Leith Hill, Surrey. Oil Drilling!!!!

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  • Leith Hill, Surrey. Oil Drilling!!!!
  • burtonsno
    Member

    If you know of the Leith Hill area near Dorking you’ll understand how brilliant it is for riding. But, did you know that there is a company planning on cutting down chunks of the woodland to do exploration drilling for oil! Is no singletrack sacred anymore???

    coffeeking
    Member

    Wasnt this moaned about last week?

    burtonsno
    Member

    give us a break, i’m new.

    coffeeking
    Member

    😀 Hellow new, I wasn’t being critical, I was asking if it was the same one (couldnt be bothered searching, same as you lol).

    The other link had a link to planned areas etc, which should let you see what singletrack would be involved, but I suspect that if you drive anywhere you are bordering on hipocrisy by moaning about it (not that its not understandable, I wouldnt want oil drilling on my doorstep).

    burtonsno
    Member

    It sounds like the same moan….!

    I do think my concern is about it being in ‘my’ woods.

    coffeeking
    Member

    Dont worry, exploratory holes are only small…

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    I do think my concern is about it being in ‘my’ woods.

    Well that’s a shame, innit ?

    25 million Iraqis had ‘their’ whole country invaded because apparently there’s also some oil there.

    I hear that many Iraqis found full scale war really rather inconvenient.

    I’m not sure how it’s affected their ability to go on a bike ride, but I suspect that it hasn’t helped a great deal.

    coffeeking
    Member

    lol at ernie – shaddap 😀

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    any idea which companies are involved?

    Ewan
    Member

    What a bunch of toss. Do you drive a car? Do you moan about the phone signal and then campaign against mobile phone masts?

    The planning restrictions are very tight, all that will be created will be a small compound with some brick buildings in it after the initial drilling rig has gone.

    It’s got to come from somewhere, why not there.

    (And yes, I do ride there most weekends. It’s not in a good bit anyway.)

    hora
    Member

    OP thank you for posting firstly. Post once and the subject may be forgot/apathy. Yep, what if they do find sizable deposits of oil? After all if they thought there wouldn’t be much/worth it they wouldn’t ‘gamble’/go to all this trouble will they?
    Lit at night, round the clock- LOL for the people who think its nowt you do realise that there will be constant traffic, noise and its the vanguard of something bigger.

    We all use cars/phones? Oh please.

    coffeeking
    Member

    We all use cars/phones? Oh please.

    Err… it’s true. Or do you only want them to extract oil from places that are not near where you want to be? NIMBY syndrome.

    Ewan
    Member

    Hora – where should they get the oil from? Magic it from the oil fairy?

    hora
    Member

    I don’t live in the North Downs. I havent ridden there for well over a year as I live in Manchester. I can’t think of anywhere worse to start blighting. Anyone who says its a one-off is deluded. They find a decent deposit guess what happens? Then wider access will be needed etc.
    I’d rather run out of oil thanks that start blighting such a small and lovely area. FFS drill in Guilford town centre. Probably improve the place.
    You don’t have to live or use an area that you care about. Its called fond memories and protecting for others to use.

    EDIT- Of course we will ALL run out of oil if we dont drill in Leith Hill eh?
    I’m not going to reply anymore as the arguements will just become circular in nature but I would like to know who to contact to register somesort of objection.

    marcliam
    Member

    Something I posted on another forum….

    “I would certainly be hypocritical if was to say that this sort of thing should not happen on my doorstep, A – because I am a construction manager and B – My old man is an energy consultant (specialising in petroleum). However at the very least the company should be made to consider the impact and risks involved and if not completely remove them at least ensure some sort of controlling mechanism is in place. We all know there is more than one way to do things and if we are not going to face any opposition we will take the cheapest / easiest route.

    Yes – the country is filled with ugly scars of industry (the brunt of which often appears to have been bourne by our northern friends) but that does not mean that should be the way of the future. It is very important to limit the destruction and damage to our ever decreasing greenfield areas* by firstly concentrating on successfully regenerating brownfield and where no other option exists (as possibly is the case of such things as oil extraction) considering the least harmful options available.

    *Hey you lot, don’t you want lovely flowing singletrack through the countryside or what?”

    burtonsno
    Member

    Wow, we seem to have a split in the camp. Those that think its ok to drill anywhere regardless of all others and those that think destroying good countryside is not wholly acceptable.
    Those that think its ok, what if it was your local trails, or the middle of your favourite football ground. I know that’s stretching it bit but i’m sure there’s other options rather than keep extracting oil from every last deposit on earth.
    Lets keep the woods and the offshore oil fields!!!

    In the meanwhile, keep riding your favourite spot while you can….!

