This page lists Surrey locations for which Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDLs) have been issued – and you can see a map at the bottom of this page.
In this area, the target is most likely to be ‘tight oil’ and a technique called acid stimulation is likely to be used. This is likely to be unconventional: we are advised that drilling for tight oil is likely to involve cluster drilling and multi-well pads with long laterals; radioactive flaring; radioactive waste; fluid containment issues; compressor stations; noise of drilling flaring and pumping and heavy industrialisation. Read more about acidisation in this leaflet published by Keith Taylor MEP.
This round-up is compiled by volunteers and information is presented in good faith. However we are not experts and you are advised to do your own research. If anyone has further news or information about any oil or gas drilling planned or taking place in Surrey, please contact us.
IGas was granted planning permission in July 2016 to convert this exploration site to gas production. More details.
The site is in the Green Belt and Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Yet exploration for gas has been carried out intermittently since 1987.
IGas anticipate that the well will generate about 20 tonnes of compressed natural gas per day. Gas will be compressed on site and loaded onto two tankers seven days a week and taken by road to be injected into the gas grid at Portsdown Hill (Hampshire), a facility specifically designed to allow the connection of remote gas production sites to the gas grid without the need for a physical connection.
They will also produce electricity to power the on-site processes, with any additional electricity being fed into the local network via the site’s existing connection.
The process will involve: “temporary flaring to re-establish gas flow, the installation of CNG production plant and equipment within the wellsite compound and also a tanker loading area, site office, lighting, security cameras, gas powered generator, coolers, generator control room, knock out pot and WC; and retention of a transformer unit, switch room, water tank, temporary parking area and perimeter fencing all on some 1.51 hectares for a temporary period of 15 years with restoration to commercial forestry.”
Read the planning application: http://planning.surreycc.gov.uk/planappdisp.aspx?Appno=SCC%20Ref%202015/0230
King’s Farm, Tilburstow Hill Road, South Godstone, Bletchingley, ML021
IGas received planning permission in March 2016 for oil and gas production at two sites (Bletchingley Central, which produces oil, and Bletchingley-2, where gas has been found) for 15 years. Full details here
Holmwood/Coldharbour/Leith Hill PEDL143
The application to drill for oil at Bury Hill Wood, Holmwood, near Leith Hill has been the subject of a long legal battle. The site is inside the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Local residents have been fighting the plans since 2008, when the Barton Willmore Planning Partnership submitted a planning application on behalf of Europa Oil and Gas.
The plans have been through many twists and turns, including two Public Inquiries, a High Court Appeal and a Court of Appeal Hearing. For the full history, see the Leith Hill Action Group website.
The second Public Inquiry found in favour of Europa. Read the Appeal decision here.
Europa now has planning permission for a 1,400 metre oil well and a 35 metre drilling tower with aircraft warning lights; gas flares will be installed and hundreds of HGV movements will travel along Coldharbour Lane, an ancient (and narrow) sunken lane. Europa still has to obtain the necessary permits from the Environment Agency – and a senior director from Sutton and East Surrey Water warned that the drilling could potentially contaminate the water supply to up to 180,000 consumers.
For updates and to support the campaign against oil drilling here, contact the Leith Hill Action Group (the group which campaigned successfully campaigning for 7 years to stop drilling at Leith Hill) and A Voice for Leith Hill (a newer community group using art, music and family events to raise awareness of the drilling plans). There is also a Protection Camp which has set up to be a physical embodiment of opposition and channel for resistance, protest and protection.
1983 – 2017
Angus Energy Weald Basin No.3 Ltd.
2004 – 2035
Europa Oil & Gas Ltd.
Europa Oil & Gas
Altwood Petroleum Ltd. 1.6%
Egdon Resources UK Ltd. 38.4%
Europa Oil & Gas 40%
Warwick Energy Exploration Ltd. 20%
Conventional oil extraction has been taking place at Brockham for some twenty years. Since December 2014 they have been producing some 21 barrels a day from the Portland Sandstone, with a single nodding donkey.
In November 2016, Angus Energy received permission from the Environmental Agency to drill a sidetrack at its
oil site at Brockham, licence PL 235. Angus Energy told investors that they will increase production to 400 barrels of oil per day. Read more
In January 2017, Angus drilled a side-track (horizontal well), without gaining planning permission, despite having been told by Surrey County Council Planning Department that planning permission was required.
For news and updates, see the Brockham Oil Watch website.
Horse Hill, near Horley, PEDL 137
*For updates on Horse Hill, see news updates on the home page.*
Test drilling was carried out in late 2014 and flow testing in February and March 2016, when Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL) tested the potential flow of oil from three layers. You can download all the documents relating to the test drilling submitted to the Environment Agency here – the Environmental Method Statement gives a summary of the methods used. Section 1 of this document gives more details of the processes involved in the 2016 flow testing.
UKOG, one of the shareholders in HHDL, claims to have flowed more than 450 barrels per day (bopd) from the Lower Kimmeridge Limestone, 900 bopd from the Upper Kimmeridge Limestone and 168 bopd from the Portland Sandstone.
Stephen Sanderson, CEO of UKOG, described the find as “significant” and said“UKOG shareholders and the UK Government should rejoice in this well”. Read UKOG’s press releases about the find
New planning application
In November 2016, HHDL submitted a planning application for a further three years of oil drilling and related activity at Horse Hill. The decision deadline has been put back till 31 July 2017 and Surrey County Council planners have asked HHDL for more information on issues such as air quality, the landscape, road frontage and site boundaries. Note: The decision deadline has again been delayed and the application will go to the Planning and Regulatory Committee in August 2017 at the earliest.
You can find all the application documents, and submit your comments, on the Surrey County Council website
1990 – 2021
Cuadrilla Weald Ltd.
Magellan Petroleum (UK) Ltd.
Magellan Petroleum Corporation
1968 – 2014
Cuadrilla Weald Ltd.
Altwood Petroleum Ltd. 4%
(Bromley, Sutton, Croydon, and includes Epsom and Ewell)
2008 – 2039
Northdown Energy Ltd. 90%
Aimwell Energy Ltd. 10%
Palmer’s Wood, Godstone
Star Energy Weald Basin Ltd was granted planning permission, subject to conditions, in August 2011 for: “Retention of two hydrocarbon wellsites, interconnecting pipeline, access roads, wells and associated infrastructure, plant, buildings and equipment until 30 September 2024; the restoration of the sites by 30 September 2025; and the removal of plant and equipment granted planning permission on 29 February 1996.”
1980 – 2030
Star Energy Weald Basin Ltd.