Further details have been revealed about controversial plans to drill for oil on the Isle of Wight, at an open day hosted by the company behind the project.
At the public information event, held at Newclose Cricket Ground yesterday (Monday), UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) unveiled its plans to install two exploration oil and gas drills at Arreton and Godshill to see if a full-scale operation would be commercially viable.
Both sites are on privately-owned agricultural land.
Providing planning permission is granted by the Isle of Wight Council, drilling would start in autumn next year.
First stage is flow test
Once a flow test has been conducted, which is expected to take 60 days, UKOG will decide whether it is worth investing in full-scale drilling. A second planning application would then be lodged to carry out further drilling operations.
If that happens, the sites would be in operation for an estimated 25 years.
UKOG, which holds a petroleum exploration development licence to drill
on the Island, would transport the oil to Fawley on Red Funnel’s freight
ferry, from East Cowes to Southampton.
Ten wells were drilled on the Isle of Wight between 1925 and 2005, but none were taken to a further stage of production.
One of the proposed UKOG wells, at Arreton, is only 700m away from a previous site.
If planning permission is granted, an appraisal borehole will be drilled at the Arreton site, designated Arreton-3, to see if the oil flow is commercially viable.
If that proves to be the case, an exploratory borehole would then be
drilled at the Godshill site, set back from Whitwell Road, and running
parallel to the River Yar.
Sanderson: Sites reinstated if not viable
UKOG chief executive Stephen Sanderson said he was pleased people had attended the open day with an open mind. He said people were ‘interested in finding out more before making their minds up.’
“If we drill our wells and it is not promising, the sites will be reinstated and there will be no impact.
“But we would not be doing this if there was no chance of oil. We need to know if it’s commercially viable.”
How the Island would benefit
Mr Sanderson said the drilling — not fracking — would benefit the Island’s economy, by providing security and transportation jobs.
UKOG has also pledged to give a percentage of profits to the Island if the drilling goes ahead.
Sanderson: Importance of flow test
Mr Sanderson said,
“The whole reason we need to drill the well is to do a flow test.
“We can use it to determine how much oil comes out of the ground in a day, for example, and then we can decide whether to go ahead.
“Why would we put money into a hole in the ground when we do not know what we may get out?”
Mr Sanderson agreed the world should aim to become carbon neutral, but said oil and gas were still needed.
“We cannot go without. We will not want it in 20 years, but what do we do until then?”
UKOG said it planned to submit applications for the drilling sites early next year.
This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed
This content was originally published here.