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Oil and gas exploration at Woodburn Forest, Ireland

In May 2016, after considerable opposition, the company InfraStrata started drilling at Woodburn Forest site in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Stop the Drill campaigners are seeking to stop it.


In May 2016, after considerable opposition, the company InfraStrata  started drilling at Woodburn Forest site in County Antrim, Northern Ireland, and said it expects to complete the well within the next six weeks.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Oil and gas exploration at Woodburn Forest, Ireland
Country:United Kingdom
State or province:Northern Ireland, County Antrim
Location of conflict:Mid and East Antrim Council
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific commodities:Crude oil
Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project details

One exploratory well being drilled in Woodburn Forest in 2016 by the company Infrastrata aimed at 25 million barrels of oil. There is opposition by local people, as described in this blog entry by

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Project area:20
Level of Investment for the conflictive projectnot available
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:130,000
Start of the conflict:04/02/2016
End of the conflict:21/06/2016
Company names or state enterprises:Northern Ireland Water (NI Water) from United Kingdom - Holds property of the site that has been leased to the company conducting the drill.
Infrastrata from United Kingdom - Company conducting the exploratory drill.
Relevant government actors:Department of the Environment Northern Ireland
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Stop the Drill campaign Facebook: Don't Drill Antrim Water.
Friends of the Earth NI
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Informal workers
International ejos
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Boycotts of companies-products
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality
Potential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Waste overflow, Oil spills, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Militarization and increased police presence, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of livelihood
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Repression
Strengthening of participation
Project cancelled
Project temporarily suspended
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:Firstly, the campaign facilitated the articulation of a network concerned about the potential impacts of the project. Secondly, the exploratory drilling was stopped after some joint venture partners decided to withdraw its support to further drilling due to the difficult circumstances encountered in the site.
Sources & Materials

Short description of Woodburn Forest
[click to view]

Stop the drill campaign website
[click to view]

Woodburn Forest row: Protesters ordered to leave Carrickfergus test drilling site or face court, by Nevin Farrell and Jonny Bell, 08/03/2016
[click to view]

The Irtish Times, 17 June 2016, Johna Monaghan, Company behind Woodburn Forest oil drill call off project
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Friends of the Earth video on Woodburn Forest
[click to view]

Other documents

Exploration site view
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Alfred Burballa Noria
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2250
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