Site of third gas well in East Yorkshire revealed

Fracking rigs like this one are a common site in America
Fracking rigs like this one are a common site in America
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The Yorkshire Post can reveal today that the site of the third well, Rathlin Energy is planning to drill, will be around one km from the village of West Newton, and around a mile east of Burton Constable Hall.

Controversy has surrounded Rathlin since protestors arrived at two sites it drilled last year at Crawberry Hill and West Newton.

However the firm has not carried out either of the “mini-fall off tests” it was planning and insists hydraulic fracking “do not form any part of Rathlin Energy’s plans now or in the future.”

Thousands of residents have been invited to information sessions tomorrow about the third well, “West Newton B”.

The company, a subsidiary of Canadian Connaught Oil & Gas, will be putting a pre-screening application into East Riding Council next week, before a full planning application goes in later this year. Eventually there could be between four and six wells.

Rathlin, which says it has spent £5m in the past year exploring the two sites, has suspended - but not abandoned - the well at West Newton.

The next well, West Newton B, which will be on land owned by Norman Caley Ltd, at Crooks Lane, will cost “several million pounds.”

It will be testing only the conventional Permian reservoirs at a depth of around 2,000m and will not be drilled any further.

Chairman David Montagu-Smith said the West Newton “prospect” may or may not turn out to be a oil/gas field: “We think it is primarily gas, we always have done.

“The results of drilling and tests are more than encouraging enough to justify continuing the programme.”

Dismissing protestors’ talk of “well failure”, he said they could re-visit the well - but would not be re-entering the Bowland Shale: “We have completed the testing programme that we feel we needed to do and on the basis of that we have suspended the well and notified the regulator DECC.

“We have isolated the bottom section of the well including the Bowland Shale and whatever we do in the future we will not be going back into the Bowland Shale.”

While 20 representatives from the firm will be on hand to talk to residents at the event at Aldbrough Village Hall, protestors will hold an alternative event at the village’s Elm Tree Inn.

A few residents close by the well at West Newton have complained of noxious smells “catching in the throat and making eyes water.”

Harry Clark, from New Ellerby, said: “It is just creeping industrialisation of the area - we didn’t move here to live in the middle of an industrial area.”

The company says there has been “localised and irregular” odour, but insists that the impact of a completed well would not be significant, comparing it in size to an electricity substation in size, minus pylons.

Each site would be on around two acres of hard standing.