In a recent interview on Tip TV (promoted on the Daily Mail‘s website), David Lenigas, Chairman of Horse Hill Developments Ltd, discussed the finds at the Horse Hill 1 site, near Horley. Lenigas said “the big surprise of the well” was that they have what looks like a big find of hydrocarbons in the Kimmeridge Clay layers.
Analysis of the logs and cores are still in progress, with full results available in the next few weeks. Mr Lenigas says that they could be applying for the appropriate licences to proceed with testing early next year. They may also drill a second well at the site.
“It seems we’ve been proved right”
Despite previously having said that they had absolutely no interest in unconventional oil and gas at the site and no intention of exploring strata other than those relating to conventional oil and gas, it turns out that Horse Hill Developments Ltd has been exploring for unconventional hydrocarbons.
Although described as a “big surprise”, the Kimmeridge Clays are where there have been high expectations for gas or oil, and fracking is likely to be required in order to extract it.
Sarah Finch, a Green Councillor from Redhill, said: “We suspected that Horse Hill Developments Ltd were always interested in unconventional oil and gas and, despite their protestations, it seems we’ve been proved right. We will watch developments closely and will oppose any plans to frack here. Fracking would be a disaster for the environment – we should be investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies instead.”
Balcombe resident Kathryn McWhirter said: “Just like Cuadrilla in Balcombe, the Horse Hill drillers are now targeting the shallow micrite layers (loose-textured limestone) sandwiched within the Kimmeridge clay.
“Just as in Balcombe, whatever the drillers say, these layers will need to be fracked to release their oil in commercial volume. In any case, the micrite layers are very thin, and would serve as a conduit for getting oil out of the Kimmeridge clay above and below.”
Is it just bluff?
Mr Lenigas seems confused as to what has been found. In the interview he mentions oil in the ‘Kimbridge (sic) Clays’, whereas the C1 to C4 finds that he mentions are in fact gas.
Bryn Truscott of Frack Free Surrey said, “It is worth bearing in mind that Mr Lenigas is (according to the FT) a “serial stock promoter”, and will enthusiastically pump up any piece of positive-sounding news for the benefit of the “penny share” investors who back his ventures.
“So any talk of ‘big surprises’ should be taken with a suitably large pinch of salt. But any planning application that involves fracking needs to be taken seriously, and opposed at the outset.”
Frack Free Surrey is committed to opposing any attempts to carry out fracking in Surrey and in the UK. We have had strong and growing support from people in the Horley area over the last few weeks.