Proposed oil rig in Poole Bay

21 February 2018

South East Dorset Green Party member Stuart Lane has written a letter to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark, requesting him to consider creating a protection zone that excludes offshore oil and gas exploration and production off the Dorset coast. This follows proposals being revealed to put an oil rig in Poole Bay.

The letter has been signed by Bournemouth Councillor Simon Bull and Dorset Councillor Clare Sutton, (both of the Green Party) MEPs Molly Scott Cato (Green Party) and Clare Moody (Labour) as well as Christchurch MP Sir Christopher Chope (Conservative).

TV nature show stars Kate Humble and Chris Packham, world-renowned conservationist and Dorset resident Dame Jane Goodall, and RSPB president and TV presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff. are among those who have also signed. Organisations including: Birds of Poole Harbour, Bournemouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Bournemouth National Science Society, Bournemouth and Poole Greenpeace, Bournemouth 2026 Trust, Darwin Ecology, East Dorset Friends of The Earth, Fossil Free Dorset, The Purbeck Society and The Seahorse Trust have added their names too.

Oil exploration firm Corallian is seeking permission to drill an appraisal well less than 10 miles off the Dorset coast near Bournemouth beach. The rig would be in place for some 40 days between mid-April and June, and September and December, so as to avoid the summer season.

The oil would be extracted horizontally from Wytch Farm in Poole Harbour.

Last month the US Government announced that it will not allow drilling for oil and gas off the coast of Florida after urging from the state’s governor.

Stuart Lane said he hoped a similar ban could be applied for the Dorset coastline.

"This will also help reassure local business and future investors that Bournemouth, Poole, the Isle of Wight and Purbeck are safe to invest in and will never be under any threat from offshore drilling."

Further details can be read in the Bournemouth Echo and a full transcript of the letter can be read on the online news service Dorset Eye.