RECENT NEWS

Recent News

1st August 2016

West Newton B Update

The Environment Agency has issued Rathlin Energy (UK) Limited (Rathlin) with environmental permits that form part of the necessary permissions required to undertake activities associated with drilling and well testing operations proposed for the West Newton B wellsite. These permits include standard rules RSR and Oil Storage permits and a bespoke Mining Waste permit not including a waste facility. The incineration of natural gas and the discharge of clean surface run-off water are permitted within the bespoke Mining Waste permit. These permits contain a pre-operational condition that must be satisfied prior to commencement of drilling operations and two additional conditions that must be satisfied prior to commencement of well testing operations. Specific information regarding these permits will be available on the Environment Agency’s public register of data.

There are a number of other regulatory authorities whose requirements also need to be satisfied prior to project commencement, including the discharge of planning conditions set by East Riding of Yorkshire within the June 2015 planning permission for the West Newton B site, notification of the Health and Safety Executive and well consent from the Oil and Gas Authority.
The granting of these environmental permits brings Rathlin a step closer to starting work at West Newton B later in the year.

Plans have been developed to keep the effects of all operations upon local communities to a minimum. Traffic management will play an important part in this and a plan is in place, which will reduce the local impact for the very short period of the exploratory operations.
Below is the Environment Agency’s press release.

news release ea

1 August 2016

Rathlin is granted permits for exploratory drilling site in East Yorkshire

The Environment Agency has granted environmental permits to allow Rathlin to carry out exploratory drilling at a site in East Yorkshire.

The decision follows a rigorous assessment of Rathlin Energy UK Ltd’s proposals, as well as all comments submitted during a public consultation.

The company is proposing to drill a well for conventional gas exploration, to burn any gas produced during the drilling or testing of the well in a flare, and to discharge clean surface water from the site. The company has not applied to carry out fracking, and the permits do not allow fracking to take place.

The permits set out the conditions that Rathlin must follow in order to protect groundwater, surface water and air quality and to ensure the safe storage, management and disposal of waste materials.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “After completing a thorough assessment of Rathlin’s application and all of the responses to our public consultation, we are confident that these environmental permits set out the right conditions to ensure that people and the environment are protected.

“We will stringently enforce the conditions of the permits to ensure that waste is managed properly and local water resources are protected.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please call the Yorkshire press office on 0800 9179243
Normal office hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
This number can be used out of hours for urgent enquiries only

Email us: Communications_Yorkshire@environment-agency.gov.uk
Follow us on Twitter: @EnvAgencyYNE
Visit our website: www gov.uk/environment-agency
Read our blog: environmentagency.blog.gov.uk

 


 

CRAWBERRY HILL UPDATE

1st August 2016

The Environment Agency has confirmed that Rathlin Energy (UK) Limited’s environmental permits at Crawberry Hill have now been surrendered. The company will now implement the five year aftercare programme at the site. The Environment Agency’s press release is included below.

news release ea

1 August 2016

Former drilling site restored to agricultural land

A redundant exploratory drilling site in East Yorkshire has been restored to its previous state of agricultural land.

The Environment Agency has accepted the surrender of the environmental permit for the well site at Crawberry Hill, near Beverley, after Rathlin Energy UK Ltd decided to discontinue using the borehole.

Rathlin built the well pad and drilled a borehole as part of its oil and gas exploration work in Yorkshire, although the borehole was not used to produce oil or gas and it is no longer required by the company.

The operator’s environmental permit for this site, issued by the Environment Agency, required the site to be fully restored before the permit could be surrendered.

The company has decommissioned the borehole in line with HSE regulations, removed the well pad, and landscaped the land in line with the agricultural environment in which it sits.

