IGas plans to expand drilling at Bletchingley

IGas plans to start producing oil and gas from its exploration site in Bletchingley, which is off Tilburstow Hill Road south of the railway line.

The company held an exhibition in Godstone last week to showcase its plans. We went along.

The IGas reps told us that they will be applying for planning permission to drill up to four more wells on the site, giving them a total of six.

The wells will be around 3,000 feet deep, then they will drill horizontally up to 2km, in various directions, mostly to the west.

We asked if they expected any difficulty from owners of the land under which they intend to drill, and they said not.  They say they have spoken to the affected landowners and will pay the usual compensation, which is apparently £50.

They hope to produce up to 600 barrels (80 tonnes) of oil a day and to begin gas production. The oil will be taken off by tanker (up to 8 vehicle movements a day) and the gas will be used to generate electricity onsite and/or be piped off into the gas grid.  This means they will stop flaring as happens presently.

We asked if they will do any fracking or stimulation; they said not.  While they are pursuing unconventional technologies elsewhere in the country, the geology here means they don’t need to. They said they have no plans to target shale gas here.

However, IGas told investors last year that it had an “extensive acreage position for shale” and that prospective shale horizons were present in all three of its key focus areas, including the Weald.  Read the investor presentation.

They expect to submit their planning application before the end of 2014, and apply for the Environment Agency permits at the same time.

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