“Climate change will not affect our operations” – Rathlin Energy

The East Yorkshire based oil and gas firm, Rathlin Energy, has said climate change will not affect its future operations.

Photo: Peter Yankowski

The company, which has planning permission for 20-years of oil and gas production, said it had considered climate change in preparing its latest annual accounts.

But a directors’ report, published online with the accounts yesterday, said:

“Management has considered the implications of climate change and do no believe this will have a material impact on the company’s future operations.”

The transition to a low carbon economy was likely to have an impact on future pricing of hydrocarbons, the report said. This “may affect, either positively or negatively, the ultimate recovery of the Company’s intangible oil and gas assets”.

Rathlin said it believed “demand for sufficient supply of hydrocarbons will remain critical to the UK’s infrastructure and economy”. It added:

“We do not believe that in the event of an economic downturn it will have a material impact on the Company’s future activities.”

New prospects, production estimates and licence commitments

Rathlin Energy, now majority-owned by Reabold Resources, operates two East Yorkshire sites, West Newton-A and West Newton-B in licence area PEDL183.

Unlike some other onshore oil and gas firms, there is no indication that Rathlin plans to diversify into renewable energy.

Instead, the directors’ report suggested the company would be looking for new hydrocarbon prospects.

It said long-term commercial success depended on “the ability to find, appraise, develop and commercially produce oil and natural gas resources and reserves”.

This relied on the company’s ability to “explore and develop any properties it may have from time to time”, the report said, and “to select and acquire additional producing properties or prospects”.

The report also added:

“Rathlin’s ability to continue as a going concern may include having to make substantial capital expenditures for the acquisition, exploration, development and production of oil and natural gas reserves in the future.”

The accounting period, for the year to 31 December 2021, included tests on the West Newton B-1z and A2 wells.

Both detected the presence of liquid hydrocarbons and gas, the company said. Gas from WNB-1z was estimated to be 90% methane and 4.5% ethane, it said, while analysis of samples from WNA2 suggested a low viscosity light oil.

The report said:

“Initial gas production rates from a stimulated horizontal well estimated at 35.6 million cubic feet per day.”

Planning permissions for both sites include a condition preventing high volume hydraulic fracturing.

The report also said Rathlin was committed to acquiring and interpreting 15km2 of new 3D seismic data or 50km of 2D seismic by 30 June 2022. But the company said:

“We are currently in discussion with the OGA [now named North Sea Transition Authority] regarding this commitment and the possibility of substituting the commitment for exploration work already completed. The company estimates the cost of the seismic commitment to be about £1m gross.”

Operating loss, tax credit and cash balance

The accounts reported an operating loss of £1.18m, slightly lower than the year before.

The cash balance at 31 December 2021 was £5.3m, down from £12.2m in 2020.  This includes a restricted £75,000 bond in favour of a landowner who leases land to Rathlin Energy. The accounts reported that the landowner could access the bond if Rathlin failed to fulfil its obligation to return the lease site to its original condition. The guarantee expires in June 2024.

Rathlin said the cash balance could be used to “sustain general operations and would be “sufficient to fund the company for a minimum of 12 months from the signing of these financial statements”. The company said this would it to “continue as a going concern if drilling and completion operations are delayed”. The West Newton-A production is being reviewed by the Department of Levelling Up.

During the financial year, the company received a tax credit of £206,525 for research and development work completed during 2019. Rathlin said it was “currently assessing 2020 and 2021 to determine if work completed during these periods would also qualify for a similar credit”.

Key figures

Loss from operating activities before taxation: £1,182,000 (2020 £1,015,920)

Non-current assets (largely intangible oil and gas assets): £19,581,086 (2020 £14,476,819)

Current assets: £6,142,325 (2020 £12,855,850)

Cash balance at 31 December 2021: £5,346,582 (2021 £12,223,428)

Total assets: £25,735,983 (2020 £27,369,700)

Lease payments: £25,500 (2020 £25,500)

Provision for decommissioning obligations: £1,324,449 (2020 £1,263,894)

Current liabilities: £939,070 (2020 £2,020,812)

Total liabilities: £2,263,519 (2020 £3,289,983)

Payments to directors and staff: £536,465 (2020 £487,076)

Expenses for management services from Connaught Oil & Gas: £956,008 (2020 £956,540)

Carried forward losses: £7,411,523 (2020 £7,750,046)

16 replies »

  1. Rathlin are looking at this from entirely the wrong perspective. Of course climate change will not affect [Rathlin’s] operations, but their operations will most definitely contribute to the negative effects of climate change.

