Biscathorpe is a little medieval village situated in the East Lindsey district in North East Lincolnshire. It is one of the many Lincolnshire Wolds Areas of Natural Beauty due to its medieval architecture and its natural features, including a chalk stream.
Egdon Resources U.K. Limited has been interested in the site for a decade now and in March 2020 they have announced their intentions to conduct further drilling.
They were granted at first licence to explore for oil in the area known as PEDL253 in 2008. In 2013 a first temporary planning application was submitted to the Lincolnshire County Council but then withdrawn following the complaint of local people. In March 2015 the company received planning permission to drill a conventional exploratory oil well on farmland to the west of the hamlet of Biscathorpe. In 2017 Egdon announced they gained permission from the Environment Agency to enable the drilling and possible subsequent testing operations at the Biscathorpe site and in May 2018 it was granted more time to carry out the work until December 2020.
Drilling operations commenced at the Biscathorpe site on January 7 2019 and were completed on February 20 2019.
A preliminary analysis showed that the target formation, the Basal Wesphalian sandstone, was poorly developed at the Biscathorpe-2 location, ans the well was suspended and sealed to retain the option for a potential future side-track.
In July 2019, a further analysis confirmed the presence of good quality oil that confirmed the potential of the Biscathrope site.
Lincolnshire locals have been encouraging people to save the Biscathorpe site from drilling, and on the Facebook Group SOS Biscathorpe people can find instructions on how lodge objections to the Lincolnshire County Council and all the reasons why the drilling is bad for the area of outstanding natural beauty.
Lincoln Climate Commission has sent a letter to the County Councillor to concern about, and to object to the above planning application.
“We respectfully ask that County Councillors consider the concerns of the local community, the serious issues of potential threat to biodiversity and amenity, and the over-riding concern due to the existential threat of climate change. We urge that you turn down the application.”
The letter has been co-signed by over 20 people, all members of the Lincoln Climate Commission which was set up with support from the City of Lincoln Council as a result of representatives of the University of Lincoln, Siemens in Lincoln, City Council, and Transition Lincoln with a view to drawing together stakeholders from all parts of the community to take appropriate practical action in response to climate change, and to be politically independent to ‘hold to account’ the Councils.
They said “We do not need fossil fuels from the rocks under Lincolnshire. Egdon’s estimated production from Biscathorpe was less than 0.03% of UK consumption – this at a time when the government’s declared aim is to phase out reliance on fossil fuel. It is hard to see how ‘new oil’ is consistent with the government’s recent announcement to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035. Instead, we should invest our efforts and resources into renewables and into mitigating and adapting to the effects of warming.”