Local residents fighting oil drilling, including a Green Party member, were among those arrested yesterday (January 9) in a police swoop on the oil drilling site at Brockham.
Two Dorking Mums and a local Grandmother were arrested and released on bail in the middle of the night from a detention centre in Redhill. They had been at the site to monitor police and oil company activity and to make sure the protestors resident at the roadside camp were fairly treated. Five people were arrested in total.
Did you know there is an application for a further three years of
oil drilling and related activity at HorseHill, near Horley in Surrey?
The company who carried out test drilling for oil in spring 2016 has applied for permission for further flow testing of the existing well and to drill two more wells – one vertical and one horizontal – and test them. The plans also include extending the site area, modifying the access road, and installing more fencing, plant and cabins, all for a ‘temporary period’ of three years.
Please send your views to the planning authority, Surrey County Council.
Government ministers are about to approve a huge tax hike on solar panels that will have a devastating impact on the solar industry.
Recent cuts to the solar industry have already triggered an estimated 12,000 job losses. Now the government could allow a huge new tax hike to be inflicted on the industry, one that could leave businesses and schools that install solar panels with a 6-8 times higher tax bill.
Industry experts say that such a sudden and huge tax rise would prove catastrophic for swathes of UK solar firms.
In this four-minute film, local people explain why they are opposed to oil drilling at Leith Hill, and why they support the protection camp which is providing a focus for resistance, protest and protection.
Add your voice to the cause by joining the celebration walk.
With drilling – or more drilling – for oil on the cards for four sites in Surrey, it’s worth reminding ourselves of the words of Stephen Sanderson, CEO of UK Oil and Gas (which has an interest at the sites at Leith Hill and Horse Hill) speaking after the discovery of oil at Horse Hill in February 2016.
“These deposits extend over 1200 square miles or more of the Weald so if we can… put a commercial development together, then clearly you can see incremental step-outs over quite a large area…. We’re also looking at acquiring more acreage.
“This type of oil deposit very much depends on being able to drill your wells almost back to back so it becomes very much like an industrialised process…
“Generally speaking these types of wells do decline, ie the flow at the start of the year when you put the well on compared to the flow at the end of that year can decline by 60 or 70 per cent or so… So generally you have to drill a lot of wells close to each other so you can maintain a certain level of production.”
The quotes below start around 8 minutes into the interview on the YouTube clip below.
Please support the campaigns against oil drilling at Leith Hill, Brockham, Horse Hill, and Bletchingley.
A local parents’ group, Surrey Hills Slings, invites residents to join them for a walk to celebrate the outstanding beauty of Leith Hill.
The organisers say: “There is a very imminent threat of exploratory oil drilling upon Leith Hill, the site proposed to be within walking distance & visible from from Coldharbour Lane. There is a real risk of water contamination and huge destruction of the sunken roads leading up to the village.
“We would like to show support for the various action groups which are campaigning to raise awareness, fighting planning objections, protesting to delay to the drilling and working hard to protect the land. This has been on going for close to 8 years, largely under the radar, Europa plan to start drilling in early 2017 – WE NEED TO ACT NOW!”
They are leading a family-friendly walk from Starveall Car Park, Leith Hill Rd, Dorking RH5 6LU, meeting up at 10.15, with a view to head off at 10.30am and enjoy the hour or so walk up the hill.
Angus Energy plc, has today received permission from the Environmental Agency to drill a sidetrack at its
oil site at Brockham, licence PL 235.
Angus Energy is now floated on the AIM, and telling investors that they will increase production to 400 barrels of oil per day.
However they will need planning permission before they can extend the existing well bores or drill a new well, as well as a different permit from the EA. At the time of writing, no planning application has been submitted.
Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius, Angus Energy’s Chairman, commented: “Receiving the Environment Agency’s permission to drill the Brockham side-track is an important step in the development of the Group. The upcoming sidetrack will allow the Group to increase and prolong the production from the Portland reservoir while also giving the Group an opportunity to assess the potential of, and if successful, produce from the Kimmeridge limestons (sic) and Top Coralian layer.”
Jacquetta Fewster from Mole Valley Green Party said, “This is part of a worrying trend across the South East. The Government must live up to its commitment to the Paris Agreement in deeds, not just words, and put an end to prospecting at Brockham, Leith Hill and Horse Hill. Investment in renewables and energy conservation is what we need. This relentless quest for toxic fossil fuels is the road to ruin.”
Mole Valley residents turned out in force in Dorking on 8 November to hear about the oil drilling threats across the area.
They showed strong support for the people from all over England who have set up a camp on nearby Leith Hill to protect it from drilling.
Although the Leith Hill drilling has been allowed to go ahead by the Planning Inspectorate, many pledged to stop it going ahead.
Julian Everett, of the Voice for Leith Hill Group, said: “The basic truth is that oil drilling on Leith Hill is just wrong. We’re fighting this campaign because sometimes people, whose job it is to protect places like Leith Hill, get lost and forget themselves. It’s up to the rest of us to ensure that treasured national assets remain protected and safe.”
A team of researchers from The School of Advanced Study, University of London, The University of York and Liverpool John Moores University is launching a joint research project to look at the policing of protests against fracking in England and Wales.
Following a series of high-profile protests against fracking around England and Wales since 2013, the team of researchers has already begun documenting the experiences of those involved in a number of these protests. The aim of this new project is to develop a broader national picture of the policing of protests against fracking and to explore the experiences of those involved in protest and community activism in this context. Read the rest of this entry >>
Horse Hill Developments Ltd has submitted its application for further testing and drilling at Horse Hill.
The application is for “The retention of the existing exploratory well site and vehicular access onto Horse Hill; the appraisal and further flow testing of the existing borehole (Horse Hill-1) for hydrocarbons, including the drilling of a (deviated) sidetrack well and flow testing for hydrocarbons; installation of a second well cellar and drilling a second (deviated) borehole (Horse Hill-2) and flow testing for hydrocarbons; erection of security fencing on an extended site area; erection of acoustic/light barrier; modifications to the internal access track; installation of plant, cabins and equipment, all on some 2.08ha, for a temporary period of three years, with restoration to agriculture and woodland.”
The application documents and plans should also be available for public inspection at Reigate Town Hall. Please telephone the Planning Service before travelling to ensure the documents are available. The address is:
Reigate and Banstead Borough Council
The public consultation end date is 12 December 2016 – though the Council will normally take account of comments received up to the date the decision is made.