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    Those that think its ok, what if it was your local trails

    It is my local trail – I was at Leith Hill two sundays ago, and would have been there last sunday had it not been my mother’s birthday.

    And I don’t think it’s ok, although I think it might be necessary. We need oil and it has to come from somewhere – I don’t think ‘offshore oil fields’ is sufficient for our requirements.

    Of course we could rely solely on oil from other countries. And perhaps if we explain to the Iraqis, “sorry we had a big fukoff war in your country, but you see we needed to get our grubby hands on your oil because although we’ve got some of our own, we really didn’t want to spoil our beautiful country and afterall, yours is only desert and stuff, and you probably don’t have the time or money to spend on an expensive mountain biking hobby as you need to spend it all on trying to stay alive”, they would understand and be fine about it all ?

    Maybe even letting us have it a little bit cheaper ?

    burtonsno
    Member

    if we all chip in we could do a bike for oil swap shop. anyone know how to contact noel edmonds.

    Am i showing my age a bit here.

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    we could do a bike for oil swap shop

    To be fair burtonsno, there’s probably quite a few bikes in Iraq on account that there is strict petrol rationing there.

    What the people living in a country with the world’s third largest oil reserves probably want, is their oil back.

    So yeah, we could have a swap shop, only they would probably want to swap their bikes for erm, their oil 😯

    Petrol rationing in a country awash with oil

    gonefishin
    Member

    Right I think that everyone needs a bit of a reality check here. I’m not saying that should some oil be found that there won’t be an impact on the local area but some of the comments are OTT.

    First of all this won’t be substantial recoverable reserves of oil and you don’t need to be a geologist to figure that out. If there were substantial reserves on mainland UK then we would have produced these first rather than going into the North Sea.

    Secondly they will only be drilling an exploration well and while they will have to clear some of the area they will more than likely be charged with returning it to it’s original condition once they are finished and that should only take a couple of months at most.

    Thirdly, in the event that production does start then there is no requirement for the production facilites to be located at the site of the exploration well. It couls be anything up to 15km (possibly more) depending on how it will be developed. Also any premanent systems will be significantly smaller than those used for exploration. There will be a wellhead, two at the most. They aren’t talking about an oil refinery.

    theflatboy
    Member

    i’ve never been to leith before, going for the first time on sunday. it’s good then, yes?

    aP
    Member

    Actually I’m all for drilling for oil on football grounds – all of them, this year. Where can I sign up?
    Unless you’re happy for Russia, China and India to control your lifestyle choices then you’re going to have to accept that there will be consequences.
    You do realise that there’s almost no natural landscape in the UK don’t you?

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    I rarely drive a car, don’t own one and don’t have a mobile phone. Unfortunately I live miles away in the real Leith so there seems little point in me protesting.

    Sounds like nimbyism anyway

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    the worst you’ll get is a nodding donkey, best is soemthign the size of a large garrage making a humming noise. Which in my book is a bit better (or at least more usefull than) than a £2million giant horse.

    aP
    Member

    Maybe they have to use it or lose it?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I’ve seen lots of small scale wells in the US. As TINAS says, just nodding donkeys by the roadside, it’s no biggie.

    neilforrow
    Member

    I was once involved with this field when I was involved with oil and gas… got to do a review of the data on this field, and yep it is relatively small, but off the back of the oil prices late last year, it became an economically extractible point. More data is needed to see if it can be pumped, so it is still a possibility not a dead cert it is going to happen.

    It doesn’t matter if it is a large or small field.. if it is to be extracted, then the size of the operation doesn’t really change..

    Lots of you have ridden past the wind turbines at afan, the amount of disruption will not be to dissimilar to that… but most people think they look good. Is a large pump any different?

    I dont think it is the best solution… but bet you bottom dollar if there is oil to be had it will come out the ground… how else will the gov’ pay for all this debt it is in!!

    neilforrow
    Member

    Some background on the field… for those who are intrested…
    Europa Oil & Gas are doing the drilling, but Egdon have some intrests round there.

    “Weald Basin

    The Weald Basin of Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Kent is one of a series of linked sub-basins which include the Wessex Basin of Dorset, the Channel Basin and the Paris Basin. Hydrocarbon exploration began in the late 1800’s but peaked in the 1980’s with the discovery of a number of oil and gas accumulations. Both oil and gas are currently produced from the Weald Basin. Egdon has particpated in the Avington oil discovery and is looking to drill the robust Holmwood Prospect in PEDL143.”

    aracer
    Member

    I rarely drive a car, don’t own one

    Though you still rely a lot on oil for your goods and services (more aimed at the NIMBYs than you, TJ).

    bent_udder
    Member

    Neilforrow – thanks for that. Could you drop me a line? I can’t seem to get your email address from your profile.

