Dear BOW Followers,
We were very relieved to hear the amazing news that there would be NO drilling at Leith Hill (Holmwood), but the threat to the Weald and south-east England remains and stretches as far as the Kimmeridge rocks the drillers are targeting. If you missed our July public meeting about earthquakes and acidisation, or if you would like to hear more about these hot topics, and about how to get involved, join tomorrow:
“Back to back” wells are Horse Hill?
Catholic Church, 4 Vicarage Ln
Horley RH6 8AR
Tuesday 23 October, 7:45pm
11:45pm this Thursday, 25 October is the deadline for responses to the consultation on the proposals to:
- Make non-hydraulic shale gas exploration a permitted development (i.e. not needing planning permission)
- Include shale gas production projects in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime
Frack Free United produced very handy guidelines for folks pressed for time. It really should only take a few minutes to respond! Link to guidelines here.
Why is this directly relevant also in the south-east? Here are our thoughts:
Point 21 of the permitted development consultation document states that the appropriate definition of shale gas exploration could be:
‘Boring for natural gas in shale or other strata encased in shale for the purposes of searching for natural gas and associated liquids, with a testing period not exceeding 96 hours per section test’.”
We believe that the following interpretation is possible: that strata encased in shale could be micrite (what the drillers incorrectly call limestone) and associated fluid could be oil.
We also don’t see anything that could stop oil companies using the right in the Weald Basin to drill for gas within their licensed areas as a pretext for their real target, which is oil. They could simply follow on from shale gas exploration to oil development appraisal and/or production.
The NSIP consultation document gives a clue on page 9:
The areas in England identified by the British Geological Survey with potentially large reserves of shale gas and oil are the Bowland-Hodder area in northern England and the midlands and the Weald Basin in Southern England.
So much happened last week.. The first high-volume fracking since Cuadrilla’s foul start in 2011 started last Monday, 15 October at Preston New Road. On Wednesday, the three protesters recently jailed for anti-fracking protest were freed as the appeal judge said their sentences were “manifestly excessive”, while the judge who sent the “Fracking Three” to jail was accused of having links to the oil industry, and is now facing an investigation by the Judicial office. On Friday, a series of tremors was reported around the Preston New Road fracked well. Professor David Smythe posted a blog on this today.