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Residents against oil drilling on the Isle of Wight met for the launch of the ‘Don’t Drill The Wight’ campaign in Merstone at the weekend, urging Islanders to object to the planning application for a drilling site closeby.

Over 40 people attended the meeting, wearing masks and keeping socially distant, to hear the latest news about the proposal by UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) to build a well pad, access road for HGVs and large security compound on agricultural land off the Arreton to Newport road.

Those in attendance discussed their concerns about noise and light pollution, HGVs and tankers accessing the site, the risk of spillage of toxic materials and the damage to wildlife habitat.

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Steve Davis, from Don’t Drill The Wight said:

“It was encouraging to see so many people signing up to this campaign to ensure that the Isle of Wight does not become a site for oil drilling. This application contains a number of risks to our wildlife, agricultural land and water supply. If one well is drilled, then it is likely that many more will follow. We urge islanders to get in touch, raise awareness and most importantly to object to these proposals to the IW Council.”

The next meeting is planned to be at Merstone Station on Saturday 11th July at 11:00.

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Abbey Holmes

The company UKOG, UK oil and gas shares have lost over 75% of their value in just two days.   At one of their sites, oil has leached into the oil extracted, and presumably visa versa, something if it happened in the main veg growing area on Wight, would be an absolute disaster, as this oil could then contaminate water sources deep underground and ruin water miles away from the drilling site.   As this share has lost so much value, three quarters, in just two days, my concern is, SHOULD something go wrong, will the company have enough funds… Read more »

Calum Glenister

Dangerous drilling in such close proximity to fertile farmland.
As this oil is trapped in pockets in the ground for millions of years, to risk a drill perforating the water either above or below the oil deposits will risk the two mixing.
Is that why their share have dropped because that has happened elsewhere then?
Good point what happens if such occurs here and the company goes bust, we will end up paying I bet.
So we get all the risk, yet none of the profit.


Shares in the company UKOG who want to drill on the Island have lost 75 percent of their value in the last two days.   They have serious issues with water getting into the oil through natural ‘fractures’.   Who is to say this won’t happen here and then contaminate the underground water supply which feeds Knighton and most of Ryde?   Best check the companies insurance very very carefully, for WE will end up paying should they go bust.   BP they are NOT, they are relying on very disgruntled share holders to fund them, and ONE disaster and… Read more »

Inbred iowter

Noble sentiments but it is all about money ,to the land owner,the council revenues, so this will go ahead despite any protests from islanders just as these things have done in the past.


They should have had the bike track there

Joe Bloggs

I hope they find oil. It will be good for the Island by providing jobs and help reduce the country’s reliance on imported energy.


Bet they wish the bike track was there

Fred Nurke

Are these protest meetings being held at the right place?
Merstone’s former station is well over a mile from the drill site.
The Public Byway along the ridge above the site would surely be more appropriate, as it directly overlooks the place.
Incidentally, on Google Earth, coincidentally, the pad site itself is very conveniently showing up as bright green – young grass – so it’s nice and easy to spot.You can drive there from Newport Golf Club or Arreton Cross.
Can you even see the site from Merstone?

Joe Bloggs

See the nimby brigade is out again. Bet they won’t stop using their cars.

Abbey Holmes

Better than watching the countryside be destroyed for a fuel which is hardly in short supply, and will be obsolete still leaving millions of tons in the ground.
The risk of ruination for a spoonful of oil is never worth ruining our growing land for.

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