Fracking or drilling possible over most of Isle of Wight

Do you like the idea of fracking or oil exploration over the most of the Isle of Wight? Here’s what we know about it, what you can do about it and how quickly you have to act.

Fracking possibilities on Isle of Wight

The vast majority of the Isle of Wight has been marked as potential fracking or oil drilling zones in maps released by the Government this week.

The whole of the Island, south of line running across the bottom of Parkhurst Forest is included, with only the land east of Brading – Bembridge and St Helens, etc – not included.

The government say they want to carry out ‘detailed assessment and consultation under the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulations 2010’, to gather views in advance of any exploration starting.

Potential zone of impact covers the whole Island
The maps also show the “Potential zone of impact” for each of the five areas, which cover the whole of the Island and way out to sea.

The blocks (detailed below) which the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) define as ‘typically 10km x 10km’, are in many of the areas that has been hit by land instability – Headon Warren; Totland; Undercliff Drive.

Many of those fearful of the impact of Fracking are concerned about the stability of land, as the process involves cracking rocks below ground by injecting a mixture of sand, water and chemicals at high pressure, to release the gas.

Many other European countries, including France and Germany, have banned the use of shale gas hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, due to environmental concerns.

You can comment
As many of the areas covered by these proposed Fracking zones are within the previously protected area of Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) your opinion is sought.

A Website has been setup to gather your comments, but hurry, as you’ve only got until the end of September.

The areas
Below are the five areas – the outer grey lines show the ‘Potential zone of impact’. Clicking on the graphics show you larger versions. So you can understand the relevance of the coloured areas, there’s a key at the bottom.

SZ38a – West of Wight
Fracking potential on Isle of Wight - SZ38a - West of Wight

SZ47 – South West
Fracking potential on Isle of Wight - SZ47 - South West

SZ48 – West of Newport
Fracking potential on Isle of Wight - SZ48 - West of Newport

SZ57 – South East
Fracking potential on Isle of Wight - SZ57 - South East

SZ58 – East of Newport
Fracking potential on Isle of Wight - SZ58 - East of Newport

Map key
Fracking map key

Thursday, 20th August, 2015 12:44pm



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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72 Comments on "Fracking or drilling possible over most of Isle of Wight"

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Fred Karno

That’s really great. Now on top of everything else in this crazy world, we now stand the risk of some fracking caused earthquakes on the Island.

I guess my house insurance company are going to love that and jack up the premium. Thanks a bunch !

Julia Owen

There is no house insurance usually for those near fracking wells as seen in Barton Moss recently.

Great! you bunch of green hearts, Everything someone comes up with you oppose. Just like the wind farm 8 miles off shore, yes 8 miles. Most of you can’t even see that far without assistance, what a sad bunch of selfish people. I’m OK jack! I have had my life and want to keep it as it is. As long as its not in my back yard… Read more »
Lesley Wood

Don’t worry: we have our MP to stand up for us.

Julia Owen

You’ll need more than that. This government are determined to go ahead regardless.


Are they joking ? Fracking what remains of the Undercliff ? Well I suppose that will prevent them….if anything is needed…..from doing anything about the landslip. Problem solved.


I take it that the Government is going to give Funding to the Isle of Wight stop austerity(on the Island)update are trains, keep us part of the National Rail Network(the list could go on).The Government is prepared to take and not give back.By the way I am against Fracking!It is just how this Government deals with the Isle Of Wight.

Julia Owen
Well you won’t be able to sell your house anymore as nobody will want to move there now. 27% rise in hospital admissions near fracking wells, 30% rise in still births, hopefully your water will be OK, and 30% higher levels of benzene, toluene, hydrogen sulphide to breath in every day. Headaches, nausea, and nosebleeds first signs. Watch voices from the gas fields on YouTube, anything just… Read more »
Tanja Rebel
I have asked the IOW Council for over a year to declare this Island a frack-free zone.Whilst perhaps not carrying legal clout, its symbolic impact should not be underestimated. Declaring the Island frack-free would send out a strong message that frackers are not welcome to the Island. The question was eventually put up to vote in the Council Chamber, but there were many abstentions, due to fear… Read more »

I absolutely agree with Tanja Rebel. Abstaining is not an option. What’s the matter with them ? We don’t pay the councillors to look the other way.

