Celtique Energie

British energy company to consult with Fernhurst community on exploration plans

3 June 2013

Celtique Energie Weald Ltd. (“Celtique Energie”), a British oil and gas exploration company, along with its joint venture investment partner Magellan Petroleum (UK) Ltd. has today announced that it intends to consult with members of the public on plans for a temporary exploration well near Fernhurst, West Sussex.

The company, based in London, was awarded four licenses by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in 2008 to explore for oil or gas in the Weald Basin: a large geological formation stretching from Hampshire to Kent that has proven hydrocarbon reserves exploited in surrounding areas and located several thousand feet below its surface.

After reviewing previous data of the region and undertaking its own seismic surveys, Celtique Energie is proposing to construct a temporary well site on a remote and well screened piece of land west of Fernhurst village. The exploratory well would enable the company to test for the presence of commercially viable oil or gas reserves in the area.

Celtique Energie’s announcement follows the decision by West Sussex County Council to grant planning permission for the operator’s first exploration well in the UK near the village of Broadford Bridge, West Sussex.

Geoff Davies, Chief Executive Officer at Celtique Energie said:

“As a company we are genuinely committed to meaningful engagement with the local community, which is why we are inviting anyone interested in our proposals to join us at Fernhurst Village Hall to meet our team of experts and discuss the plans in detail.

“Our proposals to undertake initial exploratory drilling at a remote and well screened area of land west of Fernhurst would enable us to confirm whether commercially viable levels of oil and gas are present in this area. This would involve tried and tested methods of exploration that have been used in the UK for decades, in many surrounding fields.

“We take our responsibilities as an exploration company seriously, and we will be taking all precautions to ensure that our operations have a minimal impact on the environment and the local community.”

Celtique Energie will be hosting the public exhibition on its proposals in the main hall at Fernhurst Village Hall, Glebe Road, Fernhurst, Haslemere, GU27 3EH on the following dates:

  • Wednesday 5 June, 3pm to 7pm
  • Saturday 8 June, 11am to 3pm

The exhibition boards and comment form from these consultation event are available to download on the Celtique Energie website here: http://www.celtiqueenergie.com/Uploads/PPS-Celtique_Fernhurst_boards_Updates.pdf.

Davies continued:

“The Weald has a long history of onshore oil and gas exploration and production and we are confident that significant reserves still remained untapped in the region today that could make a contribution to the UK’s energy supply.”

Following its public consultation event at Fernhurst Village Hall, Celtique Energie will review and respond to the feedback it receives from the local community and submit a planning application to the South Downs National Park Authority, which is the Minerals Planning Authority for this area.

If the presence of commercially viable hydrocarbons is confirmed, the well would be secured and Celtique Energie would require further approval from the South Downs National Park Authority and the Department for Energy and Climate Change to use the site as a permanent production facility. In the event that there is an absence of viable reserves, the well would be plugged, all equipment removed and the site would be restored.

Celtique Energie’s planning application would not involve the use of hydraulic fracturing: the process of stimulating the flow of gas by pumping in water and sand at high pressure into the well, forcing the rocks to crack open. However, if granted permission to drill, Celtique Energie can confirm that it would take data on shale rock formations encountered in the well to look at the potential for commercial hydrocarbon recovery from these shales.  Should these data prove positive, Celtique Energie may wish to explore these zones further through the use of hydraulic fracturing, but this would be the subject of a separate planning application and further consultation with the community. 

Members of the public with enquiries about the public exhibition can get in touch with Celtique Energie on its dedicated community information line (9am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday) 0800 023 2148 or email consultation@celtiqueenergie.com

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