Oil and gas companies have been given more time to carry out work in 10 English licence areas.
An updated document from the industry regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), allows up to three extra years in some licences to comply with agreed work programmes.
The Retention Areas Agreed list, issued on 1 July 2019, covers a total of 26 licences, known as PEDLs, which are in the appraisal or production phases.
Six of these licences have deadlines to meet by the end of this year.
Horse Hill, Surrey, PEDL137
The OGA has given site operator Horse Hill Developments Limited an extra year to drill a Kimmeridge limestone appraisal well at Horse Hill. The deadline for the work had been extended from 30 September 2019 to 30 September 2020. The requirement to drill a Portland appraisal well by 30 September 2019 remains unchanged.
Outer York, PEDL146
IGas has been given another year to drill a well (extended from December 2020 to December 2021). A previous requirement to acquire new 3D seismic data by December 2022 is not in the updated work plan. But the company now has to submit an area plan to the OGA by December 2019, incorporating timings for new seismic testing and a planning application.
Fylde, Lancashire, PEDL165
In the north of this licence area, Cuadrilla has an extension of three years to acquire gravity and/or geophysical data. The new deadline is June 2022. An application for planning permission to drill a well in this section of the PEDL has been extended by two years from June 2021 to June 2023.
In the centre of the licence, Cuadrilla must submit a field development plan by June 2023. This has been extended from the previous date of June 2021.
In the southern section, the deadline for applying for permission to drill a well has been extended from June 2021 to June 2023. There are two more years to acquire gravity and/or magnetic geophysical data (extended from June 2019 to June 2021).
Markham Coal Mine Vent, Derbyshire, PEDL169
Alkane Energy has two more years to complete new seismic acquisition (extended to June 2021) and apply for permission to drill a well (extended to 2023).
Ince Marshes, PEDL190
IGas has two-and-a-half more years to drill a well (extended from June 2019 to December 2022). The updated document includes a requirement to submit an area plan for approval to the OGA by June 2020. This would include timings for new seismic acquisition and planning application. A field development plan must be submitted by 30 June 2023.
Egdon has two more years to submit a planning application to drill a well (extended from December 2019 to December 2012) and another two years to drill it (extended from June 2021 to June 2023).
Leicestershire/Nottinghamshire border, PEDL201
Egdon Resources has an extra three years to submit an application for a well (extended from June 2019 to June 2022) and another three to drill (extended from June 2021 to June 2024).
Calverton, Nottinghamshire, PEDL202
Egdon and Infinis have an extra two years to submit an application for a well (extended June 2019 to June 2021) and an extra two years to drill (extended from June 2021 to June 2023).
The new deadlines give two more years for Egdon Resources to apply for permission for a well (extended from December 2019 to December 2021) and two more years to drill (extended from June 2021 to June 2023).
IGas has a new requirement to submit an area plan for approval by 31 December 2019. This should incorporate timing for new seismic testing and a planning application. The company has an extra year to drill a well (extended from June 2021 to June 2022).
New work plan
PEDL181, Europa’s licence west of Grimsby, appears on the list for the first time. The company must submit a planning application for a well by June 2023 and drill it by June 2026.
Work in seven PEDLs has not changed in the updated document but must be completed within 3-6 months.
By 30 September 2019
Horse Hill Developments Limited must drill a Portland appraisal well at the Horse Hill site in Surrey in PEDL137.
Aurora must submit a planning application to drill a well into the Bowland shale in PEDL164, east of Formby.
By 30 December 2019
IGas must submit area plans for PEDL146, on the western side of York, and PEDL210, north west of Lincoln. These plans should incorporate timings for new seismic and planning applications.
IGas must also acquire new seismic data in PEDL200, the licence in north Nottinghamshire which includes the Tinker Lane site.
UKOG must drill and test an exploration well in PEDL234 on the border of West Sussex and Surrey. The well should be through the Kimmeridge limestones, on trend with the Godley Bridge-1 Portland gas discovery.
In Ryedale, Third Energy is required to frack the KM8 well at Kirby Misperton and conduct a flow test.