Oil drilling on Leith Hill

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  • Oil drilling on Leith Hill
  • ninfan
    Member

    Funny really that a number of the people (middle class, pillar of the community types) crying out about how an oil well will destroy the tranquility of the Surrey Hills are the same people who a couple of years ago were crying out about how mountain bikers were destroying the tranquility of the Surrey Hills

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    ^^ love you guys.

    Premier Icon bigjim
    Subscriber

    Calling people trolls because they dont support sensationalism is what makes this forum an increasingly unpleasant place…

    People going through threads trying to call each other out over minor points is ruining it, myself included obvs.

    But seriously it seems the done thing now is for people to go around trying to trip each other up, especially in off topic threads which seem to have descended into the same 8 – 10 people bickering and picking errors in each other.

    Why would people try to dismantle the argument of some people passionate about the place where they go biking and it being potentially damaged and thus posting about this on a biking forum so other bikers and local residents can become aware, informed and take part?

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    ’twas ever thus Jim. I have to really really really care about something to go near the STW chat forum!

    dragon
    Member

    Someone isn’t trolling when they point out the facts.

    STATO
    Member

    Why would people try to dismantle the argument of some people passionate about the place where they go biking and it being potentially damaged and thus posting about this on a biking forum so other bikers and local residents can become aware, informed and take part?

    Why? because the sensational ‘headline’ arguments are flawed and masking the better reasons to protest. As pointed out the derrick is temporary, the road is already used by HGV’s (small amount) and nodding donkeys already appear across Surrey. Once this was raised real issues started getting highlighted … until others came in and we are back to <wavesarms>BIG OIL n MASSIV DERRICK!</wavesarms>

    But hey, we shouldn’t stamp on sensationalism because we like the end goal, I mean it worked for Trump didn’t it.

    And regarding ‘Big Oil’. Id guess Eupropa are probably worth less than a couple of nice houses round there, get some of the richer supporters to sell their houses and youd probably have a majority share holding 😆

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Critiquers please start posts with a YES/NO on if you know the site. Will make decision on responding, or not, much easier. Thanks.

    ninfan
    Member

    Yes

    And on the basis of other operating oil wells I have seen in the area, I think they are NIMBY’s making a fuss over nothing

    I would also add that as a long term access campaigner, and member of the Surrey local access forum, with good ties to the AONB staff I think that the scaremongering over the impact on MTB in the area is reprehensible, none of the plans put in front of me have any significant impact on access, and I think you’re being used as pawns by single issue campaigners.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    @ninfan good.

    I’ll disagree your first point, this is a different kind of rig, 35m high, significant hardened install pad, lighting, hardened perimeter (currently in PP), permanent security staff.

    You have some points in para 2, though who’s using who is debatable. It’s right by Heads Roll though.

    IMO if we find a way to stop it all benefit. My feeling is if it goes ahead they will soon want more, near.

    ninfan
    Member

    I’ll disagree your first point, this is a different kind of rig, 35m high, significant hardened install pad, lighting, hardened perimeter (currently in PP), permanent security staff.

    Temporary though, and it it turned long term then the footprint and impact, as we see from other wells in the area, is insignificant

    Look at and compare with the number of old quarries in the area.

    I would add that your point on hardened perimeter/security fencing & staff is perhaps the weakest objection, as it’s only necessary because of the extremist eco-loons that inevetably attach themselves to these protests.

    ybot
    Member

    Well Nin fan we’ll just have to agree to differ and hope you calm down a bit. Is it possible to care about something local to you yet not be a NIMBY? And are you suggesting the people close to it should rely on other people arond the country to raise the issue and fight the cause

    ninfan
    Member

    Perfectly calm thanks, and trying to have a reasoned discussion

    I think you’re a NImby when you protest against anything and everything resembling development in the area. As I pointed out, a number of the voices here are the same ones who were kicking up a fuss about MTB a while back, now they are suddenly trying to pull MTB’ers into their cause – see my point about being pawns.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Ninfan I’ve been to the camp, I have met no extremist eco-loons.

