Dear BOW Supporter,
There’s been a number of updates since we wrote last on 17th April, day before the official deadline to comment on the current application from Angus Energy covering the drilling and appraisal of unauthorised sidetrack BRX4Z drilled January 2017 (MO/2018/0444). We are sharing some today.
NEW DATE TO COMMITTEE
This application was going to be voted by the Surrey County Council Planning and Regulatory Committee on 23rd May, but this has now been moved to the next P&R Committee meeting on 20th June.
This is good news because we now have longer to make comments, and if you have not commented yet, there is still time. Representations will be received until noon on 19th of June. See our website here for instructions.
MVDC UNANIMOUS OBJECTION
Mole Valley District Council, who is a statutory consultee on this application, discussed it on 2nd of May and voted unanimously to object on the basis that the 3-year period proposed by Angus is unnecessarily long to appraise as well (our note: this needs to be seen in the context of Angus making repeated statements over the past months and as recently as late April about putting BRX4Z “straight into commercial production”). MV councillors also raised concern over the potential use of acidisation, emissions from the flare stack, and lack of a risk assessment, as well as the need for close monitoring given the track record of the applicant.
ANGUS ENERGY’S COMPLAINT TO OFCOM AGAINST BBC DISMISSED
Drill Or Drop reported on May 8th that Angus had complained to Ofcom about BBC’s reporting of the drilling of BRX4Z, and that this complaint has not been upheld. Ofcom said that BBC had not been unfair to Angus and that its report reflected the company’s position adequately and fairly. Angus were represented by Schillings International LLP – international privacy and reputation law firm that has represented many high-profile clients including celebrities, sports starts and other famous people.
We note that this article in The Times says it is still the subject of a legal complaint from Angus Energy plc.
ANGUS BECOMES THE OPERATOR OF BALCOMBE
Angus Energy announced today that they received approval from Oil & Gas Authority to become the operator of Balcombe (taking over from Cuadrilla).
Here is a quote from Jonathan Tidswell, CEO of Angus Energy from a recent investor show: “The idea of taking over is that we are a non-fracking company. The idea will be to somehow convince the locals over the next few months that there will never be any fracking on the site.”
We believe what might be meant by fracking in this quote is ‘associated hydraulic fracturing’ as defined by the Government in the Infrastructure Act 2015. This definition leaves out a lot of fracking activities that do not meet the definition’s very high thresholds of injected fluids. You can read more on this issue in very digestible format here and here.
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