Views sought on UKOG oil drilling plans on Isle of Wight

A public consultation opened today on the environmental impact of plans to revive oil exploration on the Isle of Wight.

Site of UKOG’s proposed Arreton oil site, 23 March 2020. Photo: Frack Free Isle of Wight

UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) has applied for an environmental permit for a proposed site at Arreton, between Newport and Sandown.

The company is seeking consent from the Environment Agency to drill and test a main and sidetrack borehole.

A separate planning application for the scheme has been submitted to Isle of Wight Council.


The consultation runs for four weeks until 9 July 2021.

It can take into account:

  • Noise and smell from traffic on site
  • Environmental regulations and technical standards
  • Information on local population and sensitive sites
  • Whether the right processes are being proposed
  • Whether the impact on surrounding land is acceptable
  • Any need for pollution control
  • Any incorrect or missing information in the application

Conditions on operation

The environmental permit, if granted, would set conditions for the operation of the proposed exploration site.

It seeks to control issues such as noise, vibration and smell, chemicals used on the site, extractive waste and emissions to air, land and water.

It would allow:

  • Handling, storage, loading and treatment of crude oil
  • Incineration of gas in a flare
  • Use of a generator
  • Management of mining waste, including drill cuttings and mud, well suspension fluid, produced water, gas and spent acid

The Environment Agency said there was “no intention to carry out high pressure high volume fracturing (fracking)” and this had not been included in the application.

UKOG said it did not need a groundwater activity permit because the risk of pollution was too small to be a danger to water quality.

It also said it would apply for a standard radioactive substances permit because formation water produced from any future well could include naturally-occurring radioactive material (NORM).

If approved, the proposed wells, to called Arreton-3 and Arreton-3z, would be the first onshore oil and gas drilling on the Isle of Wight since 2005.

The Arreton-1 well was drilled in the 1950s and Arreton-2 in the 1970s. Neither is operating today.

Proposed Arreton-3 and Arreton-3z wells. Source: UKOG environmental permit application



The application said the proposed depth and trajectory of the Arreton-3 and 3z wells had not been finalised.

The target formations are Portland limestone, micritic limestone, Corallian and Inferior Oolite.

Diagrams show the Arreton-3 borehole reaching 5,400ft (1,646m).

Well tests

UKOG said the well casing would be perforated using explosive charges to allow any oil to move from the formation into the wellbore.

An initial flow test, lasting 10 weeks, would pump nitrogen into the base of the well, which would push oil, condensate, gas and formation water to the surface.

Gas would be burned in a flare. Formation water would be removed by tanker to a water treatment facility. Oil and condensate would be taken to a refinery.

The application said similar processes would be used for a 16-week extended well test.

Well treatments

The application also gave details of acid wash. This is described as a process used to clean the well after drilling, by dissolving calcium carbonate.

A typical treatment would use four acid washes and a xylene solvent treatment, UKOG said. This would need a total of up to 232m3 of fluid.

The acid in the treatments would include 7.5% and 15% hydrochloric, 15% acetic, and also formic acid, UKOG said.

Xylene would be used to remove wax and bitumen products that may build up, the company added.

UKOG said pressures and pump rates for well treatments would be decided by an injectivity test, where water or brine were injected into the oil reservoir, UKOG said.

  • DrillOrDrop will follow the permit application through the decision-making process.

15 replies »

  1. Ahh, your English slips! Good job you are not expected to supply any source for your posts and thus have a fake passport!

    Indeed it does slip:

    You know the meaning of “transfer” yet try and deflect continuously. And even use fake maths. to mask the inability to accept what the definition of transfer is.

    And, there are just as many scientists who have produced reports advocating that individuals can have a rapid impact mitigating against climate change by sourcing locally. We have discussed that before, but you are the denier in not respecting that scientific advice.

    Scientific advice?


    Try this:

    “There is this appalling delusion that people have that we can take this thing (renewables) and we can just scale it up and if there is a slight issue of it not adding up, then we can just do energy efficiency. Humanity really does need to pay attention to arithmetic and the laws of physics.”

    Who said that?

    Professor Sir David McKay, a late government chief scientific adviser in 2016. Yet, five years later, what do we have? Denial! And, worse, attempts to deflect and call others deniers who actually believe Sir David, and no attention to arithmetic and physics in this respect. Just deny the arithmetic and physics.

    As far as your strange meandering on the TGV and HS2, all I will state, which is pretty evident, is that the costs of dealing with climate change are indeed high, but it is not all about money. But, if you want to make it all about the money, perhaps at least look at the cost in respect of the expected life, and the expected return. You concentrate on the cost, 1720, I prefer to look at the environmental benefits. Ironic.

  2. This MUST stop now, we live on a Beautiful Island, we must protect it. NO drilling here. sign the document .

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