IGas is seeking to extend the life of two small Nottinghamshire oil sites until 2031.
The sites, Rempstone A and B, near Loughborough, have produced oil since 1991.
Rempstone B is currently dormant. Rempstone A, produces about 15 barrels of oil per day or 750 tonnes per year, IGas said.
Planning permission for Rempstone A expires at the end of this month (January 2021). Rempstone B’s permission runs until the end of the year.
Applications to extend the permissions have been submitted to Nottinghamshire County Council. Comments on the proposals are invited by Friday 5 February.
“Important supply of oil”
IGas described both sites as “efficient and resilient” with “an important supply of oil and gas for which there is demonstrable demand”.
It said the retention of the sites would “ensure that recovery of easily winnable oil and gas reserves are maximised, thus delivering a small but nevertheless important economic”.
Analysis of data published by the Oil & Gas Authority shows that the two sites produced 0.05% of UK onshore oil between 1991 and 2020. Their production ranked 27th out of 33 producing UK onshore fields in 2019, the most recent full year for which data is available.
On Rempstone B, IGas said the site was dormant because of “historically low oil prices” and the “wider economic climate stifling immediate demand for oil”. But it said:
“It is the Applicant’s intention to recommence oil production in the near future whereupon the Development will involve the extraction of up to approximately 500 tonnes of oil per annum and minimal volumes of gas.”
IGas said if the applications were not approved the sites would have to be restored. The company said it would “face the task of sourcing an alternative replacement source of oil and associated gas”. This could potentially be of lower quality, IGas said, “due to lack of availability of high-quality oil”.
For both proposals it said:
“The continued acceptable use of the site will avoid the unnecessary sterilisation of a proven resource as well as delivering continued economic benefits.”
IGas said the extension of permission would not have any significant adverse impacts on the environment or amenity of local residents or contravene local or national planning policies. Any perceived impacts” would be temporary, the company said.
“the surface operations at the sites are considered to be of such a small scale that no unacceptable impacts will occur in combination with one another.”
Oil from Rempstone is taken by tanker to IGas’s Gainsborough gathering station and then on to a refinery at Immingham. IGas said vehicle movements would be low. Rempstone B was not expected to have any impact on a helicopter facility 350m away, it added.
The applications said wells at both sites passed through gypsum deposits but the permission extensions would have no impact on mining operations by British Gypsum.
- DrillorDrop will follow the applications through the planning system.