Opposition

Lincolnshire oil schemes will not help energy crisis, say pilgrims

Plans by Egdon Resources to drill for oil in Lincolnshire will not cut energy bills, opponents said during a 17-mile pilgrimage between two proposed sites.

Pilgrimage between North Kelsey Moor and Biscathorpe. Photo: Christine Hall

The company has argued that its plans for North Kelsey Moor and Biscathorpe could reduce oil imports into the UK at a time of high prices caused by the war in Ukraine.

But during the pilgrimage on Saturday, Amanda Suddaby, a member of the campaign group, SOS North Kelsey, said:

“People assume these sites will help with our energy crisis and bring down prices but when you look at the facts, that’s simply not the case. 

“They will produce miniscule amounts of oil, and there is no guarantee that it will stay in the UK.

“Oil prices are dictated by a global market and oil companies export 80% of UK oil.”

Government data, reported monthly by DrillOrDrop, shows that more than 98% of oil produced in the UK is extracted offshore.  According to the most recent figures (February 2022), 1.7% of UK-produced oil was from onshore fields.

A report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last month concluded that current and planned new fossil fuel infrastructure would cause the world to exceed the internationally-agreed limit on temperature rise of 1.5C. To meet this limit, global emissions must peak by 2025 and be cut by 45% by 2030.

Ms Suddaby said the war in Ukraine had not changed those conclusions:

“Fuel price increases caused by the war won’t be affected by production from these sites. They aren’t even close to producing oil yet, so they make no sense. 

“But improving energy efficiency and rapid development of renewables will protect us from unstable oil supplies, high energy prices and the climate crisis.”

The pilgrimage was organised by Faith and the Environment Lincolnshire, in conjunction with SOS North Kelsey and SOS Biscathorpe.

Organiser Sandie Stratford said:

“Many people feel strongly about the climate emergency, and it was this that prompted us to make a pilgrimage from North Kelsey Moor to Biscathorpe. 

“England has a strong tradition of pilgrimage as protest. I walked the Camino to COP from London to Glasgow for COP26 last year, and I found that walking together has a profound effect on people.” 

Geoff Stratford, a member of the Lincoln Climate Commission, said:

“According to the recent IPCC report, ‘by 2030, about 250 million people may experience high water stress in Africa, with up to 700 million people displaced as a result.’  That’s half the population of Africa. We must not be complicit in this crime against humanity.”

Pilgrimage between North Kelsey Moor and Biscathorpe. Photo: Christine Hall

At the end of the walk, participants unfurled bunting displaying the names of 10 parish councils and two district council areas that have opposed Egdon’s plans.

One of the pilgrims, Imogen Wilde, said:

“I walked today with my father and my daughter because Egdon’s plans to drill here will cause immediate habitat and landscape destruction, will threaten the fragile chalk stream and will accelerate global climate change through the release of new fossil fuels.”

Another pilgrim, Sarah from Horncastle, explained why she took part:

“Because I am worried for my child’s future and I wanted to be with passionate people who feel compelled to act.  This act of solidarity in the face of untold danger was really important to me.”

Egdon’s application for Biscathorpe was refused by Lincolnshire County Council on 1 November 2021.

On 14 March 2022, the council also rejected the company’s plans for North Kelsey.

Egdon has until October to appeal against the North Kelsey refusal. It has already appealed against the Biscathorpe decision.

The company is seeking to have the Biscathorpe appeal decided by written representations, rather than a public inquiry. But campaigners will be asking the Planning Inspectorate to hear both appeals in public at full inquiries because of the wider public interest.

9 replies »

  1. What a mixture of odd comments!

    Amanda may not be aware of taxation, but others on this site have been calling for a windfall tax on oil companies! UK tax is paid on UK profits, Amanda. Where do you think the £1 billion provided to help those in real difficulties with cost of living comes from? Not from imported oil.

    And, rapid development of renewables has not protected us from high energy prices, and has another £150B to be added to our energy bills to pay for new nuclear to support unreliable renewables. Unreliable renewables do not become reliable by having more.

    As for the environment, then the CCC stated quite clearly in February that UK production has a lower carbon footprint than the international average, so to preclude UK production whilst imports are to continue well past 2050,is an environmental nonsense.

    Threatening chalk streams? Do a bit of research. The most famous chalk river, R.Test, has an oil extraction site close by. No issue. What about all the wild birds minced by wind turbines? I know land owners who refused to have wind turbines on their land due to such environmental nonsense, until they were told they would be guaranteed £150k net profit per turbine per year whether the electricity was required, or not, so that the Government of the day could state how they were such a success! The cost was then just added to energy bills.

    The oil price is currently no higher than it was before the war in Ukraine. The oil price is high because the world has suffered a pandemic and oil companies cut back on development, especially in 2020, and now the world is opening up again, there are supply shortages. Yes, they will be exacerbated by the war, but the price was already high. So, what is needed is extra supply, and that will increase further as an oil embargo for Russian oil starts to bite.

    Then there is the “size” card. Sorry, I know it has been added to the list, but it is a nonsense. If size is insignificant then actions every individual may make are insignificant, and therefore not worth bothering with. Forget a wind turbine, as the output of one is not worth a candle-and that is what might be needed when the wind stops.

