Drilling at Lidsey – what’s really happening?

16 October 2017

One of the best kept secrets in Bognor Regis was the topic for locals in the town centre on Saturday. Members of the Green Party canvassed shoppers about drilling at Lidsey, just two miles north of Bognor, next to the A29. Here, on our doorstep, footpaths are closed and guards are on the gates at the Lidsey site, where low level drilling for oil is being replaced by a highly controversial technique – acidisation – which involves using chemicals to ‘clear’ pathways through rock to release oil.

Carol Birch is the Green Party candidate for the forthcoming Aldwick West by-election. She said, “It is alarming how local people do not know that acidisation is about to begin under our local countryside. We are calling for a public meeting so that people have a chance to understand what chemicals are going to be pumped into the ground – and what the risks may be for us and the environment.”

  Bognor Green Party Lidsey Oil

Local Campaigners Carol Birch, Sue Livett and Helen Pengelly-Johnson in Bognor Regis on Saturday

Angus Energy have completed their second well at Lidsey, to a depth of 1700m, and have confirmed their plans to build a third.  Campaigners have asked to meet with Angus Energy but have been met with silence.  Campaigners are highlighting this is part of an extensive project that involves acid washing and waste from a drilling which has already commenced.

The Green Party and other environmental campaigners believe that extracting more fossil fuel from the ground goes against this country’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, in which countries agreed to limit climate change by halting the burning of fossil fuels.  Carol added, “We understand there are plans to extract oil by this process across West Sussex. We feel it is time for information and transparency about what exactly is going on.”

Further information from Sue Livett at suelive@hotmail.com

Notes Acidisation—matrix acidisation and acid fracking may carry more risk than hydraulic fracturing because of the cumulative impact of chemicals. Risky chemicals involved in the process of acid wash, included in documents Angus Energy have supplied to the Environment Agency, include: 2,2'-IMINODIETHANOL-Hazardous Air Pollutant (HAP) DAE H2S SCAVENGER contains diethanolamine (DEA) and triethanolamine (TEA) -  compounds with potential acute, sub-chronic and chronic toxicity,  The target geology at Lidsey is complex, oil does not flow naturally, it is low permeability and large quantities of chemicals and/or acid fracking will be involved to release the oil.