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Drilling company Infrastrata stops exploratory drill at Woodburn Forest

Published 16/06/2016

The drill at Woodburn Forest
The drill at Woodburn Forest

Infrastrata has ceased its exploratory drill at Woodburn Forest in Carrickfergus after not finding oil.

The oil company Infrastrata announced the news on its website on Thursday.

It said it was disappointed not to have found a "hydrocarbon accumulation" at the site at Woodburn forest near Carrickfergus.

Two areas the firm drilled to a depth of 2,000 metres underground had been "water wet," it said.

It said the well "will now be plugged and abandoned".

Green Party leader Steven Agnew has welcomed the move.

“While it is clearly good news that the drilling will cease, it will only cease due to the fact that Infrastrata have not ‘encountered a hydrocarbon accumulation’'," he said.

“This exploratory drill for oil should never have happened in the first place.  Planning regulations were apparently sufficiently robust and the license to drill granted by default.

“There are many questions still to be answered over the policing of the drill site at Woodburn Forest, not least arrest of those asserting their right to protest peacefully."

Mr Agnew added “lessons must be learned in terms of policing and planning".

"Perhaps most importantly we must be wary of exaggerated claims of oil and gas companies. We were told there could be 25m barrels of oil at Woodburn; that proved to be utter nonsense," he said.

“This whole exercise driven by a commercial company seeking to increase its profits without regard to due process or the environment, has generated a lot of ill-feeling in the local community.

“I commend the Stop the Drill protestors for keeping this issue in the public domain.  I pay tribute to the many people, including Green Party members, who visited the site regularly to show support and solidarity.”

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