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UKOG plans – and Horse Hill update

UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG), one of the companies with interests in the Horse Hill exploratory oil well near Horley, has announced it is to invest an extra £4m in the Weald basin in southern England.

They have also said they plan to return to Horse Hill for further testing “in the winter of this year”. UKOG chief executive, Stephen Sanderson, said, “If that’s successful, we’ll immediately go in and drill a horizontal production well in one of the Kimmeridge limestones. We’ll be shooting 3D seismic so that we’re able to plan to drill more and locate more horizontal wells.”

Read more on the Drill or Drop website.

Former UK climate envoy denounces the Government over unconventional oil and gas

‘We are entitled to a government that is on our side, in return for the taxes we pay. In the matter of unconventional oil and gas, we do not have a government that is on our side. We have a government that is the enemy of the people.’

John Ashton, a career diplomat who served as the UK’s Special Representative for Climate Change from 2006-2012, had prepared a speech for a meeting in Sussex on the health effects of fracking, but was unable to attend because of family illness. His speech was read by a resident of Balcombe, the village renowned for its protests against fracking. You can read the full text below.

Other speakers at the meeting included an advisor on health and energy for medical charity Medact; the Executive Director of CHEM Trust; and a GP from Ryedale in Yorkshire, an area on the front line of fracking. Read a report of the meeting in the Mid Sussex Times

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Island Gas submits more info on Albury CNG application

Island Gas Ltd has submitted additional information in support of its application for the production of Compressed Natural Gas at the Albury Park Wellsite, East of New Road, Albury, Surrey. The new information covers restoration and aftercare of the well site.

You can read the information and submit comments here:

Look under the ‘Attachments’ tab and note that the newest documents are listed last.

For more information on the Albury site, see this page:

Horse Hill gush continues, UKOG accused of “shameless ramping”

Gatwick oil ‘could add billions’ to UK economy, said a headline on the BBC website yesterday.

The article was discussing the findings of a report by EY, commissioned by UKOG and based on UKOG’s own assumptions.

The report, Kimmeridge Limestone Oil: The UK opportunity, concludes that “the development of Kimmeridge Limestone Oil in the Weald Basin, assuming it can be extracted from a development site at the volumes projected by UKOG [our emphasis], has the potential to generate significant economic value to the UK economy”.

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Fracking and Health – a free public meeting

fracking poster

Tight Oil and the Weald

The flow testing that has just finished at Horse Hill has drawn attention to the potential for large-scale unconventional oil drilling in South East England.

While some were slow to understand the significance of the Horse Hill tests, campaigners have tried to open local people’s eyes to what they could lead to. This blog post is based mainly on information from campaign group Frack Off – see links at the end of this post.

“very much like an industrialised process…”

This two-minute video contains clips from several interviews with Stephen Sanderson, Chairman of both Horse Hill Developments Ltd and its largest stakeholder, UK Oil and Gas Ltd (UKOG), about oil prospects in the Weald (the area between the North and the South Downs, including large parts of Sussex and Surrey and part of Kent).

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“But it’s not fracking….”

Proponents of the oil drilling at Horse Hill frequently try to reassure locals but explaining that it’s “not fracking”.

The Infrastructure Act 2015 introduced a new definition of ‘hydraulic fracturing’. Now an operation will only be defined as fracking if:

  • it is below 1,000 metres depth
  • it uses 1,000 cubic metres of fluid for each stage, or more than 10,000 cubic metres in total.

This means that companies can now undertake low-volume fracking without needing to apply for a fracking licence.

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“The real power lies with the community”: Public meeting in Hookwood

ColinCroppedMore than 50 local residents came to Hookwood Memorial Hall on Sunday afternoon for a meeting hosted by Frack Free Surrey to discuss the current and potential future operations at Horse Hill.

The meeting opened with an eloquent speech and poem by 11-year-old Jemima from Hookwood, who reminded us all of the importance of keeping a safe world for children to grow up in.

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UKOG plans to “move full speed ahead” at Horse Hill

UK Oil & Gas Investments PLC (UKOG) has now announced results from the flow tests of the two Kimmeridge Limestone layers. Read their statement here

They claim to have found oil flowing at a rate of 900 barrels per day from the Upper Kimmeridge layer and say that “the planned use of horizontal appraisal and development wells may further significantly enhance production flow rates“.

Following results of the final flow test, in the Portland sandstone layer, Horse Hill Developments Limited (HHDL) “now plan to move full speed ahead to obtain the necessary permissions to return to the well, drill a horizontal sidetrack and conduct long term production tests.”

Local residents will oppose the planning application as they are concerned about the potential damage to air, water and the environment, the negative effect on property values, and the potential massive increase in tanker movements.

In the Evening Standard recently, UKOG Chairman Stephen Sanderson (who is also chairman of HHDL) was quoted complaining that drilling permissions that take days in Texas can take a couple of years here. Read the interview here

One local investor commented, “If he was really interested in the long-term energy security of the UK, a couple of years delay would be no problem. The fact that Mr Sanderson is bending the government’s ear to try and achieve Texas-style regulations is pretty convincing evidence that what we have here is a Ponzi scheme, and if he doesn’t get to drill quickly the whole thing will have collapsed.”

Extreme oil has come to Horley

Thank you to Rebecca, one of our Horse Hill Protectors, for this post

Oil and gas exploration has begun at Horse Hill Road, off Reigate Road. We are now in the early stages in the UK of “unconventional” or “tight” oil exploration, utilising hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) to free up formerly inaccessible oil and gas reserves. As global “conventional” oil reserves dwindle, the fossil fuel industry is desperately promoting fracking as a way of continuing business as usual, heavily promoted and subsidised by our Government.

A recent analysis by the IMF estimates the UK “will spend about £26 billion on subsidies for fossil fuels this year”. By contrast, renewable energy companies received only £3.5 billion of subsidies in 2015-15, and Government has decided to slash this amount by ending support for onshore wind farms and cutting solar power subsidies.

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