Rathlin Energy announces start date for work at West Newton gas site

West Newton

Flow testing at West Newton-A in 2014. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Rathlin Energy has given notice that work could start next week at its exploration site in East Yorkshire.

In a letter to East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the company said construction operations would begin at the site called West Newton-A on or after Monday 3 December 2018.

181122 Rathlin Energy notice of work

The company has also sent the council a traffic management plan, dating from 2013.

The council’s planning committee voted on 15 November 2018 by six votes to five to grant planning permission for another three years at the site. DrillOrDrop live updates from the planning meeting

This was the second extension of consent granted to Rathlin since permission was first issued for the site in 2013.

No work has been carried out at West Newton-A since November 2014, when testing of the exploration well ended.

The company has said it recovered gas during the tests and described the results as “very encouraging”. It sought the extension of permission to drill a second well, approved in the original planning consent.

Rathlin’s plans for an extension were opposed by parish councils at Withernwick and Ellerby and more than 100 objectors.

Traffic management

The traffic management allows the site to be accessed 24-hours a day, seven days a week during the drilling phase. It says:

“Delivery of equipment should be planned where possible to avoid night time periods.”

Delivery equipment is required to travel along a specified route. This takes vehicles from the A165 along Mulbery Lane, towards New Ellerby, along Langthorpe Road, Lambwath Lane, onto an unclassified road signposted Marton and Sproatley for one mile, then into Pipers Lane and Fosham Road.

According to the traffic management plan,

“Any non compliance [with the specified route] may result in the driver being removed from the project.”


At the time of writing, there were no details about the forthcoming work on Rathlin Energy’s website. The most recent notes from a community liaison meeting were from 6 December 2017.

The company is required to inform East Riding of Yorkshire Council within one week of the drilling rig arriving on site.

Second well site

Development of a second well Rathlin Energy well site in East Yorkshire appears to have stalled.

This site, called West Newton B, was granted permission in 2015 and earlier proposals indicated that this would be drilled before further work was carried out at West Newton-A.

But a letter from Rathlin Energy to the council earlier this month, said

“[Rathlin] has determined that the merits of drilling the second well from West Newton-A are significant and represent the best option to move the project forward.”

Earlier this month, Reabold Resources took a £3m stake in Rathlin’s exploration licence (PEDL183) covering the West Newton sites. Rathlin said the money would fund drilling the second well at West Newton-A.

Union Jack Oil plc and Humber Oil Ltd have also signed a farm-in agreement with Rathlin Energy, giving both companies a 16.665% interested in the licence area





16 replies »

  1. “According to the traffic management plan,

    “Any non compliance [with the specified route] may result in the driver being removed from the project.”

    Alternatively no action will be taken and the TMP amended at a later date to allow the operator to do what ever they intended initially.

    Unfortunately Planning authorities are rendered toothless to deal with non compliance which has become the standard MO.

    Would be a refreshing change to see an operator comply with conditions but I won’t hold my breath.

  2. Exactly Paul. How many TMPs interrupted by protestors in the last couple of years? Quite a number. If they feel they are so important to operate as specified, why do they interrupt them? Because they want to. Perhaps the operators should give the same response.

      • Lorry surfing, locking on, slow walking, anything that interferes with the operation / TMP should be banned. These issues are why the Police are there. If you don’t want the Police there then don’t interfere with the operation. If you do you get the Police and hopefully get arrested and prosecuted. The majority of the Country support this.

        Change the Government to one that will provide what you want. Good luck with that.

        • I’d want operators to comply with their planning conditions but that seems to be something the majority are unable to manage.

          • Because they are harrassed and obstructed. Ever checked planning compliance with any other development such as housing or wind farms? I have, same as at PNR – in fact worse.

      • Resident representatives suggested that due to non-conventional oil and gas exploration activities taking place elsewhere, and the fact that Rathlin Energy (UK) Limited’s work does not involve high volume hydraulic fracturing in the Bowland Shale, that perhaps they would ‘finally see the light’ and stay away.

  3. The fossil fuel industry throughout the UK needs to wake up to the fact that the scientific certainty points clearly to the urgent necessity to
    withdraw from fossil fuels. There is no longer a place for ignorant opinions. Your vested interests in trying to carry on with business as usual
    will lead to stranded assets. Why waste your time and money ? The recent UNEP report explains why the “fossil fuel age” must be rapidly phased out. Soon the UK will have to upgrade its zero-carbon intentions and that will deeply impact all fossil fuel usage and production.

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