Brockham well update & COP26

Brockham oil well update

We have news that Angus has posted a formal notice and distributed leaflets that it is applying for planning permission to reperforate, retain and produce oil from the BRX4 well until 2036. They plan to reperforate the upper section of the BRX4Z well to reach the Portland Sandstone.

Angus also intends to plug part of sidetrack BRX4Z reaching the Kimmeridge which it drilled without planning permission in 2017. Following a failed appraisal of BRX4Z and our campaign to highlight the risks of acidisation – a fracking-like technique of unconventional hydrocarbon extraction – Angus Energy abandoned plans to extract from this layer in July 2019. 

Since then, the focus of our campaign shifted to oppose plans to restart the equally risky practice of waste fluids reinjection (preliminary decision on this from the Environment Agency is still forthcoming, although it was expected in September). As reinjection is necessary to provide pressure support to enable continued oil extraction from the conventional Portland Sandstone reservoir, we are also opposed to any plans to restart production from this layer. This means that all wells at Brockham should be properly plugged and the site restored.

See more about this new planning application in Drill Or Drop? and on the Mole Valley planning register. The application must be validated by Surrey planners before it is posted online and opens for public comments. You can comment about it already; the best thing is to email all levels of your elected representatives (find them here) and Helyn Clack, Surrey County Councillor for Dorking Rural helyn.clack@surreycc.gov.uk

On another note…

BOW hasn’t been campaigning about climate change, but since the all-important COP26 is starting today and the issues are all connected, we wanted to highlight the following:

Horse Hill Rally 

If you wish to show support for climate action as part of the Global Day of Action on Saturday, 6 November, join this rally at Horse Hill. Only recently, The Times reported that the Horse Hill appeal case “is threatening to overshadow the prime minister’s attempts in Glasgow (…) to convince world leaders to sign up to more ambitious targets to reduce their fossil fuel emissions.” Additional info:  Facebook 6 Nov rally page    About the HH legal case

Methane Emissions 

Britain is the source of some of Europe’s worst methane emissions, according to the nonprofit Clean Air Task Force (source: Bloomberg Green). The group used a special infrared camera to detect significant leaks across the UK, including from five sources at Horse Hill.  See more about this project on the Weald Action Group website or watch this insightful webinar with James Truitto who filmed the leaks, and WAG campaigners who assisted him at some of the oil & gas sites. Reducing emissions of the super-warming methane is crucial in slowing the rate of global warming and would show results in as little as a decade (this is not the case with CO2 which hangs around in the atmosphere for a long time: between 300 to 1,000 years). Incidentally, inactive oil wells (such as the ones at Brockham) could be big source of methane emissions.

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