Letter from Angus Energy

Please see below for the latest letter from Angus Energy

Microsoft Word – Angus Energy Balcombe CLG 5 August Letter all.docx

Dear Balcombe Community Liaison Group Members,

Firstly, we would like to wish you and your families well in these uncertain times.

As you know, last year Angus Energy submitted a planning application to West Sussex County Council to return to the Balcombe well site to carry out an Extended Well Test. After several weeks of consultation, the Planning Officer recommended the application for refusal and we as a Company took the decision to withdraw it.

We would emphasize, however, that as regards all of the practical issues of most immediate concern to yourselves – i.e. risks to health and local environment from contamination of water supply, loss of air quality or visual amenity, strain on local traffic, general fire and pollution hazard – the Planning Officer was satisfied that risks were so exceedingly low, or well remediated by the Company, as to be acceptable.

As laid out in the Planning Officer’s report, the reasons for refusal were instead based on the “needs case” for oil & gas extraction in the UK, and the great weight given to maintaining the AONB in the High Wealden Area. We have now prepared a new planning application to West Sussex County Council, and this will be available to be viewed shortly on the Council portal at: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/planning/find-a-planning-application/ . The new proposal seeks a shorter 18-month development period split into four clear and distinct phases:

  • 1. Well clean up involving small scale abstraction of drilling fluids
  • 2. Site civil engineering works to install a pad wide membrane
  • 3. Extended Well Test of the reservoir involving period hydrocarbon recoveries
  • 4. Well abandonment & site restoration (should the EWT not deem the well commercial) In addition, the new application more specifically addresses and cogently argues the whole “needs case” for hydrocarbon use in an energy and feedstock context. As regards energy, even with the most rapid, and state supported, adoption of presently existing and affordable alternative energy sources, the government’s view is that hydrocarbon use will remain a significant contribution to our overall energy need as a country for the coming decades. Building 3 Chiswick Park, 566 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 5YA Company Number 09616076

Angus Energy plc Building 3 Chiswick Park, 566 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 5YA

Tuesday 11th August 2020

An ever increasing proportion of our overall hydrocarbon use comes from abroad resulting in a two-fold problem. The first is security of supply as the key overseas suppliers are often countries in unstable parts of the world, or countries with whom our own country has periodically poor relations. There is thus a general desire for a reduced reliance on such sources.

Moreover these imports carry with themselves the additional carbon cost of transportation which domestic production obviously does not. Domestic production represents a comparative, but real, reduction in our nation’s overall CO2 emissions and is accepted by government as a meaningful contributor in the move to a net zero economy.

We have also better delineated the very real socio-economic benefits the development will bring to the local community and surrounding areas. Whilst there is a small impact on overall traffic, there is also a modest but measurable impact on local suppliers and service providers and these impacts are enumerated in the new application.

The comparative safety and environmental record of the UK domestic industry versus almost any other global supplier is another compelling argument for local production especially for those who very properly have concern for the conditions which attend the development of the goods and services that they purchase.

Given the current situation with Covid-19 and in line with the government’s advice on social distancing, we propose to convene an online Community Liaison Group in four to six weeks from now. This will take the form of a presentation on the application to highlight differences, and also a pre-submitted Q&A section. Details on this will be circulated in due course.

With best wishes to all,

George Lucan Managing Director Angus Energy plc

Building 3 Chiswick Park, 566 Chiswick High Road, London, W4 5YA Company Number 09616076