LETTER: Significance of drilling results

I refer to your article in the County Times this week and to that in last week’s copy which located the site of the proposed drilling site soon to be operated by Celtique Energie Weald Limited.

Friday, 31st May 2013, 8:00 am

This I would think was a very important piece of news in relation to the possible effect on the rural environment of Kirdford, Wisborough Green and Billingshurst.

A key piece of information is the location of the proposed drilling site which you attempted to locate in your article last week but a reproduction of plans available in Celtique’s Public Consultation Document would have been more desirable .

This shows the access off of Kirdford road about 100metres west of Barford Bridge.

You alternatively chose to reprint a map from the Celtique pamphlet showing the area where licensing for drilling have been obtained.

The article then made no reference to the plan whatsoever.

The plan does show however where some oil is already being extracted and also where gas does exist but where it is not planned to extract by fracking.

It does however confirm the possibility of the existence of hydrocarbons beneath the fields of this area of West Sussex, possibly at depths in the order of 8000ft. None of the sites shown on the plan published are currently operated by Celtique. Until we have the results from the drilling at Wisborough Green and Billingshurst, Broadford Bridge we cannot determine if this has any effect on future operations in the area.

At the public consultation Celtique’s representatives were keen to play down the possibility of extraction of gas by fracking.

It was indicated that the planning permission for this work and future extraction was the responsibility of West Sussex County council and not the usual planning authorities, Chichester and Horsham.This is surprising.

If fracking was to be involved there may be concern based on experience in USA and Blackpool but we are again led to believe by Celtique that this is unlikely to be the case.

The drilling is programmed to take some six weeks only.

Full details of when it is likely to occur is not known nor is the programme for the Billingshurst site available.

The key facts are, is there presence of sufficient hydrocarbons to justify extraction and what infrastructure is required to extract the material whatever it might be.

We need to be involved as soon as information on the results obtained from the drilling, in both locations, are known.


Townfield, Kirdford