The decision on plans by UK Oil & Gas to drill at Dunsfold in Surrey have been put back again.
Earlier this week, the company said in a statement to investors the planning application would “be heard by Surrey County Council at the end of February”.
But council planners have said the scheme, known by the company as Loxley-1, would not be decided next month.
Asked when the application would be considered, officials said only “subsequently”.
The online planning application now indicates that the proposal aims to go before the council’s planning committee by 25 March 2020.
This target has been updated at least six times.
It was first listed as August 2019, then September, October, November and December last year. It was later updated to 30 January 2020.
UKOG is seeking permission to drill at Dunsfold for gas in the Portland sandstone and oil in the deeper Kimmeridge limestones. The company has said it intends to drill a vertical well and a sidetrack.
Yesterday’s investors’ statement said the industry regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority, had granted a two-year extension for work commitments in PEDL234, the licence area held by UKOG including Dunsfold.
The statement said the Loxley-1 well must now be drilled by 31 December 2021. But UKOG added that it still planned to begin drilling, if permission were granted, in the winter of 2020/2021.
Another UKOG site in PEDL234, Broadford Bridge, is also due to go before councillors in the coming months.
UKOG is seeking another two years of planning permission. This is the third request for more time at the site near Billingshurst in West Sussex.
The company said it needed more time to analyse results from Dunsfold and the Horse Hill site, also in Surrey, before deciding the future of Broadford Bridge.
A public consultation by West Sussex County Council closed earlier this week. At the time of writing, there were about 120 online comments in support of the application and about 420 objecting.