    Your posting starting ‘yes’ has some objectivity but it feels to me your other posts, the loon one and the ‘middle class, pillar of the community types‘ one betray some prejudice.

    Anyway it’s OK to disagree. We’ll see what happens. This will make for a good chat in the Plough one day!

    ybot
    Member

    But we aren’t, we are protesting about one thing and think the site is wrong and there are better options in the very local vicinity of a mile or two at most which actually is even more local to both Mattjg and myself but anyway, let’s just agree to differ. Just remember to check the lights are red or green before going down the road to Dorking on your bike when you pop out of one of the many small paths accessing the road

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    yeah that could get messy, esp with the HGVs travelling in convoys of 3.

    tealeith
    Member

    I’ve never understood the term NIMBY being used as a negative. Is it wrong to care about where you live? I’d assume that other people would want to protect their own areas and do similar and if they don’t then can’t complain when something happens to it.

    Basically, being NIMBY is a good thing and shows you care. Surely it’s worse to not give a monkeys? This is sort of a caring survival of the fittest.

    STATO
    Member

    Basically, being NIMBY is a good thing and shows you care. Surely it’s worse to not give a monkeys? This is sort of a caring survival of the fittest.

    NIMBY (an acronym for the phrase “Not In My Back Yard”[1][2]), or Nimby (as a word, instead of an acronym),[3] is a pejorative characterization of opposition by residents to a proposal for a new development because it is close to them (or, in some cases, because the development involves controversial or potentially dangerous technology) often with the connotation that such residents believe that the developments are needed in society but should be further away.

    The full polite Wiki answer (with what everyone else means answer, i.e. I think someone else should have the problem for no reason other than I dont want it)

    It also holds an example…

    In the affluent English village of Ashtead, Surrey, which lies on the outskirts of London, residents objected in 2007 to the conversion of a large, £1.7 million residential property into a family support centre for relatives of wounded British service personnel. The house was to be purchased by a registered charity, SSAFA Forces Help. Local residents objected to the proposal out of fear of increased traffic and noise, as well as the possibility of an increased threat of terrorism.

    terrorism! WTF!

    ybot
    Member

    can you define how far away it has to be before its not a NIMBY issue. For example a mile from my house,10 miles,100 perhaps. What if I think there is a better site nearer me, does that make me a NIMBY. Have you actually read any of the 7 years worth of data on the LHAG website. Personally I am quite happy to be a NIMBY on this issue. Did you knoiw this site is only proposed for initial exploration but if they find what they expect they are planning on putting the nodding donkeys at sites with much better transport links, funny that

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    -cancelled original post. whatevs. by all means folks turn up and see for yourselves.-

    boltonjon
    Member

    I’ll come over and show some support – would be a real crime to damage the local area for all concerned

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    tealeith – Member

    I’ve never understood the term NIMBY being used as a negative. Is it wrong to care about where you live? I’d assume that other people would want to protect their own areas and do similar and if they don’t then can’t complain when something happens to it.

    The implication of NIMBY is that you want it in someone else’s backyard, just not yours. That doesn’t really seem to be the case here.

    stany
    Member

    An important point to be aware of in this debate is that even Surrey County Council rejected the proposal by Europa.
    They were overruled.

    dragon
    Member

    I assume the local residents want their oil and gas from somewhere. I can’t see the big fuss about an oil well, it won’t be much different impact wise than a wind turbine.

    ybot
    Member

    Dragon, read the LHAG page then you might have some idea even if you disagree with it. Are you saying no one can use oil and gas unless it is extracted from very close to them ! weird.

    STATO
    Member

    ybot – Member
    What if I think there is a better site nearer me, does that make me a NIMBY. Have you actually read any of the 7 years worth of data on the LHAG website. Personally I am quite happy to be a NIMBY on this issue.

