Isle of Wight MP opposes UKOG’s permit application for Arreton

A company’s bid to drill for oil on the Isle of Wight has been opposed again by the local MP.

Photo: Don’t Drill the Wight

Bob Seely, a Conservative, has objected to UK Oil & Gas’s application for an environmental permit for its proposed exploration site at Arreton.

Writing online today, he praised the work of the local campaign group, Don’t Drill the Wight, and other opponents of the plans.

He said:

“I am deeply concerned about the environmental impacts arising from this proposal. Not only does the proposed site sit on undeveloped greenfield farmland, it is very close to a Site of Special Scientific Interest and the boundary of the Isle of Wight AONB [Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty].

 “The application is entirely contrary to the high environmental standards we are trying to uphold here. We have 41 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, 395 local wildlife sites and we seek to secure a sustainable future, preserving the Island’s biosphere status and aiming for net-zero by 2050.”


Bob Seely MP. Photo: Office of Bob Seely

A year ago, Mr Seely objected to UKOG’s planning application for Arreton. He said the scheme was “inappropriate for the island”, conflicted with local economic aims and threatened the tourist industry.

At the time of writing, Isle of Wight Council has not confirmed when the planning application will be decided.

UKOG has now applied to the Environment Agency for a permit, which must also be approved for drilling to go ahead.

In response, Mr Seely said:

“I hope that the Environment Agency not only understands the strength of feeling from Islanders on this issue but also agrees that this application is harmful to our environment and everything we are working so hard to protect here.”

He has called for an extension of the Isle of Wight AONB, which currently covers about half the island. He also wants the island to become the UK’s first Island Park, to protect the wider landscape. He said:

“Our environment has been both nationally and internationally recognised for the variety of landscape, wildlife and level of access available across the Island. We do not want to see that tarnished.”

Mr Seely said there was a low likelihood of accidents in the onshore oil and gas industry but if they happened they could have serious consequences:

“I urge the Environment Agency to consider the unique environmental pressures that the Island faces; the ability of the Island to respond to such incidents; and the challenges of monitoring and assessing the environmental impact of the site in terms of the Island’s fragility as a whole.”

He said he also feared that traffic generated by the proposal would add to existing road congestion. And he was concerned about the impact of noise, air pollution and artificial lighting. On light pollution he said:

“the Island is one of the few areas in England with truly Dark Skies, and if we want to be designated a Dark Sky Park then we need to consider applications such as this.”

41 replies »

  1. With due respect to Mr. Seely’s reasons for objecting to this application, might I suggest that none of the reasons adduced are of as compelling weight as that of climate heating. This is relegated almost to an aside, “aiming for net-zero by 2050”.
    Local planners can no longer in conscience refuse to ignore the imperative not to consent to the development of new sources of fossil fuels. To proceed along established planning routes whilst ignoring the scientific consensus on the dangers of permitting new fossil fuel development verges on the criminal, a charge likely to be sustained by the next generation.

    • Maths. wrong again, 1720.

      Arreton, if it produced oil, would simply transfer some production to a more local source. That has already been confirmed at a previous planning appeal for UK on shore oil. Mr. Seely can watch daily the tanker movements passing the IOW, bringing oil from many miles away, producing emissions in the process. His ferry to the mainland needs to be careful to avoid the things. Greta needs to be careful one does not crash into her yacht.

      The use of oil in the UK would not be changed by sourcing more locally, so, unless the next generation refuse to go to school and study maths. and physics, I suspect they will be able to think and not panic.

      The oil that was supplied from overseas and replaced by a local UK source, would stay in the ground. Not UK ground, someone else’s ground, but as climate change is a global issue that is of equal importance. Transport emissions would be reduced, so a net benefit to the world. Greta says that UK can not ignore it’s carbon footprint by offshoring it, Greens said the same thing today. You seem to be trying to defend the indefensible, again, and being part of the problem, not part of the solution. Those who have an interest in exporting fossil fuel to UK are the ones who are the losers. Maybe you have a connection, but whether you do or do not, your maths. and anyone else who tries the same approach, are incorrect.

      If IOW are to stop this, they will need to try something that has not been dismissed already, at a cost of £400k to the local community.

      • Classic deflection. Nothing to do with maths: unless you can prove that x no longer exists, then x plus y equals the sum of the two. Who on earth taught you the Maths which posits that one of the terms of the sum ceases to exist. Over to you to prove the non-existence of x. Your terms ‘replace’ and ‘transfer’ only apply if you can so prove.
        Let me try and help you again. Imagine, person A. decides to stop paying Martin “my (ie.Martin’s) price” for his planet endangering courgettes, preferring, very wisely, to grow his own locally, although he knows the risks. Cheaper, after all. What does poor Martin do now? Does he stop growing the courgettes which have enriched him, (in which case Martin’s “Maths” applies)? I think not. Having taken his customers for suckers, he wants more of the same, and looks for a new paying customer. (Enter the real arithmetic, one local grower plus Martin with his new customer equals two growers and more courgettes.) Here the similarity ends.
        I had to strain the metaphor a bit, but it’s your metaphor.
        As I’ve said before, if I am indeed part of the problem which shows up your gobbledigook for what it is, perhaps preventing one person from accepting your ‘more of the same’ argument which benefits only the polluters and their people, then I thank my lucky stars.
        Don’t panic Martin, but I’m afraid that the whole premise upon which your self- proclaimed expertise in Maths. and Physics is based is a house built upon sand. Pity you choose to use this to justify your stand. Producer X, losing a customer, will seek another customer. You cannot in support of the rubbish you persist in calling Maths simply negate that possibility. Drop it, Martin. You’re getting ridiculous in your pursuit of saving fossil fuel income for the nation as it progresses, thanks to you and your like, inexorably, towards extinction.
        On the other hand, and to turn the tables on you, dig away, please, and help the cause.
        However, don’t get get the impression that the antis, as you like to call those in favour of protecting the planet, are necessarily against CCS. Some, like me, are simply sceptical, seeing it as the ‘solution’ preferred by those in favour of continuing pollution, as it confers a licence to continue to exploit fossil fuels for profit. CCS cannot be the solution; at best it might be part thereof.

