Cuadrilla’s controversial drilling operations at Balcombe in West Sussex – which attracted media attention after a protest camp was set up (pictured) – have come to an end, with the firm confirming the presence of hyrdrocarbons at the well.
Andrew Quarles, Cuadrilla’s Exploration Director said: “The well was a success and we are very encouraged by the findings so far.”
The company bored down more than 2,700ft vertically and then around 1,700 ft horizontally, collecting 294ft of ‘core’ rock samples on the way. The cores have been divided between Cuadrilla and the British Geological Survey, which keeps a record of all drilling carried out in the UK.
Equipment is now being packed up and shipped out, with the site set to be clear by the end of the month but the firm will need to come back for further testing.
Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s CEO said: “The well is now closed off for the coming months as Cuadrilla applies for planning permission to come back and test flow rates. We appreciate that the Balcombe community has had to bear the strain of protest, as have our on-site and support team and contractors. We commend West Sussex County Council and police for both facilitating peaceful protest and preserving order.”
Protestors have continued to voice their opposition to any future operations at the site.
Vanessa Vine from Frack Free Sussex said: “If this industry is given official sanction to continue any stage of its very dangerous drilling operations and production of toxic, radioactive waste at Balcombe – and thereby beyond – the British people must start asking what interests exactly are really behind this suicidally illogical and very worrying scenario.”
At the start of September Cuadrilla withdrew an application requesting more time to complete drilling at Balcombe.