Rathlin Energy has announced plans for two new exploration sites in East Yorkshire.
The proposals, to be called West Newton C and D, are likely to be near the company’s existing well sites, north of Hull.
The news has disappointed some local people and dismissed by opponents of Rathlin’s current operations.
If approved, the new sites would bring to four the number operated by Rathlin in the West Newton area.
A conductor rig was delivered earlier this week to the West Newton B site. A well test is still awaited at West Newton A.
Rathlin said this morning it had submitted screening requests to East Riding of Yorkshire Council for the proposed sites.
This is the first step in the planning process. The council will decide whether future planning applications would need environmental impact assessments.
Rathlin Energy’s announcements did not identify the location of the proposed sites or given a timeline for when planning applications might be submitted.
But online information on East Yorkshire’s planning website lists one site as:
“land south east of Smithy Briggs Farm, Crook Lane, Burton Constable”.
The other site is identified as:
“Land west of Low Fosham Farm, Low Fosham Road, Aldbrough”
So far, there are no online documents or background details.
Rathlin did say it would carry out public consultations on the plans in the coming months, before any formal planning applications were submitted.
West Newton Observation Camp, which is monitoring Rathlin’s operations at West Newton B, said today:
“The announcement of West Newton C and D is nothing but a pipeline dream in the mind of second class companies that have never successfully decommissioned a site never mind actually finding fossil fuels. We believe this to simply be a case a stock price manipulation.”
Rathlin said in a letter to local residents today:
“Further exploration and appraisal of the West Newton Field will continue to progress the company’s understanding of the West Newton hydrocarbon prospect.”
The company described the Humber region is the UK’s largest energy hub, contributing £18bn to the economy and 27% of the country’s oil refinery capacity. Rathlin said the region’s chemical and energy operations relied on “significant oil and natural gas imports”.
“Rathlin Energy (UK) Limited believes the West Newton Field has the potential to provide local feedstock to a Humber net zero project replacing the need for imported hydrocarbons while at the same time developing indigenous energy sources, contributing to the economic welfare of the Humber region and enhancing local job prospects.”