Oil drilling could soon begin on the Isle of Wight

Oil drilling could soon begin on the Isle of Wight
Copyright Photo by Lison Zhao on Unsplash
By Doloresz Katanich
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Community wants to protect UNESCO biosphere reserve Isle of Wight from being an oil exploration site


UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) has applied for a permit to drill for oil on the Isle of Wight, an island off the southern tip of the UK.

An independent report by consultancy agency Xodus found there could be enough barrels of oil to supply the UK for 15 days. But local residents say this does not justify the potential damage to the local environment and ecology.

The Isle of Wight became a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2019. 'Don't Drill the Wight' campaigners say oil drilling could threaten this status.

Following a public information event last December, UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) formally applied to construct and operate two well sites on the island. The company promises jobs and a certain percentage of the profits will go to locals. But those opposing the idea say the oil drilling will create carbon emissions and could jeopardise the appeal of the island to tourists. Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, has also submitted formal objections to UKOG's plans.

The public consultation ends on Friday 24 July, exactly one year after the local council declared a climate emergency.

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