1. Do you ‘frack’ or plan to “frack”?
We are a conventional oil production company.
2. Did you have planning permission to drill a ‘sidetrack’ – identified as BR-X4Z?
Our planning permission MO/006/1294 provides for the continued use of 1.2ha of land for production, treatment and export of crude oil from an existing well site… until 2036.
The QC confirms that the sidetrack to Well BR-X4, drilled in January 2017, is authorised by this 2006 planning permission.
For more, please see this link.
3. Is the sidetrack, BR-X4Z a new well?
A sidetrack cannot exist as anything other than part of an existing well. The sub surface sidetrack BR-X4Z is part of the well BR-X4.
A sidetrack is used either to remedy an engineering problem in the existing well or to continue production from an alternative site. Whatever the type of sidetrack, no new well is drilled at the surface. The existing well bore is used for both types of sidetrack. The Works were to allow the Well to continue to produce oil. They did not involve the drilling of a new or separate well from the surface.
4. In any case, isn’t the drilling of the sidetrack the responsibility of the local council?
All subsurface work is strictly supervised by the Oil & Gas Authority (”OGA”), Health & Safety Executive(“HSE”), Environmental Agency (“EA”) and Wells Examiner .
5. Do you have planning permits to produce oil from BR-X4Z?
Yes, the planning permit to facilitate oil production is for the entire site. It is not on per well basis.
In addition, planning permission for BR-X4, the donor well for the BR-X4Z sidetrack, was granted by the SCC as ‘the development will facilitate the efficient continued production of oil from the site’.
On 23 October 2017, the company announced it has received approval from the Oil & Gas Authority (“OGA”) to begin production from the Kimmeridge layers from BR-X4 and its inclusive sidetrack BR-X4Z .
For more, see this link.
6. Is this the first sidetrack at the Brockham oil field?
Multiple sidetracks have been drilled at the site. The Council has been aware of their subsurface presence since 2007 and has not taken any action against or requested separate planning permission(s).
7. Are you in communication with the SCC?
The company reaffirms all of its public statements that it has continued to work with the SCC throughout this entire process and will continue to do so without exception. We have continually maintained a professional, working relationship no different to other Councils we successfully work with.
For example, on 13 September the SCC approved by a clear majority, the Company’s application for the installation of on-site surface facilities for security and personnel.
And as announced in the Company RNS of 25 October 2017, Angus Energy has submitted a normalisation application for the continued surface activities of the BR-X4 production plant – without prejudice.
For more, please see this link.
As in any working relationship, the SCC and Angus Energy maintain a dialogue on all matters including the application. For example, on 12 January, the SCC requested additional details for inclusion in the normalization application process. The Company and the SCC work together to ensure the Council’s needs are satisfied without delaying the process.
8. Did the Council find your normalization application to be ‘invalid’?
As part of our normal process we are in dialogue with all of our regulators all the time. There is no interruption to this process (Please see above, FAQ # 7) .
As part of the dialogue, the SCC requested additional details with two titles, Non Validation Issues and Validation Issues. Validation issues include notes such as “Application Form (Section 7): The Title ….. should read ‘Site Boundary Plan’ whilst under Non Validation Issues requests further details on additional equipment or HGV movements.
In sum, all are part of an ongoing process and dialogue we maintain with all regulators. There are strict regulations, highly technical equipment, safety concerns from both parties etc. The subject matter is dense.
Broadly speaking, the process for any planning issue is not as simple as having your passport stamped.
Angus Energy is pleased with the progress of the application. The company is working quickly and efficiently to provide the SCC with additional details and rectify any clerical errors.
Unfortunately, it makes a great headline. An activist website claimed it was “invalid” in quotes. The site did not reference FAQs # 7. which is the subject matter of the headline. It had a single source, unnamed and published unverified sentences on a web page and no context.