In June 2013 Egdon Resources U.K. Ltd received temporary planning permission from North Lincolnshire Council to drill an exploratory conventional oil well on farmland at Lodge Farm to the north of the hamlet of Wressle off the B1208 in North Lincolnshire, six miles to the east of Scunthorpe. Egdon also obtained Environmental Permits for drilling and testing operations at the Wressle site.
Drilling took place at Wressle during July and August 2014. The well was drilled to a total depth (TD) of 2240 metres measured depth (MD) (1814 metres true vertical depth below OS datum (TVDSS)). Petrophysical evaluation of log data acquired in the Wressle-1 well and elevated gas readings recorded whilst drilling indicate the presence of potential hydrocarbon pay in three main intervals, and the well was completed with a 4 ½” liner.
Test operations commenced in January 2015 and were completed at the end of March 2015. The Wressle-1 well has flowed oil and gas from three separate reservoirs, the Ashover Grit, the Wingfield Flags and the Penistone Flags. This totalled 710 barrels of oil equivalent per day from all zones.
Egdon first applied for planning permission to develop the Wressle discovery in 2016. Both applications were refused and appealed as detailed below in Wressle Development Planning History
During November 2017, a planning inquiry was held to consider the two appeals for development approval and the appeal of the variation of the existing planning for the site. On 5 January 2018, we announced that the Inspector had rejected the appeals by Egdon against the two planning refusals by North Lincolnshire County Council’s Planning Committee. However, the Planning Inspectorate did uphold Egdon’s appeal against the decision to refuse the application to retain the existing planning for the well site, which is now retained until the 28 April 2018.
A new application to extend the existing planning consent was submitted on 13 April 2018 and refused 1 August 2018 and the company announced its intention to appeal the decision.
On 5 July 2018 Egdon announced the submission to North Lincolnshire Council (NLC) of a new planning application (the Application) for the development of the Wressle oil field, which the Company believes comprehensively addresses the reasons for the refusal of the original planning applications and the subsequent appeals.
The Application is supported by a detailed planning and sustainability statement, a suite of technical drawings showing construction and layout details and updated and new technical assessments.
The Company believes that the Application takes full account of the key findings of the Planning Inspector’s decision to dismiss the Company’s appeals as set out in his decision letter of 4 January 2018, which identified three key issues in his decision; the absence of a ground conditions survey report; the absence of sufficient evidence on the adequacy of the Geosynthetic Clay Liner (GCL) covering; and uncertainty with regards to the near surface geology and specifically the presence of capping layers to the underlying aquifers.
The first issue has been addressed by the production of an independent Ground Investigation Report which evaluates and confirms the underlying ground condition at the wellsite using information gained from geotechnical site investigation boreholes drilled in Q1 2018.
The second issue has been addressed through the proposed reconfiguration of the wellsite to install a new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) impermeable membrane above the existing GCL, with additional associated protection layers across the entire wellsite. The specification of the HDPE impermeable membrane, associated protection layers and thickness and suitability of the stone covering layer, has been informed by the Ground Investigation Report, tested and validated in a laboratory, and agreed between the membrane manufacturer and Egdon’s consulting civil and structural engineers.
The third issue has been addressed through an updated independent Hydrogeological and Flood Risk Assessment (HRA), which includes the results of samples tested from two deeper cored boreholes drilled in Q1 2018. The HRA confirms the detail of the near surface geology and conclusively demonstrates the presence of laterally continuous capping layers to the underlying aquifers.
Once validated by North Lincolnshire Council, the Application will be reviewed by the Planning Officers at NLC, considered by statutory consultees and will be open for comment from interested parties. The period of consultation should be 13 weeks for an application of this nature.
The Wressle well involved conventional drilling for oil and did not and will not involve the process of hydraulic ‘fracking’ for shale gas or shale oil.
Photo showing the Wressle site during testing
Wressle Development Planning History
- On 11 January 2017, North Lincolnshire Council refused planning consent for the original application for the development of the Wressle Oil Field at Lodge Farm, Wressle, North Lincolnshire.
- On 7 February 2017, Egdon announced that it would both appeal the decision of 11 January 2017 and in parallel submit a new Planning Application for the Wressle development which would include even more detailed information to address the specific concerns outlined by North Lincolnshire Council in their refusal.
- On 11 April 2017, Egdon submitted an appeal against North Lincolnshire Council’s decision to refuse planning consent.
- On 28 April 2017, Egdon submitted a new application for the Wressle Development including additional detailed information to address the specific concerns raised by North Lincolnshire Council in its 11 January 2017 decision to refuse the original application for the development of the Wressle Oil Field.
- On 19 May 2017, Egdon announced the issue by the Environment Agency of the variation to the Mining Waste Permit for the planned Wressle field development and associated operations.
- On 3 July 2017, the new planning application was also refused. The variation of the existing planning for the site requesting a twelve month extension was also refused at the same meeting.
- During November 2017, a planning inquiry was held to consider the two appeals for development approval and the appeal of the variation of the existing planning for the site.
- On 5 January 2018, we announced that the Inspector had rejected the appeals by Egdon against the two planning refusals by North Lincolnshire County Council’s Planning Committee. However, the Planning Inspectorate did uphold Egdon’s appeal against the decision to refuse the application to retain the existing planning for the well site, which is was retained until the 28 April 2018.
- A new application to extend the current planning consent was submitted on 13 April 2018 and and refused 1 August 2018 and the company announced its intention to appeal the decision..
- A new application for the Wressle development was submitted on 4 July 2018 addressing in detail all matters highlighted by the Inspector in his Decision Notice to dismiss the appeals