Bournemouth Echo'No fracking' promise from company behind exploratory gas well (From Bournemouth Echo)

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Work on preparing Swanage's California Quarry for drilling to start this winter

Bournemouth Echo: Andrew Hindle and Rachel Barton Andrew Hindle and Rachel Barton

WORK will start this winter preparing a site in Purbeck ready for the drilling of an oil and gas exploration well.

The project, at California Quarry near Swanage, is being carried out by InfraStrata plc and will only use conventional drilling methods.

The company says it will not involve hydraulic fracturing (fracking), either now or in the future.

InfraStrata’s chief executive, Dr Andrew Hindle, said: “We have now discharged all the pre-start planning conditions required by Dorset County Council and are preparing to start on the site this winter.

“Before this, we plan to run a short seismic programme to further image the geology under the wellpath and finalise the design of the well.”

The planning consent restricts site construction and drilling activity to between September and March.

“Before we start on site this winter, we are going to hold another public information event to ensure that everyone living locally and further afield is fully informed of our plans,’ Dr Hindle added.

“We want people to know that we are only using conventional drilling methods to target Jurassic and Triassic sandstones and limestones to reach reservoirs which have been in production elsewhere in Dorset using these same methods for many decades.”

The three-acre site for the exploratory well lies within California Quarry, southwest of Swanag. It is on a previously quarried area of a working quarry which he company says has been chosen carefully to minimise the impact on neighbours.

The project includes the construction of an enclosed well site compound within the three-acre site comprising a flat stone surface, soil screening, containment bunds and a security fence. Using conventional directional drilling, the well will reach a depth of approximately 2,000 metres (6,600 feet) below the sea to the south of the site.

There are three phases to the drilling process.

1. Construction of the wellsite - expected to take up to eight weeks

2. The assembly and installation of drilling equipment and facilities and drilling of the exploratory well - expected to take up to eight weeks and likely to be undertaken in late winter or early next winter.

3. Should oil or gas be encountered, the drilling rig would be demobilised and InfraStrata would undertake a long-term test with the well to establish whether it could produce oil or gas commercially using conventional methods.

Any subsequent development of the site would require planning permission. If no commercial oil or gas are encountered, then the well will be plugged and abandoned and the wellsite restored to its original state.

Speaking about the potential benefits of the project, Dr Hindle said: “If oil or gas were encountered and later successfully developed in Purbeck - following the relevant approvals - it would have a positive longer term impact on local and national industry, with local job creation and other economic benefits.

“In the short term, although drilling operations require specialised personnel, some support services contracts will be sourced locally. Nearby hotels, guesthouses and shops will benefit from the drilling rig and associated services personnel.”

Comments (5)

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4:07pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Ophilum says...

Lets hope it brings in cheaper Gas Prices and it does not all go to the fat cats, About time the people had a benefit if the Americans are anything to go by.
I can see the Greens having a fit of rage though if the past is anything to go by.
Lets hope it brings in cheaper Gas Prices and it does not all go to the fat cats, About time the people had a benefit if the Americans are anything to go by. I can see the Greens having a fit of rage though if the past is anything to go by. Ophilum
  • Score: -4

9:14pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Frances Leader says...

I admit I want to persuade every Oil/Gas worker in the whole world to walk away from that vile, poisonous business forever.
Still, to this day, the drilling staff are kept completely in the dark about the chemical content of the drilling muds they use but, above all, they are NEVER informed about the radio-active returning solids & fluids that they are handling every day without protection. They don't even think about the tons of filth that have been spilled into the seas & now that high pressure high volume fracturing has been rolled out onshore, they really haven't a foggy clue that they have signed their own death warrant & consigned us all to suffer & die with them.
And worse, by far worse..... they don't know that they are contributing to the destruction of this planet & ALL life upon it.
That is why we must win this battle against ecocide & defy the outright murder & boundless greed of Big Oil & Gas.
THAT IS WHY WE MUST LEAVE IT IN THE GROUND.
I admit I want to persuade every Oil/Gas worker in the whole world to walk away from that vile, poisonous business forever. Still, to this day, the drilling staff are kept completely in the dark about the chemical content of the drilling muds they use but, above all, they are NEVER informed about the radio-active returning solids & fluids that they are handling every day without protection. They don't even think about the tons of filth that have been spilled into the seas & now that high pressure high volume fracturing has been rolled out onshore, they really haven't a foggy clue that they have signed their own death warrant & consigned us all to suffer & die with them. And worse, by far worse..... they don't know that they are contributing to the destruction of this planet & ALL life upon it. That is why we must win this battle against ecocide & defy the outright murder & boundless greed of Big Oil & Gas. THAT IS WHY WE MUST LEAVE IT IN THE GROUND. Frances Leader
  • Score: -2

10:41pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Yankee1 says...

