The government has two consultations running until October 25, 2018, which aim to fast-track fracking across England.
They want to treat shale gas exploration as ‘permitted development’, which means there is no need to apply for planning application to do it.
Although we do not have fracking for shale gas in Surrey, there is a high likelihood that this weakening of regulation of shale gas proposals will be extended to cover shale oil, which we do have, and acid stimulation, which is the technique used to extract it.
There is strong opposition to the government’s attempt to undermine local democracy and cut local residents out of decision-making on shale gas proposals.
At least 20 Conservative MPs are planning to rebel.
Keith Taylor, the Green MEP for South East England, has produced a briefing to help individuals respond to the consultations.
UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) has been flow testing at Horse Hill since July, testing oil flow from the Portland rock formation. They say the results have ‘significantly exceeded’ their expectations, and claim that the Portland “could achieve a forecast sustainable initial 24/7 pumped rate of around 362 barrels of oil per day when full scale long-term production commences”. (see press release)
UKOG is now preparing to start testing the Kimmeridge limestone/shale formation, which is their primary target.
Throughout the period of drilling, local people and campaigners have been monitoring activities and campaigning for an end to the drilling.
Overnight on 10-11 September, security guards evicted campaigners from part of their camp near the drill site. This was a private eviction and while police were present, no arrests were made.
> Read updates on Horse Hill on drillordrop.com
Confusion over extent of site
Campaigners say that UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG) is claiming a right to the road verge, in order to prevent campaigners camping there. The Title document for the land leased to Magellan Petroleum clearly shows the outline of the site (outlined in blue on the map on page 4 and reproduced below), which does not include the road verge.
The long running and high profile campaign against oil drilling at Leith Hill in Surrey is celebrating success after Europa Oil and Gas announced it was pulling out of the site.
The announcement followed a decision by the Forestry Commission not to renew the lease, which expires on 12 September. Campaigners including the Green MEP Keith Taylor had been keeping up the pressure on the Forestry organisation not to renew in line with its environmental commitments.
“This is fantastic news,” said Lucy Barford on behalf of A Voice for Leith Hill. Read the rest of this entry >>
Press release from the Weald Action Group
Six women from Surrey and Sussex fighting against an interim injunction application by UK Oil and Gas have vowed to fight on after a High Court judge approved it in part.
But they welcomed the Judge rejecting a number of the oil company’s restrictions. The Judge rejected UKOG’s inclusion of their offices in Guildford as part of the injunction. He accepted Friends of the Earth’s case and disallowed a blanket ban on publicising and promoting protest activities. The Judge also removed some of the most restrictive clauses – like the attempt to stop monitoring what goes on at the sites. Read the rest of this entry >>