EA minded to permit waste water re-injection at Surrey oil site

DRILL OR DROP?

The Environment Agency is seeking public comments on its proposal to allow Angus Energy to dispose of waste water underground at the Brockham oil site in Surrey.

Angus Energy site at Brockham, Surrey, on 16 December 2018. Photo: Brockham Protectors

Despite local concerns, the EA said it was minded to permit water re-injection at Brockham.

In a draft decision document, the EA said it was satisfied that risks had been identified and that operating procedures were “sufficient to mitigate the risk to groundwater”. There was no need for groundwater monitoring, it said.

A public consultation opens on Wednesday 29 December 2021 and runs until Monday 31 January 2021. Comments can be made online or by email

Details

Waste water, also known as produced or formation water, often comes to the surface during oil and gas extraction.

It is usually very salty and may be radioactive. Companies seek to re-inject it back underground to avoid expensive water treatment and to support the pressure in the hydrocarbon reservoir, improving hydrocarbon flows.

Angus Energy has previously said it would give up the Brockham site if it could not re-inject waste water.

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Enforcement at Rathlin Energy oil site not “proportionate or sustainable” despite planning breach, says council

Drill Or Drop

Rathlin Energy breached planning permission at its West Newton-A site in East Yorkshire, a council official confirmed today.

But the official said it would not be “proportionate or sustainable” to insist Rathlin returned the site to farmland, as required by the permission.

A local residents’ group, which raised the issue with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said today it was seeking legal advice.

Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-A site, November 2021. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

DrillOrDrop reported last week that planning permission at West Newton-A, granted in 2018, lapsed on Friday 19 November 2021.

Our article said Rathlin Energy had not complied with a condition to remove all equipment, plug and abandon the wells and restore the site by the deadline.

Neither the company nor East Riding of Yorkshire Council responded to our questions.

But DrillOrDrop has seen correspondence, sent today by a council officer to a resident, confirming that Rathlin has not complied with the first condition of the planning permission requiring site clearance and restoration.

The official said:

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Red and Black Telly roundup.









COP26: Fossil fuel industry has biggest delegation at climate talks – study

Drill or drop

More than 500 lobbyists from some of the largest oil and gas companies have been given access to the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, new analysis has found.

COP26 venue. Photo: DrillOrDrop.

Researchers counted the number of individuals either affiliated with fossil fuel corporations, such as Shell, Gazprom or Exxon, or attending as members of delegations acting for the fossil fuel industry.

The study, by Corporate Accountability, Corporate Europe Observatory, Glasgow Calls Out Polluters and Global Witness, found

  • If the fossil fuel lobby were a country delegation at COP26 it would be the largest, with 503 delegates
  • This would be double the size of the UK delegation and more than twenty individuals bigger than Brazil, the largest country delegation
  • More than 100 fossil fuel companies are represented at COP26
  • 30 fossil fuel trade associations and membership organisations are also present
  • Fossil fuel lobbyists are about double the official number from the indigenous constituency at COP26

The researchers also found that the fossil fuel lobby was larger than the combined total of the eight delegations from countries worst affected by climate change in the last two decades: Puerto Rico, Myanmar, Haiti, Philippines, Mozambique, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Pakistan.

The analysis also showed that 27 official country delegations, including Canada, Kuwait, Russia and Brazil, registered fossil fuel lobbyists.

Yesterday the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change 9UNFCCC), the COP26 organisers was accused of violating its charter because it had “forged an intimate partnership with corporations”.

COP26 has been criticised in the past week as the most excluding of the climate talks. People from countries in the climate front line have complained about lack of access because of issues such as travel restrictions and lack of Covid-19 vaccines.

Murray Worthy, Gas Campaign Leader at Global Witness, said:

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Emissions from 40 planned fossil fuel projects would be nearly three times as much as the UK emits in a year– new study.

DRILL OR DROP?

New research, published within days of the start of Cop26 climate talks, reveals that 40 oil, gas and coal projects have been submitted for approval in the UK.

Horse Hill oil site in Surrey. Photo: HHDL

If they got the go-ahead, the study estimated these projects alone would amount to almost three years of UK greenhouse gas emissions.

The schemes comprise seven onshore oil and gas developments, including oil production at Horse Hill in Surrey and at Biscathorpe in Lincolnshire, where a decision is due as world leaders gather for COP26.

There are also 30 offshore projects, including the Cambo oil field off Shetland, and three coal mines, including Woodhouse Colliery in Cumbria, the UK’s first in 30 years.

The analysis, published this morning in the report, Tip of the iceberg: The future of fossil extraction, estimated that the 40 developments were projected to emit the equivalent of 1.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide. This would be the equivalent of nearly triple the UK’s annual emissions, the report said.

