More wells for Singleton oilfield 'hidden' in woodland?

Multi-million pound expansion plans have been put forward for Singleton's old-established oilfield, deep in woodland south of Midhurst.

The move, designed to boost production, comes as the price of black gold continues to soar.

Permission is being sought by Star Energy Ltd from West Sussex County Council to drill four new production wells involving a northern extension to the existing site.

The oilfield is currently about one hectare in area, with six wells.

Extraction from the new wells, if consent is given, would be for a temporary period, until December 31, 2016, to tie in with the end of the current planning permission.

A detailed report on the proposals prepared for the South Downs Joint Committee's planning committee said the oilfield at present produced about 500 barrels of oil a day, and the proposed development would allow an increase to about 850, or possibly up to 1,000.

The report pointed out the complex was hidden in Singleton Forest, and had little visual impact in the area. The proposed works would necessitate loss of about 100 trees.

However, it was proposed to remove, store and replant or replace about 30 on a landscaped bund when construction was complete.

South Downs Joint Committee's planning committee agreed the proposals were 'acceptable', subject to a series of planning conditions. Final decision will be made by West Sussex County Council.

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