        • x will no longer exist for UK export. Oil wells are a temporary structure, 1720, and once depleted are not drilled again if the market has gone, because they are depleted, and the market has gone! DOH.

          So, once you have stopped posting such utter erm, let me polite, confirmation of a complete lack of knowledge about the most fundamental issue, do not be surprised that I take your desire to take part as a smoke screen for simply ignoring the reality, and just wanting to be anti.

          I know some would like to work with “keep it in the ground”, but that is not the reality. If it is kept in the ground on IOW then it will not be elsewhere eg. Nigeria. If you have an issue with Nigeria seeking another customer go and protest in Nigeria, or the other customer’s country. You will have no joy there, so you campaign for what? To continue with transport emissions that could be reduced, same as you are against HS2, with the transport emissions continued. And you accuse others about not being serious about climate change!

          On top of not wanting to help reduce transport emissions you also want to deny the aspect of transfer has been tried with the same lack of understanding, and cost a local community £400k. Your choice to try and maintain transport emissions and also cost communities money they could use for good things. I will continue to suggest ways that transition can be advanced.

          Arithmetic and physics. Martin? Well, yes I agree with the science. Suggest you read Prof. Sir David McKay. (He did contribute in the Guardian, so surprised you missed it.) He was more scathing than me, but, now is shown to have been correct in that his warning was not headed.

          Some, like him, were paid large sums of money for the knowledge, 1720. You can ignore it, I will not, until I see something to disprove. You just enforce to me, and certainly a few “we’s” on the IOW, how correct he was.

          • May take a little while longer, but it took a long time for you to correct a misunderstanding on another matter, 1720, so I am patient.

            Meanwhile, I have just spoken with someone I know who is building new houses at Arreton, IOW, and obtained some useful information that I will store up whilst the uninformed posts build to a crescendo. Just a little taster, green field site, gas connected, granted on Appeal with partial award of costs! OMG, how ironic.

            Brewery also being built, so industrialisation is alive and well in Arreton, as well.

          • I’m not familiar with the word DOH, Martin, although you are obviously shouting it , (capitals). Could it be the inactivist replacement of the first person plural English pronouns?
            Do you really think it matters that x is no longer available for UK export? If the UK market has gone, then others will eat your courgettes. If you’ve exhausted the productivity of the land, then you’ll find somewhere else to grow your courgettes no doubt. What does it matter where these toxic courgettes are produced/eaten?They’ll kill anyway.
            Of course I just want to be anti……..anti pollution, anti greed, anti cant, anti indifference, anti denial, anti deflection, anti falsehood masquerading as truth. I could go on but suspect I’ve lost you already.
            ‘Heeded’, Martin, not ‘headed’. You’re getting confused with football transfers, replacements, etc.again. Stick to football.
            On the contrary, Martin, MacKay and Stone were only too well heeded, completely misleading both government and people. Their report relied heavily on bottom-up emissions from shale sites, whereas top-down measurements produced data indicating a much higher level of toxic emissions. The report justified for HMG their approach to fracking, rather like your own, I guess.
            So you now agree with “the science”, I see. You’d told me you’d rejected it if it didn’t match your own scientific research. However……Great! Selectively, of course. No real science!
            I wonder, do you ever question your own supposed omniscience?

            • OMG-(do you understand that one?)-so many words, so little substance,1720.

              Strange that you seem to be reasonably educated but have yet to grasp so many basics. Leaving the maths. and physics out, are you not aware that scientists have always been debunked by others? Particularly the Church and particularly other scientists! So, that being the case, not all links to scientists will be gospel. Next, you will try and suggest the “views” of the BMA are the Bible for medical opinion-with the BMA being one of the most politically active organisations within the health sector.

              If that awareness has not dawned as yet regarding scientists, DYOR regarding Darwin. Or, you could actually come more up to date and research diesel gate, where all the scientists were correct??!!

              Ahh, though, within all that waffle I did find an admission that x is no longer available for UK export! Yes, better to surround it with the smoke, but it will be observed, because that is the fact. One small step for mankind. Now for the next step:

              x becomes depleted. It is no longer supplying UK, it is capped. (Although some countries are not too concerned about such matters. Another good reason for transfer.) What is supplying UK (a bit of it), could actually be transferred to UK, until that becomes depleted and is capped! Let me help you some more, now you are finding your feet. Wytch Farm used to produce over 100k barrels per day, now down to a little over 10k barrels per day, so 90k barrels per day less. So, that 90k barrels is being “left in the ground”??? No it is not. It is coming out of the ground somewhere else. And then transported, producing emissions. Some of it may be possible to extract from Arreton, producing far lower transport emissions. Just like Channel 4 stated that lithium produced in Cornwall transported to a giga factory in UK would produce lower transport emissions than lithium transported to UK from thousands of miles away.

