the second well at the West Newton A wellsite will help assess whether the West Newton A discovery could be the basis for a conventional gas production development, which would be the subject of a separate planning application.”
Rathlin Energy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Connaught Oil & Gas, a private company based in Calgary in Canada. Website