Oil drilling in West Sussex – what’s really happening?

18 October 2017

Green Party campaigners, including Ann Stewart from Markwells Wood Watch, and Sarah Sharp, Green City Councillor, were out in Chichester on Saturday, talking to shoppers about a well-kept secret. There is growing concern about a technique being planned at several local drilling sites, including Lidsey near Bognor Regis and Markwells Wood near Rowlands Castle. Many people were surprised to find that acidisation is being planned here. Acidisation is not the same as fracking, but is a process that uses chemicals to ‘create’ pathways through rock to release oil.

Chichester Oil Drilling


Sarah Sharp, Green city councillor, said, “It is clear that many local people are unaware of the activity in the area. We are calling for a public meeting so that people have a chance to understand what acidisation is, what sort of chemicals are going to be pumped into the ground – and what the risks may be for us and the environment.”

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.  Sarah added, “We strongly believe that we must increase our renewable energy use and not rely on any oil, let alone when it is extracted in such a damaging way. Sun, wind and wave power are viable sources of energy and we have the technology to ensure they can keep us warm and provide all the power we need.”

Further information from Ann Stewart at: dillstew2@hotmail.com


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 (Lidsey) 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.