Brockham Oil Watch was set up in early 2017 as a non-political group of local residents concerned about the threat of unconventional hydrocarbon extraction from the Kimmeridge Clay Formation (or other unconventional reservoirs) at Brockham and beyond, as well as gaps and inconsistencies in the national legislative and regulatory framework for fracking.
Following a failed appraisal of the controversial BRX4Z sidetrack and our campaign to highlight the risks of acidisation – a fracking-like technique of unconventional hydrocarbon extraction – Angus Energy abandoned their Kimmeridge extraction plans at Brockham in July 2019. Since then, the focus of our local campaign shifted to oppose plans to restart the equally risky practice of waste fluids reinjection. As reinjection is necessary to provide pressure support to enable continued oil extraction from the mature Portland Sandstone reservoir, this means stopping all oil extraction plans at Brockham.
The work we do is voluntary and none of us gets paid.
Here are some highlights of our work to date:
- Piecing together and exposing to the public the unauthorised drilling of sidetrack BRX4Z in Jan 2017
- Applying scrutiny and pressure on the Environment Agency which resulted in the prohibition of the risky practice of waste fluid reinjection at Brockham in Nov 2018
- Conducting baseline air and water monitoring at Brockham ahead of planned unconventional extraction
- Investigating links between the Newdigate earthquakes and drilling for oil, and gaps in the regulatory regime with respect to monitoring of seismicity in the Weald Basin
As part of the national Fracking by Stealth Campaign:
- Publishing a legal briefing highlighting fracking by stealth in England and coordinating an open letter to the Government asking for the loophole to be closed
- Publishing a research paper Acid stimulation: Fracking by stealth continues despite the moratorium in England in the international peer-reviewed journal Energy Policy. See a summary here
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