Monthly Archives: October 2014

Is Horley the new Dallas?

According to press reports, exploratory drilling at Horse Hill has found that there could be almost 20 million barrels of oil – 3.1m barrels of oil in the well’s upper Portland sandstone, with potential for a further 16.8m barrels nearby.

The company is now drilling deeper into the Triassic (gas-containing) layer.

David Lenigas, chair of Horse Hill Developments, said: “We are very pleased with the results so far from this well…. We are now looking forward to drilling the Triassic, which is a new and untested exploration target in the area, which, if successful, may contain appreciable volumes of gas.” Read the rest of this entry >>

Kicking off and locking on at Horse Hill

I paid the Horse Hill Protectors Camp a quick visit early this morning, and was treated to a very nice cuppa, and some relaxed chit-chat. Spirits seemed pretty high as I headed off home intending to write a brief unexciting blog post linking to the camp’s wishlist.

But I knew there was something in the air…

Lock-on at Horse Hill

The press release is here.

IGas plans to expand drilling at Bletchingley

IGas plans to start producing oil and gas from its exploration site in Bletchingley, which is off Tilburstow Hill Road south of the railway line.

The company held an exhibition in Godstone last week to showcase its plans. We went along.

The IGas reps told us that they will be applying for planning permission to drill up to four more wells on the site, giving them a total of six.

The wells will be around 3,000 feet deep, then they will drill horizontally up to 2km, in various directions, mostly to the west.

We asked if they expected any difficulty from owners of the land under which they intend to drill, and they said not.  They say they have spoken to the affected landowners and will pay the usual compensation, which is apparently £50.

They hope to produce up to 600 barrels (80 tonnes) of oil a day and to begin gas production. The oil will be taken off by tanker (up to 8 vehicle movements a day) and the gas will be used to generate electricity onsite and/or be piped off into the gas grid.  This means they will stop flaring as happens presently.

We asked if they will do any fracking or stimulation; they said not.  While they are pursuing unconventional technologies elsewhere in the country, the geology here means they don’t need to. They said they have no plans to target shale gas here.

However, IGas told investors last year that it had an “extensive acreage position for shale” and that prospective shale horizons were present in all three of its key focus areas, including the Weald.  Read the investor presentation.

They expect to submit their planning application before the end of 2014, and apply for the Environment Agency permits at the same time.

Find out more

Lively debate at Horley meeting

More than 80 people attended a meeting in Horley on Monday evening (13 October) to hear about the drilling taking place at nearby Horse Hill and to discuss the threat of fracking across the Weald.

Local campaigner Rob Basto, Green Councillor Jonathan Essex and Balcombe resident Sue Taylor all spoke, and the meeting was chaired by Balcombe’s Charles Metcalfe.

A wide cross section of people attended, including local residents and anti-fracking campaigners. Magellan Petroleum had been invited but did not send an official representative.

The Horse Hill site is an exploratory well and no fracking is planned or permitted at this stage. However one of the partners in the drilling, Magellan Petroleum, has spoken of their intentions to test for shale gas here to inform their plans for fracking elsewhere in the South East

Rob Basto from Frack Free Surrey said If fracking goes ahead in the area it could result in thousands of wells in the south-east with disastrous consequences – for our local environment and the global climate. We are strongly opposed to any new fossil fuel development in our area.”

A follow-up meeting is planned for 10 November, also at Empire Hall.

£2bn of gas and oil at Horley – but no fracking, says Lenigas

This information is taken, with thanks, from a report on the Drill or Drop website.

Fracking will not take place at Horse Hill, according to David Lenigas, Chairman of Horse Hill Developments Ltd, who was interviewed by BBC Surrey this morning.

Mr Lenigas said that the site could yield 80 million barrels of oil and 160 billion cubic feet of gas, worth £2 billion.

A local resident, Mr Chris Lowe, said people are concerned about the current noise, dust and smell. They were also worried about whether there would fracking in future, and about the industrialisation of the area:.

Mr Lowe said, “If it is a single well, it is not a problem… What is a problem is if this is right across the south east and you get drill sites and nodding donkeys every mile or so along hills like this. We could get another site in two years, five years’ time. And another one a mile further on and that is a prospect that does worry me.”

Mr Lenigas said, “The concept of lots of oil and a nodding donkey every mile is not the reality of this project.” He said if the well went into production it would result in “one or two tankers a week”.

Read a full report on

Drilling concerns aired at Horse Hill picnic

Cakes at gatesMore than 60 people from both the local area and the wider south-east gathered for a picnic by the Horse Hill drilling site on Sunday afternoon (5 October).

They came to demonstrate their concerns about the drilling taking place, and in particular about the threat of prospecting for shale gas, which requires the controversial process of fracking (hydraulic fracturing) to extract it.

People who live close to the site talked about the noise, traffic, light pollution and the impacts on animals. And people from further afield in Surrey and Sussex came to show their opposition to new oil drilling and especially the threat of fracking in this area.

Mounting evidence shows that fracking would be a disaster for the environment and the economy. Instead of pouring money into this dinosaur industry, the Government needs to prioritise investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies such as tidal, wind and solar.

Public meeting Monday 13 October

Frack Free Surrey are holding a public meeting on Monday 13 October, 7pm, at the Empire Hall, Victoria Road, Horley RH6 7AW.

This will provide information on what is happening at the Horse Hill Site, the threat of fracking on the area, and alternatives.

Speakers will include Sue Taylor, a Chartered Accountant who lives half a mile from the drill site at Balcombe, and Jonathan Essex, a Chartered Engineer and Chartered Environmentalist and Green Green County Councillor for Redhill.  More speakers to be confirmed.