Dorset

Oil rig set up ahead of Poole Bay drilling

Oil rig, Poole Bay
Image caption The oil rig has been placed 6km (3.7 miles) south of Studland

An oil rig has been set up in Poole Bay ahead of a scheme to drill more than 1,000m (3,280ft) below the seabed to explore oil reserves.

The drilling by Corallian Energy will last three weeks before the well is plugged and the platform removed.

Protesters have argued that the coast and marine life could be damaged.

But Corallian said the operation would not result in any significant effects to the marine ecosystem. The rig was transported by sea from Scotland.

Image caption Protesters are concerned about the impact on the sensitive marine life along the coast

Last weekend up to 100 protesters gathered near Bournemouth beach to demonstrate.

The rig has been placed 6km (3.7 miles) south of Studland and was expected to be visible from Bournemouth, Purbeck and the Isle of Wight.

The 98/11-E well aims to investigate reserves found by British Gas and BP in 1986, called the Colter prospect.

If oil can be economically produced, Corallian proposes extracting it by drilling horizontally from the shore.

However, such a scheme would require a separate licence.

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