Regulation

Wressle oil production awaits planning conditions sign-off

2018 Wressle workover

Cross-section of site during workover of the well. Source: Egdon Resources planning application to North Lincolnshire Council

Work to start oil production at the Wressle site near Scunthorpe is still awaiting the discharge of planning conditions.

The site operator, Egdon Resources, secured planning permission more than six months ago after a second public inquiry on the scheme.

The consent required Egdon to comply with 20 conditions. Four of them must be signed-off before the development could begin. A fifth condition required Egdon to submit key information before drilling or stimulation could start. Wressle appeal decision

DrillOrDrop readers asked us to investigate the progress on the sign-off of these conditions by North Lincolnshire Council, the local planning authority.

181024 Wressle UWOC medium

Egdon Resources’ Wressle well site in North Lincolnshire, subject of a public inquiry in November 2019. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

In response to our freedom of information request, the council revealed that one pre-commencement condition had been discharged on 29 April 2020.

This was condition 15, which required Egdon to submit a borehole installation plan to the council. The plan involved deepening three existing groundwater monitoring boreholes and drill an additional monitoring borehole.

In a statement in May 2020, Egdon confirmed that it had installed four groundwater monitoring boreholes. The first three months of sampling would establish baseline groundwater quality, the company said.

The council’s FOI response also confirmed that other conditions had not yet been discharged. It said:

“Details have been submitted and are awaiting consideration for the discharge of conditions 4, 16 and 17.”

Condition 4: requires Egdon to submit a noise management plan for written approval by the council. This shall “clearly set out all potential sources of noise and techniques to be used to prevent and mitigate noise”.

Condition 16: requires a scheme for on-site load bearing testing to be submitted and approved by the local planning authority.

Condition 17: requires a construction quality assurance report to be submitted and approved by the local planning authority.

The council added:

“There will also be a requirement for condition 5 to be discharged to the satisfaction of the local planning authority before any works can be commenced.”

Condition 5: requires Egdon to submit details of the name, make, model and technical noise specification of the drilling rig to the council for approval before drilling or well stimulation can begin.

Egdon’s most recent statement on Wressle said it continued “to make good progress with the Wressle development despite the current challenging operating environment” [because of Covdi-19].

It had previously forecast that the first oil from Wressle would flow during the second half of 2020.

3 replies »

  1. What are the council going to do with the Name, Make, Model and technical noise specification of the drilling rig ??? Sit round a table and shrug their shoulders what to do with that information ?? have another meeting ?? waste some more time and money?? Unbelievable

  2. I suspect, Michael, that after having to cough up a load of dosh due to incorrect process, the council will produce every hoop possible to be navigated. That is why many construction companies put up with more than they should related to the planning process.

    If Egdon want to build in a cat flap, it will need to be the “right” type and the “right” colour. Might drag things out but eventually all will be agreed, otherwise it could cost a second tranche.

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