By John Huxley (auth.)

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Extra resources for Britain’s Onshore Oil Industry

Sample text

Fl -ccoQ. ,. 1 .. E .. ·~ e .. B. s;:,=o•·o ~ c: o ~-.... E~ ·;: "'0 c:II at Exploration Impact assessment matrix Source: British Gas, taken from Dorset Co. s:. "' 0 c:•ea .. , caU~~ E-o·s:a. c Topography Landscape Drainage Ecology Archaeology ~.!! , .. ti ·- 6 - c: . .. 3 Primary construction Characteristics of proposed development the attitude of public and local authorities has been if not exactly welcoming, then at least not so hostile. For example, in the East Midlands where British Petroleum's activities have been concentrated for more than 30 years little serious resistance has been encountered.

Although in very favourable circumstances, seismic reflection surveys may reveal layers containing oil and gas-bearing 'streaks' in 'bright spots' on sections, direct detection of hydrocarbons is not yet generally possible. In magnetic surveys, small variations in the earth's magnetic field are measured either by airborne or land magnetometer. In simple terms, measurements may indicate the thickness of sediments, which are practically non-magnetic, overlying the igneous and metamorphic rocks of the basement.

On 21 December, nine days after spudding-in, a high-pressure pocket of gas was unexpectedly encountered at 1500 feet. How the blow-out and subsequent 17-day fire were brought under control is described later, but its long-term effect has undoubtedly been unhelpful to an oil industry seeking to gain access to more sensitive areas. Some industry leaders would claim that the minimal damage caused by the blow-out and the efficiency with which this one-ina-million accident was dealt is proof of the safety of oil operations.

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