To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the consent process for acidising is the same as for fracking; how many applications for acidising have been granted in the last five years for which figures are available; and what health and safety critieria have to be met as part of that consent process.
7 March 2019
Acidisation refers to a number of techniques used to clean wells to improve productivity. Activities at oil and gas sites (including acidisation) are controlled under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016 and regulated by the Environment Agency.
When assessing an environmental permit application the Environment Agency considers the proposed activity, the chemicals and products used in the process, waste management and the environmental setting. The permit ensures that there are appropriate mitigation measures in place to protect people and the environment. If the proposed activity poses an unacceptable risk to the environment it will not be permitted.
There are currently 78 onshore oil and gas sites permitted by the Environment Agency, some of these sites will be allowed to use the acidisation technique as part of their processes.