UK Oil & Gas is seeking to extend the life of its suspended Broadford Bridge exploration site in West Sussex for the fourth time.
Planning consent runs out at the end of the month (31 March 2022). This time, the company is seeking another two years to carry out “data review and appraisal”.
Previous extensions were granted in 2017 (one year), 2018 (18 months) and 2020 (two years).
No work has been carried out at the site for almost four years (March 2018).
After the most recent extension in 2020, UKOG said in a statement:
“This extension will enable us to incorporate key future well and test information into our understanding of this new play before any further appraisal of our BB-1 Kimmeridge discovery.”
In the latest extension request, UKOG said it did not want to do any drilling or testing on the site. A planning application to West Sussex County Council said:
“This extension would mean that the Site would be held in Phase 4; Retention, mode for a further 24- months beyond the current expiry date of 31st March 2022.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Phase 4; Retention, does not allow for any further drilling or testing activities as operations have completed. The 24-month period of data review and appraisal would be followed immediately by Phase 4: Restoration, commencing and completing within the planting season (October-March).”
The company says it needs more time at Broadford Bridge because of delays at another UKOG site at Horse Hill and a planning appeal involving the proposed Loxley site at Dunsfold.
“The future use of the Broadford Bridge site will be determined by the appraisal of data from either one of the following well sites [Horse Hill and Loxley] targeting the same geological formations.”
The application appears to have been validated on 5 January 2022 and the deadline for comments was 10 February 2022.
Only one response, an objection, has been received on the application.
A spokesperson for West Sussex County Council said the application had been advertised at the site and in the local paper. Letter had been sent to 32 neighbours, the spokesperson said. The decision is due to be made at a meeting the planning committee on Tuesday 26 April 2022.
Update: The 26 April planning committee meeting was cancelled. The next scheduled meeting is 18 May 2022.