Barite crystal

Green light for barite mine in Scotland, delivering vital resource for the North Sea oil and gas industry

Proposals to develop a world class barite resource at Duntanlich, north of Aberfeldy, have been approved by Perth & Kinross Council councillors today (14th September), subject to conditions. 

The mine, proposed by oilfield services company, M-I SWACO, is a replacement for the company’s mine at Foss, which has operated since 1985, but with a much smaller surface footprint.

The Duntanlich orebody is unique in the UK. It is the only known significant barite deposit that is economic to work and will  enable the UK to become self-sufficient in a mineral vital to the North Sea oil and gas industry, ensuring security of supply.

The planning process saw extensive community consultation to inform the proposal, with events held in Ballinluig, Pitlochry and Aberfeldy and meetings with key stakeholders, Support was received from individuals and organisations including Perthshire and Aberdeen and Grampian Chambers of Scotland and CBI Scotland and SCDI (Scottish Council for Development and Industry).

Barite is largely used as a weighting agent for drilling fluids in oil and gas exploration and there is no substitute with all the essential properties of this mineral. It also used as a value added product in the automobile and medical industries and as a weighting agent in civil engineering.

The Foss barite deposit has a complex geological structure which has made it increasingly difficult to mine. In comparison, a mine at Duntanlich, which has a simple geological structure, will supply the whole of the UK’s requirements for 50 years at planned production rates.

The Duntanlich development will provide skilled employment for around 30 people, drawn from the local area, where employment is largely reliant on tourism and forestry. The development will also provide indirect employment opportunities for local suppliers and contractors.

New proposal integrates results of three years of environmental studies

A previous planning application to develop the Duntanlich resource was turned down in 1996. Three years of environmental studies have informed the current proposals and careful design has now ensured that previous concerns, such as visual impact and impact on the road network, have been addressed.

The development proposals ensure that there is no visibility from the highly sensitive Queen’s View and minimal visibility from the surrounding area.

The site access, taken from the A827 close to the A9 Ballinluig junction, will remove existing Foss mine traffic from the settlements in the Tay valley.  Production of up to 120,000 tonnes per annum is proposed.

Ian Hughes, Project Manager for M-I SWACO said:

“We are clearly pleased that the committee has minded to grant our planning application subject to conditions and would like to thank those who supported us throughout this process.

“The new mine will ensure that the UK is self-sufficient in barite and will not only have a significant positive local economic impact, diversifying the economy of this rural area where employment is largely reliant on tourism and forestry, but will also have national significance in terms of providing vital continuity of supply for the North Sea oil and gas industry.

“We learnt a lot from the previous application and were able to make significant improvements to our proposals.”

-ENDS-

For further information please contact:

Jordan Ferguson at Orbit Communications on 0131 603 8996, jordan.ferguson@orbit-comms.co.uk

Planning application lodged for barite mine in Scotland, delivering vital resource for the North Sea oil and gas industry

A planning application to develop a world class barite resource at Duntanlich, north of Aberfeldy, has been lodged with Perth & Kinross Council today (13th November) by oilfield services company, M-I SWACO.

The proposed mine is a replacement for the company’s mine at Foss, which has operated since 1985.

The Duntanlich orebody is unique in the UK. It is the only known significant barite deposit that is economic to work and will  enable the UK to become self-sufficient in a mineral vitally important to the North Sea oil and gas industry, ensuring security of supply.

The planning application follows extensive community consultation, with events held in Ballinluig, Pitlochry and Aberfeldy and meetings with key stakeholders, to inform the proposals.

Barite is largely used as a weighting agent for drilling fluids in oil and gas exploration and there is no substitute with all the essential properties of this mineral. It is also used as a value-added application in the automobile and medical industries.

The Foss barite deposit has a complex geological structure making it increasingly difficult to mine. In comparison, a mine at Duntanlich, boasting a resource in excess of 7.5 million tonnes of barite which has a simple geological structure, could supply the whole of the UK’s requirements for more than 50 years at planned production rates.

The Duntanlich development would provide skilled employment for around 30 people, drawn from the local area, where employment is largely reliant on tourism and forestry. There could also be indirect employment opportunities for local suppliers and contractors.