    I’m local to the proposed site, and there will be a few other impacts as well. The only route to this site (short of building a new road) will be up a very old sunken lane with 20ft high sandstone sides, bordered by mature woodland. The proposal calls for tens of truck rolls a day, which will have an impact on this.

    The site is in the middle of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A similar proposal from Europa Oil & Gas over in Albury (same prospect, I believe – it’s a few miles further West in Albury, towards Guildford) was refused last year or the year before. Both proposals have been sited in areas with a relatively low population – I’ve no idea why, but it’d be interesting to see why they’ve not sited them in, say, Shere or Dorking town centres.

    What’s unknown is the amount of energy that can be extracted, and how this is balanced against any impact to the local environment.

    A long time ago I covered open cast mining proposals in Neath, and the locals there had exactly the same problems, albeit with the added frustration of having to put up with PR from the mining company saying it would bring jobs to the area, when locals were specifically excluded from applying.

    Various people have pointed out the problems oil has caused the Middle East, and the problems that industrialisation has caused various bits of the North. I would have thought, knowing about the effect now, everyone would want to more carefully weigh up the benefits of pulling relatively small amounts of oil out of the ground against long term impact.

    What’s missing from all of this is an independent assessment of the impact this test rig (and any future drilling) will have – it’s simply not available. Hence the multitude of Hoo and Haa going on.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    bent-udder, you seem to be implying that 1 nodding donkey will turn the south east into some sort of industrial wasteland and wars will be fought over it.

    london_lady
    Member

    The main reservoir is the Portland sandstone which produces oil in the Brockham well just to the north. The Corallian sandstone is the secondary reservoir at a depth of about 4300ft. Potential hydrocarbon volumes have been calculated on a best estimate with a number of assumptions (porosity, oil saturation and only a 25% recovery factor).
    Best estimates for Portland sst is 4.0MM bbl and 2.3MM bbl for the Coralian sst.
    Basically there is a D&D obligation on this field which has to be completed by end of 2009.

    Premier Icon BigDummy
    Subscriber

    I am glad neil_f knows what he’s on about, it’s always good to have someone in a discussion with a shred of information. 🙂

    Leith Hill is my local patch, I do not have a car, oil supplies are central to my way of life etc.

    Energy diversity is a good, energy security is a good.b I’d rather we weren’t so dependant on oil, and I’d rather we weren’t so dependant on foreign energy. If there is oil in worthwhile quantitites under Leith Hill we may as well have it out of there. I’d much rather have drilling rigs on the Surrey Hills than soldiers dying in the middle east and a nice cosy diplomatic relationship with the asshats who run Saudi Arabia.

    Of course, it won’t work like that, there won’t be much oil there. There’ll just be a small field which will be worked out inside a few years, and the council will try (with moderate success) to impose conditions on the oil company relating to tidying up after themselves and in ten years they will be out of there and we’ll have forgotten they were ever there. In that ten years hopefully we will not have fought the Iranians, the UAE will still be standing up, Iraq will be happy and peaceful, Libya will be a democracy, Nigeria will have cooled down, there will be a new global carbon reduction protocol, we’ll have a couple more nuclear power stations, some tidal barrages, a few more wind and solar farms etc etc etc and in the meantime I’ll ride Ranmore and the North Downs rather than Leith Hill, which is over-used, crowded and could do with a rest anyway.

    A qualified yes in my backyard. 🙂

    joemarshall
    Member

    Looking at the website about it – it really does seem that the big thing those people are actually against, is the lane being closed so they can’t drive their four by fours down it for a week or so.

    Joe

    FG
    Member

    Let’s play spot the oil field. This one’s in Poole, and is undoubtedly bigger than any deposit under Leith Hill.

    bent_udder
    Member

    I used to live in Poole, and you could definitely see the loom from it at night, even with the reduced lighting requirements. 😀

    I also seem to remember there being some pretty stringent requirements on the oil company to do this in a way that didn’t ruin the area, including drilling at an angle et cetera. If all oil fields looked like Poole, we’d be laughing, wouldn’t we? Shame it’s an exception to the rule, rather than the norm. There are plenty more oil field pics to be seen on’t Google. 😉

    I’m really curious as to how they are going to get the necessary trucks up there, to be honest. Coldharbour lane is narrow, and would have to be widened from the Dorking end. If the trucks were coming up from Shere, that’s a bigger distance, and it will pass a load more houses.

    A couple more questions:

    1) How will the oil be transferred out of the area? Pipeline? Tanker? If the former, will this mean a pipeline will have to be dug in, again across an AONB? If the latter, then again, what about the ancient sunken lane this will have to be trucked down?

    2) How long will the prospecting take? A couple of months? Will there be lighting for the rig at night, and what about flares and the rest? If oil is found, what will the extraction look like?

    Still curious about all this.

Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)

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