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said: “Our permitting process is designed to ensure that oil and gas operations do not put the environment or communities at risk of harm. The rules apply for the lifetime of the permit – and when Rathlin decided not to continue using this borehole, it had to demonstrate that the site had been properly restored. This has now been done to a satisfactory standard.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please call the Yorkshire press office on 0800 9179243
Normal office hours are 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday
This number can be used out of hours for urgent enquiries only

Email us: Communications_Yorkshire@environment-agency.gov.uk
Follow us on Twitter: @EnvAgencyYNE
Visit our website: www gov.uk/environment-agency
Read our blog: environmentagency.blog.gov.uk

 


 

CRAWBERRY HILL UPDATE

12th April 2016

The restoration work at the Crawberry Hill site has now been completed.

These are pictures of how the site now looks:

DSC_9842-300x200-1
DSC_0263-300-300x200-2
DSC_9840-300x200-3
DSC_9811-300x200-4

The next step is for East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s planning department to visit the site before we formally relinquish the environmental permits to the Environment Agency – a process that is estimated to take six to eight weeks.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council has now closed out the Temporary Road Order (the speed restriction) along Walkington Heads and we have taken some soil samples from the site surface which will be analysed as part of the site closure plan. The field will then be subject to a comprehensive five-year aftercare programme.

 


 

West Newton A Update

26th November 2015

Natural Gas Discovery at West Newton Confirmed

A spokesperson for Rathlin Energy (UK) Limited, said: “We are pleased that the planning committee was minded (unanimously) to approve our planning application for an extension at West Newton A. The well we drilled there discovered natural gas. We believe this to be firm evidence of a potentially significant gas field in the Permian Kirkham Abbey formation. The approval today is an important step in our programme of operations to determine whether the gas discovery has commercial potential. We will continue to carry out our works in accordance with our permits.”

 


 

Here is a current update on our operations in Northern Ireland.

Termination of Licence

It is with much regret that I have, as Chairman of Rathlin Energy Limited, written to the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (DETI) giving notice to terminate our petroleum licence PL3/10, related to the Rathlin Basin. The licence, granted in 2011 for 5 years, will terminate on 14 January 2016.

The company has been involved in Northern Ireland for almost 12 years, believing there to be the potential for the discovery of oil and/or natural gas in the Rathlin Basin, Co Antrim. However, we have reached a point where there no longer remains sufficient time, under the initial phase of our Petroleum Licence, to complete the planned program of work. Against the background of severely depressed world oil prices we have had to make important strategic decisions, and in view of all the uncertainties we face in Northern Ireland, especially in terms of the unforeseeable delays to our future operations, we have concluded that we cannot justify further work on our Licence at this time.

The immediate cause for our decision is the length and complexity of the process for securing planning permission for the second exploration well we need to drill to evaluate the results of our first well at Ballinlea. That was drilled in 2008 and recovered crude oil, although not in commercial quantity. We submitted a planning application for the second well in June 2013 and, regrettably, we have no sense of knowing when there will be a determination of the application.

The business of oil exploration in Northern Ireland, a region with little past history of the industry, was always going to be a technical challenge, and the risk of disappointment very high. It is therefore particularly regrettable that, notwithstanding the encouraging signs of oil we have found at Ballinlea, we are not going to be able, for reasons which have nothing to do with geology or our technical operations, to continue our work.

At all times Rathlin has sought to conduct its business with integrity, to fulfil all our obligations punctiliously, to work closely with our local communities and to cooperate fully with the planning authorities and all the other regulatory agencies.

On behalf of the company and my colleagues I would like to express our appreciation for the support and encouragement we have had from DETI. I would also like to thank all the other individuals and organisations in Northern Ireland who have helped and supported us.

We continue to believe in the potential for Northern Ireland to develop the natural resources which could make an important contribution to the security and economic benefits of energy supply. After all the work we have done, including a significant investment in the local economy, we very much regret that the conditions needed to support the development of oil and gas potential do not currently appear to be present in Northern Ireland.

David Montagu-Smith
Chairman
Rathlin Energy Limited

21 October 2015

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