Cuadrilla Announces Summer Test Drill Plans in Balcombe
Cuadrilla Resources has announced plans to drill an exploration well at its Balcombe site in the summer and anticipates work will take no more than three months, with equipment cleared no later than September. The company intends to commence discussions with local residents to explain exactly what this work will involve.
The UK explorer intends to drill a vertical well 304m deep near the village of Balcombe in West Sussex to take samples of the underground rock, with a possible horizontal leg extending 762m from the vertical section. The rig to be used will be smaller than the one currently in operation by Cuadrilla in Lancashire. West Sussex County Council granted Cuadrilla a planning permission to undertake this exploration work in 2010.
Cuadrilla has stated that if it finds oil or gas, a series of extensive technical, environmental and public consultations would take place before any further decisions are made and that neither the horizontal or vertical well will be hydraulically fractured.
“Although this summer’s work will be unobtrusive, we’re fully aware that local people will have many questions about our plans and we’ll do our best to answer all of them,” said Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive. “During the coming months, we will discuss our plans with residents and they will be able to visit the site to see for themselves what our work involves.”
A report on the May 3rd meeting between Balcombe Parish Council and Cuadrilla states that international security company G4S will provide security at the Balcombe site. G4S was the company that was responsible for security at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
In its summary to residents of the meeting with Cuadrilla, the parish council says: “BPC expressed the wish that Balcombe should not be “industrialised,” it is a beautiful village surrounded by one of the largest shooting estates in the South.