Celtique Energy

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Celtique Energie was a privately owned, British-based company with subsidiaries and operations across five European countries involved in the exploration of oil and unconventional gas in the UK, Poland, France, Switzerland and Germany.

Proposals to drill in national parks

Celtique's former London offices, 76-78 Charlotte Street
Celtique planned to drill for oil and shale gas in the UK's South Downs National Park, among other areas.

However in September 2014 the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) recommended refusal of Celtique's application for a three-year temporary permission to drill at Nine Acre Copse, Fernhurst, situated within the national park, because it was 'not in the public interest' and the firm had failed to show 'exceptional circumstances' for drilling in the park. [1]

The Authority had stopped consideration of Celtique's application earlier in 2014 because it said 'significant details have been omitted from the applicant’s Environmental Statement”. As a result, it commissioned independent specialist advice on what the application said about noise, hydrogeology, geology, borehole integrity, well drilling and well casing and testing.

In a statement in September 2014 Celtique claimed its plans would have only 'a modest impact' on the national park:

As part of our application we have submitted a comprehensive Environmental Statement that assesses the potential environmental impacts associated with Celtique’s operations, including landscape, transport and noise, and describes in detail the steps we would take to mitigate them. We are confident in the robustness of our application and hope that the Planning Committee of the South Downs National Park Authority shares this view when they meet to decide on the application next week.
We recognise the importance of the South Downs National Park to the local community in terms of culture, heritage and economic contribution to the region, and reiterate that minerals can only be worked from where they naturally occur. The exploration well is a temporary structure that would have a modest impact on the local area during its relatively short period of operation but would conclude on behalf of DECC whether oil or gas reserves exist in this location that could contribute to the UK’s energy mix.

West Sussex county council refusal for drilling at Kirdford and Wisborough Green

In October 2014 Celtique Energie Weald Ltd and its joint investment partner Magellan Petroleum (UK) Ltd confirmed it would appeal the decision by West Sussex County Council (WSCC) to refuse planning permission for a temporary exploration well near the villages of Kirdford and Wisborough Green. The firm argued that the council's 'reasons for rejecting the application are fundamentally unsound'.

Celtique's press release stated that it would:

lodge an appeal with the Planning Inspectorate, an executive agency of the Department for Communities and Local Government, which will appoint an independent planning inspector to review WSCC’s decision. The inspector will then either make a ruling on the appeal or make a recommendation to the Secretary of State.[2]

However on 11 March 2015, Celtique announced it had decided to withdraw the appeal against the WSCC's decision, 'primarily due to the impact of the Inquiry delay' on future exploration. The licence term of PEDL 234 was due to expire in June 2016. [3]

The PEDL 234 block has since been bought from Celtique and Magellan for £3.5m by UK Oil and Gas Investments, one of the companies behind the Horse Hill oil well near Gatwick.

Financial backers

Celtique's initial seed funding 'was provided by UK investors and management and this was supplemented in 2006 by significant capital provided by a USA private equity house, Avista Capital Partners (www.avistacap.com).

The shareholding in September 2014 was majority owned by Avista. Calmar LP also committed a significant investment in 2011, and other investors include the management team and the original British seed investors. [4]

Exploration licences

Celtique originally held 16 licences in five countries across Europe. Eleven were operated by Celtique, the others by partner companies, which include Egdon (operator of joint licences in the East Midlands), Union Jack, Corfe, Terrain and Magellan.

In the UK, Celtique previously operated in Cheshire and Southern England. A PEDL (Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence) granted by the Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC) to explore PEDL area 231, a square-shaped area covering approximately 400sq kilometres in the ‘Central Weald Basin’ includes the proposed South Downs national park.

People

Directors Celtique Energie Holdings

Non-executive directors

Former directors

Affiliated companies

  • Celtique Energie Weald Limited
  • Celtique Energie GmbH
  • Celtique Energie Ltd
  • Celtique Energie Poland Sp.z o.o.
  • Celtique Energie Petroleum SARL
  • Celtique Energie Petroleum Ltd
  • Celtique Energie Weald Ltd

Partner companies

Lobbying firms

Affiliations

Details

Registered Addresses


Celtique Energie Ltd
Lion House,
Red Lion Street,
London,
WC1R 4GB,
United Kingdom


76-78 Charlotte Street,
London,
W1T 4QS,
United Kingdom


Company Number 05296922. Was incorporated on 25 November 2004.
Website:

Resources

See: Fracking lobbying firms

Notes

  1. Celtique's application was reviewed by the planning committee on 11 September. Report by Director of Planning Local Authority South Downs National Park Authority (West Sussex), dated accessed 3 September 2013
  2. Energy company appeals planning refusal for exploration well in South East of England, 15 October 2015
  3. Celtique Energy, Press release: Update on Sussex Weald planning appeals, press release 11 March 2015, accessed 24 March 2015
  4. Celtique, Our partners, undated, acc 4 September 2014
  5. John Anthony Hogan, acc 29 April 2014