Posted by Peter Rolinson
With the vast majority of people being very busy over the past few weeks, perhaps the oil and gas exploration programme happening at Crawberry Hill on the outskirts of the village has been forgotten about.

Rathlin have not gone away over the Christmas period, and it is highly likely that the Crawberry Hill site will see a resurgence in activity over the next few weeks as the next phase of the exploration programme begins. We can expect to see a return of the oil rig and a consequent upturn in traffic movement as work gets underway.

drill headRathlin continue to strongly deny that they have any intention, either now or in the future, of using the controversial method of ‘fracking’ to extract oil or more likely gas from this or any other site in East Yorkshire, but it is undeniable that our current government continue to see shale gas as a potentially huge benefit to the economy, and it is likely that if the exploration shows commercially viable deposits of fossil fuel to be present, then Rathlin will understandably want to exploit this natural resource by whatever means available.

Personally, I have no concerns over conventional oil and gas extraction – it has happened in the UK for many years and has caused no significant environmental impact, even in areas of outstanding natural beauty such as Crawberry Hill. However, undisputed evidence from the US and Australia shows that fracking causes devastation to the environment, with well documented risks to both drinking water sources and air quality.

In this area the vast majority of our drinking water comes from one very large underground aquifer, and even very minor contamination to this precious and irreplaceable resource could prove devastating to many local communities and prove very costly to put right. Admittedly, the risk is very low, but the risk remains and the people of East Yorkshire have to make the decision between the benefits of cheaper fuel sources – if indeed the local population see any of these supposed benefits – and the potential health risks and long lasting damage to the environment.

Latterly, falling oil prices have made fracking far less financially rewarding, and world markets may cause Rathlin to think twice about continuing their exploration programme, but as they have a 50 year lease on the Crawberry Hill site, and they have already invested considerable sums I suspect that they are here to stay.

Posted on: 14, January, 2015 | Author: Author
Categories: Fracking
3 Responses to Drilling at Crawberry Hill
  1. Thanks Pete for such a readable post. I guess the market price of oil will determine the economic viablity of future production and the development of fracking for oil and gas. The recent news on job losses in Aberdeen shows the direct impact of the world oil price. It’s been suggested in more than one paper that Saudi Arabia is keeping the price of oil low to try and directly influence the future development of shale oil and gas in the US.

  2. Thanks for the interesting, and very reasoned, article- and reply.
    I do have concerns about the so called ‘fracking’ especially because of the risk to the aquifer. But I am also conscious that I expect to turn on my electrical appliances as-and-when I want; and for my central heating to keep me & the household warm. The world, rightly or wrongly, delivers the means for these by using predominately fossil fuels to supply this electricity and gas. So do we have more nuclear? With potential repercussions like Windscale, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl or Fukushima have left?
    Yes, there is the so-called green options. But then again- where do the resources and energy come from to produce them? Or dispose of the hazardous waste aftermath?
    Not easy or simple.
    I look forward to reading others comments & suggestions.

  3. Damn.
    David Cameron and his money grabbing cronies have just passed the law allowing ‘Fracking’ anywhere that company’s desire.
    Is there really nothing they will sacrifice for the acquisition of a few more pounds?
    I guess their income from their wages, expenses, etc is just insufficient.

    Wonder how long before there is a ‘surprise’ discovery of black gold (or gas) below these here hills? And a certain company must extract it…

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