  2. Would benefit climate change, Deborah!

    Simply because what they produce in UK will not be transported to the UK from over the horizon and so transport emissions would be reduced. Announcement this week that the first shipload of LNG is booked for UK-from Australia.

    UK is an importer of oil and gas, and will remain so for many years, so reducing even a little of the transport emissions will have a positive impact upon climate change.

    Someone else has the wrong perspective, otherwise all the farm shops in the UK are wasting their time. My local Green is always on about food miles. Funny how it is expected that somehow it is different for oil and gas. Well, not funny really, just an assumption that the gullible will be fooled.

  3. Of course such operations will contribute to climate change, Deborah, as you say. Transport is of course a consideration as Martin says, but not the only consideration. You of course understand emissions during exploitation and during use, you understand the importance of example, you understand the new lease of life accorded to the FF companies and their continuing lie, you understand greenwashing and how it misleads the gullible, you understand that transport emissions are just as likely to be a consideration for domestically produced FFs, you understand the timescale involved in holding down global temperature rises, you understand that the planet is in crisis, thanks primarily to the industry favoured by your interlocutor. Above all, you understand the concept of truth!
    Sadly I have not succeeded in persuading your interlocutor of these facts, but I have given him a new word to play with which he imagines he can avoid for himself by throwing it at others – the word ‘gullible’, originally used by myself with reference to those who have been played by the FF industry. Such is the nature of The Lie.
    Keep up the good work, please.
    “At some point (we’ll all) have to live as if the truth was true”.((Tamara Lindeman -‘Loss’)

    • 1720, Do you count the multiple fuel transportation trucks on your daily commute? But again you are not, and will not adjust your daily, weekly and monthly lifestyle on the basis of the impending climate emergency. Still battering the keys of that plastic keyboard. Hence you say we should change our ways but you are still consuming, and knock, knock, knock the world is burning.

  4. Are we ready for the long predicted apocalyptic water wars??? Major water shortages are here….. hmm …. now which do people need more, food to eat and water to drink, or fracking? I think the answer is now clear. Knowing water companies are obliged to be obliging, (to industries) people opposing really do need to remember this issue. Water insecurity comes as a package with climate change, which has already been referred to in comments on this post about Rathlin. We dont want to have to exist by buying water from Nestle in single use plastic bottles.

    • No water shortages in UK, CJR, just an issue with storing enough when there is plenty and distributing it when there is less. Maybe exacerbated by many more people using more water, but that should incentivize the water companies, via those increased revenues, to invest more appropriately. Or, have less people. Same discussion took place in 1976, yet almost 50 years later, still in the same place.

      I have plenty of water for my garden, as I invested in recycled plastic water barrels-to store it when plenty, to use it when there is less. And more important than your anti industry attempt:

      “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.

      But, I noted a report that wind is likely to suffer-reduce- across N. Europe. Looks as if investment into wind turbines should cease? So, some plans do seem an issue for planners. Perhaps there is a clue in the name? Planners, not reactors? (If that report turns out to be accurate, before the next bit of solar activity produces the mini ice age predicted by the other scientists, then maybe wind turbines out to sea rather than on land is not as silly as some would suggest?)

      Meanwhile, as song is now the fashion:

      “At six o’clock their Mommies and Daddies
      Will take them home to bed
      Because they’re tired little Teddy Bears
      Because they’re tired little Teddy Bears”

      Lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy. Now being utilized by parents across N. Europe as a kinder way of saying, “all your electrical devices have to be switched off, and you need to cover yourselves in blankets, because the energy bills are too high!” Probably a duel benefit there, as the more advanced Dutch children will likely miss that gas was $47 per MMBtu on the TTF(Holland) whilst it was $7 per MMBtu on the Henry Hub (US).

      The parents need to avoid the picnic bit as some idiot “scientists” decided converting wheat into fuel was a good idea, so sandwiches are off the menu. There is always chocolate.