Those caravans will be rockin' up at the holiday park......

What is that old joke: 'Don't come a knockin' if the caravan's a rockin''.
Those caravans will be rockin' up at the holiday park...... What is that old joke: 'Don't come a knockin' if the caravan's a rockin''. Yankee1
  • Score: -1

10:41pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Bluestew says...

Of course this plan is the exploratory stage, as has been the other test drilling in Balcombe, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and apart from the fracking taken place at Preese Hall in St Lytham back in 2011 which caused the earth tremors.... fracking has not yet taken place, despite the myth that it's been happening at Wytch Farm. A lie that was initially spoken by The Telegraph and since perpetuated by paid off geologists and the gas industry to placate and mis-inform the public.

Over 60% of the country sitting under these Petroleum Exploration Development Licences (PEDL) the agenda to obtain the last drops of oil and gas recoverable to maintain the toxic stronghold over our lives and energy supply causing the C02 crisis, climate change and with frack gas methane emissions and the toxic legacy of contamination of ground water and over industrialisation of the countryside.... this exploration will be a gateway to further extractions and once a well has been given planning and been in production, the planning for further drilling is obtained easier.

At exploratory stage the heavy haulage traffic is immense... with over 300 trucks in and 300 trucks out.... causing damage and congestion and pollution. The bottle neck at Corfe will be a hazard in this historical picturesque village and the size of the tankers for infrastructure, water, chemicals, rig, is much bigger in scale than the common traffic moving along this route. Also the tight winding through the estate in Swanage before the steep hill up to California Quarry.

There was much objection to this plan, but of course planning was accepted, because the pension plans of Dorset County Council are all tied up with the oil & gas industry with BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil, which shows how the local planning has its decisions decided and its economic hands tied.

With the Infrastructure Bill now in second reading in the Lords where private and public/common land is up for grabs and overrides objections from Local councils and with recent changes in the Trespass laws to allow fracking companies to drill under people's homes without their consent...don't expect 'democracy' to work in favour of the people.... it's a corporate carve up of our country for profit, and in that process the annihilation of our environment and the future of our children.
Of course this plan is the exploratory stage, as has been the other test drilling in Balcombe, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and apart from the fracking taken place at Preese Hall in St Lytham back in 2011 which caused the earth tremors.... fracking has not yet taken place, despite the myth that it's been happening at Wytch Farm. A lie that was initially spoken by The Telegraph and since perpetuated by paid off geologists and the gas industry to placate and mis-inform the public. Over 60% of the country sitting under these Petroleum Exploration Development Licences (PEDL) the agenda to obtain the last drops of oil and gas recoverable to maintain the toxic stronghold over our lives and energy supply causing the C02 crisis, climate change and with frack gas methane emissions and the toxic legacy of contamination of ground water and over industrialisation of the countryside.... this exploration will be a gateway to further extractions and once a well has been given planning and been in production, the planning for further drilling is obtained easier. At exploratory stage the heavy haulage traffic is immense... with over 300 trucks in and 300 trucks out.... causing damage and congestion and pollution. The bottle neck at Corfe will be a hazard in this historical picturesque village and the size of the tankers for infrastructure, water, chemicals, rig, is much bigger in scale than the common traffic moving along this route. Also the tight winding through the estate in Swanage before the steep hill up to California Quarry. There was much objection to this plan, but of course planning was accepted, because the pension plans of Dorset County Council are all tied up with the oil & gas industry with BP, Shell, Exxon Mobil, which shows how the local planning has its decisions decided and its economic hands tied. With the Infrastructure Bill now in second reading in the Lords where private and public/common land is up for grabs and overrides objections from Local councils and with recent changes in the Trespass laws to allow fracking companies to drill under people's homes without their consent...don't expect 'democracy' to work in favour of the people.... it's a corporate carve up of our country for profit, and in that process the annihilation of our environment and the future of our children. Bluestew
  • Score: 2

6:49am Wed 2 Jul 14

BIGTONE says...

I thought a full geological survey of the bay and Swanage was carried out prior to the Wytch farm oil well?
I thought a full geological survey of the bay and Swanage was carried out prior to the Wytch farm oil well? BIGTONE
  • Score: -2
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