    UK energy that was so “secure” is now shown to be so insecure that the remaining coal fired generation has been requested to prolong their lives. With, imported coal.

    Transition should be, in my opinion, taking steps that are seen to make a positive difference, even if not huge. Then, the next steps that may be larger, are more likely to gain acceptance.

    • How much tax have Egdon paid in the last 10-15 years? About £100 maybe, given that they’ve been “running at a loss” except for one little blip on an otherwise consistent record.

      • So, alex, why would anyone wish to delay the time it would take them to start paying tax? And, as at Wressle, add £400k in costs to others tax bills.

        Makes no sense at all economically or environmentally.

        And, by the way, even loss making companies pay tax. Not as much as those who make a profit, but Income Tax, VAT and NIC come to mind, from employees, and the supply chain who usually do make a profit. Probably quite a lot within the £400k.

  2. .As I type , it has just been announced that Russia may be cutting down gas exports into Eastern Europe threatening a true “Eat or Heat” crisis across the European gas market, including the U.K. I hope it doesn’t happen but if it does then in the background, Egdon and Igas have the potential to produce, relatively quickly, a very significant contribution to our natural gas needs. Surely better this than importing LNG across the Atlantic or from Qater.

    • LNG from across the Atlantic is of course “fracked gas”. Okay to frack in the US but not okay to produce conventionally here?

      ““But improving energy efficiency and rapid development of renewables will protect us from unstable oil supplies, high energy prices and the climate crisis.”

      Wind and sun are free of course, those ROCs and CFDs and FITs are imaginary, the cost of my green electricity from Octopus hasn’t really increased by almost 50% since April 1st, and it’s always windy and the sun always shines in the UK (oh dear) and the bubble the pilgrims wants the Eden Project to build over the UK will keep the climate crisis away from the UK while the rest of the world suffers….

    • You might want to check some facts. “Relatively quickly” being, what? about 3 years? Coz that’s how long it’ll be before any oil MIGHT be produced from N.Kelsey. They’ve had the site for 8 years and so far only managed to lay a few yards of tarmac…..so, longer, if their track record is anything to go by. 3 years already spent exploring at Biscathorpe but still not encountered a drop of oil.
      “A very significant contribution” being the 50bpd they’ve estimated? …IF they find anything at all, given that they can’t even find the target at either site. But who cares, so long as the investors hang in there.
      Egdon’s plans for both sites have only ever been oil exploration – not gas, except for a bit of methane flaring on the side!

  3. there are to many people having there say
    instead of looking at facts there just saying no
    let’s us use our own oil gas keep the price down
    the people who are against the drilling drive cars who use oil and the live in a house what uses electric and gas
    [Edited by moderator]

  4. Not to worry.

    The oil Egdon wants to drill is millions of years old, so is very old oil!

    By the way, there are scientific reports-so it must be true-that wind is projected to drop across the whole of Europe.

  5. This is what the “pilgrims” should be worried about:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2022/may/11/fossil-fuel-carbon-bombs-climate-breakdown-oil-gas

    “Companies have already made their final financial commitment to projects that will deliver 116bn barrels of oil.

    A third of the short-term expansion plans of oil and gas would come from “unconventional” and riskier sources. These include fracking and ultra-deep offshore drilling, which are inherently more dangerous – as the oil and gas companies drill deeper, the number of spills, injuries and blowouts increase.

    The 192bn barrels are split roughly 50:50 between liquids, including crude oil, and gas. Burning this would produce 73bn tonnes of CO2. But methane routinely leaks from gas operations and is a powerful greenhouse gas, trapping 86 times more heat than CO2 over 20 years. Including this impact, at a standard supply-chain leak rate of 2.3%, means the equivalent of 97bn tonnes of CO2 added to the atmosphere and driving us faster towards climate hell.

    State oil companies lead the Urgewald short-term expansion list, with Qatar Energy, Russia’s Gazprom and Saudi Aramco the top three. Half of Gazprom’s projected expansion is in the fragile Arctic, though the long-term implications of Russia’s war in Ukraine on its fossil fuel plans remain to be seen.

    The listed oil majors ExxonMobil, Total, Chevron, Shell and BP are all in the top 10. Unconventional and risky oil and gas production accounts for about 70% of the US majors’ totals, while the proportion of fracking and ultra-deep water ranges from 30% to 60% for the European companies.

    “Most oil and gas companies are just proceeding with business as usual,” Nils Bartsch at Urgewald said. “Some just do not care. Some do not see their responsibility because governments around the world let them proceed, although of course these governments are often influenced by the industry.”

    Two-thirds of the 116bn barrels of oil and gas projects companies are financially committed to are in the Middle East, Russia and North America, according to data provided by Rystad Energy.

    Australia is anticipated to be a big contributor with 3.4bn barrels, more than from the whole of Europe, where fields are relatively depleted.

    A separate analysis for the Guardian by Urgewald on the average annual investment in oil and gas exploration over the past three years shows that, along with Shell, three large but rarely scrutinised Chinese companies occupy the top four slots: PetroChina, China National Offshore Oil Corporation, and Sinopec. Seven of the top 10 of these explorers are relying on fracking, ultra-deep water Arctic and tar sands developments for more than half of their expansion.”

Leave a Reply to Paul Tresto Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s