Plans for two more exploratory gas and oil wells in East Yorkshire

PLANS for two more exploratory gas and oil wells in East Yorkshire have been revealed.

By Alexandra Wood

Rathlin Energy (UK) Ltd has announced it is looking to drill the two sites – West Newton C and D – to explore reserves under farmland near Hull.

The news comes as construction work has been completed on a third wellsite, West Newton B, with drilling to 2,000 metres to start in the near future.

On its website Rathlin says they believe the West Newton Field has the “potential to provide local feedstock to a Humber net-zero project replacing the need for imported hydrocarbons while at the same time developing indigenous energy sources, contributing to the economic welfare of the Humber region and enhancing local job prospects.”

It comes three weeks after Conservative East Riding councillors voted against declaring a climate emergency.

A motion by Yorkshire Party councillor Andy Walker was defeated by 44 votes to 16.

A spokeswoman from monitoring group West Newton Gateway to the Gas Fields said: “It’s a joke. We shouldn’t be taking anything out of the ground.”

She said: “Whether East Riding wants to declare a climate emergency or not we are in a climate emergency.

“I think when people find out they are literally living in the middle of an oil field – not just one pad – they won’t stay quiet for much longer.”

Ward councillor John Holtby, however, claimed protestors had caused more disruption than the developers over the lifetime of wellsites, A and B.

He said: “In the long run it would be nice not to use oil and gas but in the meantime we are quite dependent on it.

“If we need to be taking it out of the ground here it is another matter.

“The East Riding (Council’s) view from a planning point of view is if we went against these things, they would appeal to a higher level and it is out of our hands.

“I think local residents find the objectors more difficult than the actual developers who we think are doing their best to stick to the rules.”

Rathlin has submitted “screening requests” to East Riding Council to see if a wider environmental impact assessment is needed. Public consultation will take place ahead of the submission of any planning applications.

It states: “Further exploration and appraisal of the West Newton Field will continue to progress the company’s understanding of the West Newton hydrocarbon prospect.”

A conductor rig has arrived at West Newton B to drill to 80m ahead of the arrival of the main drilling rig.

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