Opponents of oil drilling at Biscathorpe in the Lincolnshire Wolds have protested against the start of site construction work.
Local campaigners and representatives had urged Lincolnshire County Council to refuse an extension of planning permission at the site in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) near Louth.
They raised concerns about impacts on the AONB and the threat of water pollution to a chalk stream nearby. But the council’s planning committee, meeting in May 2018, voted unanimously in favour. DrillOrDrop report
The site operator, Egdon Resources, said this week that site construction was “nearing completion”.
In a statement in the company’s preliminary results, chairman, Philip Stephens, said:
“Our commitment to conventional resources exploration remains, as demonstrated by the planned near-term drilling of the exploration well at Biscathorpe-2 where site construction is nearing completion.
“Drilling is now expected to commence late in 2018 on conclusion of all site works.”
Egdon estimated that the well, to be known as Biscathorpe-2, would give Egdon mean prospective resources 5 million barrels of oil.
The exploration licence covering Biscathorpe, PEDL253, has been extended by the Oil and Gas Authority to 30 June 2020.
A group campaigning against the work, SOS Biscathorpe, said there had been “no recorded baseline sample” of the chalk stream near the site and that no monitoring was being undertaken on the River Bain.