Thursday, August 08, 2013

Fracking in Croydon

I have been forwarded the following email which initially had been sent to councillors by Paul Spooner, a director at Croydon Council.

Please find below our response to any enquiries you may receive regarding this subject.
A recent article ( has highlighted interest in Croydon.
It states that “Northdown Energy Limited has been given permission to explore Croydon for natural gas and oil. These licences, under current regulations, allow the licence-holder to investigate opportunities for shale gas extraction, or fracking, across a 400 sq km area, including Croydon.”
Croydon is 87 sq km, so this is for a much larger area.
According to Company’s House, Northdown Energy Limited is an Active business incorporated in England & Wales on 9th September 2011. Their business activity is recorded as Extraction Of Crude Petroleum. Northdown Energy Limited is run by 2 current members. 1 shareholder owns the total shares within the company. It is also part of a group. The latest Annual Accounts submitted to Companies House for the year up to 28/02/2013 reported 'cash at bank' of £456,535, 'liabilities' worth £17,345, 'net worth' of £451,827 and 'assets' worth £469,172.
Before a company can see whether oil or gas reserves are available, they must obtain a Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) from the  Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). This licence gives them the power to ‘search and bore for and get’ the Crown’s resources, such as oil and gas.
The company must then come to the Minerals Planning Authority (ie us) for planning permission for exploration.
Before starting works the operator must also gain a ‘well consent’ for exploration from the DECC. At this stage, if the intention is to ‘frack’, the DECC would impose the new controls introduced in December 2012. These controls require a geological assessment identifying faults, a ‘Frack Plan’, and monitoring of seismic activity before, during and  after fracking. The DECC also consult the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive.
The Environment Agency may also require an Environmental Permit at the exploration phase, and are likely to require an abstraction licence if more than 20,000 litres per day is to be abstracted.
If they then wish to go into production to actually extract gas, the company must gain a new planning permission from the Minerals Planning Authority (London Borough of Croydon), a Field Development Consent from the DECC, and an Environmental Permit from the Environment Agency and so far we have had no contact with any of the parties mentioned.
We cannot undertake to keep individuals informed of such matters. We will publicise any planning submissions in the normal way.
Several members have received similar emails sent from a wide number of different people – clearly co-ordinated as the emails are from a range of about 3 or 4 variables.
ThanksPaul Spooner

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