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“The irony is not lost on us,” says Chris. “The whole of Poole Bay is supposedly protected, so it doesn’t make any sense for an oil rig to be there. On top of that, we don’t actually need to use fossil fuels anymore - we’re heading towards climate chaos!”
The potential harm to local wildlife is so significant that it remains unclear how a permit was granted so quickly, and the group is still seeking answers to that question.
Sadly, relief to see the back of the drill was short-lived, with the group now planning next steps in its continued stand against oil extraction along the Dorset Coast.
The exploratory drilling confirmed that the Colter Field could potentially yield over 15 million barrels of oil. The potential to install horizontal drilling pipelines from nearby Wytch Farm oil field, (the largest onshore oil field in Western Europe), is particularly worrying says SOS.
Chris explains: “There are more opportunities for another rig to come here so it may not be the last time one appears. Because they’ve found it so easy to come here and not be challenged, we anticipate they might want to explore additional areas as well.”
The SOS group refuses to stand back and let this happen. Instead, it will be concentrating its efforts on Perenco’s Wytch Farm and existing fields, and finding out what the oil company intends to do.
“We’re trying to keep the pressure on them to make sure they are doing things as they should,” Chris says.
The future of our southern coastlines remains uncertain. But one thing is for sure - SOS Bournemouth is ready to stand up and fight for a greener planet.
SOS holds regular meetings to share their work, and new members are welcomed with open arms. The group says that anyone who wants to come along should check out the details on the SOS Facebook page.