Drilling began this morning on the main borehole at the West Newton-B exploration site in East Yorkshire, site operator Rathlin Energy has announced.
The company said the borehole would be drilled, 24-hours a day, to a depth of about 2,000m. The operation is expected to last six-10 weeks, it said.
The rig, the Drillmec HH220, arrived on 22 September 2020 .
The well is targeting the Kirkham Abbey and Cadeby formations. Rathlin said they were encountered by the nearby West Newton-A2 well, spudded in April 2019.
Opponents of Rathlin’s operation at West Newton have been monitoring activity at site since July 2020. A post on social media has called for support:
” We are now on 24 7 rig watch as they are drilling throughout the day and night so it is important that monitors have somewhere safe and warm to go back to after standing outside for long periods.”
A statement issued by the company today said:
“The rock samples and other data acquired during the drilling of WNB-1 will inform a subsequent programme of well testing to establish the well’s productive capability and any future drilling operations.”
Rathlin said site access was required 24-hours a day, seven days a week. But it said most deliveries were planned during the day.
Three road closures, agreed by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, will remain in force. The closure orders could run until July 2021.