South East Dorset Green Party protests about local oil wells

23 September 2018

Fossil Free Dorset has published an article on its website concerning methane pollution from the Kimmeridge well, owned by Perenco, sited on the edge of the Jurassic cliffs in Dorset.

It claims that the well has been quietly venting methane in quantities that are hard to believe.

An industry insider reported this, and after verification with the Environment Agency, it also became clear that not only was the well venting methane, it was doing so by design. Unlike the United States and Australia, where methane has been shown to leak from poorly managed fracking wells, the Kimmeridge well is not leaking. It is simply not designed to capture or combust and flare off the gas that accompanies the oil upon extraction.

The well has been venting methane since 1961, as it is operating under an old style permit that has lower emissions standards. What is more, there are tens of other wells out there also regulated under the same type of permits, including Wytch Farm in Poole Harbour.

The full article can be read here

Another issue of concern to local environmentalists is that of the proposed siting of an oil rig in Poole Bay.

In a letter to Bournemouth Echo published this week, Bournemouth’s only Green Party Councillor, Simon Bull, stated this rig “could actually cause devastation to the seven miles of golden sand, the Jurassic coast and the very important environment for marine life.”

He also said that “Given the urgency of dealing with climate change that will affect all our lives, fossil fuels must be left in the ground. This rig is unnecessary.”

The letter in full can be read here

It is unthinkable that the license holder, Corallion, would be allowed or even capable of exploiting the reservoir from a permanent offshore rig. The rights to the reservoir would almost certainly be sold to Perenco, whose Wytch farm facility could long reach drill to the Colter field. Given the recent scandal around Perenco's operations however and loss of trust, pressure is mounting for them to distance themselves from the Colter field.