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Permit variation issued for Brockham oilfield, Surrey

Following public consultation this autumn, the Environment Agency has issued Angus Energy with a variation of its radioactive substances permit for operations at the Brockham oil site.

The permit now allows the receipt of aqueous waste in the form of produced water from other oil and gas sites that may be contaminated with naturally-occurring radioactive material (NORM). This will be reinjected into an existing borehole at Brockham.

Public consultation on this permit variation application ran between 7 October and 4 November 2022. Having reviewed the responses, the Environment Agency decided to approve the application.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said:

In deciding whether or not to issue this permit variation, the Environment Agency considered all relevant considerations and legal requirements.

An environmental permit sets out stringent conditions that all oil and gas sites must adhere to. We will not issue an environmental permit for a site if we consider that activities taking place will cause significant pollution to the environment or harm to human health.

Further information on our decision and the permits can be found on GOV.UK

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Information on how the Environment Agency determines applications, the timescales involved and how onshore oil and gas is regulated can be found at:

Public consultations

Further information on how when and how the Environment Agency consults on permit applications and standard rules for environmental permits, can be found at:

Existing environmental permits at Brockham

Angus Energy is currently the holder of a number of environmental permits issued by the Environment Agency in accordance with the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016.

The current permitted activities at the Brockham oil site allow the undertaking of the following activities:

  • The loading, unloading, handling or storage of, or the physical, chemical or thermal treatment of crude oil
  • Storage of additional raw materials
  • Use of diesel generator for on-site electricity
  • Flaring of gas for emergency only
  • Combustion of produced gas in an engine with a rated thermal input of 0.93 MW
  • Use of oil-fired bath heater for oil/water separation
  • Discharge of surface water from non-process areas of the site
  • The management of extractive waste from production activities, not involving a waste facility
  • The management of extractive waste generated by well workover
  • The management of extractive waste generated by well decommissioning
  • Storage of radioactive waste on site prior its disposal off site – a standard rules radioactive substances permit
  • Reinjection of wastewater produced on site at Brockham – produced water generated on site and reinjected to support oil production is not deemed to be waste so does not require a radioactive substances permit.

NORM Reinjection – refers to this permit variation, issued on 28 November 2022

  • This allows the import of produced water from other sites for re-injection under the bespoke Radioactive Substances Regulation permit allowing the import of produced water
  • This waste will be injected into the same rock strata from which oil is being produced through an existing borehole already used for re-injecting the site’s own produced water

Source: GOV.UK