LETTER: Exploration well targets oil or gas

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I am writing in response to recent rumours to reassure your readers about the scope of Celtique Energie’s operations near Billingshurst and what activity we have been granted permission to undertake by the relevant regulatory authorities.

As we have consistently stated on a number of occasions, our exploration well in Broadford Bridge is targeting an oil or gas reservoir located in the Triassic Sandstone at a depth of around 10,000 feet.

This is a conventional (non-shale) reservoir, which means that the rock is sufficiently permeable that oil or gas should flow naturally into the well from the reservoir when produced. There are many similar oil and gas fields in the surrounding area, including Singleton and Storrington in West Sussex and Wytch Farm in Dorset, which have been producing safely and with minimal local impact for a number of decades.

Celtique does not have planning permission to undertake hydraulic fracturing on this well and has committed in writing to West Sussex County Council (WSCC) that it will not be using hydraulic fracturing in this well in the future. Copy of this correspondence can be found on the WSCC website.

Furthermore, the site land lease agreement has a clause stating that under the terms of the lease no shale oil or shale gas development is permitted using this site.

We are committed to regular communication with local residents near the site and will notify them well in advance of any further activity taking place.

GEOFF DAVIES

Chief executive, Celtique Energie, Riding House Street, London W1W 7FA