Opponents of onshore oil and gas exploration have responded quickly to news that UKOG is preparing to submit formal plans for two exploration sites on the Isle of Wight.
The company has distributed leaflets to local homes about an information meeting later this month.
It also published a notice in the local paper, the County Press.
UKOG said it had identified two exploration sites on the island.
One is west of Arreton and the other south west of Godshill.
One oil and gas well may be drilled at each site, the company said.
But it said fracking would not be needed to extract hydrocarbons.
The Isle of Wight branch of the Green Party has organised a meeting for tomorrow (Tuesday 3 December 2019) to discuss the proposals.
The party said “The damage to our countryside, our water supply, our roads, our entire biosphere and tourism and agricultural industries will be substantial.”
UKOG said its representatives and consultants would be available at its information meeting to explain the projects. It said:
“Feedback from the information event would inform the planning documents and environmental assessments, submitted in support of any planning application.”
Sylvia May, of Frack Free Isle of Wight, urged people to attend:
“It is essential that as many people from both the local and wider communities attend this meeting with UKOG in December.
“However it is also imperative that key questions are asked and their responses recorded.”
She added that the group had been preparing information, questions and guides for the public which it planned to distribute just before the UKOG Community Meeting.
“We have been working hard over the past few days preparing our outline action plan in anticipation of December 16th. All members of the Isle of Wight Council and other community groups have been notified by us of the UKOG meeting and encouraged to attend.
“This is such a busy time of year both politically and in the run up to Christmas which is, I am sure, why UKOG have chosen this particular date for their required community liaison.”
UKOG has been making statements to investors about exploration plans at Arreton for nearly two years. But the timetable appears to have slipped.
In March 2018, the company said it had secured a site and was preparing a planning application.
In January 2019, the company announced it expected to submit a planning application in the first quarter of the year for a test pilot hole and horizontal wellbore.
At the same time, UKOG acquired Solo Oil’s 30% stake in the Isle of Wight licence area, PEDL331. The company now holds 95% of the licence.
The Green Party meeting is at 6.30pm on Tuesday 3 December at the Riverside Centre, The Quay, Newport PO30 2QR. Details
Frack Free Isle of Wight meeting is from 6pm-8pm on Tuesday 10 December, Castle Pub Stable Bar, 91 High Street, Newport PO30 1BQ.
UKOG’s meeting is from 1pm-8pm on Monday 16 December at Newclose County Cricket Ground, Blackwater Road, Newport PO30 3BE.
Updated 3/12/2019 with details of Frack Free Isle of Wight meeting on 10 December 2019