Views are invited on an application by Rathlin Energy to change its environmental permit for the West Newton oil and gas site north of Hull.
A public consultation runs until 11 February 2019. There is a drop-in information meeting this week near the site.
Rathlin wants to vary its existing mining waste permit to allow it to carry out extended well tests on two wells at West Newton. It also wants permission to store crude oil on the site and burn gas in a flare with a capacity above 10 tonnes a day.
The company is preparing to drill a second well at the site, after gaining a second extension of planning permission in November 2018.
Deliveries began in December 2018, accompanied by ongoing protests.
Earlier this month, the conductor rig, which sets the first layer of steel casing, was installed and opponents began round-the-clock monitoring operations.
They said they were prompted to do this because Rathlin Energy breached at least 14 conditions of its existing environmental permit during flow tests on the first well in 2014. (DrillOrDrop reports here and here).
The Environment Agency, which grants permits, said it was seeking views from the local community and interested groups on the company’s application for a permit variation. It said:
“This proposes changes to the way tests would be carried out on an exploratory well, scheduled for drilling in early 2019, to assess its potential for oil and gas production.”
Francis Lowe, Environment Manager for the Environment Agency, said:
“The regulatory controls covered by the company’s environmental permit provide a high level of protection for people and the environment. We will now assess proposals to vary the conditions of the permit to ensure that the changes proposed by Rathlin Energy continue to meet these same strict requirements.”
“We also welcome comments from the public and interested groups on local environmental factors that people feel are important.”
The Environment Agency operates a 24-hour incident hotline. Pollution incidents can be reported by phoning 800 80 70 60.
Drop-in event details
The drop-in session is on Thursday 24 January, 3.30pm-6.30pm at Sproatley Village Hall, Main Street, Sproatley, HU11 4PA.
DrillOrDrop key facts and timeline about Rathlin Energy’s West Newton A site