A second well near the Giant’s Causeway

Rathlin Energy is closer to starting a second drilling in Ballinlea, North Antrim. The company has submitted the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), that the authorities requested last year. The project consists of a single borehole 2,700m depth to “test the prospects for commercial quantities of petroleum”.

This is the second Rathlin Energy project in the area. In 2008 they drilled the Ballinlea-1 well, where they found oil but not in commercial quantities. Later the Northern Ireland Goverment awarded the company with a more extensive licence. The goal is to continue to build upon the work completed in the first well.

Rathlin Energy applied for a new project 2013. EIS submission is a step forward to get planning permission to start the drilling. The company has always denied any intention of fracking  this well. However, the Non Technical Summary indicates that “conventional hydraulic fracture stimulation” and flaring will be use in Ballinlea. Is this not fracking?

The actual drilling will last for 9 to 12 weeks, the EIS points out. But if results are promising they may extend the tests for 9o more days. The documents considers landscape and visuals impacts as “acceptable”. Besides “there will be no detrimental impacts on human health”. For that reason “no health monitoring scheme is warranted if the proposed project goes ahead”.

Ballinlea Residents Groups are calling for help:
  • Please study these documents and bring to our attention, and the Planning Department’s attention, anything you find concerning. You’ve only got about 4 weeks and there’s a lot there!
  • We are looking for people to help with studying these documents – if you have any expertise in this area, or know anyone else who has, NOW is the time we REALLY NEED YOUR HELP.

You can contact they at: protectournorthcoast@gmail.com

If you want to know more about this fracking proposal click on the link below and check our timeline!