West Newton B

Latest: West Newton B1 well was drilled during 2020.
A sidetrack, WNB-1Z was drilled in Nov 2020.
Further Well Evaluation underway May-June 2021 (well perforation, stimulation and flow testing).

  • Rathlin Energy applied to close the roads around the site during operations
  • Access road construction: about six weeks, with ~730 vehicle movements
  • Wellsite construction: about six weeks, with ~710 vehicle movements
  • 10 weeks drilling per well (permission for 2 wells)
  • Rathlin Energy maintain a mini-frack was not undertaken at West Newton A, although there is evidence that they attempted one, and it went wrong.




West Newton B is a well site to explore and test for oil and gas by Rathlin Energy (UK) Ltd.  It is the 3rd recent wellsite in East Yorkshire, after Crawberry Hill and West Newton A.  An access road has been built across the fields to the south, with the traffic route through the centre of Sproatley.

The proposed depth is approximately 2100m.  This is less than Crawberry Hill & West Newton A, and not quite as deep as the Bowland Shale.  (However oil companies have been known to drill deeper than they said they would.)

After three years of delays and changing plans, site construction and drilling got underway in Spring 2020.  During the pandemic.

Click to go to the West Newton B Gallery

Click to go to the West Newton B Gallery

West Newton B well schematic, from the planning application.

West Newton B well schematic, from the planning application.


It is located in Holderness, north east of Hull between Sproatley and Aldbrough.  It’s just East of Burton Constable Hall.

map of well sites_


Map WNB OS_circle

APDX1 Location Plan 1-10,000

Red line plan on 1:10,000 map

West Newton B Wellsite
Crook Lane
West Newton
East Riding of Yorkshire



A timeline of events and news reports is maintained here:

West Newton-B, East Yorkshire – DrillOrDrop


Planning Permission

Planning Permission to drill and test the well was Approved by East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) on 4th June 2015.

The full application, comments & associated documents can be viewed here:
Planning » Application Summary 14/04107/STPLF.
To view the original application documents (as oppose to more recent correspondence) sort the Documents by date, oldest first.

The Planning Officer’s Report (in the Planning Committee Agenda) recommended Approval.
The Planning Conditions, including Condition 12: fracking is not permitted, are in:
Documents > Notice of Decision

Audio recording of the planning meeting:


Archaeology – Condition 4

Planning Condition 4 states, “the site lies within an important archaeological wetland landscape dating back to the prehistoric era … potential remains at risk”.  It could be the site of a middle-age West Newton village.  A Written Scheme of Investigation had to be agreed with ERYC in order to meet this condition.


Environment Agency (EA) Permits

The E.A. Permits regulate the site operator (Rathlin Energy) to drill a well for conventional gas exploration, to burn any gas produced during the drilling or testing of the well in a flare, and to discharge clean surface water from the site.  They cover the disposal of potentially radioactive waste water, but does not say to which licensed facility it would go.

The E.A. now maintain an information page for the site, that helpfully includes an overview and list of documents, including Permits and reports:

Regulation of Rathlin Energy’s West Newton ‘B’ Well Site – Environment Agency

CAR = Compliance and Assessment Report, e.g. a site vist report.

We also list the documents here for reference:

July 2016:
EA Permit DB3503HL – Mining Waste Operation and Water Discharge Activity
EA Permit Decision_Document

EA SR Permit EPR EB3301MB – to operate an installation described in Standard rules SR2015 No 2

2020 09 17 CAR
2020 10 13 CAR
2020 11 12 CAR
2020 11 19 CAR

May 2021:
EA Permit DB3503HL-V002
EA Permit Decision Document DB3503HL-V002

Permit Application

The original permit application was made in 2015:

Application Forms
Covering Letter
Drilling Products
Environmental Risk Assessment
Front Cover and Contents
Non Technical Summary
OPRA Profile
Site Condition Report
Site Plans
Waste Management Plan


West Newton “Community” Liaison Committee Minutes

A complete archive of West Newton “Community” Liaison Committee Minutes can be found on the West Newton A page here.


How many more?

One of our biggest concerns has always been the sheer number of wells, close together, that the unconventional oil & gas industry requires.  The countryside ends up looking like this:

Poster Conserve our countryside Texas

In order to produce the amount of gas of which government & industry boast would require 75,000 wells across the UK; perhaps a couple of thousand across the East Riding.

Rathlin Energy already have permission to drill 2 more wells on their existing 2 sites at either side of their licence area.  Now they’re constructing this 3rd site, along with a new connecting road, only a mile south of West Newton A, and were discussing plans with East Riding of Yorkshire Council as long ago as April 2014.  It is a lot harder to stop this industry once established.  So… how many more?



Some example objection letters to West Newton B explaining exactly why locals are so opposed to industrialisation of the East Riding for the risky exploitation of outdated fossil fuels.

Objection - clarity

Objection – potential for harm; traffic; safety.

Object - listen to sub committee

Objection – Listen to your own sub-committee


Objection - What next?; Clarity.

Objection – What next?; Clarity.

objection Jon Mager West Newton B

A pretty comprehensive objection (10 pages)