Rathlin to abandon exploratory well site at Crawberry Hill
Yesterday, Rathlin Energy announced that it will cease exploratory work at its well site at Crawberry Hill in the East Riding of Yorkshire.
In their statement, Rathlin Energy cited the low oil price, costs of testing and the low probability of commercial success as reasons for the withdrawal.
In October 2014, East Riding of Yorkshire Council granted the company a one-year extension to its planning permission to test the well.
Since then, the only work carried out the site has been routine maintenance and this month the company ran out of time to deliver the operations listed in the planning permission. (Our report) At the time, the company said it was working to “satisfy the pre-operational conditions” set by the Environment Agency before testing could start at Crawberry Hill.”
But yesterday, Rathlin said it had decided not to “carry out further exploratory work at the existing site”.
“This decision has been taken in light of all the information derived from each of the exploration wells and against the background of continuing depression in world energy prices, which currently show little sign of recovery.”
“After thorough analysis, Rathlin has concluded that the costs associated with testing the Crawberry Hill well cannot be justified, relative to probability of commercial success.
“We continue to believe in the overall prospectivity of the geology in the Crawberry Hill area but the current well site is not a preferred location for further drilling or completion investment and, as a result, the well will be abandoned and the site restored.”
In a letter to Community Liaison Group members, also sent yesterday, Rathlin’s chairman, David Montagu-Smith, said:
“I am sure you will appreciate that we are disappointed that we will not be undertaking further exploration work at the Crawberry Hill site, but we will continue to work through the Liaison Committee to ensure that the local community is kept fully up to date with the works which remain to be completed.
“We will be asking for a meeting of the Liaison Committee early next month when we will be able to discuss our plans in more detail.”
Opponents of Rathlin’s drilling plans in East Yorkshire said they would gather outside Crawberry Hill at noon.They said their fight against the company would continue. Rathlin has planning permission for a second well at West Newton, also in the East Riding.