OIL explorers are hoping to keep drilling near Bognor Regis for another decade.
Angus Energy has applied for planning permission to continue to use the two wells until 2020.
The company has said approval will help meet Britain’s energy needs.
It has expressly ruled out the use of fracking to extract the oil at the site in Sack Lane in Lidsey.
Mark Oldridge, of Angus Energy, says in a statement with the company’s planning application: “The site has established oil reserves capable of being produced by both existing wells and an application has been submitted to retain the site and production boreholes in its present state for a further period of ten years.”
“It should be noted that the application relates to the extraction of hydrocarbons by conventional mathods and does not involve the exploitation of shale gas through hydraulic facturing (fracking).”
“Angus Energy considers that the production from the Lidsey Oil Field enhances the British economy by reducing the need for mineral imports. With North Sea production in considerable decline, the UK onshore hydrocarbon developments will become more important.”
“A governmental energy strategy 2014 advised and confirmed that the production of oil and gas from the UK’s own reserves has been in decline since 1999 and, since 2004, the UK has been a net importer of energy.”
Angus Energy does not seek any further drillings but a further period of ten years to produce oil from the existing boreholes on the site, he says.
Planning permission for exploratory drilling in Sack Lane was granted to another operator in 1985. The first well was approved in February, 2006, and the second well went ahead in the latter part of last year. Permission for the first well expires this month.
Angus Energy is a joint owner of the site and its operator. It produced 50 barrels of oil a day last year.
Facilities on the 1.62 hectare site include four oil tanks, a water holding tank and a three-phase separator for oil, water and gas.
“The production process includes crude oil, water and gas flowed by the wellheads to the separator which directs fluids into the on-site storage tanks,” says Mr Oldridge.
“Treated crude oil is loaded on to road tankers and exported to approved oil storage facilities.
“The proposed development will involve HGV movements from the site to deliver oil processed and receive fuel and essential site equipment. However, the number of vehicle journeys will be no more than that suggested in the 2006 planning application.”
This will involve eight return journeys a week by road tankers carrying crude oil and no more than eight return car journeys a day for the two full-time workers at the site and any visitors.
“The site at Lidsey has been operational for many years and it has been successfully managed as a production facility without an impact on the local community or environment. The site’s relatively remote location enables it to continue production operations from the existing two wells and will not result in any unacceptable environmental or amenity impact,” Mr Oldridge says.