              But, please do not admit your error on this too quickly. A constant reminder is good too. The readers do need to observe some more evidence of how false information is produced and maintained. I will be interested to see whether I am the one who finally gets you to admit your error (again), or whether other antis make it clear you are damaging their credibility. So far, they have been missing in action regarding support. Have you wondered why? Perhaps it was the £400k costs awarded? And, yes, I have pointed out that costs are awarded on IOW too, when planning applications need to go to appeal. Even in Arreton, MPs are just another citizen in such respects.

              • Sorry, forgot DOH.

                Cambridge Dictionary will help.

                I should have actually typed D’OH, but took a short cut.

                • Martin, you are capable of making good points, but ruin them by making dodgy statements such as ;x becomes depleted. It is no longer supplying UK, it is capped. ‘ In general a well is suspended for quite a while, often years, to give time to conduct a technical reassessment. Unless of course it is a one-hole wildcat such as Holme Chapel No1 which struck the basement, In many cases wells are suspended or even capped, to wait to see if the oil price moves up sufficient to turn the liability into an asset.

                  The UK onshore production of oil is of little relevance to UK energy needs. As a wanna-be oil economist you are probably well aware that every few years the cry has gone up that the sky is falling down, and the oil is running out. With repeated advances in oil exploration techniques and advances in oil recovery techniques, UK offshore oil production while falling is still considerable. Meanwhile onshore oil exploration has rarely been successful and the limited successes are a mere blip compared with UK offshore production. The tragedy for onshore oil exploration companies is that they were fed a story by the government agency, the British Geological Survey that the Bowland Shale was a superb target. It never was, was known to be iffy, and its great thickness meant only expensive 3D seismic would guide the drilling, leaving most onshore drilling blind. Check out the UK Onshore Geophysical Library UKOGL to inspect the evidence.

                  Robin Grayson MSc FGS Liberal Democrat Geologist

                • So, Robin, am I not correct that UK still imports a considerable quantity of oil? That our use is greater than our production?

                  I believe that is correct, even without going into some of the oil product side-such as diesel-which, pre-pandemic was indicating around 50% of UK use was imported. Guess which refinery had plans to address that? Fawley!

                  I also believe that countries UK imports from are quite frequently drilling new wells to supply their export markets. If UK, as a customer, import less, they will have less need to drill new wells to supply UK-that is just factually correct. I worked within a number of successful exporting companies. I had no knowledge of one that carried on producing stuff for a customer if they found a customer decided to obtain supplies from elsewhere or manufacture themselves. I think it is now referred to “keep it in the ground”.

                  The wanna-be oil economist? Not really, Robin, but I do try and get my facts correct, and “strangely” DoD is usually terrible in containing much that is correct with regard to economics within the comment section..

                  However, an area of consensus. UK on shore oil production is indeed a drop in the ocean. And that is quite a key point. It means UK oil use is still pretty high, will be for decades to come, and imports have to be transported to make up the shortfall. I will not quote you figures as you should be aware of them, but that will continue for a long time to come. I understand that was the reason given recently for granting new off shore licenses. And, it was also stated that local production of oil was deemed to be better in respect of transport emissions and control of standards-just like it is now being claimed for Cornish lithium-although I await the concerns about what Cornish lithium mining might release! Perhaps selenium? Perhaps radioactivity? Job opportunities there!

                  So, a drop in the ocean. Hardly the industrialization of the countryside that some are keen to trot out, yet are willing to really industrialize the countryside over the horizon. Yes, the low hanging fruit has been picked on shore and what is left will take a lot of effort, and some luck, to reach. I recall when oil was $100/barrel much talk about revisiting some of the potential pockets in my neck of the woods, except it was found that most were now beneath new housing estates. That might be the best defence at Arreton. Just build on more of the green spaces and then say the potential deposit can’t be reached easily and economically. My builder (imported daily!) contact is merrily helping out in that one, and then moves on to a number of other new build projects on the Island-all on green spaces, all adding to light pollution, all producing disruption for many years. But, like oil, the people want them, so they get them. With both oil, and new housing, I would just like more care that what the people want is supplied in the best way possible, featuring the environment, and not sacrificed to false claims about industrialization and such, and then what they get is a lot worse for the environment than what could have been, even after all those expert witnesses have made a living, and local MPs have protected their backyard but ignored the bigger picture. Yes, I know that is what a lot of MPs do, but then they should be happy to be on the back benches.

                  And, meanwhile, the protest about the new interconnector (Aquind) continue (more job opportunities), and IOW continues to get much of it’s energy from? Interconnectors! (Apart from the light fuel oil for Cowes Power Station.) And the diesel being used to construct the new housing? Yep-imported.

                  “No man is an Island
                  Entire of itself
                  Every man is a piece of the continent
                  A part of the main”

                  John Dunne 1572-1631

                  That could be the Lib Dem anthem!

