Thank you to everyone who came to our Horse Hill solidarity events on 20 February. And thanks to Matty Evo for the photos.
Some 40 cyclists rode from Brighton, London and Horley, and were joined by around 100 people to walk to the Horse Hill drill site, with the message ‘Keep it in the ground‘.
Campaigner Vanessa Vine spoke about the threat of fracking, and a message of support from Green MEP Keith Taylor was read out, highlighting the threats to the climate.
Flow test results and next steps
Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL) is currently testing the flow of oil at the well it drilled in 2014. It claims there is a flow of 450 barrels a day from the first point it has tested, and is now testing at different levels.
Stephen Sanderson, CEO of UK Oil & Gas, one of the shareholders in HHDL, described the find as “significant” and said “UKOG shareholders and the UK Government should rejoice in this well”.
In this video interview, Sanderson talks about plans for horizontal drilling and further wells at Horse Hill and says that they are talking to the government about how to fast-track the planning process.
Is fracking on the cards?
UKOG has said they will not frack at Horse Hill, but they are bullish about the potential yields of unconventional oil. And two of the three layers they are testing are tight oil, which by definition needs fracking to extract it.
Keep it in the ground
Protectors continue to bear witness at the site, logging what enters and leaves and protesting against drilling and the prospect of fracking.
While some campaigners focus on the threat of fracking, many are opposed to both conventional and unconventional extraction of oil and gas.
Scientists say that to avoid hitting a catastrophic climate tipping point, we need to keep 80% of all known fossil fuels in the ground. So there is no sense at all in exploring unknown reserves like the Weald basin. Investment needs to be redirected into energy efficiency and renewable energy.