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Seismic surveys begin within weeks across Dorset
THE hunt for oil across a vast area of Dorset will begin next month.
A seismic survey will be carried out across a 75 square kilometre area of the county in a bid to find reserves of the valuable resource.
Parish councils across the area have been notified that Tesla Exploration International Ltd will be carrying out the survey on behalf of Egdon Resources UK Ltd along a series of individual survey lines.
The ‘seismic survey area’ covers a vast stretch of the county from Dorchester in the west down to Winterborne Monkton and to Sutton Poyntz and Osmington and along to Chaldon Herring and Winfrith Newburgh in the east.
Jerry Field, Egdon’s exploration director, said: “Fundamentally what we are doing is carrying |out a seismic survey which involves sending shockwaves into the earth and recording the reflected shockwaves going back out.“ “By doing that we can get an image of what the sub surface geology and so forth and get an idea of the structural shapes within the sub surface.
“The idea is by doing that we will hopefully be able to identify any potential structure which would be capable of trapping oil in sufficient quantities that it would be economically viable to drill a well and test.”
Mr Field said that if any such sites were identified there would then follow another series of applications and procedures before a test well could be drilled.
If that reveals there is indeed a commercially viable oil source there further permission would need to be obtained from the county council and landowner before a working oil field would come into effect.
He also stressed: “Within the whole area we are working on we have no intention of hydraulically fracturing rocks.”
The testing will see a convoy of four tractor units travelling along survey lines mainly on public highways and tracks but limited works will take place on agricultural land.
Anyone who lives in an area affected by the surveying will be sent information explaining the process to them.
Mr Field said that the wider area was known to be relatively oil rich, with a major operation at Wytch Farm in Purbeck and a site due to become operational at Waddock Cross.
He said: “We are in an area where the geology is correct, we are now trying to determine with some more precision where there might be possible deposits.”
Andrew Brewer, from Crossways Parish Council, said his authority and various other local councils will be meeting with those behind the project today to find out more about the plans.
He said it was disappointing the parish council had not been informed at an earlier stage.
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