                • You are correct re the scientific method, Martin, and will realise of course that it works both ways. Jeffrey Wigand and Rachel Carson both had difficulties in rebutting at the time the scientific consensus concerning the safety of respectively DDT and tobacco. Even then the deflectors and deniers existed!
                  Yesterday’s Guardian under the headline ‘Amazon rainforest now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs’ (Damian Carrington.July 15) reports scientists who recently commented that losing the Amazon’s power to capture CO2 is a stark warning that slashing emissions from fossil fuels is more urgent than ever. I wonder if this is science you follow, Martin, or if you have decided it is “fake” science just waiting for the clinching counter argument which exempts UK gas and oil recovery from any such urgency. Why not publish this yourself?
                  I see you think you have won some sort of victory – “ I did find an admission that x is no longer available for UK export!”. No you didn’t, Martin. You found a statement to the effect that if the UK, in favour of local development , cancelled its order of X – then X, fossil fuel emissions, would continue if possible in situ and then, when no longer possible, pop up somewhere else.
                  You also distort the facts concerning my admission that HMG did not actively campaign for ‘leave’. I did point out that its flaccid, one-sided support for ‘remain’ had much the same effect. I could have argued that my original post was perhaps an example of metonymy – rather along the lines of your “short cut” concerning D’OH – but that would have been untrue.
                  May I suggest that your attempts to score against your opponents by distorting the truth, clearly examples of deflection and therefore dishonest, add little credence to the merits of your cause – the continued domestic exploitation of fossil fuels.
                  You may be interested in the following quotation concerning the methodology you use to get your readers to look the other way.

                  Mann ‘The New Climate War’

                  Recent developments, extreme climate events and the pandemic “have provided us with an unprecedented opportunity for progress. The inactivists have been forced into retreat from “ hard” climate denial to “softer” denial: downplaying, deflecting, dividing, delaying and despair- mongering.”

                  Oh, and by the way, it’s John Donne, but don’t let facts get in the way. I wonder if you appreciate the irony inherent in your use of this quotation!

                • OMG!

                  You do wander off into unfortunate territory, 1720. Careful, you may end up like one of those beasts preserved for posterity in a tar pit.

                  If you are so concerned about the rain forest, or even other habitat overseas, why do you keep campaigning for things that are likely to cause more destruction to those habitats-many of which are disappearing because export markets exist?? Is it just too difficult to link up the reality?

                  No need to answer. Your posts have already made it clear.

                  However, back in the UK it seems very possible to extract on shore oil without destroying natural habitats, either in the UK and definitely overseas. I, and others, have provided the information. Indeed, the record is even better than manufacturing EVs in Germany!

                  So, keep on campaigning and one day you will be able to find one campaign that you can explain the logic behind, without error. Yes, error, not different opinion, just error. So, no I am not winning, but if people continue to post false information it may get corrected. I have been asked whether my information is correct and have, so far, been able to state quite clearly that it was. No destruction of rain forests required, no destruction of maths. or physics required either.

    • On The Wight 14/07/2021
      Environment Agency and Isle of Wight AONB: No objection to oil drilling application (updated). To read that in more context, there is:-

      Jonathan Bacon is the Chair of the IW AONB Partnership who says:-

      Oil drilling application runs counter to Isle of Wight Biosphere aims, says AONB head:-

      So not so cut and dried as the usual oil and gas zealots suggest. On the Isle Of Wight Council Planning Application comments section regarding the UKOG Planning Application.

      20/00513/FUL | The construction, operation and decommissioning of a well site for the exploration and appraisal of hydrocarbon minerals from one exploratory borehole (Arreton-3) and one side-track borehole (Arreton-3z) for a temporary period of three years involving the siting of plant and equipment, the construction of a new access track, a new junction with the Newport to Sandown highway (A3056), the erection of boundary fencing, entrance gates and other ancillary development with restoration to agriculture – revised plans and information relating to means of access and rights of way mitigation measures, site layout, sections and restoration; clarification relating to ecology and environmental health issues; revised location plan/ red line boundary (readvertised application) | Land To The North East Of New Barn Business Park Sandown Road Arreton Newport Isle Of Wight PO30 3BT

      There are posted there, 1,132 planning application comments to look through, the majority of which are objections, also there are 3,733 documents to look through. The great majority are objections are are highly detailed and technically professionally written and presented contrary to biased remarks.

      There are 1,133 heavily detailed and professionally presented objections to view there. Which is much better than relying upon the usual contributions from the oil and gas exploitation zealots.

      • New Report: Fracking with “Forever Chemicals”


        “PSR is proud to publish Fracking with “Forever Chemicals,” a report presenting previously unpublicized evidence that major oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil and Chevron, have used per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), or substances that could degrade into PFAS, in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for oil and gas in more than 1,200 wells in six U.S. states.

        Toxic in minuscule concentrations, these man-made chemicals accumulate inside the human body and do not break down in the environment – hence their nickname, “forever chemicals.” Various PFAS have been linked by the U.S. EPA to low infant birth weights, effects on the immune system, cancer, and hormone disruption.”

        Access the report here

        Exposé on use in fracking of previously unknown, highly dangerous chemicals

        Of course the oil and gas exploiters inevitable uproarious cry will be:- “Its not fracking” (no doubt accompanied by multiple exclamation marks and shouted capital letters, as usual).