    I was responding to your question on what a NIMBY is. If you are protesting against a something that isn’t near you, then you are not a NIMBY. Have I read the 7 years worth of info, no because I was responding to your question on what a NIMBY is. Instead your post reads like you are trying to place yourself on some pedestal of righteousness.

    Read this whole topic again, most people (Ninfan aside) are not saying the protest is wrong, we are asking about aspects of it because a few are making false accusations, blowing things out of proportion or just wildly speculating. Only Atn77 has so far discussed anything, Matt is only intrested in rounding up pitchforks (probably why his previous topic got removed). This is a forum, for discussion, not referring to a facebook page.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Assumptions STATO, some obviously incorrect with 20 seconds effort.

    No matter, kicking the NIMBY or not football around informs no one.

    If anyone is concerned and wants to know more it’s getting easier every day to get informed.

    Have a good day y’all.

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    dragon – Member 
    I assume the local residents want their oil and gas from somewhere. I can’t see the big fuss about an oil well, it won’t be much different impact wise than a wind turbine.

    As this is a mountain bike magazine forum (though you wouldn’t know it sometimes), I’m surprised some people aren’t concerned that the location potentially affects bike trails and jumps.

    An oil well involves a bigger footprint than a wind turbine in the initial development to clear the trees, cut a big truck width road to it and erect fences. Plus there are temporary buildings that go with it. Besides that, this is dense woodland in an AONB, not an exposed hill.

    Access road is ludicrously unsuitable. It’s bad enough driving through the sunken lanes round there with a car and meeting other traffic, but getting massive lorries through there frequently will be utter chaos. Also people ride up there. Is Coldharbour Lane also used for bike races?

    tealeith
    Member

    I must admit that some of the headlines, and even the content of the various publications around this have been completely sensationalised so far, but then that’s the way media works these days isn’t it? This doesn’t make it right of course and some of the storm being whipped up is dragging the argument completely away from what LHAG’s original opposition was all about.

    The protestors, or “protectors” as they prefer to be known as are waving “NO FRACKING” signs even though the geology of the hill is not compatible with this type of extraction and is not what Europa are proposing anyway. I think it’s fair to see that many of the facts and points that have been been stated in recent weeks are not entirely accurate. The tens of thousand of pounds that LHAG raised and that went on barrister fees through the courts were to oppose this entirely based on fact and around the planning application itself. The points raised and argued were around things like impact to the road, people, and environment. Europa had plans to put in traffic lights at the top and bottom of the hill during the lorry visits, aware of the fact that they would completely block the road in transit up and down. This would encompass a stretch of road covering MILES instead of yards. Insane!

    I speak to friends and neighbours in the village of Coldharbour and there’s a mixed reaction to the protectors who have moved in but even the ones who are not entirely happy with their residence can understand the hardship they are going through at the moment. People are sending food parcels, blankets and other comforts and I think that people are at the very least grateful for the sacrifice they are making for Leith Hill.

    So, to bring this full circle and back to the LHAG group’s aims. The precise drilling site that has been chosen is completely ridiculous, with access to the site down an ancient sunken lane which is tricky for even regular sized cars to pass in places. Yes, HGVs do travel up there currently: forestry vehicles, builders vans, shopping lorries and so on. The forestry vehicles are by far and away the largest of those types but are extremely far and few between in their visits. Logging of the surrounding forest doesn’t occur every day.

    Finally, to return to my original point about the term NIMBY. I know what this means and was just trying to say that maybe it can be used in a non-emotive way as a statement of intent rather than in the pejorative sense. As I’ve already stated, what is wrong with defending what is local to you? If an opposition was to be successful then somewhere/somebody else possibly would suffer the consequences instead, agreed. That’s human nature though surely, to protect what’s closest and most dear to you. I’m proud to live in an area that people care about and that don’t want to see damaged – would it better if people didn’t and holed themselves up in their homes with no care of what is around them?

    larrydavid
    Member

    People want to drive cars everywhere and buy things made of plastic. Oil is needed for this. Surely this is as good a place as any? And if not here, where else. London and the SE profits greatly from environmental degradation of other parts of the UK and the world (China), so fair’s fair, no?

