The announcement explains that due to “low geological prospectivity, high environmental sensitivity and consequential high associated drilling costs” the company have allowed the license to lapse.
227 million barrels of oil
However, UKOG also has licences to drill in other parts of the Isle of Wight, and the announcement goes on to say,
As previously reported in January 2016, Xodus’ independent report allocated a gross mean aggregated oil in place of 227 million barrels (“MMbbl”) to the onshore Arreton oil discovery and associated Arreton South and North satellite prospects.
The company say “regulatory permitting activities are now underway to permit a planned appraisal drilling campaign in the first half of 2019”.
2019 drilling campaign
Stephen Sanderson, UKOG’s Executive Chairman, commented:
“The Arreton discovery on the Isle of Wight’s remains a key element of the company’s 2018 and 2019 growth strategy and plans.
“We look forward to working with our partners towards a successful 2019 appraisal drilling campaign.”
Gives with one hand, slaps with the other
Responding to the news, Keith Taylor, Green MEP for the Isle of Wight and European Chair of the Climate Parliament, said:
“While UKOG gives with one hand, by surrendering its Compton Bay drilling licence, it slaps the people of the Isle of Wight in the face with the other, by announcing destructive plans for onshore drilling in the village of Arreton.”
Mr Taylor visited the Isle of Wight on Saturday 20 January to campaign against oil and gas drilling on the Island. He added:
“Greens on the Isle of Wight are fighting doggedly against an oil and gas industry in bed with a Conservative Government that cares neither for the beauty of this precious Island nor the urgent reality of climate change. The further exploitation of oil and gas resources either by conventional or unconventional means is a form of dangerous climate denial, especially when the Island has the capacity to be a world-leader in renewable energy production.
“Earlier this month, two reports from scientists at NASA and academics at the University of Manchester revealed that not only is the oil and gas industry one of the least sustainable it is also the most responsible for the accelerating global emissions of climate-destructive methane. Methane is more than 80 times more damaging to our climate than CO2 emissions. At the same time, the UK Government’s own Climate Change Committee concluded that unless immediate action was taken Britain will fail to meet its legally-binding climate agreements by a huge margin.
“I will stand by the local campaigners and residents who will be fighting to protect their environment, their communities and the planet by opposing UKOG’s plans tooth and nail.”
Thanks to Andrew Nordbruch for the heads-up
Comment from MEP added
Image: © Keith Taylor