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Rapid cuts to methane leaks at oil and gas sites needed to meet climate targets – IEA.

DRILL OR DROP?

Cutting methane emissions from oil and gas sites is vital to limiting global warming to 1.5C, the International Energy Agency said today.

In its annual World Energy Outlook, the IEA said this measure could close 15% of the gap between what was needed to limit temperature rise and today’s pledges by world governments.

The flagship report – designed as a guidebook for world leaders at next month’s climate talks in Glasgow – said there would need to be cuts in 2030 of almost 90 million tonnes of methane emissions from fossil fuel operations to keep the world on track for net zero by 2050.

“Rapid reductions in methane emissions are a key tool to limit near-term global warming, and the most cost-effective abatement opportunities are in the energy sector, particularly in oil and gas operations.

“Methane abatement is not addressed quickly or effectively enough by simply reducing fossil fuel use; concerted efforts from governments and industry are vital to secure the emissions cuts that close nearly 15% of the gap to the NZE [Net Zero Emissions by 2050 scenario].”

Today’s report also said the use of oil would have to fall sharply to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

For the first time in a World Energy Outlook, the IEA predicted an eventual decline in oil demand. If all today’s announced climate pledges were met, the world would still be consuming 75 million oil barrels per day by 2050 – down from around 100 million today. But to meet net zero emissions by 2050, the use of oil would need to plummet to 25 million.

The IEA said there had been “a large rebound” in oil and coal use in 2021. Largely for this reason, 2021 was also seeing the second-largest annual increase in carbon dioxide emissions in history.

The IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol, said:

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Government urged to withdraw from legal case in support of Surrey oil production — DRILL OR DROP?

DRILL OR DROP?

Photo: Weald Action Group

The UK government is being urged today to withdraw from a legal challenge about the climate impacts of oil production in Surrey. Horse Hill oil site in Surrey.

Campaigners have argued that the government cannot claim to be a world leader on tackling climate change while also backing fossil fuel extraction projects in the courts.

The newly-named Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), is opposing a case brought by Surrey campaigner, Sarah Finch, to be heard at the appeal court next month (November 2021).

The case centres on the granting of planning permission by Surrey County Council for 20 years of gas production and expansion of the Horse Hill oil site.

The DLUHC confirmed this morning that the secretary of state, Michael Gove, has recused himself from involvement in the case because his constituency is near Horse Hill. But a spokesperson said the department remained an interested party.

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UK oil production increased since declaring climate emergency – new report

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A new report published today shows that the UK has increased its oil and gas production since declaring a climate emergency in 2019.

Rathlin Energy’s West Newton A site, 24 January 2019. Photo: Eddie Thornton

New fields totalling an extra 800 million barrels of oil have been brought into production in the last two years, according to the report by Friends of the Earth Scotland and Oil Change International.

The extra oil will create climate pollution equivalent to running Longannet, Scotland’s last coal power station, for more than 35 years, the organisations said.

The report comes just weeks before the UK hosts crucial COP26 international climate talks in Glasgow and decisions are due on new onshore and offshore oil fields.

It calls on the UK and Scottish governments to stop all new oil and gas field developments, end financial support for the fossil fuel industry and redirect investment and policy support to renewable energy.

There are 6.5 billion barrels of oil in UK fields that are currently producing or in development, the report said. Another 13.5 billion barrels is in fields earmarked for future development.

But the authors said there could not be new oil and gas developments in the UK if we are to meet our commitment to the Paris climate agreement goal of limiting dangerous warming to 1.5C.

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The “energy revolution” that has produced no gas

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The licensing of thousands of square miles of English countryside for fracking five years ago has resulted in no wells and no oil or gas.

14th round licences offered in central and northern England. Source: Oil & Gas Authority

Areas from the Isle of Wight and Dorset to the North York Moors were allocated to exploration companies in what was described at the time as the “start of a shale gas revolution”.

By today, under the terms of the new licences, the operators should have drilled nearly 100 wells and fracked more than 10% of them.

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Wreckers of the Earth: a map of ecocidal capitalism in London.

Corporate Watch

The earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those who are killing it have names and addresses.” – Utah Phillips

London is one of the main worldwide hubs of ecocidal capitalism. This city is home to oil and gas giants including BP and Shell, as well as many of the world’s most devastating mining corporations. Perhaps even more significant is London’s role as a global centre for the banks, investors and traders who fund the planet-killers and launder the profits. As well as the insurers, law firms, arms dealers, security companies, PR agencies, lobbyists, and others who provide critical support.

Our “Wreckers of the Earth” map of London identifies and locates them. It comes in several forms: a poster map; an online map; and a written directory.

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