    Cake and eat it stuff.

    STATO
    Member

    tealeith – Member

    ….

    ^^^ see mattjg, its not hard to engage in discussion and get valid points without across getting all huffy about it 😆

    STATO
    Member

    larrydavid – Member

    People want to drive cars everywhere and buy things made of plastic. Oil is needed for this. Surely this is as good a place as any?

    National level infrastructure does have a pretty big stick to wave on its side, but that shouldn’t mean it can be done just anywhere. Look at roads and things, all needed and in some cases might ‘need’ to go through some places they probably shouldn’t, but there should be very valid reasons.

    In this case its destruction of some important woodland and significant impact on the community for 4 months. How does that balance against the benefit, when that benefit can still be realised through another location (at unknown extra cost).

    *incidentally. Ive read some about it and this is purely a test location, so drilling to confirm quantity of oil. There wont be any extraction from this bore, so no nodding-donkeys, that will be done from elsewhere through the horizontal drilling etc. already discussed.

    Premier Icon mattjg
    Subscriber

    Decide for yourselves folks. Research the rig that’s going in to Bury Hill Woods, it’s no nodding donkey. Take a look at how it’s going to get in – the size of it and the proposed route. And take a look at the ongoing planning applications for Horse Hill, which is also ‘exploratory’. Check out the water company’s discomfort over risk to the water supply – easy to find article on BBC News.

    Ta for looking.

    ninfan
    Member

    Planning Inspectorate decision is worth reading, and offers an independent analysis of the arguments and options:

    https://acp.planninginspectorate.gov.uk/ViewDocument.aspx?fileid=12012676

    gonefishin
    Member

    Research the rig that’s going in to Bury Hill Woods, it’s no nodding donkey.

    My I respectfully suggest that it is you who needs to do the research. The rig and the nodding donkey are two different things used for two different purposes. The rig will drill the well and and complete it and the nodding donkey (if that is what is to be a used) will be installed. Once done the rig will be removed and go to a different site (they are much too expensive to leave on hire at a site doing nothing) but the production will continue with the nodding donkey.

    STATO
    Member

    but the production will continue with the nodding donkey.

    No production from this site. Just the test drill.

    EDIT; They have a separate planning application for drill corridor into the reservoir from another location. This location was chosen as it allowed a single test well to hit all the layers of the reservoir, rather than 2+ locations/sites required if they go elsewhere.

    gonefishin
    Member

    In that case the test well is drilled, results taken and the well is either abandoned or completed for conversion at a later date. Either way the rig leaves the site.

    ybot
    Member

    I think that is widely understood gonefishin, infact this site is purely for the exploration and currently not proposed to have a nodding Donkey at all, assuming they get the results they want then these will be put in places with better access which kind of brings us full circle. This site is entirely inappropriate based on the required lorry movements, damage to sunken lane, damage to AONB, why not drill from a proposed nodding donkey site ? Who knows but id ha e a guessits harder and will cost more

    STATO
    Member

    why not drill from a proposed nodding donkey site ? Who knows but id ha e a guessits harder and will cost more

    The planning link Ninfan posted states why, they cant hit all the layers of the reservoir from anywhere else so the reservoir would be either under utilised or not used at all. Horizontal drilling from another location would just hit a layer or pocket, it cant be used to properly explore the reservoir.

    trail_rat
    Member

    why not drill from a proposed nodding donkey site ? Who knows but id ha e a guessits harder and will cost more

    wont want to lose a production slot to exploration.

    You can complete exploration wells but often the results are not great due to formation damage during testing.

    + the above.

    just be glad it isnt lithium they have found 😉

    Id love an oil well at the edge of the village here … as it is i have as sodding great 4 lane road and interchange being built. ….

    dragon
    Member

    You could fix the road access problem like this:

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