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More than 1,000 oppose plans to drill for oil in the Lincolnshire Wolds

More than 1,000 oppose plans to drill for oil in the Lincolnshire Wolds

 

An application for oil drilling in the Lincolnshire Wolds site of Biscathorpe has led to a petition with more than 1,000 rejections.

The oil drilling application has also been opposed by councillors in the area and Conservative MP for Louth and Horncastle, Victoria Atkins.

Plans have been submitted by Egdon Resources, a UK based oil and gas exploration company.

In 2019, Egdon Resources discovered oil at a depth of 2000 metres below ground level at Biscathorpe, and now hope to use this site to drill a well out from the existing well bore.

If successful, the company wants to produce at the site for up to 15 years. If they are not successful, Egdon Resources say they will restore the site to its agricultural use.

Nick Bodian, chairman of a local community liaison group, said: "We don't need it, we have more than sufficient onshore oil extraction around the rest of the country.

"We don't need this in an area of outstanding beauty.

"It's so close to the River Bain's chalk stream, which is one of the rarest 200 chalk streams in the world and is 200 metres away from the drill site.

"It's massively important to the ecosystem and it could be destroyed very quickly.

"They're going to discharge filtered water from the site down to very close water drains nearby which lead directly into the Bain.

"It's going to unbalance it very quickly."

He added: "The UK national government need to ban any further oil exploration. Our government talks the talk but they haven't done anything about it yet.

"Take oil and gas off the table.

"Don't allow companies like Egdon Resources to even apply for these applications."

Mark Abbott, managing director for Egdon Resources, told Lincolnshire Live that the application was supported by the government, due to its importance in the economy.

He said: "Government policy continues to support the extraction of indigenous hydrocarbons, and it should be recognised that oil will continue to be a very important energy source and chemical feedstock in the production of the many essential everyday items up to and beyond 2050.

"We also understand that people are wary of oil and gas activity.

"However, Lincolnshire has a long history of oil and gas drilling and retains a number of existing producing oil and gas fields, employing local people and providing valuable business rates income to the council.

"These have operated safely and in an environmentally-responsible manner for many decades.

He added: "Although reducing in its overall use in the UK in the coming period, oil and gas will remain an essential energy source for the country, powering homes, vehicles and essential industries as well as providing feedstock to the UK Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industries, producing innumerable products we use every day, from computers to detergent bottles.

"We take our environmental responsibilities very seriously and implement significant measures to ensure that our sites do not have a detrimental impact on the local environment."

Amanda Suddaby helped to set up the Facebook page S.O.S Biscathorpe, which promotes awareness of the application.

She said: "The amount of fossil fuel they will extract is miniscule so will contribute very little to the UK's energy requirements. We would be much better replacing that with renewables.

"The last thing the world needs is more fossil fuels.

"Normally, they do exploration and testing and determine what they've got before they apply for production.

"In this case, we don't yet have those answers. They don't know for sure and they're already going for 15 years of production.

"They're trying to leapfrog and push them into one.

"We should stop all further exploration for fossil fuels.

"We come at this subject from two very opposing angles."

Victoria Atkins, Conservative MP for Louth and Horncastle, has also spoke out about her objection to the oil drilling application.

In a letter to Lincolnshire County Council, she expressed her rejection to the application: "The proposed drilling operation at Biscathorpe sits entirely within the Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is completely at odds with the character and natural beauty of the area.

"Many livelihoods within the constituency of Louth and Horncastle depend on a vibrant visitor economy, with the East Lindsey District Council trend report 2009-2019 stating that tourism was worth £733.46m to the local economy in 2019 and over 7,000 jobs were based in the tourism sector.

"The River Bain is one of the UK's rare chalk streams, runs adjacent to the site and is of significant national significance.

"These chalk streams are also home to wildlife including Brown Trout, Crayfish and Mayfly and we must ensure that their habitats are preserved.

"It is hard to see how allowing industrial development in this are will not significantly alter its rural character and be of detrimental effect to the lives of local residents.

"It will not provide any substantial economic gain for the area and will only provide a very small boost to UK oil production."

The oil drilling application is currently out for consultation.

Read the latest issue of the OGV Energy magazine HERE

Published: 06-09-2021

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