An Oil rig has permit to dump 6.7k tonnes of chemicals in Poole Bay, and it is due to arrive tomorrow…

Follow this on the Save Our Shores Bournemouth website 

AN oil firm has gained permission to dump more than 6,700 tonnes of drilling chemicals in Poole Bay.  The rig ENSCO 72 was due to arrive in the bay on Monday but was delayed for several days, likely by the weather. It is now expected tomorrow. Campaigners against the drilling at the Colter prospect, four miles from the coast of Studland, have now unearthed the chemical permit issued by government regulator OPRED.

Save Our Shores Bournemouth says this allows “up to 6753 tons of chemicals to be discharged, including eight tons of biocide.” Group member Alasdair Keddie said: “This entire project is reckless, it endangers our marine life, the fishing industry and tourism economy.

“It also goes directly against the UK’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.”

Corallian has admitted that chemicals will be discharged during the drilling process, including “drill cuttings, mud and cement”, however it says that these have all undergone “toxicity testing and are classified in relation to environmental risk”. “The majority of mud chemicals used during the proposed drilling operations will comprise naturally occurring products (such as barite and bentonite) that are either biologically inert or readily dispersible or biodegradable, posing little or no threat to the environment,” the firm says.

“Once the drilling effluent is discharged to sea it will be subject to rapid dilution and dispersion.”

The firm also says the cuttings could create a “pile that will result in temporary disturbance to the seabed”, covering an area of around 25 metres squared, but this is unlikely.

The drilling, which is intended to assess oil levels at Colter and the feasibility of extraction, has to be completed by February 28. Campaigners say “it is looking increasingly unlikely that Corallian will be able to complete the project within their allocated time period”.

However yesterday the firm told the Echo the operation will only take three weeks.

“At the end of the operation the well will be permanently plugged and abandoned, leaving nothing on the seabed. “Once the proposed drilling operations have been completed, regardless of the outcome, Corallian currently has no plans to return to the location.”

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