On the 6th September Dorset County Council granted permission for 39 planning applications to extend the operational life of the Wytch Farm, Wareham and Kimmeridge Oilfields in Dorset from 2016 to 2037.
Wytch Farm Oilfield is the largest onshore oilfield in Western Europe, and has received numerous environmental awards since its inception. We have had full time environmental consultancy involvement since 1983 and recently prepared an Environmental Statement, including a landscape and visual impact assessment and an ecological impact assessment to support the applications submitted by our client Perenco UK Limited.
The oilfield is located within a sensitive area, including an AONB, Heritage Coast, Special Areas of Conservation, Special Protection Areas, Ramsar sites and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. This planning permission will have huge economic benefits, will provide and maintain many jobs over the 21 year extension, and will have positive environmental implications through conditions to restore heathland areas, which is being provided through an agreement between Perenco and Dorset County Council worth over £1m.
A condition to prevent Fracking for shale gas has also been included, although Perenco, a leading European oil and gas company, has identified that there is no known shale gas or coalbed methane in their licence blocks in Dorset and there are no plans to seek any such opportunities.