Rathlin Energy has said it will reduce the daily number of tankers visiting its proposed oil production site in East Yorkshire, in response to public concerns.
The company said traffic was one of the main concerns raised by people who took part in an online consultation about its plans for the West Newton-A site.
“We have taken this on board and reduced the maximum number of vehicles we are proposing per day during the production phase.”
Rathlin is preparing to submit a planning application for 20 years of oil production at West Newton-A. It also wants to extend the site and drill a further six more wells. Details
Earlier this year, Rathlin estimated 25 tankers would visit the site each day during the production phase. But in a response to the consultation, it said:
“We are going to reduce the number to 10 HGVs per day (two way movement, 10 in and 10 out from the wellsite) during the longest phase of the project, the production phase, to reduce the impact balanced against managing our operations successfully.”
The company said the planning application would continue to assess what it called the worst case of 25 lorries a day on air quality, noise and road capacity.
Rathlin said it was too early to decide whether a pipeline would be needed.
It said it intended to apply for two different routes to the site for heavy goods vehicles. This was, it said, to “reduce the impact of long-term traffic on rural villages”.
A northern route will go through New Ellerby, Marton and down Piper’s Lane. The southern route will go along Burton Constable Road, Pasture Lane and to the B1238. This is to reduce the impact of long-term traffic on the rural villages.
Rathlin said a detailed assessment would be submitted as part of the planning application to assess noise levels in decibels and frequency. It would consider noise from the site and traffic noise.
The company said it would demonstrate how it would manage noise at the site. It would seek to understand the natural background noise levels and model the noise profile from the wellsite, it said. It would monitor noise at the site and would, if necessary, use noise walls.
The site would be lit at night “for the safety of our operations”, Rathlin said.
The company said the 20-year production phase would use low level lighting. But during drilling and workover phases, light levels would be higher.
Rathlin said the planning application would include measurements on sky glow, glare and light spill. It said the operation would be “consistent with professional guidance lighting thresholds for impact during operational phases”.
Emissions and climate change
Rathlin said it supported the government’s plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. It said it believed the UK was better placed to produce indigenous hydrocarbons rather than importing them.
It said East Yorkshire was “well-placed to potentially take advantage of locally sourced hydrocarbons with the intense energy industry surrounding the Humber estuary.
The company said its role in the hydrocarbon supply chain was “to produce a low carbon-intensive product for its customers thus minimising the end users carbon footprint”
The planning application would. Rathlin said, demonstrate that emissions within Rathlin’s control will potentially produce a lower carbon-intensive product to that of overseas imports.
An air quality assessment would model the impact of the site against standards for human health and wildlife habitats.
Rathlin will apply to store crude oil at West Newton-A.
This is not uncommon for an operational wellsite, the company said.
All tanks would be bunded and stand on concrete, Rathlin said. It added that the site has an impermeable liner so if oil leaked, it “could not escape into the environment”.
The company added that it was confident that the transport of crude oil from the site to refinery could be “undertaken in a safe and responsible manner”.