UK Oil & Gas PLC (London AIM: UKOG) has been informed by the Planning Inspectorate that the Secretary of State (“SoS”) for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has recovered the Company’s appeal against Surrey County Council’s decision to refuse planning consent for its wholly owned Loxley conventional gas appraisal drilling project (“Loxley”).
The final appeal determination will now be made by the SoS utilising the Planning Inspector’s report and recommendation.
Whilst the Company had expected a decision from the Planning Inspectorate in the first quarter of this year, the recovery by the SoS may lengthen the time to an appeal decision.
As questions regarding the UK’s gas supply and record high gas prices have risen to the fore in recent months, the Company hopes that in deciding the appeal, the SoS will carefully consider how Loxley gas, as a secure domestic source, could help address these pertinent national issues which are detailed below:
· The lack of weight given to future UK domestic gas supply and the resultant increasing import dependency exposes the UK economy and consumers to upwards gas price volatility and decreasing security of supply. New domestic gas, such as Loxley, could help mitigate this situation.
· The UK’s recent increased dependence upon imported Liquified Natural Gas, with 4-5 times the pre-combustion footprint of domestic gas, could negatively impact the UK’s net zero ambitions. Domestic gas, such as Loxley, offers a significant net zero advantage in this respect.
· Similarly, higher carbon footprint gas imports could also negatively impact the initial phases of the UK’s ‘Hydrogen Economy’ from a net zero aspect as it is widely predicted that ‘blue hydrogen’ from methane reforming will initially constitute a significant proportion of available hydrogen. Domestic gas offers a significant net zero advantage in this respect. The Company has stated that, if granted necessary permissions, it plans to supply Loxley gas as a feedstock for reforming into hydrogen, fully in keeping with the government’s net zero ambitions and plans.
· The need for continued gas supply to 2050 and beyond has been recognised by the climate change committee.
For further information, please contact:
UK Oil & Gas PLC
Stephen Sanderson / Matt Gormley (01483 941496)
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