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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cuadrilla-oil-and-gas-exploration-balcombe-west-sussex/cuadrilla-oil-and-gas-exploration-balcombe-west-sussex
Cuadrilla has drilled an exploratory borehole for oil and gas reserves. Cuadrilla is no longer carrying out any activities on site, and both the site and borehole are secure. There was no hydraulic fracturing as part of this drilling activity.
Drilling a borehole is not a new technology; more than 200 oil and gas wells have been drilled in East and West Sussex, Kent and Hampshire since 1902. The Environment Agency considers this activity to have a relatively low environmental risk.
The Environment Agency granted Cuadrilla a mining waste permit on Wednesday 24 July 2013, and a radioactive substances activity (RSA) permit on Monday 30 September 2013. The RSA permit is required for the well-testing phase.
Before reaching this decision, the Environment Agency reviewed all the points raised during the consultations with communities, interested groups and other professional organisations.
The Environment Agency’s decision documents, which explain how they reached their decision and what the permits allow, and a copy of the permits are available on their consultation website:
- Permit application from Cuadrilla Balcombe
- Permit application for a proposed radioactive substances activity at Lower Stumble Hydrocarbon Exploration Site
For general enquiries about Balcombe or any other oil and gas sites in England, please contact the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506.