Details on Rathlin’s new drilling plans as East Yorks clears way for applications

Plans by Rathlin Energy for two new well sites in East Yorkshire will not need a detailed environmental assessment, council planners have decided.

The company had told East Riding of Yorkshire Council that the proposals for sites at West Newton, north of Hull, were “not likely to generate significant effects on the environment”.

It argued that future planning applications for the sites, to be called West Newton C and D, would not need to include environmental impact assessments (EIAs).

In decisions dated yesterday (2 September 2020), the council agreed.

Documents published by the council also revealed new details of the proposed operations and site locations (see West Newton C above left and West Newton D (above right).

“No significant impacts”

The council said:

Given its understanding of the site environment and the development proposal at the time of writing, the LPA [Local Planning Authority] considers that the development proposal would not comprise EIA development.

“As such, the LPA cannot ask you to undertake an EIA of the development proposal or submit an Environmental Statement (ES) with the application for planning permission.”

If approved, the new developments would bring to four the number of oil and gas sites operated by Rathlin Energy in a small area around West Newton.

But in its decision, the council dismissed the likely cumulative impacts of the new sites and the existing pads at West Newton A and B.

On the proposals for both West Newton C and D, the council said the surrounding open countryside was not defined as a “sensitive area”.

In each decision report, the council said:

“It is, however, anticipated – due to its nature – the proposed development could be undertaken without significant impacts on the environment”

New details revealed

Documents submitted by Rathlin Energy identify for the first time the exact location of the proposed sites, to be called West Newton C and West Newton D.

Rathlin Energy announced last month that the proposed West Newton C site was on land south east of Smithy Briggs Farm, off Crook Lane, near Burton Constable. West Newton D, if approved, would be at Low Fosham Farm, Low Fosham Road, Aldbrough.

West Newton C would be reached by a private access track constructed this year to the West Newton B wellsite.

But the company’s initial statement did not include maps of the proposed sites. Maps can now be seen online as part of the screening request report linked from the council’s website (West Newton C and West Newton D).

The screening reports also reveal:

  • Rathlin is seeking permission for two wells at each site
  • Drilling rigs up to 50m high would be used on the wells
  • Drilling the main wellbore of each well is estimated at 12 weeks
  • Site construction and mobilisation of drilling and testing equipment is likely to generate up to 10 two-way movements of heavy goods vehicles
  • Testing is estimated to take up to 30 weeks
  • Acidisation – the pumping of dilute acid into the wellbore – would be used at both sites
  • The proposed sites would target the Kirkham Abbey and Cadeby formations


7 replies »

  1. Hi, two map docs for West Newton C and D are ‘unavailable for viewing at this time’, thought you should know.I appreciate all you do keeping the spotlight on all this fossil ‘fool’ activity [edited by moderator] Cheers,Dee

    • Hi Dee. Thanks very much for letting me know. I’ve put the links in again and they are working for me. Please let me know if it’s still not working and I’ll put just the link to the application page.
      Best wishes, Ruth

  2. Well said Dee!

    [Edited by moderator] [Those] promoting Fossil fuels are simply cannon fodder for local activists!

    They don’t have a leg to stand on.

    Their industry is finished for oh so many reasons!

    Like Egan from Cuadrilla they are simply attempting to extend their employment as long as possible.

    • Peter K R

      Looking back, quite a few people work hard to extend their employment as long as possible, in my youth the NUM were the key players in that area (or the antics of British Leyland), but now there are other unions / industries and so on who do the same.

      Was there not a comment on here about a wedding venue on IOW who were lobbying to extend their employment, or keep it, in light of their concerns that an industry that allows them to survive out on a leg, may affect their business?

      Strange days indeed, but a few examples of workers, entrepreneurs or unions who do not ever attempt to extend their employment would be good.

  3. Good to see a bit of common sense from the council. We need oil and gas for a little while as yet, like it or not, otherwise we’ll be importing it and another country will be making the profit. And let’s face it, nothing we do will have any impact whatsoever on the big oil, gas and coal users like China in changing their energy sources because to do so would damage their economies. Unlike the ‘protestors’ in this country, they put their own (family, friends and fellow countrymen’s) livelihoods before that of the rest of the world. I suggest anyone opposed to this should research the Chinese belt and road initiative. It’s time for the grown ups to take control, not the fantasists.

  4. Well, Terri, the demand for plastic keyboards still seems to be there amongst a few antis, who then continue to use them to moralize about how they fall outside of such demand. But, you are right about the grown ups. Most will notice that UK demand at 73 million Mtoe and supply at 25 million Mtoe means that a little more UK production will just replace a little of that gap.

    Says Law of economics disappeared from this country in the 1940s, or early ’50s, with rationing, and was replaced by Keynes Law.

    The former stated supply creates its own demand. Yes, still applies in N.Korea, and to a decreasing extent in China, but not UK.

    The latter states demand creates its own supply. We know the demand in UK for oil and gas and that will not be changed by a few antis trucking around the country in their diesels, sat at their plastic keyboards or flying over from France, just reinforced.

    I have no guilt about the oil and gas I use, although I suspect it is a lot more controlled than for many. (Such guilt could equally be applied to producing CO2 ie. breathing!) I do, though, try to direct my small purchasing power to support local supplies of whatever I consume.

    I have noticed over several years how this site has a high content of those who still lean towards the “Utopia” of a society ruled by Says Law, yet like to imply others are dinosaurs. Fantasy plus Internet does that.

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