    • You’re right, of course, CJR. Water shortages, in the past usually abroad and therefore, to our shame, so far of only cursory interest to us in the U.K., have long been predicted as a cause of future wars (and civil unrest). The economic structures prevailing have ensured that we tick along just fine as long as directors and shareholders can reap rich rewards, and as long as we are prepared to put up with the regular intentional pollution of that which is essential to life – the water of life. Similarly industry, FF or otherwise, will continue to take what it needs to keep profits piling up, regardless of course of the cost to communities and individuals. Capitalist greed which so far has fed ‘civilisation’ for the few is now harvesting its end.
      Another huge and worsening, now irresistible problem, is the migratory forces exacerbated by this water issue and its consequences. Migration has to be managed now on a global basis. (Are Patel and Truss up to this? Does Rishi hold the answer?)
      Just as I regularly ask myself : When will the Russian people say to Putin, enough of this senseless sacrifice of our young people?, so also, when will we say to the governments crushing the economy, destroying our country, “Enough! If you can’t produce mitigations let alone solutions, get out?”
      It’s time for democracy to speak.
      And meanwhile, we talk ‘fracking’ while the planet burns.

  5. What tosh, 1720. (That withdrawal was another such piece of tosh.)

    You have obvious difficulties with simple arithmetic, as does Deborah. That is the only fact of significance.

    But, good to see how the antis are so keen to demonstrate-that they have such difficulties. Whilst that is so readily put on the record then they will be seen as just being the real deniers.

    The key facts that any intelligent observer will have is that UK imports gas, it will continue to import gas even whilst moving to net zero. If UK can reduce the amount of gas it imports by any amount, then UK will be lowering it’s carbon footprint. So, “we” end up with two who are advocating UK not reducing it’s carbon footprint. Same two who protest that it should! Anyone would need to be more than gullible to agree with that. It is argument for the sake of argument, with absolutely no substance. The something should be done chorus, but something shouldn’t be done verse! Can’t see that getting many plays.

    You can argue the toss as much as you like, but you are incorrect with your “interpretation”. Even Greta has (angrily!) explained the problem regarding UK exporting it’s carbon footprint. And, she had enough intelligence to realize that she needed to sail the Atlantic to cut down her own carbon footprint.

    So, 1720, when will you start living as per Tamara’s suggestion? At the moment you are simply denying the truth in an attempt to join in. You have a long journey, Grasshopper, before you even get past the “interpretation” stage on the journey to the truth. But, you do seem to prefer long, tedious journeys.

    • Oh good! Tosh again! When one starts throwing comments like this around, it’s a sure sign that one is out of one’s depth. No exception here.
      Were the U.K. to be in a position to produce gas, (a very unlikely scenario given the time factor I referred to in my earlier posting, as well as all the other factors the anti polluters have been arguing for years), then on this count alone, the U.K. may reduce its carbon footprint by not importing , but of course only by exporting the footprint onto the inevitable new customers for the gas displaced by domestic production, thus increasing global emissions. As I’ve said many times domestic gas plus displaced imports of gas = twice the gas. This would not be true only if the displaced gas were neither produced nor used. So much for my interlocutor’s “simple arithmetic.”
      To quote MacKay and Stone in 2013 “Long term global temperature rises are determined not by the rates of emissions but by cumulative global emissions of carbon over all time. The production of shale gas could increase global cumulative GHG emissions if the fossil fuels displaced by shale gas are used elsewhere. “
      In any case, even were MacKay and Stone wrong, subscribing to Martin’s brand of arithmetic, reducing merely the UK’s carbon footprint serves little purpose, especially when such reduction would increase the footprint elsewhere.
      We are not in this alone.
      Readers will note the attempt to redirect the adjective “gullible” and the noun “denier”, and I doubt that they will have forgotten Martin’s denial of July 30th.
      Martin’s failure to detect “substance” in my posting remains just that – failure.
      I think, but am happy to be proved wrong (but preferably by someone who knows), that Greta’s comment referred to this government’s habit of claiming lower levels of carbon footprint whilst subsidising FF production elsewhere. Good to see Martin is listening to Greta however.
      I note that my “withdrawal” also qualifies as “tosh”. Again, thanks for the compliment. Just by way of explanation, I tend eventually to withdraw from a particular strand of argument more out of an attempt to preserve my sanity before being sucked too far into the Never Never Land (or would Jabberwocky be more appropriate?) of my adversary’s argumentation, as well as to spare any chance reader the tedium of reading such, not because I have been backed into a corner. I do reserve the right to oppose other perversions of fact when they occur, as they inevitably do, in other posts.
      I am however interested in discovering the truth my “attempt(s) to join in” are denying, and what it is you think I wish to “join in” with.

