Anti-fracking protest at ‘Gatwick Gusher’ site

Campaigners from Frack Free Surrey staged a peaceful protest at Horse Hill, Horley SUS-141016-173535001
Campaigners from Frack Free Surrey staged a peaceful protest at Horse Hill, Horley SUS-141016-173535001

Anti-fracking campaigners will gather at a drill site known as the ‘Gatwick Gusher’ which a company said held billions of barrels of oil.

A spokesman for Frack Free Surrey said flow tests to confirm the commercial viability of extracting oil from the Weald Basin were due to start in weeks.

The demonstration will be held at the site in Horse Hill Lane, Horley, at 10am today (Sunday January 31).

UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) announced there could be as much as 100billion barrels of oil beneath the site last April.

Company Horse Hill Developments Limited (HHDL) had been drilling at the site since September 2014.

A UKOG statement said it did not expect to have to use hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ to release the oil from ‘naturally fractured’ rocks at the well, Horse Hill-1.

HHDL has insisted the site was a conventional oil well but Frack Free Surrey feared partner company, Magellan Petroleum Corporation, would announce there could be large deposits of shale gas in the area, which if exploited could result in wells that require fracking to extract the gas.

A Frack Free Surrey spokesman said: “Residents rightly fear that their property values will be damaged and that their communities will suffer as a result of the aquifer, land and air contamination [from fracking].

“This is a timely opportunity for the people of Surrey to make their feelings known – that we will not let this industry destroy our water, our air, our collective health and our communities.

“Up and down the UK it has been shown that this industry does not have social licence and it is no different in Surrey.”

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