UKOG plans published for oil site on the Isle of Wight

200323 Arreton Frack Free Isle of Wight

Site of UKOG’s proposed Arreton oil site, 23 March 2020. Photo: Frack Free Isle of Wight

A planning application by UK Oil & Gas for an exploration site on the Isle of Wight was published online this afternoon.

But the public consultation on the proposed site near Arreton is likely to be delayed by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Isle of Wight Council has said it would not go ahead with the consultation or a decision by the planning committee until people could review the application at its planning office.

UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) is seeking permission for three years to drill a vertical well and a sidetrack well on farmland off the road between Newport and Sandown. The scheme includes a new access track and a new road junction.

The site is outside, but close to the edge of, the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It is near an anaerobic digestion facility and a quarry. The application says the nearest homes are about 600m away.

Frack Free Isle of Wight said today:

“The Planning Application documents were posted on the Isle of Wight Council planning website this afternoon. The documents are there to be viewed by the public but will not be submitted to the planning committee at this time.

“We have posted these documents on our secure portal and will be working to scrutinise them over the coming days and probably weeks to formulate our opinion statements for the forthcoming statutory consultation.

“We will be highlighting indications or points that we feel might be incorrect, as far as local knowledge or experience is concerned.

“We have prepared three online presentations for the public during lockdown and, although there is no detailed time plan at the moment for the statutory public consultation, we are still asking questions of the planning officers regarding training for the planning committee members, statements for the Island Waste and Minerals plan and procedures for the immediate future.

“We are aware that they are speaking to the appropriate statutory consultees and will formulate our plan of contact with them over the next few days.”

Application details

200514 Arreton location UKOG

Location of the Arreton site (red line). Source: UKOG planning application

The application has more than 50 documents, including a 46-page planning statement. This concluded that:

“planning permission should be consented without delay”.

The sidetrack well would target oil in the Portland formation at about 3,000ft or 900m. The vertical well would be drilled down to 5,600ft or 1,700m.

UKOG said oil and gas would continue to be crucial and major components of the UK’s energy mix while government and the planning system manage the transition to a low carbon energy. Great weight, it said, should be attributed to the economic benefits of mineral extraction and the economic growth of a thriving UK oil and gas sector.

UKOG has proposed four phases of development:

  1. Access and well site construction
  2. Drilling, testing and appraisal
  3. Well plugging, abandonment and decommissioning
  4. Site retention or restoration

The company said the site was designed and located to “minimise residual negative environmental effects” and would leave a “legacy of environmental and biodiversity net gain”.

The site was “sufficiently remote from valued assets and features” in the landscape to “render residual effects acceptable, the application said.

UKOG IoW 191216 dod5

UKOG’s proposed Arreton well on the Isle of Wight. Source: UKOG diplay panel

It argued that the impact on the landscape character would be local only and be temporary and reversible. The site would be screened by landscape features and the impact on visual amenity would be minimal, it added.

According to the application, there would be no material change to the special quality of the AONB and no significant adverse effects on wildlife sites. The restoration plan would “generate a minor beneficial legacy”, it said, and the risks from site operations to ground and surface water would be “low to very low”.

UKOG said it would seek to “maximise the economic benefits to the Isle of Wight through spending and employment. The proposal would also deliver national and local economic benefits through taxation and business rates, the company said.

The company said the application complied with national energy policy and local policies on minerals, environment, economic development, travel, waste, landscape, flooding and climate change.

On traffic, the application said the level of vehicle flows from the site would be low and would be scheduled to avoid or reduce peak hour movements. It would not “negatively impact” the A3056 road from Newport to Sandown or the Island’s wider strategic road network, it said.

On climate change, the application said:

“indigenous exploration represents the most efficient use of resources by virtue of proximity and the opportunity it affords UK regulators to control the exploration and extraction process in the best interests of climate change mitigation.”

On the impact of the AONB, the application said the scheme also complied with local policies:

“The proposed development represents a form of farm diversification that will promote a strong local and rural economy and foster sustainability in the farming sector.”

UKOG said this part of the Isle of Wight had “acceptably accommodated hydrocarbon exploration and testing the past”. The Arreton-1 borehole was drilled in 1952, followed by Arreton-2 in 1974. The proposed well, to be called Arreton-3, would target the same geological formations.

DrillOrDrop will follow this application through the planning system. We will review the details of the application and report on local reaction.


Link to application details and documents – 20/00513/FUL – Isle of Wight Council

Link to online presentations from Frack Free Isle of Wight

DrillOrDrop report on UKOG information event

DrillOrDrop page and timeline on Arreton proposals

8 replies »

  1. Given that there is currently a moratorium in England on fracking oil and gas and a massive public support for no further fracking why is Big OG pursuing it’s furtherance.

