Energy Company Halts Plans to Horizontally Drill Appraisal Wells in U.K.

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Energy Company Halts Plans to Horizontally Drill Appraisal Wells in U.K.An energy firm has abandoned plans to horizontally drill appraisal wells in the South Downs national park in West Sussex, handing anti-fracking activists a victory.

However, Celtique Energy was quick to clarify that it will continue with its plans to vertically drill on its own drilling pad.

The announcement, which was prompted by a “legal blockade” by local residents near the site, offers a fresh twist to the fracking controversy. The drilling technique, which has been used in the U.S. for decades, faces stiff opposition from the U.K. public, with three-quarters of the general populace against it. However, Britain’s ministers plan to alter the trespass law which formed the basis of the landowners’ victory.

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The ministers will also have to deal with scathing attacks from the Labour politicians who are angry with coalition’s tax break of 50 percent for fracking activity, reported the Guardian.

“It is typical of a government that is more interested in inflating the hype around fracking than ensuring it is handled in a responsible way,” said Tom Greatrex, the shadow energy minister.

Celtique planned to drill appraisal wells horizontally to a maximum of 5,000 feet from its drilling site located near Fernhurst in West Sussex.

“By removing the horizontal well from the [planning] application, Celtique has shortened the length of time it would be drilling on site by 34 weeks (eight months) and reduced the number of environmental impacts associated with the project,” Geoff Davies, Celtique’s CEO, wrote in a letter to the residents.

Most residents have insisted the battle isn’t yet over until Celtique fully abandons its plans to frack the area. They argue that the heavy traffic, noise and air pollution is ruining their beautiful environment. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com