        However, the report is American and covers all the forms of hydraulic fracking, including those in UK that are “excluded” from the term. The UK Gov having changed the definition of “fracking” on the excuse of limiting the volume of extracted fluids. The intention apparently in an effort to remove the very unpopular word (another forbidden word!) to any imaginary term that can be magicked up

        It therefore follows that, subsequent to this report on PFAS Forever Chemicals that have been, and one presumes, still are used in oil and gas exploration and extraction.
        That UKOG and all the other corporations that operate, or will operate in the oil and gas industry, will need to demonstrate to the EA, and all Planning Regulatory applications and to the Government.
        Government organisations such as the OGA and any other government body involved, need to establish beyond a doubt that none of these chemicals are used.
        Also, that any existing or abandoned site records are closely investigated to establish if, or when any of these chemicals have been used so far. And to establish which chemicals will deteriorate into “forever chemicals”.
        The only way to ensure that from now on, would be to make use of these chemicals illegal. And to prosecute the use of those chemicals in any of their explorations, operations, extractions, processing, transportation and storage. In order to prevent their use and deteriorate into “forever chemicals”
        How that is dealt with in existing and defunct sites will have to be established with the EA, the OGA and with central government as a matter of urgency.

        • It therefore follows….? Please advise where polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are being used by the upstream UK oil and gas industry? It will be interesting to see how, and where they were used, and if they are still used, and for what purpose. With regards to banning them (and I agree they should be banned) perhaps you should start with the cosmetics industry?

          “PFAS are also used by major companies of the cosmetics industry in a wide range of cosmetics, including lipstick, eye liner, mascara, foundation, concealer, lip balm, blush, nail polish and other such products. A 2021 study tested 231 makeup and personal care products and found organic fluorine, an indicator of PFAS, in more than half of the samples. High levels of fluorine were most commonly identified in waterproof mascara (82% of brands tested), foundations (63%), and liquid lipstick (62%).[64] As many as 13 types of individual PFAS compounds were found in each product.[64] Since PFAS compounds are highly mobile, they are readily absorbed through human skin and through tear ducts, and such products on lips are often unwittingly ingested. Manufacturers often fail to label their products as containing PFAS, which makes it difficult for cosmetics consumers to avoid products containing PFAS”.

          Or Firefighting, manufacturing, even ski waxing?

          “The UK Gov having changed the definition of “fracking” on the excuse of limiting the volume of extracted fluids.”

          This does not make sense? Perhaps you should read the legislation:

          Section 4A: supplementary provision
          (1)“Associated hydraulic fracturing” means hydraulic fracturing of shale or strata encased in shale which—
          (a)is carried out in connection with the use of the relevant well to search or bore for or get petroleum, and
          (b)involves, or is expected to involve, the injection of—
          (i)more than 1,000 cubic metres of fluid at each stage, or expected stage, of the hydraulic fracturing, or
          (ii)more than 10,000 cubic metres of fluid in total.

          The key is the word “injected” not extracted….

          • I also note that UKOG have made it clear within their Arreton application that no fracking is intended, so would not be applied for, Paul!

            Who was it who had to reverse their position and change their misinformation?

            Oh, it was/were the antis on the IOW, who had to change their title!

            More irony.

          • “PSR is proud to publish Fracking with “Forever Chemicals,” a report presenting previously unpublicized evidence that major oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil and Chevron, have used per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), or substances that could degrade into PFAS, in hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for oil and gas in more than 1,200 wells in six U.S. states.”

            “Toxic in minuscule concentrations, these man-made chemicals accumulate inside the human body and do not break down in the environment – hence their nickname, “forever chemicals.” Various PFAS have been linked by the U.S. EPA to low infant birth weights, effects on the immune system, cancer, and hormone disruption.”

            All in the .pdf papers and the video and more for you to look at Paul. The issue of the oil and gas industry appears to be that it injects the fluids, chemicals including PFA’s and similar PF’s in order to extract fluids. Inject – extract, all part of the same process, each action requires the other. Regardless of whether they are “key” words or not. More forbidden words?

            Also highlighted are the use of highly toxic polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in cosmetics, in chemical foam used in firefighting, non stick items, and in many other products and activities. The oil and gas industry use these PFA’s and their associated highly toxic “forever chemicals” for drilling and injecting into the ground where they decay and last “forever”. But that doesnt excuse the oil and gas industry from being equally responsible does it?

            The “key” question appears to be, after looking at all the sources of these highly toxic forever chemicals, is should all use of them be made illegal and forbidden in any product at all, including “fracking” by what ever definition and the oil and gas industry at large? just like PFE’s were made illegal because they caused global warming by greenhouse effect. Although they are still used and exported by China in substantial amounts apparently.

            The question is perhaps better placed before self acknowledged experienced experts with a deep knowledge of precisely at what stage polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) chemicals are used and how and why regarding what happens to the chemicals at all stages in the long chain of subsequent processes and after “reinstatement” of the site.

            Over to you for that Paul.

            Forever chemicals that remain in the ground will eventually migrate to water aquifers, over days, months, years, decades or centuries. Apply your Mathematics to that if you will. The definition of forever chemicals tends to imply the power of infinity does it not? Presumably our sun will make an effort to limit that when it or if, it goes nova, or becomes a red dwarf perhaps. But in the meantime polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) will remain in sub surface deposites, in ground water aquifers, on the ground where it has been sprayed, on roads, in ditches, in spillages and accidents, all set to plague future generations with the highly toxic legacy.