      • Oh dear, oh dear.

        Shale gas output is increasing, 1720. Guess why? Oh yes, to export across the oceans to people who need it, and will pay $47 instead of $7, and add transport emissions whilst doing so. That is increasing the carbon footprint more than might be, if local production was possible and applied-just like food miles.

        Looking at the dates of the two posts, then Paul’s post had already provided the reality and yet you thought it worthwhile to try and deny it. Maybe you are a member of the RMT and just desire your source of income to be maintained?

        Nope, your arithmetic is totally flawed. There are things called valves. Every few weeks OPEC looks at whether valves should be turned one way, or the other. Lobbyists, including the US president, regularly lobby according to what is happening in the world. Your fantasy world of an exporter continuing to produce for an export market that has gone is just that, fantasy. Anyone who has ever worked in business that exports, knows that reality. Perhaps not your target audience, but one where that knowledge exists and this is a public forum. What is the real world is that an exporter will produce more if their export market increases, and that is the reality of what is happening-and transport emissions increasing as a result. And, people’s cost of living as $47 is bigger than $7. LNG is an expensive form of gas supply at the best of times. It is very expensive when there is a shortage of gas.

        You can reserve what you like, 1720. But excuse me for remembering it was you who had to apologize after being caught trying to inaccurately define fact. And, then followed it up by interpretation, to change what a scientist had clearly stated. That house is built on sand.

        • Prof. MacKay, I seem to need to point out, does not share the Martin version of arithmetic. I take it that you disagree with MacKay? Would I be correct?
          Forgive me for ignoring the rest. You might back me into a corner again.

          • That withdrawal didn’t last long, 1720. It is obviously not a very sound method of control, but I believe that was already known.

            So, let’s see. That withdrawal should have given the space to come up with something profound, shouldn’t it? Oops. Nope. Just a blunder into the don’t go there trap.

            The late Professor McKay? Well, 1720 I can quote again his comments about the rubbish arithmetic and physics used by the antis, and then you can repeat that you interpret he would have changed his mind after his death. (Actually, he directed his comment at humanity, and forgot that not all of humanity has adopted blind Group Think.) He knew about the subject and you admit you do not, so I think I will take his respected knowledge over your lack of it.
            He also pointed out in his book Sustainable Energy-without the Hot Air (sorry, 1720, he had seen through you as well) there is no practicable zero-carbon future without full-on investment in nuclear power, which provides emission-free electricity uninterruptedly (unlike wind and solar power).

            Hmm, so after his death he has been shown to be correct. £160B worth of correcting the arithmetic. Absolutely b****ing obvious to all but the zealots who have just got angry and not bothered to learn about arithmetic and physics. So, what are they left with? Oh yes, “we” are more worthy because “we” have adopted celebrity testimonials, although the so called testimonials come from deceased persons and “we” interpret they would have supported! “That’s a fact” and then display ignorance regarding the definition of fact. Hardly convincing, 1720, more like Hot Air.

            Apart from the £160B, what is currently happening in Ukraine will show a requirement for a lot more to protect the £160B, once invested. I suspect that will also come as a little after thought.

            Perhaps arithmetic and physics should be the focus, not Mystic Meg? The first two might actually get something done, the latter is just a comfort blanket.

            But, I understand the first cargo of LNG has arrived from Australia into UK, so it looks as if Prof. McKay has another endorsement from reality. Arithmetic and physics brought home to roost- or brought all the way from Australia to UK. But, expensively and not that good environmentally.

            Looks as if the late Prof really did know what he was talking about, 1720. You first of all need to re-read my previous post -it is your own “work” that is painting you into that corner-and again, and again. With such performance, Grasshopper, I fear there is nothing at the end of the apprenticeship. Perhaps try the BBC? They seem to allow activists to avoid scrutiny, and storming off the set/withdrawing, if it is attempted, is an option.

