Out & About …

… on the North York Moors, or wherever I happen to be.

“Demolished Oil Rig”

The North York Moors Historic Environment Record describes these concrete foundations at Arnsgill Head as a “Demolished Oil Rig”1North York Moors Historic Environment Record (HER) No: 8071.

I think it is more likely to be the remains of a 1944 test borehole — no doubt financed by the anticipation of the eventual commercial exploitation of any resources found2Frost, D.V. ‘Geology of the country around Northallerton. Memoir for 1:50 000 geological sheet 42 (England and Wales)’. Available online from Bgs.ac.uk <https://webapps.bgs.ac.uk/Memoirs/docs/B01518.html > [accessed 3 October 2022]..

The geological survey is hard to make sense of but I do note that Carboniferous strata — the rocks most likely to contain oil and gases — were located at a depth of between 1159 and 3000 metres.

With the Government’s renewed enthusiasm for fracking, my concerns are raised of such developments in the National Park.

It appears that fracking licences have been issued for areas along the southern edge of the National Park and Northern edge of the Yorkshire Wolds, although this was taken from an article on the NYM NP website dated November 20173‘Fracking (Shale Gas): North York Moors National Park’. 2022. North York Moors National Park <https://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/planning/fracking-shale-gas> [accessed 21 October 2022]. The article also mentions that there have been “conventional forms of gas exploration and production” in the south west of the National Park and around Westerdale.



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5 responses to ““Demolished Oil Rig””

  1. Bob Howe avatar
    Bob Howe

    There was an active gas field at Locton in the 70s
    I worked on the design, in a very minor capacity

    1. Fhithich avatar

      Do you mean Lockton, Bob? I’d be interested in any details.

      1. Neil Fryett avatar
        Neil Fryett

        I believe the Lockton gas field was renamed Ebberston Moor and was last owned by Third Energy. There was a proposal a few years ago to recommence production and transport the gas to Knapton via a new pipeline but I am not sure if anything came of it.

        1. Fhithich avatar

          I’ve found a report in the Daily Mirror dated 1 August 1966. It was by Home Oil, a Canadian company under licence from B.P. at South Moor Farm which seems to be located at SE 905 902 on Ebberston Moor.

          A trip beckons.

  2. Bob Howe avatar
    Bob Howe

    Yes Mick, it was designed by an American company Pipeline Technologists who were based in the Hague in Holland
    The installation was complete, but it failed to produce what was expected.
    I believe there is still a compound in place somewhere north of Lockton

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