Markwells Wood, West Sussex


Key facts

Address: Markwells Wood wellsite, South Holt Farm, Back Lane, Forestside, Stoughton, West Sussex

Operator: UK Oil & Gas Investments Ltd (UKOG)

Planning application for appraisal and production: SDNP/16/04679/CM (see timeline for earlier planning applications and permissions)

Licence: PEDL126 Licence now removed by OGA from list of UK onshore licences

Status: Abandoned


Updated 5/10/2021211005-markwells-wood

31 March 2020

UKOG annual report says Marwells Wood has been restored and the site planted with 2,000 trees and shrubs. Details

24 January 2019

UKOG confirms it has abandoned Markwells Wood because of technical and regulatory risks. Details

23 November 2018

Residents report work is underway to abandon Markwells Wood. Details

17 July 2018

South Downs National Park Authority issues breach of condition notice against UKOG. Link to notice

28 March 2018

Residents say they are delighted that UKOG has lost access rights to Markwells Wood oil site. Details

27 March 2018

News emerges that UKOG lost access rights to Markwells Wood in summer 2017. Details

15 March 2018

Campaigners announce they will challenge the UKOG injunction over sites including Markwells Wood. Details

1 March 2018

UKOG applies for an injunction over sites including Markwells Wood. Details

3 January 2018

Villagers accuse Oil and Gas Authority of a lack of robustness over allowing PEDL126, which includes Markwells Wood, to move to the production phase without the usual requirements. Details 

16 October 2017

In a letter to the South Downs National Park Authority, UKOG drops plans for 20 years of oil production, three new oil wells and water injection well. Details

29 August 2017

Meeting of MP Gillian Keegan with constituents living near Markwells Wood, to discuss UKOG’s plans for the site, 6.30pm-8pm, Foreside Hall, Forestside, West Sussex PO9 6EG

30 June 2017

Extended deadline for the second term of PEDL126

2 May 2017

South Downs National Park Authority announces UKOG has withdrawn the planning application for drilling and oil production at Markwells Wood. Details

7 April 2017

UKOG says it remained “fully committed” to the potential of Markwells Wood. It said a consultants’s report proved “beyond any reasonable doubt” that drilling methods were “safe, secure and of no concern to the environment”. Details

6 April 2017

Environment Agency objects again to UKOG drilling plans, saying they could “pose an unacceptable risk to groundwater”. Details

1 April 2017

Study commissioned by Markwells Wood Watch concludes that water contaminated by oil exploration or production at Markwells Wood could quickly reach the Bedhampton and Havant Springs, which supplies drinking water to the Portsmouth area. Details

28 March 2017

Closing date of South Downs National Park Authority public consultation on additional information for planning application. Details

6 March 2017

South Downs National Park Authority publishes additional information on planning application and opens public consultation. Details

24 November 2016

South Downs National Park Authority asks UKOG for more information about the location of the wells, alternative sites, impacts from VOCs, volume of hydrocarbons, revised groundwater risk and landscape impact assessments, impact of noise and vibration on bats, impact of greenhouse gas emissions and the use of acid Details

16 November 2016

Meeting between Portsmouth Water, Environment Agency and UKOG over the application’s risk assessment to groundwater Details

15 November 2016

Portsmouth City Council objects to UKOG plans for Markwells Wood Details

2 November 2016

Environment Agency objects to the UKOG plans for Markwells Wood Details

13 October 2016

Portsmouth Water objects to UKOG application for Markwells Wood Details

3 October 2016

Public meeting in Forestside votes to oppose UKOG application for Markwells Wood Details

30 September 2016

Expiry of planning application SDNP/13/01347/CND granted on 14 October 2015.

20 September 2016

South Downs National Park Authority validates application (SDNP/16/04679/CM) from UKOG for Markwells Wood. The application is for: appraisal and production of oil incorporating the drilling of one side-track well from the existing well (for appraisal), three new hydrocarbon wells and one water injection well, and to allow the production of hydrocarbons from all four wells for a 20 year period. DrillOrDrop review and UKOG statement

8 September 2016

UKOG puts up signs around Markwells Wood giving notice that it will be applying for permission for new drilling and oil production. Details

6 September 2016

South Downs National Park Authority publishes scoping opinion giving details of what should be included in an Environmental Statement

2 August 2016

UKOG applies to the South Downs National Park Authority for a scoping opinion (SDNP/16/03912/SCOPE) for appraisal drilling, extended well testing, production and site restoration Details

12 July 2016

South Downs National Park Authority responds to Barton Willmore’s screening request (SDNP/16/03075/SCREEN) that an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) would be needed and the development would be likely to have significant effects on the environment

1 July 2016

Oil and Gas Authority moves PEDL126 (exploration licence around Markwells Wood) to 2014 Model Clauses and requires a field development plan for the Markwells Wood-1 discovery by 30 June 2017 Details

15 June 2016

Barton Willmore, consultants for UKOG, requests an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) screening opinion. It argues that significant effects are unlikely and an EIA is not needed Request letter and report

14 October 2015

South Downs National Park Authority grants an extension of planning permission for Markwells Wood under delegated powers until 31 September 2016 (see decision notice)

13 April 2015

UKOG announces it has bought Magellan’s 40% stake in PEDL126 (including the Markwells Wood-1 well), bringing its stake to 100% Details

26 March 2015

UKOG applies for permission to the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNP/15/01470/CONDC) to extend operations for a further 18 months for continued operations, the plugging and abandonment of the existing well and final restoration of the site

30 December 2014

Magellan Petroleum, a partner in Markwells Wood-1, warns that the well could be abandoned if new companies can’t be found to take it on Details Annual report

20 October 2014

UKOG announces it has completed acquisition of Northern Petroleum’s UK production and exploration oil and gas licence interests – including PEDL126 and Markwells Wood-1 – for £1.5m Details

24 July 2014

UKOG announces a conditional agreement to acquire  Northern Petroleum Plc’s UK production and exploration oil and gas licence interests – including PEDL126 Markwells Wood – for a total consideration of £1.5 million Details

22 November 2013

South Downs National Park Authority issues a decision notice approving permission until 31 March 2015

22 March 2013

Application to the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNP/13/01347/CND) for a further two years for oil and gas exploration at Markwells Wood

23 January 2013

West Sussex County Council issues a decision notice approving the application WSCC/011/12/SO/SDNP for an extension of permission until 31 March 2013

12 March 2012

West Sussex County Council registers application WSCC/011/12/SO/SDNP from Northern Petroleum for an extension of time at Markwells Wood

7 September 2011

Northern Petroleum reports it has started operations for an extended well test at Markwells Wood-1 Details

6 January 2011

Northern Petroleum announces that logs confirm the Great Oolite drilled reservoir at Markwells Wood-1 is oil bearing above the Horndean Field oil water contact of 4,446ft Details

23 December 2010

Northern Petroleum announces live oil was encountered in the Markwells Wood-1 well in the primary reservoir target Details

21 November 2010

Northern Petroleum announces the Markwells Wood-1 well was spudded at 15.00 hours Details

12 November 2010

Northern moves drilling equipment onto the Markwells Wood-1 site Details

12 January 2009

West Sussex County Council issues decision notice approving application SO/3152/07 with a condition that permission is for three years from the date of commencement of site construction.

19 June 2007

West Sussex County Council validates an application (SO/3152/07) from Northern Petroleum for a temporary hydrocarbon exploration site

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