PL 235
Operator: Angus Energy

Angus Energy is producing oil at Brockham.

Conventional oil extraction has been taking place at Brockham for some twenty years on a small scale.

In April 2022, Surrey County Council granted permission to Angus Energy to produce oil at Brockham.

In March 2022, Angus Energy was also granted a permit to reinject waste fluid at the site. And in December 2022, the Environment Agency issued a permit variation allowing Angus to receive liquid waste from other oil and gas sites that may be contaminated with naturally-occurring radioactive material (NORM), for reinjection into the borehole at Brockham. However we understand that Angus does not have planning permission to accept produced water for reinjection from other sites. A separate planning application will be needed to enable them to import waste from elsewhere for reinjection.

Residents fear that should this be obtained, Brockham will become a waste fluid disposal site for other operations around the south-east.

There are concerns about contamination of the groundwater. Angus Energy was previously turned down for water reinjection over fears about competence.

The Brockham site: A recent history 

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.

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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