Biscathorpe update: drilling/production plans and ownership

Plans have been submitted for a new sidetrack well, testing and long-term production at the Biscathorpe oil site near Louth in Lincolnshire.

Biscathorpe site, 6 January 2020. Photo: Used with owner’s consent

A planning application had been expected after the site operator, Egdon Resources, announced proposals four months ago.

A public consultation will begin when the application has been validated and published.

Lincolnshire County Council has assessed the proposal as an EIA (environmental impact assessment) development. This means the application will include an environmental statement addressing potential impacts on the environment identified by the council.

The proposed sidetrack well will target the Dinantian Carbonate and Basal Westphalian Sandstone reservoirs.

A previous well, Biscathorpe-2, was suspended in 2019 after it failed to find the expected oil reservoir in the Westphalian sandstone.

Egdon’s managing director, Mark Abbott, said today:

“We are pleased to confirm submission of a thorough and robust planning application, completed within the expected timeframe despite the challenges of the current operating environment.”

He said:

“Biscathorpe represents a material and financially robust opportunity to secure an indigenous oil resource which would generate local and regional economic benefits and have a lower carbon footprint when compared to imported oil.”

Egdon said drilling was planned for the second half of 2021 if the application were approved.

DrillOrDrop will follow the application through the planning process.

Union Jack finalises Biscathorpe deal

Union Jack Oil confirmed today it had completed the acquisition of a further 15% stake in the Biscathorpe licence from Humber Oil & Gas.

The deal, announced in January, cost £1m. It took Union Jack’s holding in PEDL253 to 45%, making it the largest single investor.

Egdon Resources holds 35.8% and Montrose Industries 19.3%.

Union Jack’s company’s executive chairman, David Bramhill, said:

“We are pleased to have taken this opportunity to have increased our interest to 45% in PEDL253.

“Union Jack’s technical team believe that Biscathorpe represents a material and commercially viable hydrocarbon resource that remains un-tested.”

5 replies »

  1. Abbott of course has to talk it up for those still happy to invest in fossil fuels at the planet’s expense. The clue is to talk it up until the clueless or those who don’t give a fig either for local and regional economic benefits or for a lower carbon footprint accept a falsehood as though it were a truth – (a bit like the recent Trumpian claim “We won the election”). Stating that the planning application is thorough and robust and that the opportunity presented is “material and financially robust” does not make it so. Nor will potential investors be impressed that the planning application was “completed within the expected timeframe”. Meanwhile the rest of us are regaled once again with the useful but here fallacious ‘local is cheaper than imported’ argument, only tenable if you are stopping the production you would otherwise import as well as being able to guarantee that oil will be recoverable in quantity.
    Let’s hope the planning authorities will feel able to reject the application on climate grounds.

  2. Look forwards to the public consultation. Maybe a zoom meeting – so we can save on the use of hydrocarbons as this well is unlikely to supply the whole of Lincs, should it be a success.

  3. Well, 1720, you will not invest, then.

    Your choice. But, please make some arguments that add up. Exporting companies and countries will only produce if there is a market. If that market disappears, or reduces, they will either reduce existing production or reduce new production.

    This is no different to other business sectors. Perhaps you have not had any experience in such, but don’t expect others to be in the same category.

    Of course, you could be worried about exporting countries expanding their outputs to supply other non UK countries, which is a reality, but much easier to whinge about the UK than deal with that. And what has quantity got to do with it? Every little helps. And, if it is a little, not too difficult to manage locally, is it?

    My quote to note, was:

    “Lower carbon footprint compared to imported oil”. True.

    Bit like HS2 compared to motorways-but you are against that as well. Your planet’s expense account seems to be debited repeatedly.

  4. ” Lower carbon footprint compared to imported oil.”

    Could you pleasure us with a useful example before making this assertion. ? Biscathorpe is not in production so I would expect it to have a smaller carbon footprint than ,say, Saudi Arabia .

    Secondly, could you outline your own area of expertise , Martyn ? You are very ready to call out contributors for their ignorance without ever revealing your own.

  5. “Exporting companies and countries will only produce if there is a market.” This is blindingly obvious, but thanks anyway! “If that market disappears, or reduces, they will either reduce existing production or reduce new production.” Or, they might look for new markets, as you’ve realised, brushing it aside with your “whinging” comment designed to belittle and dismiss the argument without tackling it. (Trump did much the same). Or they might choose to concentrate their resources on an energy source that does not tie them to the past or threaten to become a stranded asset. This is the point, Martin. To clarify – rather than produce our own stranded asset (at uncertain cost), thereby increasing what is available on a planetary basis, let’s practise the planet-saving methods we preach, use what is still in production while investing massively in renewables so that we can, much sooner, say goodbye to fossil fuels.
    Quantity, in my argument, is important if you are seeking to avoid importing. Local isn’t cheaper (or more beneficial to the environment) if there is not enough of it. Just to clarify for you.
    You are obsessed with HS2, so just to keep you happy: HS2 is an enormously expensive and destructive luxury which in addition impedes the further development of the network as a whole, much as domestic fossil fuel development impedes adequate investment in renewables, etc. Scrapping HS2 does not mean that we need to move to the roads, but that we can improve the rail. I hope this clears it up for you.? The only argument I can still see for seeking to knock, – is it 30 minutes – off the Birmingham/London journey time, and it’s a bad argument, is that this vanity project has already squandered so much tax payers’, including private investors’ money, so much natural capital, that we might as well see it through in the hope that somebody might see a proper return on this. I do not subscribe to this argument. Could we leave HS2 now, please?
    If you wish to engage in civilised conversation then may I advise you to drop all suggestions that your experience is more valuable than anyone else’s, that disagreeing with you amounts to whinging, that your differing opinions mean that opposing arguments do not “add up”, all your assumptions as to what other peoples’ expectations are or their experience is, etc. Avoid all ad hominem comments seems to be a good rule of thumb.

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