Exploratory drilling for gas green-lighted

JPCT 220612  Public exhibition on Celtique's plans to drill for gas south of Billingshurst. Geoff Davies from Celtique right, talking to Lorraine Dale and Martin Dale. Photo by Derek Martin
JPCT 220612 Public exhibition on Celtique's plans to drill for gas south of Billingshurst. Geoff Davies from Celtique right, talking to Lorraine Dale and Martin Dale. Photo by Derek Martin

Exploratory drilling for gas and oil was permitted in Broadford Bridge near Adversane by the county council today (Tuesday February 5).

Celtique Energie received planning permission to construct a temporary drilling rig to look for conventional energy deposits at Woodbarn Farm, in Adversane Lane, Broadford Bridge from West Sussex County Council’s planning committee at a meeting in Chichester.

The British firm is hoping to strike a deposit of natural gas, and if it does so, would then need additional permission to erect a permanent site, possibly bringing hundreds of skilled jobs to the area.

Responding to today’s decision, Geoff Davies, chief executive officer at Celtique Energie, said: “We welcome today’s decision by the members of West Sussex County Council, which follows on from the good response we received from the local community when we consulted on the proposals last summer.

“The Weald area has a long history of oil and gas exploration and we are optimistic that our exploration project near Broadford Bridge will be successful.

“We expect that the operation will create a number of employment opportunities in the local area for both specialist technical roles and support and administration.

“There will also be a positive impact on the local economy through the use of local services as exploration is on-going.

“We’d like to thank everyone who expressed their support for our proposals at our public consultation last year.

“The timing of the well and associated preparation will depend on rig availability and other operational considerations but we can now start preparing those plans in detail.”