New proposal integrates results of three years of environmental studies

A previous planning application to develop the Duntanlich resource was turned down in 1996 Three years of environmental studies have informed the new proposal and careful design has now ensured that previous concerns, such as visual impact and impact on the road network, have been addressed.

The new proposal ensures that there is no visibility from the highly sensitive Queen’s View and no or minimal visibility from the rest of the surrounding area.

The proposed new access route into the site from the A827 close to the A9 Ballinluig junction will remove mine traffic from the settlements in the Tay valley.  Production of 120,000 tonnes per annum is proposed.

Ian Hughes, Project Manager for M-I SWACO said:

“We are clearly delighted to be able to be lodging this planning application, which will ensure the UK is self-sufficient in barite. Such a project will not only have a significant positive local economic impact, diversifying the economy of this rural area where employment is reliant on tourism and forestry, but will also have national significance in terms of providing vital continuity of supply for the North Sea oil and gas industry.

“We have learnt a lot from the time of the previous application and have made significant adjustments to our proposals.

“We have engaged extensively with the local community and other key stakeholders to ensure the success of this important project for both the local area as well as nationally.”

-ENDS-

For further information please contact:

Alex Orr at Orbit Communications on 0131 603 8996, alex.orr@orbit-comms.co.uk

 

Notes to Editor

About M-I SWACO

M-I SWACO is the leading supplier of drilling fluid systems, engineered to improve drilling performance, and as such is a vital part of the world’s hydrocarbon exploration and production industry.

The company employs 13,000 people in more than 75 countries and in 2010 became part of Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company.

Further information on the development is available at www.duntanlich.com

Information session

An information session to update the public on proposals for the Duntanlich barite mine will take place at:

Mid Atholl Hall, Ballinluig PH9 0LG, Friday 20th November, 7pm

Proposal for barite mine near Aberfeldy set to go on public display

Proposals to develop the world class barite resource at Duntanlich, north of Aberfeldy, are set to go on public display at the following venues and times:

  • Mid Atholl Hall, Ballinluig PH9 0LG, Tuesday 17th February, 12 noon – 8.30pm
  • Town Hall, Crieff Road, Aberfeldy PH15 2BJ, Thursday 19th February, 12 noon – 8.30pm
  • New Fishers Hotel, 75 Atholl Road, Pitlochry PH16 5BN, Wednesday 25th February, 1pm – 8.30pm

Undertaken by oilfield services company, M-I SWACO, the proposed mine is a replacement for the company’s mine at Foss, which has operated since 1985.

Exhibition boards will highlight the proposed development and experts will be on hand to answer any queries from members of the public.

The Duntanlich orebody is unique in the UK. It is the only known significant barite deposit that is economic to work and will  enable the UK to become self-sufficient in a mineral vitally important to the North Sea oil and gas industry, ensuring security of supply.

Barite is largely used as a weighting agent for drilling fluids in oil and gas exploration and there is no substitute with all the essential properties of this mineral. It is also used as a value-added application in the automobile and medical industries.

The Foss barite deposit has a complex geological structure making it difficult to mine. With increasing depth this mineral is getting harder and more expensive to obtain. In comparison, a mine at Duntanlich, boasting a resource in excess of 7.5 million tonnes of barite, could supply the whole of the UK’s requirements for more than 50 years at planned production rates.

The Duntanlich development could provide skilled employment for around 30 people, mainly drawn from the local area, where employment is largely reliant on tourism and forestry. There could also be indirect employment opportunities for local suppliers and contractors.

M-I SWACO is intending to submit a planning application for the mine in spring 2015 following extensive consultation with local communities. If the proposals are approved by Perth and Kinross Council production could begin towards the end of 2017.

Further information can be found on the website– www.duntanlich.com.

Ian Hughes, Project Manager for M-I SWACO said:

“We are delighted to be able to put our proposals on display and give the local community the opportunity to view these. This is a project which will have a significant positive local economic impact, diversifying the economy of this rural area where employment is reliant on tourism and forestry.

“These events form part of our extensive community engagement programme and we look forward to meeting with members of the public at the event, informing them what is happening and answering any queries they may have.”