Lord Bermondsey

Most of them can’t look the other way as their heads are to far up their own backsides.

As for our glorious “mp”, we may as well ask sooty and sweep to help. We’d get more sense out of them.


I agree, abstaining is NOT an option, these people were elected to represent us, they have no right to ‘abstain for fear of legal implication’ – they should stand up and be counted for their views!!

There is a reason other countries have banned fracking, Its because it is a process that has terrible implications for the environment,not least the contaminating of local groundwater and toxic run off. We need a strong Council now like never before to stop fracking on the IOW. And you have to ask; What sort of government gives over our sssi’s and anob’s to the interests of the… Read more »
Steephill Jack

This is Eco-Island, right ? That’s a County Council policy, so lets have some wind turbines on land and sea and some tidal energy capture as well.
Tell these people to Frack Off !

yur so rite Tanja n if those lunatics do this here I see that TSUNAMI that I dreamt of 8mnths ago due to fracking n earthquakes as I awoke I was being told THIS CAN BE AVERTED I told everyone with clout including LCC they are the only ones who listened my friends did too of course as they know my predictions are always accurate ,im a… Read more »
Mark Francis

Last night I dreamt I was sailing past the hulked remains of the RMS Queen Elizabeth moored up in Southampton.

I wonder what it all means?

The Sciolist

I’m very relaxed about it. I trust my government, so should you. If it were unsafe, it wouldn’t be happening.

The Sciolist

I should add that the vast majority of people seem to share my view.

retired Hack

The latest research that I can find from a mainstream polling organisation (YouGov, May 2015) shows answers to the question: “Do you think Britain should or should not start extracting shale gas, as follows: should, 32%; should not, 43%; don’t know, 35%.
Perhaps, Sciolist, you’d like to share with us the source of your assertion?


Yeah trust the government. The same government that wants to privatise the nhs, legalize fox hunting and gave the green light to secret bombing campaigns in syria. Bunch of grubby, money hungry pedophiles is what they are!


All the regulations in the world are meaningless as there is not the resources available to monitor and enforce them. We have laws for many things in this country, so are our prisons empty? The industry is predominately self-regulating trusted to provide it’s own data and samples, and the strictest regulation can never prevent accident through human error, negligence or cost cutting.


Just as safe as tobacco, asbestos, thalidomide……..

Julia Owen

Tanja in Lancashire, Councillors that were seen to have already made their minds up against fracking were removed from the planning committee so it can be counter-productive to make a general stance before the applications, and we could lose the valuable input of Councillors that are on side. It is easier to defend a rejection if it is made based on the individual application.

Ali Hayden.
Tanja, the Isle Of Wight Council cannot just declare the Island a frack free area. They also DID NOT abstain from such an important issue. They abstained because of the wording of the motion put forward. Please see comment from July 23rd on fracking. These concerns were echoed by the leader of the council, Cllr Jonathan Bacon, who said he was concerned “we’d need a much bigger… Read more »

If it is properly regulated there is nothing to fear from fracking. See here

Shale gas will help us to reduce our reliance on energy supplies from less stable parts of the world and will be good for our economy just as it has been in the USA.


If our energy industry had been ‘managed’ properly in the first place (by several governments (including the past and the present) we would not be so reliant on unstable areas in the world – if fracking goes ahead the Isle of Wight will most likely become one of those ‘unstable areas”…..


All the regulations in the world are meaningless as there is not the resources available to monitor and enforce them. We have laws for many things in this country, so are our prisons empty? The industry is predominately self-regulating trusted to provide it’s own data and samples, and the strictest regulation can never prevent accident through human error, negligence or cost cutting.


I contacted my local councillor three times about this as he voted against the Island being frack free..he has yet to reply. So much for effing democracy!

