PL 235
Operator: Angus Energy

Angus Energy awaits Environment Agency permission for water reinjection and has announced (in October 2021) that it intends to apply for planning permission to produce oil from an existing well.

Conventional oil extraction has been taking place at Brockham for some twenty years on a small scale, with a couple of nodding donkeys.

It’s now trying for two new activities at this rural site. The current planning notice by Angus Energy is to air its intention to reperforate, retain and produce from the BRX4 well. It also plans to plug the controversial side track that it drilled without planning permission (it says it doesn’t need permission for this).   Representations need to be made by November 4 to Surrey County Council (there will be another opportunity when a formal planning application is made).

It’s also waiting for a decision from the Environment Agency that it can reinject waste water, which is likely to be used to try to enable oil production (by forcing the oil out under pressure).  There are concerns about contamination of the groundwater. Angus Energy was previously turned down for water reinjection over fears about competence.

Angus Energy acquired the licence to the PEDL in 2012. In 2016, they announced plans to drill a new sidetrack well targeting the previously untapped layers of the Kimmeridge clay formation, and by December of that year, obtained all regulatory consents with the exception of planning permission to drill from Surrey County Council.

Brockham Protection Camp
Vigilant protectors spotted Angus drilling a sidetrack illegally in 2017

In January 2017, Angus drilled a sidetrack, without gaining planning permission, despite having been told by Surrey County Council Planning Department that planning permission was required. The breach was spotted by members of the protection camp and investigated by local campaign group Brockham Oil Watch.

Councillors granted retrospective permission for the sidetrack in August 2018, despite the chair of the planning committee labelling Angus the “least reliable hydrocarbon operation the council has dealt with”. Councillors also granted Angus permission for a three-year appraisal period for the sidetrack BRX4Z. The site also has planning permission for surface production equipment to allow extraction from the two existing wells until 2036.

Angus began a well test programme of the new sidetrack BRX4Z in December 2018. They had problems with water in the well, and the flow test did not achieve sustainable flows of oil.

In June 2019, Angus announced it was looking to sell its 65% interest in the Brockham licence to an unnamed third party, saying “it is extremely unlikely that commercial hydrocarbon flow can be established from the Kimmeridge layer at Brockham”. This appeared to confirm what campaigners have said all along – that it will not be possible to commercially produce from the Kimmeridge without hydraulic fracturing or acid stimulation. In 2020 they now seem to have new plans for the site and it’s no longer for sale.

Other partners in the licence are Terrain Energy, Doriemus Plc and Brockham Capital Ltd, each with a 10% interest, and Alba Minerals, with 5%.

Drill rig at Brockham

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