-ENDS-

For further information please contact:

Alex Orr at Orbit Communications on 0131 603 8996, alex.orr@orbit-comms.co.uk

Nuala McClenaghan – M-I SWACO Communications, 01224 766255, NMcclenaghan@slb.com

Notes to Editors

About M-I SWACO

M-I SWACO is the leading supplier of drilling fluid systems, engineered to improve drilling performance, and as such is a vital part of the world’s hydrocarbon exploration and production industry.

The company employs 13,000 people in more than 80 countries and in 2010 became part of Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company.

 

 

Proposal for barite mine near Aberfeldy to deliver vital resource for North Sea oil and gas industry launched

Proposals to develop the world class barite resource at Duntanlich, north of Aberfeldy, have been announced today (12th January) by oilfield services company, M-I SWACO.

The proposed mine is a replacement for the company’s mine at Foss, which has operated since 1985.

The Duntanlich orebody is unique in the UK. It is the only known significant barite deposit that is economic to work and will  enable the UK to become self-sufficient in a mineral vitally important to the North Sea oil and gas industry, ensuring security of supply.

Barite is largely used as a weighting agent for drilling fluids in oil and gas exploration and there is no substitute with all the essential properties of this mineral. It is also used as a value-added application in the automobile and medical industries.

The Foss barite deposit has a complex geological structure making it difficult to mine. With increasing depth this mineral is getting harder and more expensive to obtain. In comparison, a mine at Duntanlich, boasting a resource in excess of 7.5 million tonnes of barite, could supply the whole of the UK’s requirements for more than 50 years at planned production rates.

The Duntanlich development could provide skilled employment for around 30 people, mainly drawn from the local area, where employment is largely reliant on tourism and forestry. There could also be indirect employment opportunities for local suppliers and contractors.

New proposal integrates results of 3 years of environmental studies

A previous planning application to develop the Duntanlich resource was turned down in 1996 on the grounds of potential environmental impact. However, three years of environmental studies have informed the new proposal.

Careful design has now ensured that previous concerns, such as visual impact and impact on the road network, have been addressed, and M-I SWACO has now entered into pre-application discussions with Perth & Kinross Council.

The new proposal has reduced the annual production of the mine from 200,000 tonnes to 120,000 tonnes. It has also located the development so that there is no visibility from the highly sensitive Queen’s View and no or minimal visibility of it from the rest of the surrounding area.

The proposed new access route into the site from the A827 close to the A9 Ballinluig junction will remove mine traffic from the settlements in the Tay valley.

M-I SWACO is intending to submit a planning application for the mine in spring 2015 following extensive consultation with local communities and a series of community engagement events will take place in February in Ballinluig, Pitlochry and Aberfeldy, with dates announced nearer the time. If the proposals are approved by Perth and Kinross Council production could begin towards the end of 2017.

A website has been launched – www.duntanlich.com – which will provide information on the development.

Ian Hughes, Project Manager for M-I SWACO said:

“We are clearly delighted to be able to announce our proposals, which will ensure the UK is self-sufficient in barite. Such a project will not only have a significant positive local economic impact, diversifying the economy of this rural area where employment is reliant on tourism and forestry, but will also have national significance in terms of providing vital continuity of supply for the North Sea oil and gas industry.

“We have learnt a lot from the time of the previous application and have made significant adjustments to our proposals. Should these be approved by Perth & Kinross Council we could see barite being extracted by the end of 2017.

“We will engage extensively with the local community and all stakeholders in due course to ensure the success of this important project for both the local area as well as nationally.”

-ENDS-

For further information please contact:

Alex Orr at Orbit Communications on 0131 603 8996, alex.orr@orbit-comms.co.uk

Nuala McClenaghan – M-I SWACO Communications, 01224 766255, NMcclenaghan@slb.com

Notes to Editors

Image of Ian Hughes available on request.

About M-I SWACO

M-I SWACO is the leading supplier of drilling fluid systems, engineered to improve drilling performance, and as such is a vital part of the world’s hydrocarbon exploration and production industry.

The company employs 13,000 people in more than 80 countries and in 2010 became part of Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company.