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Environmentalists to object against South Downs oil application

Words: Huw Morris
South Downs National Park

Friends of the Earth will object to an application for oil drilling in the South Downs National Park.

The application by Oil and Gas Investments for the scheme at Markwells Wood near Rowlands Castle – reported by The Planner yesterday – would be the first such proposal in 20 years.

Friends of the Earth said while the well will not be fracked, the company has asked for permission to drill horizontal wells, stimulate the wells by acidisation and to drill a well to reinject waste water.

The group feared that horizontal wells require extraction techniques that can hold risks for the environment because of the processes, chemicals and pressure used.

Friends of the Earth South East regional campaigner Brenda Pollack commented: “We believe that oil drilling should simply not be allowed in one of our most precious landscapes.

“The processes they want to carry out have risks for our environment. We have serious concerns about the techniques needed to get the oil out of horizontal wells and reinjecting the waste water back underground is worrying.

“Our national parks should be protected for people to enjoy, not subject to two decades’ worth of drilling.”