Green Party concern at flood of oil and gas drilling applications

Surrey Green Party is concerned at the flood of oil and gas drilling applications being dealt with by statutory bodies across Surrey.

“The industrialisation of the Weald promised by the oil and gas industry is under way,” said Green Councillor Jonathan Essex.

“This will put a huge strain on our already pressurised regulatory bodies, and on our local communities who have to deal with the potential impacts.” 

“The oil companies are in a phase of expansion across the South East at a time when funding for the regulators – the County Council and the Environment Agency – is being cut.

“It’s being left to local communities to battle a tidal wave of environmental and other impacts coming from this industry, which is out to make a quick buck in the Weald.”

The Environment Agency has published details of two new applications for permits at Brockham – where Angus Energy drilled a horizontal sidetrack without permission earlier this year. Nine people were arrested when they protested at the site. Surrey County Council is taking legal advice on how to deal with the breach.

Angus Energy has pressed ahead with its application for permits for the storage and handling of crude oil and its waste management. Local campaigners Brockham Oil Watch are concerned about the impact on groundwater and the huge increase in operations at the site, which has worked at a low level for many years.

Angus has said it wants to open up the Weald for industrial production with a series of back-to-back wells.

Meanwhile Island Gas Ltd has applied to the Environment Agency for permits relating to groundwater storage, mining waste and radioactive waste at its site in Bletchingley. Members of the public can comment on these applications on the Environment Agency website.

The Environment Agency is still considering applications for permits relating to oil exploration on Leith Hill in Surrey and the Traffic Management Plan for the site goes to Surrey County Council’s planning committee next Wednesday (August 2).




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