Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Ancient woodland vs oil supply

The Guardian reported today:

Oil company to drill in ancient Sussex woodland

Conservationists reacted angrily today to Sussex county council's decision to grant an oil company permission to prospect in a protected area of the Douth Downs.

Northern Petroleum was granted a temporary three-year consent to test in Markswell Wood in the village of Forestdale, near Chichester. Council officers said that there was a "clear and overriding need" for oil exploration but that the company would have to seek further permission to extract oil.

I guess with oil hitting record high prices every week (it's up 100% on a year ago), and existing fields declining fast people are getting desperate. I'm not surprised they're drilling there if they think there's oil to be had, but it's a shame to damage the woodland. You'd think with today's drilling technology they could go in at an angle from the side and not touch the woodland...

For the background on why oil is so expensive right now, visit PowerSwitch UK (a group I helped start a few years ago).



Rev. Peter Doodes said...

One day Mike, people will realise that well managed woodlands are in fact not simply just the 'oil fields' of the past but also the 'oil fields' of the future. Oil is certainly not a renewable resource, but wood is.

Didn't someone once say that the best solar collecter was a tree?

Regards to you both

Mike Pepler said...

Yes, trees are indeed good solar collectors. The interesting things is that they are often only 2-3% efficient, while the best solar panels are over 20%. However, a tree has the massive advantage that it builds itself!