            The investigation report also goes into how the oil and gas industry has known this for decades but will not stop the use, and attempts to say they are in tiny amounts or are substituted for other less well known derivations in stead. But they are still forever chemicals and who knows what the long term exposure to even tiny amounts of many different uses of polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) will be.

            Time to stop this toxic process now and equally with all its other uses.

            In particular unless the use of these chemicals in all their chemical diversity are stopped in locations such as Arreton in the Isle Of Wight. Then may I ask who shall be made to blame and pay for the clean up?

            I can think of several that are subject to applications of exploration and production that are mentioned on Drill or Drop? Cant you? For example, one of them is UKOG and their plans to drill in Arreton in the Isle Of Wight.

            I’m sure you can add many more to the list, being an expert?

            Precisely the number of words required to describe the issues involved, dont you think.

            Oh, just for your colleague:-


            • David, again, please advise where polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are being used by the upstream UK oil and gas industry? As far as I am aware they are not (except possibly in fire fighting equipment).

              • Hello Paul. Thank you for your reply. You say “As far as I am aware they are not (except possibly in fire fighting equipment).”

                Not a definitive “no” then, just “as far as I am aware”. Plenty of scope for exceptions to awareness then. Not entirely reassuring to be left open to the elements like that is it. But not from an unbiased expert source of information though i guess. Time to look elsewhere for more, aware, and independent sources of information then.

                The history in America is clear on the use of these polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) forever chemicals in the oil and gas industry. Presumably that is the same here as elsewhere. Not a denial from our pet expert oil and gas industry source, only a “not aware”. So, the course to follow is to go to independent sources such as the authors of the report and the video sources, to investigate the truth about “trade secret” chemicals that were mentioned and which are used in oil and gas exploration and production presumably in UK and elsewhere.

                Thanks for your input anyway Paul. I can understand why the question was left open in your statement regarding your connections with the oil and gas industry. However there appears to be more “aware” sources of information available elsewhere. Being “aware” of the financial and organisational weakness of the EA and the OGA, that would, no doubt lead to a similar situation with the use of these forever chemicals as indicated by The Defender, Children Health Defence source here:-

                EPA Knew Fracking Chemicals Were Toxic, But Approved Them Anyway

                Which says:-

                “Between 2012 and 2020, fossil fuel corporations injected potentially carcinogenic per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), or chemicals that can degrade into PFAS, into the ground while fracking for oil and gas, after former President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency approved their use despite agency scientists’ concerns about toxicity.”

                “The EPA’s approval in 2011 of three new compounds for use in oil and gas drilling or fracking that can eventually break down into PFAS, also called “forever chemicals,” was not publicised until Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) obtained internal records from the agency through a Freedom of Information Act request, the New York Times reported Monday after reviewing the files.”

                “According to PSR’s new report, “Fracking with ‘Forever Chemicals,’” oil and gas companies including Exxon Mobil, Chevron, and others engaged in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, have since 2012 pumped toxic chemicals that can form PFAS into more than 1,200 wells in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas and Wyoming.”

                “While the Times noted that the newly released documents constitute some of the earliest evidence of the possible presence of PFAS in fracking fluids, PSR’s report warns that “the lack of full disclosure of chemicals used in oil and gas operations raises the potential that PFAS could have been used even more extensively than records indicate, both geographically and in other stages of the oil and gas extraction process, such as drilling, that precede the underground injections known as fracking.”

                Considering the American use of the term of “fracking” includes everything in the oil and gas industry that the UK government excludes by its own definition to avoid the word. And that all explorations and extractions in the UK are essentially “fracking” under the cover all of the original American terminology from whence the word, “fracking”, originated in its entire definition of the word. Which cases so much dissention, (as illustrated by your…err…colleague). It would not surprise anyone to discover that similar, if not identical forever chemicals, or chemicals that deteriorate into forever chemicals, have been, are being, and are intended to be used in the UK. In spite of those who are “not aware” of the use, or dont like the words…

                Oh yes…and…


                • So David you have no evidence or examples of the use of PFAS in the upstream UK oil and gas industry? [Edited by moderator] As I said previously, I agree they should be banned – from all industries. As for my use of “not aware” I suppose you are okay with “Evidence “suggests” that oil and gas companies including ….” (from your linked report). Suggests does not imply certainty either, nor does “could have been”. But then you choose to believe what you wish – clearly as someone without oil & gas UK industry experience. But quoting from the US is meaningless in the UK.

                  [Edited by moderator]

                • [Edited by moderator]

                  Of course, without local production the UK could always enjoy importing oil produced via fracking from around the world! Then it could be refined and shipped to the IOW and I suppose they would no longer be frack free. Unintended consequences?

                • So with all your expertise and experience and knowledge of the oil and gas industry, you have no evidence that these polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) forever chemicals are not used in UK Paul?

                  [Edited by moderator]

                  Its a public duty to highlight the probability that these chemicals have been used and if not prevented, will be used in the UK. Or is public health and safety so low on the oil and gas industry agenda?

                  [Edited by moderator]

                  Do you deny that as the technology of the oil and gas industry comes from America, complete with all the processes, chemicals and additives that are used in America with their own oil and gas operations? Can you prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that those same forever chemicals have not been used in the UK?

