An energy company submitted a planning application for a temporary exploratory drilling well between Kirdford and Wisborough Green last week.
Celtique Energie Weald, a British oil and gas exploration company, along with its joint investment partner Magellan Petroleum, is hoping to construct a temporary well site to test for commercial oil and gas, but will also be logging data for the presence of shale oil and gas.
The application does not include the use of hydraulic fracturing.
The submission of the application follows engagement with local residents and stakeholders near to the proposed well site, including a presentation by Celtique Energie to Kirdford Parish Council and Wisborough Green Parish Council, and a two-day public consultation event hosted at Kirdford Village Hall on 17/18 May 2013, which attracted 154 people.
Geoff Davies, chief executive officer at Celtique Energie said: “We are pleased to confirm that we have submitted a planning application to West Sussex County Council for a temporary exploration well near Kirdford and Wisborough Green, following extensive engagement with the local community.
“Over recent months we have met with a number of members of the public and local representatives to introduce Celtique as a company and discuss the details of our proposals.
“We recognise that the vehicle movements associated with the proposals has been a key issue for many and we have responded positively by including a number of traffic calming measures in our final application.
“As part of our application we have also submitted a comprehensive Environmental Statement that identifies the environmental impacts associated with Celtique’s operations and describes in detail the steps it will be taking to mitigate them.
“As part of its planning application, Celtique will be drilling through shale formations encountered in the well to confirm what potential (if any) these rocks have for commercial production. Should this data prove positive, Celtique may wish to explore these formations further, which could include the use of hydraulic fracturing at a new well on this same site.
“However this would involve a separate planning application to drill a new well, additional permits from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Environment Agency and further public consultation.”
Mr Davies continued: “We are aware that there is significant interest locally over the role of hydraulic fracturing at our proposed well site. As we have consistently stated, Celtique is not applying for hydraulic fracturing as part of this planning application. However, as part of our planning application we will be drilling through shale formations encountered in the well to confirm what potential these rocks have for commercial production. Should this data prove positive, we may wish to explore these formations further, which could include the use of hydraulic fracturing at a new well on this same site. However this would involve a separate planning application to drill a new well, additional permits from the Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Environment Agency, and most importantly further consultation
with the community.
“Now that the application has been submitted, we invite all members of the community who wish to make their views on our proposals known to get in touch with West Sussex County Council. We will also continue to engage with and update local residents on the progress of
the proposals in the coming months.”
If the presence of commercially viable hydrocarbons is confirmed, the well would be secured and Celtique Energie would require further approval from West Sussex County Council and the Department for Energy and Climate Change to use the site as a permanent production facility.
In the event that there is an absence of viable reserves, the well would be plugged, all equipment removed and the site would be restored.
Celtique Energie’s application for its temporary well site will be available to view on West Sussex County Council’s website once it has been validated by planning officers.
Members of the public with enquiries about the proposals can get in touch with Celtique Energie on its dedicated community information line 0800 023 2148 (9am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The exhibition boards presented at the public consultation event in May can also be viewed on Celtique Energie’s dedicated community consultation page.
For more on this story see this Thursday’s West Sussex County Times.
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