            • MacKay – if you are going to try and use him again, at least learn how to spell his name – really did know what he was talking about. But you seem to doubt this, despite your assertion. I’ll quote him again for you as comprehension is an issue – “Long term global temperature rises are determined not by the rates of emissions but by cumulative global emissions of carbon over all time. The production of shale gas could increase global cumulative GHG emissions if the fossil fuels displaced by shale gas are used elsewhere.“ So it’s not simply a question of replacement of imports by domestic production as you argued at the time.
              For heaven’s sake, just think about it and spare us all. If you want to call it research, that’s fine.
              This is at odds with Martin arithmetic. I wonder if you’ve forgotten it, or just choose to forget it. The “ celebrity testimonial” I used was by the same MacKay you used to make your point about renewables never being up to the job. You used your quotation in full knowledge of the fact that MacKay did not live long enough to see the huge expansion in renewables which might just have changed his mind. A point which seems beyond you, or which you choose not to see. A question of integrity, I think, Look it up.

              [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

              • Except UK shale gas might just replace shale gas from somewhere else, 1720. Perhaps INEOS would not have to have built ships to transport it across the Atlantic?
                It is you who says that the fossil fuels displaced would be used elsewhere. Has that happened when USA increased their domestic output of oil and gas? Not directly. OPEC+ actually tried a price war to try and stop that increase, as they knew extra supply ahead of an increase in demand would reduce price. It failed 1720. USA continued, the rest of the world benefitted via lower prices as a result, from the end of 2014, until recently. It did what was expected-it reduced price.
                The demand for oil and gas has subsequently risen, apart from during the pandemic. That is nothing to do with production, that is due to demand. You have a real problem with the laws of supply and demand and revert to some sort of historic control economy where supply dictates demand. It has not done that in fossil fuels for a very long time, except in a few places like N.Korea. Hmm, Group Think. I can see a connection, but not one that has any connection to UK, thankfully. Perhaps read up on Cartels? Their whole philosophy is to control supply to control price. They even turn round to the President of the USA and say, “sorry, can only manage another 100k barrels”.

                And, the Prof. might just have changed his mind as the first cargo of LNG is delivered to UK from Australia!?! LOL. And the probability of that is what? Sorry, probability requires some arithmetic and there is a hole in that bucket. The demand curve for oil and gas even at current prices should show anyone with any semblance of intelligence that the Prof. was correct. Price elasticity may be another area you might like to consider, whilst you withdraw. But, be careful your integrity may be questioned if you fail to realize heating or eating is an actual issue for many.

                So, sorry but your contrived arguments fail, even after all the breaks for R&R. Not a question of integrity, simply a case of looking at a statement from someone who was an expert in his field and then following it through subsequent events to see if holds water. His bucket still does. £160B investment now decided, next nuclear being rushed through, SMRs being rushed through, loads of LNG being shipped into UK from all corners of the earth, coal being continued, brought back, and UK rehearsing for a winter of power outages. Little realities you chose not to see. But, in UK “we” will see them, as “we” the tax payers are going to pay for them. And, I could go on with more.
                Even as Mystic Meg the tea leaves seem difficult for you, 1720. Maybe they escaped through those holes in your bucket?

                Besides, I would prefer the expert and then examine their scientific appraisal and see if it holds water going forward. Some appraisals do not, I grant, such as cereal for motor fuel.
                Inconvenient for you, 1720, but the Prof’s does. Not liking the fact (oops) is okay, but denying the fact is not. There is a difference.

                • You still don’t understand that MacKay – now to be called the Prof.,I see – is contradicting your sums, Martin. Denial or a failure to concede has ramifications for integrity.[Edited by moderator] Some are impressed, but perhaps less so by your inability to see that supply can stimulate demand as well, of course, as the obvious demand stimulating supply. Another discovery of yours, perhaps when you discovered that people speculate. The intellectual acumen is astounding.
                  I see that Group Think is the new leitmotiv. It does however work both ways.

  6. Back in the real world:

    “Roughly 80 tankers are expected to arrive at Wilhelmshaven each year, substituting half of the gas imports the German energy company Uniper used to have from Russia, or 8% of Germany’s overall gas usage before the start of the war.”

    “UK has approved several fossil fuel projects since Cop26, analysis finds. About 50 schemes are thought to be in pipeline between now and 2025 despite climate pledges”

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