                  [Edited by moderator]

                  The documents and the video clearly states that these chemicals have been used and approved by the EPA in America. So the danger to Americans has been proved and the implications are disastrous.
                  EPA Knew Fracking Chemicals Were Toxic, But Approved Them Anyway

                  As these forever chemicals have been used and approved for use in America, then the next logical stage is to find out as a matter of urgency, if or when these chemicals have been used in UK and whether our own governing bodies, the EA and the OGA and central government have similarly approved these forever chemicals. Not just vague “not aware of” avoidance, but genuine verified and proven evidence is what is required. Anything else is potentially catastrophic to the health and welfare of the everyone in the UK.

                  [Edited by moderator]

                • “As these forever chemicals have been used and approved for use in America, then the next logical stage is to find out as a matter of urgency, if or when these chemicals have been used in UK and whether our own governing bodies, the EA and the OGA and central government have similarly approved these forever chemicals.”

                  [Edited by moderator] Ask the Environment Agency (for onshore UK). They review and approve (or not) all chemicals used in upstream oil and gas operations onshore UK. Simple process – e-mail and ask your questions. I did this in 2015 after someone like yourself made accusations in a report which ultimately proved to be false or not relevant to UK – response below:

                  “***** passed your enquiry onto me and thank you for sharing this with us. While it has not been formally reviewed by us our legal department are aware of the article which we believe was published in May. Generally there are lots of reports published that contain misinformation and so we mainly focus our efforts on reports from Government and those from respected institutions such as the Royal Society.

                  Regarding all products and chemicals to be used in shale gas drilling and stimulation and approval the information below should help to clarify.

                  How do we regulate which chemicals may be used in fracking fluids?

                  We have the powers to require full disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. We assess the hazards presented by fracking fluid additives on a case-by-case basis. We will not permit the use of ‘hazardous substances’ for any activity, including hydraulic fracturing, where they would or might enter groundwater and cause pollution.

                  The environment agencies of UK and Ireland (JAGDAG, Joint Agency Groundwater Directive Advisory Group) work together to peer review chemicals assessments before we submit proposals to public consultation. You can find out more on which substances have been assessed on the JAGDAG website.

                  Flowback fluids, which include fracking fluids, are deemed to be a mining waste and require an environmental permit for management on site. Disposal of flowback fluids must be at a regulated waste treatment works, which will also be regulated by us.

                  What is the assessment process for defining whether a chemicals is hazardous to groundwater or not?

                  The way we assess whether a chemical is hazardous or not to groundwater has been developed under European Union environmental legislation. You can find more information on this methodology here.

                  As part of the methodology for the assessment of chemicals, we consulted on a number of chemicals in 2013. You can find the results here, which includes our assessment of polyacrylamide (the chemical used by Cuadrilla in Preese Hall in 2011).

                  Do companies have to publically disclose which chemicals they will use?

                  In its document Onshore Oil and Gas Exploration in England: Regulation and Best Practice, the Government states that operators should disclose the chemical additives of fracturing fluids on a well-by-well basis. This also is promoted in the guidelines set out by industry that operators must publically disclose all chemical additives to fracturing fluids on a well-by-well basis, including regulatory authorisations, safety data and maximum concentrations and volumes.

                  Which chemicals were used by Cuadrilla in Preese Hall?

                  Preese Hall site is the only shale gas site to have been hydraulic fractured to date in the UK. Details of the chemicals which we assessed as non hazardous and permitted for use are listed on Cuadrilla’s website. They are:

                  • 99.75% of the shale gas fracking fluid is made up of water and sand, beyond that a very limited number of chemicals are used:

                  • Polyacrylamide friction reducers (0.075%), commonly used in cosmetics and facial creams, suspended in a hydrocarbon carrier;

                  • Hydrochloric acid (0.125%), frequently found in swimming pools and used in developing drinking water wells,

                  • Biocide (0.005%), used on rare occasions when the water provided from the local supplier needs to be further purified.

                  Cuadrilla only utilised the polyacrylamide friction reducer in their operations.

                  Does the Environment Agency put information about chemicals into the public domain? What about commercial confidentiality?

                  If the chemicals are mentioned in the application for an environmental permit, we would place this information on the public register, subject to consideration of commercial confidentiality. If commercial confidentiality applied, this information would be excluded from the public register.

                  Any request we received for environmental information would be covered under the Environmental Information Regulations. There is a statutory presumption in favour of the disclosure. There is an exception for commercial confidentiality but where this relates to information on emissions, this cannot be used. The injection of fracking fluid would be considered to be an emission and therefore we would release information on chemicals used for hydraulic fracturing.”

                • [Edited by moderator]

                  I have written to the EA, the OGA and my local MP and Kwasi Kwarteng MP, at the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

                  [Edited by moderator]

                  I have explained why there is a connection with America, and that is, that the report by the Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania, who were the American authors of the report on “Fracking With Forever Chemicals”. The report therefore came from America. So contrary to what you say, there is a very strong connection with America in the first place.

                  There is also a very strong connection between American oil and gas operations to the UK oil and gas operations. That has already been established. The language, the terminology, the technology and the experience, the very word fracking itself originates from America as does the cover all use of the word there, which was only subsequently altered here in UK.

                  Thank you however for the rest of the details you supplied, that will make interesting reading and I can forward your comments on to those who I have already written to and several others who have a more intimate knowledge of the oil and gas industry in UK, and the events and their significance relating to this question.

