As you are probably aware, Angus Energy and Surrey County Council are in a dispute over the drilling of sidetrack BR-X4Z in January 2017, which the Council said was drilled without planning permission. The news broke on BBC London News on 9th March and reached the front page of the Times. A week later DrillOrDrop reported that Angus drilled against the advice given by the Council prior to drilling.
Whilst Angus were working on site in December and January, a number of individuals reported concerning events such as a large delivery of drill pipes (documented by the ‘protection camp’, see picture above) and night working for over a week; however, the Council as well as members of the public were assured by Angus that it was only carrying out maintenance activities…
Despite its position, the Council has not taken any formal enforcement action with respect to the drilling of BR-X4Z. Council Officers had invited Angus to apply for retrospective planning, but the company refused saying they did not need it and that they had valid permission for six wells (so additional three to what’s already on site) and for production! Since there’s been no formal action, the dispute remains only that, a difference of opinions. Meanwhile, Angus continue their promises to investors that Brockham will be in production by the end of this summer. Their share price has gone from 10.75p to 32.6p in one month and HGV traffic was recently recorded arriving at the well site.
What can you do?
Despite claiming no need for any permission, Angus applied for retrospective planning for on-site facilities (but not for the drilling). The Council decided to run a public consultation on this seemingly minor application, perhaps because of the ongoing dispute. This consultation is open until 31 July.
We would like to urge you to comment on this application and support the position taken by both Brockham Oil Watch and the Parish Council that, as the current situation is the subject of legal dispute any consideration of the current application for the upgrade of site facilities should be postponed until this dispute has been settled.
You can comment via this link or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please also send a copy of your comment to Mole Valley planning team at email@example.com. When commenting on an application, make sure to include your full postal address and reference SCC/2017/0089 (MO/2017/0916). If you live outside of Surrey, you can still comment and it would be best if you could give a reason why this is relevant to you.
Is Angus Energy Back?
On July 9th a Grampian Continental flatbed contracted by Angus Energy was seen travelling through Brockham village. Surrey Council’s Monitoring Officer visited the well site on 13 July and reported that approximately 6 larger pipes, a pallet and some wooden crates have been delivered and were stored on site (picture below).
Council Officers are in communication wit Angus Energy’s solicitor regarding this recent activity, and the first one since January 2017, when Angus drilled sidetrack BR-X4Z – the subject of the current dispute.
We are keeping a close eye on Felton’s Farm well site and we would also like to ask all local residents (as well as those further away who have relevant information) to alert us as soon as possible if any HGV traffic is witnessed arriving or leaving the site, or any other activity related to the well site. Please see contact details below.
Note that, except in the case of emergency, no commercial vehicle should enter or leave the site except between the hours of 07.00-08.00, 09.00-15.30 or 18.00-19.00 on Monday to Friday and 08.00-13.00 on Saturday, and no traffic should be through Brockham Village (the correct route is Old School Lane, Bushbury Lane, Roothill Lane, Red Lane, Blackbrook Road and Mill road to the A24).
P.S. Another consultation, for an updated environmental production permit to be issued by the Environment Agency, is expected to come online very soon and we will be contacting you separately when it is out and we have had the chance to digest.
Phone: 07376 791932
Brockham Oil Watch is a group of local residents concerned about plans for unconventional production at Brockham oil site. The Kimmeridge inter-bedded limestone and shale layers currently targeted by Angus Energy are a tight-oil reservoir, meaning commercial extraction will likely require acid stimulation.
Acidisation* involves pumping large quantities of acids and other chemicals below ground to dissolve the rock and release oil. There are very few studies on health and environmental effects of this technique and it is poorly regulated in the UK. Acidisation has a longer history of use in the US; In California it is regulated in the same way as hydraulic fracturing, and many Florida counties and municipalities have passed ordinances to ban it.
*By acidisation we mean “matrix acidising” and “acid fracking” – well stimulation treatments used to extract oil. Acidisation can also refer to a routine well maintenance process used by the industry to clean out boreholes , which is also known as an “acid wash.” This confusion in definitions is part of the reason why we think that regulation is not good enough.