Opponents of plans by Rathlin Energy to drill another well in East Yorkshire have said they will monitor operations round the clock.
The company has been delivering equipment to its West Newton-A site, north of Hull, since early December (DrillOrDrop report).
The conductor rig was installed today. This sets the first layer of steel casing – the conductor pipe – to provide structural support for the well.
In November 2018, Rathlin was granted three more years of planning permission in which to drill and test a second well at the site.
Local people said this prompted them to establish a 24-hour monitoring and information station and camp, next to the site, when Rathlin returned.
A spokesperson for the group said:
“This 24/7 camp is necessary. It was due to the last camp and local residents working together that several breaches to both the Environment Agency permits and Health and Safety regulations were reported and acted upon. Self-regulation failed.”
He said campaigners would be providing support, information and monitoring to residents.
“We would like to work closely with residents and the wider community to hold Rathlin to account on what could be the beginnings of large-scale industrialisation of the countryside in the form of gas and oil fields.
“We would like local people to come along, have a cup of tea and a chat and find out more.”
The group said it would be recording all vehicles to ensure they adhered to speed limits set in the planning conditions on the agreed route to the site. It would also check road conditions, including mud and damage to surface and verges. Activities on the well pad would be checked, the group said, to ensure they complied with permissions. All potential breaches would be reported, the group added.