                  I see from the information you supplied, that there is still a question as to the actual use or not of these forever chemicals in UK oil and gas operations. That is a question of chemistry, and that is also required to be put before those who can examine the evidence and to advise on what is, or isnt related to these PFA/PFO/C8 chemicals. So that is also worth pursuing with those who are more knowledgeable on the subject than I am.

                  Thanks for your input anyway, a long way to go yet it seems.

      • Plenty of areas that have their biosphere status and/or areas of outstanding natural beauty and still manage to have industry, in a discreet way.
        The former does not preclude the other, it just makes it important that the two are considered appropriately. Maybe Mr. Seely should have a word with other politicians to see how they do it.

        I suspect UKOG will have their own expert witnesses who can suggest how. And, I suspect the EA are quite used to such considerations.

        Mr. Seely may get his wish, but, alternatively he may attract a bill for £400k, or more, in costs. Which would gather more votes? He seems a bright guy, so maybe he has done the maths. Time will tell.

  2. Perhaps as an MP he should also consider those who are keeping the IOW supplied with energy from across the water, and take some responsibility for “home growing” some of what they use? Or, just deny tourists visiting because they will add to energy use? Parts of the country do not have that opportunity, the IOW does.

    A tanker collision off the IOW is a far greater risk to the IOW than on shore drilling.

    How come new houses are being built, that will add to energy use, if this is such a wilderness?

    Perhaps a little, local trip to Wytch Farm, which doesn’t put tourists off, would help deal with some of the “issues” he is concerned about, but strangely, do not seem to be issues at Europe’s largest on shore oil field?

    Sometimes, it is quite easy to see why back benchers are sat where they are sat.

  3. I didn’t see him oppose the free port status for the IOW that is likely to cause far more pollution one way or another than Arreton & free of paying taxes as well!

  4. He claims it is undeveloped green fields…..

    Firstly the soil samples showed asbestos contamination.

    The second point is that the operation saves the soil in a bund, the operation is for a fixed time ( but could be extended by further planning permissions) but finally it would be restored back to fields. ( unlike a housing or industrial site )

  5. Quote by Martin today: “I have been asked whether my information is correct and have, so far, been able to state quite clearly that it was.” Now there’s a surprise.
    And as I asked, does your new-found following of science, your expert knowledge of maths. and your physics, mean that you accept or reject yesterday’s case presented by scientists and referred to above *. They argue, you choose to forget, that losing the Amazon’s power to capture CO2 is a stark warning that slashing emissions from fossil fuels is more urgent than ever.
    Have you decided this is “fake” science just waiting for the clinching counter argument which exempts UK gas and oil recovery from any such urgency. As I suggested, if this is not forthcoming, you could perhaps produce the counter argument yourself.
    *A reminder – Yesterday’s Guardian under the headline ‘Amazon rainforest now emitting more CO2 than it absorbs’ (Damian Carrington.July 15)
    I know you will reply, but I don’t expect an answer. (Reminds me of my MP!)

  6. What nonsense, 1720.

    I have already answered that rain forests should not be sacrificed so that resources can be taken to be exported overseas, especially if overseas have some untapped resources they can utilise, and do so without reducing any rain forest. And, don’t get me started on wood pellets!

    Your nonsense suggests UK is about to reduce it’s use of oil so imports are not required or home produced oil either. You may believe such nonsense, but those who consider the reality are more interested in how that reality is achieved at lowest impact upon the global environment. How will those houses on IOW be built without fossil fuel? No way. You want to stop HS2, so the motorways will continue to need to be expanded. How will the wind turbine blades get off IOW without fossil fuel? You want to stop the production of artificial rubber at Fawley that goes into medical equipment required for Covid?

    Once again, you wish to go round in fantasy circles, just to take part.

    And, whilst you waffle on about believing the science, you have debunked a Chief Scientific Officer and the French scientists who decided the TGV means internal flights can be done away with. Strange that you then try the must believe the scientists, approach. Nope, it isn’t, as there is no logic to most of your posts. I am sure the good folk of the IOW, those against the plans and wish to find an argument that can be sustained, are really chuffed with your support! Transfer of production, they will know, has already been dealt with and may find your wriggling entertaining, but not reality that could get anywhere within a planning application. There are those expert witnesses who would just need to say, “already ruled, here is the reference”.

  7. “ Have you decided this is “fake” science…..? See the question mark, Martin?
    I’m not prepared to watch you deflect and distort without comment.

  8. Jolly good,1720.

    Then perhaps you could follow the science, stop consuming energy at 11.16pm and wait for daylight, and slash your use of fossil fuel by not wearing out your plastic keyboard?

    Perhaps when you are showing how it should be done, others will follow?

    But, you have a long way to catch up, as you have been pushing for excessive transport emissions of a magnitude which will make any personal control such as I have suggested, a gnats bite upon an elephant’s behind. But, real maths. and physics do always come to the fore. Got it, yet???? See the question marks.

    (My green beans, new potatoes and yes, courgettes, will travel all of 20 meters to my kitchen shortly! I could use a 3 litre BMW diesel to drive to the Supermarket and buy some air freighted from Kenya, some shipped from the Channel Islands and some trucked up from Spain, and whilst they are lovely places with a wish to export, sorry but I have to think about transport emissions and the Guardian!)

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