Julia Owen

Watch 3 minute video it says it all. No one will drink the water after fracking.
Julia Owen
The Dossier

High paid High skilled jobs coming to the island we must all rally together to put a stop to that. The English migrants just want somewhere quiet to wait to die and heaven forbid the indigenous people are given the chance to take advantage of the sort of prosperity the English just take for granted. Frack the IOW I could not think of a better thing to… Read more »
Not really. The skilled jobs will be given to off Islanders, if not the good folks from Texas who have already screwed up their part of the world (spoken as someone who lived there and whose dad worked for some of those same companies). There will be plenty of unskilled jobs from waiters to truck drivers, but they disappear sharpish when the boom is over. Ask the… Read more »
Kamienko I am sure the skilled jobs will go to more English migrants but they will eat in the restaurants, buy stuff in the shops. When the prosperity of an area starts to rise the ambient prosperity goes up all around the B&Bs that accommodate the contractors the sandwich shops\ vans that service their lunch needs. As for water there is plenty coming across from Testwood in… Read more »
Steve Goodman
Actually the water problem is a big one for the island, even without what would be a huge demand from fracking; demand for water is increasing, and the Hampshire exporters would like to use more of theirs. (The frackers are also looking at seawater use.) Fortunately, the dirty damaging fracking option is not the only path to prosperity. Others could include developing an IOW rainwater capture and… Read more »
Julia Owen
Letter Dear Andrea, Obviously as you state our SSSI areas in Britain will be preserved with fracking, I cannot think that you really have researched the topic at all. Anyway I enclose David Smythe’s document for perusal if you are prepared to even consider that the industry’s propaganda might be incorrect. Just think about the air with hundreds of flaring methane drills. Even if the water escapes… Read more »

This is absolutely ridiculous, how stupid do they want to be i propose a protest against any fracking on our island!!!!

Ali Hayden.
The IOW Council voting for no fracking will do no good whatsoever. Lancashire Council did, and despite overwhelmingly being in favour of NO FRACKING, Quadrilla are going to appeal the decision. Councils seem absolutely powerless to stop this Government carrying this out where ever they FRACKING well want to. With cash incentives being offered to Local Councils as a carrot to dangle. Looking after our children +… Read more »
Every conventional means, from writing (on paper preferably) to the councilmen and A. Turner to informing your neighbours and gran’s neighbours too, should be tried first. Legal hurdles should be tried second, while getting third party baseline measurements of air and water quality, especially for farmers with wells. I cannot emphasise the last point enough. If you don’t do this, the companies will take no responsibility whatsoever… Read more »

if the rail fiasco was anything to go by, we’d best not rely on our ‘esteemed Member of Parliament’ for support….he seems to fit in well with the habit of ‘abstaining’…….


I agree with all Tanja says, along with other informed posts and would also mention there are several groups & Pages on Face Book now for No Fracking on the IW here’s one that has this News Item on it …


Surprised how many didnt see this coming, The public voted only a few months ago and put in a party that was for Fracking and now you all complain.

Vix Lowthion

Many of the most engaged and informed people (and OTW sees a good deal of such posters) did not vote for a pro tracking party.

Vix Lowthion

Fracking – naturally!


Just to remind newpwer, onky a quarter of the population voted for this hideous government.

Ali Hayden.

With the greatest of respect to you ‘newpower,’ I am complaining because this is not what the Isle Of Wight, or any other part of the country should be subjected to.


Watch this video …farcking is dangerous …unless you want to light your water with a match and drink contaminated water … the gas makes people sick …


May I recommend that people get as much information as possible and join the groups that are already formed.Fracking is an unnecessary evil and has been proved to be bad for our health our water and our environment.It is banned from several countries for a reason! we need to act fast


Please take a look at all the information on here

I certainly didn’t vote for this and neither did you …


There will be *NO* ‘fracture’ drilling on this island. Because what we’re going to do is meet together & discuss.

Vix Lowthion

Clearly the vast majority of this island are against Fracking. I saw this during the election period and I see this now.

We will organise and inform and combat the government’s obsession with Shale gas.

Everyone who is posting and reading and is concerned about Fracking on the island will be needed. In the meantime, please use all the platforms you can to make ourselves heard.

Steve Goodman

Our government is rightly concerned about energy provision and security, our economy, and employment, and is spending our money accordingly; they need only to correct their steering towards the inevitable modernisation for now and the future, by investing in safer, cleaner, sustainable industries instead of the current suicidal determination to ignore all the scientific advice to leave the finite and filthy fossil fuels in the ground.

