Shale gas sites in Nottinghamshire
Exploratory tests for shale gas have been undertaken at two sites in Nottinghamshire.
Tinker Lane, near Barnby Moor and Blyth
Drilling at the exploratory shale gas site off the A634 between Barnby Moor and Blyth (Planning Permission Ref: 1/16/00773/CDM) has been completed.
The County Council received official confirmation of the completion of the drilling phase and the commencement of the evaluation phase of the development from IGas on 18 January 2019, in line with Condition 2 of the Planning Permission.
All drilling equipment has been removed from the site, but the well pad remains while evaluation takes place. IGas has released operational updates that confirm that a shale interval was encountered before penetrating the key Dinantian limestone geophysical marker, but the shales encountered did not include the primary target, the Bowland shale. IGas has also confirmed that the well has now been plugged and abandoned and preparations are being made to fully restore the site.
A number of conditions attached to the planning permission must be addressed by IGas before restoration starts, and as part of the restoration process. The relevant conditions are summarised below:
- Condition 2 - IGas is required to notify the Minerals Planning Authority (MPA) of commencement and completion of the restoration phase.
- Condition 26 - Restoration Phase is not to commence during the bird breeding season unless a breeding Hobby survey has been undertaken and there are no Hobby present in the nearby woodland plantation.
- Condition 35 (b) - Following removal of the well pad soil testing shall be undertaken, the results of which shall be submitted to the MPA.
- Condition 37 - In the event that soil testing following removal of the well pad identifies that contamination is present, a scheme for remediation needs to be submitted to the MPA.
- Condition 45 - The MPA is to be notified of the commencement of soil replacement.
In addition, a non-material amendment has been granted to allow for the retention of all the hard surfaced access into the field following restoration.
Misson Springs, land off Springs Road
Planning permission was granted in May 2017 (1/15/01498/CDM) for the development of a hydrocarbon wellsite and drilling of up to two exploratory hydrocarbon wells (one vertically and the other horizontally) on land off Springs Road, Misson.
Following the drilling of the vertical well, IGas announced on 11 March that the drilling had encountered a hydrocarbon bearing shale sequence of over 250 metres, including the upper and lower Bowland shale. IGas report that significant gas indications were observed throughout the shale section and additionally within sands in the Millstone Grit sequence. The drill rig has recently removed from the site and the horizontal well remains to be drilled. IGas has subsequently confirmed that operations have now moved into the Phase 3 (evaluation) phase.