Angus Energy has said it will seek a five-year extension to its oil production licence at Brockham in Surrey.
A statement from the company said it was also submitting a field development plan to the Oil & Gas Authority and was preparing an application to the Environment Agency to reinject produced water at the site.
The statement said:
“Assuming that the field development plan is approved, we will apply for a five year extension of the term of the licence.”
OGA records say the licence, PL235, is due to end on 27 March 2020.
A water reinjection well was drilled at Brockham in 2007. It took produced water from the Angus Energy site at Lidsey in West Sussex.
An environmental permit issued in 2018 did not give permission for the reinjection of water or for the use of acid at Brockham. The Environment Agency said Angus Energy had failed to assess adequately some risks to groundwater and had not provided required information despite its requests.
Angus said in its statement:
“we are preparing an application to the Environment Agency for permission to re-inject formation water to maintain pressure in that reservoir to gain maximum hydrocarbon recovery. This will include an updated Hydrogeological Risk Assessment report.”
Angus Energy attracted criticism from councillors and local people at Brockham when it drilled a sidetrack well in January 2017 without planning permission. The company always maintained that it had consent. Surrey County Council granted retrospective permission in August 2018
In June last year, Angus said it was looking to sell Brockham after the sidetrack was found to be “uncommercial” without fracking or extra stimulation.
This option, or disposal of the licence, were now “on hold”, while the regulators considered the latest plans, Angus said.
A spokesperson for the community action group, Brockham Oil Watch, said:
“In November 2018, Angus was granted a new environmental permit for Brockham by the Environment Agency. This permit prohibited the reinjection of waste water (from Brockham and another of Angus’ drill sites – Lidsey) because of the risk of pollution of groundwater.
“Angus was not able to demonstrate to the EA that they had the required procedures in place to monitor well integrity when injecting waste water underground.
“Given this history, we expect that the EA will require all applicable conditions to be met, including comprehensive groundwater monitoring should they consider issuing a permit for reinjection to Angus. Currently, there is no (and there never has been) any groundwater monitoring requirement at Brockham.”
Angus confirmed it had submitted a field development plan for the gas site at Saltfleetby in Lincolnshire.
Decommissioning of two wells earmarked for abandonment continued to be finalised, Angus said.
“We hope to satisfy the Independent Well Examiner as regards these two wells and complete operations within four to six weeks having been a little delayed by the holiday period.”
Angus also said it was working on design of site processing facilities and reconnection of Saltfleetby to the national gas grid at Theddlethorpe. Discussions were underway with Lincolnshire County Council, other regulators and a gas marketing company, the company said.
Balcombe decision date
West Sussex County Council has said it expects to decide Angus Energy’s planning application for Balcombe on 25 February 2020. The company is seeking permission for an extended well test.