Operator: UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG)
Awaiting planning decision: In May 2019 UKOG (234) Ltd, a subsidiary of UKOG, submitted a planning application for two exploratory oil and gas wells, just outside the village of Dunsfold in a wooded and beautiful corner of south west Surrey. The site was to be accessed via High Loxley Road, a narrow, winding rural lane, lined with hedgerows and mature trees. This application was criticised for mistakes and inconsistencies, and within a week, UKOG issued a clarification statement about one policy argument it had used to support the application which was out of line with national climate policy.
In July, they submitted a second “ancillary” application, with many of the same supporting documents as the first one and some new ones, and proposing accessing the site by a different route. This was withdrawn in March 2020 but the original application still awaits a decision.
UKOG (234) Ltd has never made a profit. It posted losses of over £2M for the 2017 financial and for 2018, the latest year for which figures are available, the losses have now risen to a to just under £7M. We believe this means UKOG 234 is technically insolvent but is being propped up financially by UKOG which is currently underwriting its debts from year to year.
Waverley Borough Council held its first-ever listening panel, to hear the views of residents and organisations. The three-hour session heard from 22 people, who all objected to the scheme. They included representatives of parish councils, local businesses, community groups and residents. There were no presentations in support of the scheme; UKOG was invited but did not attend.
The plans were originally expected to be decided by Surrey County Council in August 2019, but the decision has been repeatedly postponed. At the time of writing, it is due to be made in Spring 2020.