Mr Einsteins Ghost
I broadly agree…but, what amuses and exasperates me about the level of criticism from other commentators, is that even when so-called ‘greener’ plans are muted, such as wind turbines on the Island, a similar level of vitriol and complaining erupts! It seems the Islands NIMBY’s want their cake and eat it! As for fracking, I’m on the fence, but one thing I do know, is I’d rather… Read more »
The science is clear, fracking is a NET* energy loser overall, check out the EROEI* (energy returned on energy invested)and you’ll see hat the only thing fracking is efficient at is extracting investment from the naive and ill informed. In sating your thirst for knowledge from parched impartially, ask one fair question: ‘what is the content and effect of the chemical cocktail list you wish to inject… Read more »
Fossil fuels may not necessarily be “filthy”, there is such a thing as “clean coal technology”. Whether they are finite is another argument. There are obvious environmental arguments against fracking besides. The last deep mine pit closed recently putting the lid on the mining traditional industry. Traditional coal gas was cheap and proven technology,which we have lost. Fracking adds value in a different way but is expensive.It… Read more »
Steve Goodman
Fossil fuels may be described as filthy because using them increases the already damaging level of carbon released into the atmosphere and oceans. “Clean coal technology” is (from memory, up to 75%) cleaner than before, but still emits carbon, and is still rarely being used. (Repeated this morning on BBC R4; ‘we still don’t have any of the ten carbon capture generating facilities we were told would… Read more »
I think its right for people to be concerned about fracking. However, its also important to understand the Island’s geology & difference between fracking and a conventional oil well. Our oil & gas reserves lie in natural limestone fractures and it can be extracted by conventional means. I believe the government are going to push this through regardless and only hope these blocks are allocated to an… Read more »
Steve Goodman

We know that our government currently want to force this on us, which is why we need to convince them that they don’t have to, and that we would like to help them to do the right thing.



Why do you think folk should be concerned about fracking?…and how do conventional methods of extraction negate the need to bring atmospheric carbon levels down?

Hydraulic fracturing is used to create fractures in a rock formation by injecting the rock with a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals. The cracks allow for the oil to flow into the well, then extracted throughout the bore. Conventional oil extraction does not use chemicals and utilises natural fractures that exist in an oil resevoir. That “free flowing” oil is pumped into a well. My point… Read more »
The release of maps brings fracking a stage nearer. Fracking is a strategic resource issue in the neo-liberal offensive. The Trades Unions, the TUC and the Trades Unions have all opposed fracking in theory but as yet have not committed any resources and have not taken any lead in the important issue. It therefore depends upon Public mobilisation. On the island the most likely response will come… Read more »
Vix Lowthion

It’s a cross party issue, Mat. And a non party issue. Everyone is encouraged to mobilise. Frack Free Isle of Wight is a start – more details soon to follow.



Iain McKie

Market forces have already guaranteed a “frack free Island” for years to come

Iain McKie
Large scale fracking is unlikely to go ahead for several years due to the high cost if extraction and the low cost of oil/gas in international markets. It is simply not economic right now. Moreover, the UK lacks storage to hold the fracked gas nor do we have sufficient terminal capacity to feed the gas onto the grid. Nor do we have enough gas fired power stations… Read more »


The viability of fracking isn’t taken into consideration, if it was, it wouldn’t exist & remember: energy begets technology, not* the other way round, besides…it isn’t just fracking that’s being discussed here.

Iain McKie

The low oil price has made fracking uneconomic, at least half of the companies involved are expected to or have gone bust

The gost

Well hope the cesspit off the island sinks into a big hole gone forgotten


its all about the MONAY MONAY MONAY

Rod Manley

The rich will try and con people that this will provide jobs and there will be cheap gas bills.

Dear Rod Preserving the IOW in aspic as a theme park for English OAPs has not helped the island one little bit. now lets give heavy industry and the 21st century a go. Trying to cling to the 1950’s hasn’t worked is is not likely to at any time in the future I can foresee. I am neither rich nor interested in the well being of the… Read more »

better than awful looking wind thingys