    David Hudson

    • UKOG have a clear policy of not fracking.

      They are blighted by the lies & misinformation of organizations like frack free as they do not frack & only use conventional methods of drilling & oil extraction which have been around for many years.

      New technology allows oil to be found & extracted where it has not been possible in the past.

    • David-you really would do better if you did a bit of research on the subject!

      Apart from the corrections MH and John have provided, UKOG would love to be Big OG, but really do not qualify.

      No fracking intended on IOW.

      Fracking elsewhere? Massive public support against? Not according to the tracking survey. That is still a minority. And a pretty uninformed one, according to the same survey.

      (However, I did see an interview with one Green lady on IOW who was out with her children stating she would refuse to download the Covid-19 tracking app.

      Protectors of the local communities?


      But, Fawley Refinery and associated chemicals doing a grand job. Producing more artificial rubber now for medical devices to help in the fight against Covid-19. Now, wouldn’t it be even better if that responsible attitude was added to by more of their oil being sourced locally rather than thousands of miles away with the environmental disadvantages of that? The oil equivalent of the local farm shop.

      Meanwhile, other local Councils reporting they will have to raid their reserves due to Covid-19 impacts. Perhaps some new local income will be seen to be beneficial to the many IOW residents who have been quick to be responsible compared to the Green lady?

  2. The moratorium applies to Shale gas fracking.

    UKOG have not submitted any plans or applications to frack the proposed Arreton well.

  3. Unsurprisingly UKOG have been unable to to get commercial flows from the Kimmeridge without fracking. The alternatives aren’t working. This is to be expected as the most similar formation, the Bakken, was also uncommercial over decades of exploration until the onset of High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing.
    The exception is when wells are drilled through the fracture zone of a fault, then a temporary flow from the broken up source rock is possible as at Horse Hill, which is why it began depleting during the appraisal stage (“throttled back for prudent reservoir management…”).

    None of this is news to the major oil companies who have looked before yet have no interest in the Weald or industry experts, or the service companies happy to try anything as long as they get paid.

    So realistically UKOG have three options;
    1. They could frack the Kimmeridge shale outside the government definition of fracking (as defined not by the process but on the volume of water used, set at 4 to 5 times the quantity typically needed for fracking shale oil). They do have a history of passing off unconventional stimulation techniques as conventional ones, e.g. they finally admitted matrix acidisation failed at BB having insisted they were doing no such thing. The regulators were happy to turn a blind eye.
    2. They could lobby the government (again) to allow them to frack the Kimmeridge.
    3. They can carry on pretending they have something viable by developing other PEDLs, sucking in more investor cash to extend directors remuneration for as long as possible, while maxing out the bonuses until shareholders start to squeal.

  4. Or, they could do what they have stated they will do on IOW, Dorkinian!!

    I suspect they are less confused between IOW and the Weald than you are.

    But if you want to concentrate on the Weald, you may find that oil output is NOT depleting, and if/when they get back to developing the Kimmeridge, it may increase even further.

    And, apart from the usual exciteables, including those who are not share holders, the share holders are not squealing, but continuing to purchase shares.

    You have a very strange approach. You continue to make every effort to show that oil will not be found and extracted in the Weald, yet desperately try and attempt to stop that being proven! There is a very clear contradiction within your posts that everyone can see. Same appears on the UKOG chat board, for exactly the same reason.

    From the way shares continue to be purchased, few are fooled.

  5. Read Ian West if you want to learn more, essentially the geology is the same or very similar which is why UKOG are there and why I lumped them together.

    What do UKOG say when they aren’t talking to the mug punters?

    “Flow tests and pressure data from the Broadford Bridge and Horse Hill Wells Sites have been sub-commercial” p22

  6. That’s okay then Dorkinian as those mug punters will just stop investing!

    Oh, but they don’t do they. Perhaps they take more notice when UKOG declare that HH IS commercial with supporting data? (How commercial is the question. Do catch up.)

    You really need to grasp reality. UKOG is predominantly a “punt” for investors who look to place a relatively small part of their investment into a high risk area, knowing the possible risks but also knowing the possible rewards. Few will be mugs. Many will be taking gains they made elsewhere and then investing those in UKOG, and taking what is a free ride. If they start to lose they will whinge that the loss is someone’s fault but they accept the high risk nature of the investment.

    Funny how you missed that! LOL.

    “Why I lumped them together”. That just about sums up your whole approach. Same as Frack Free IOW. Doesn’t stack up unless there is a lot of lumping together, does it?

Add a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s