Photos: Lock-on protest at Horse Hill

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Reproduced with the permission of the photographer

An anti-drilling protester locked himself on to a tanker visiting the Horse Hill exploratory oil site near Gatwick this morning.

He stayed on top of the vehicle for nearly four hours before he was taken down by specialist police officers and arrested.

The lock-on is the latest in a series of protests, organised by the Horse Hill Protection Group, which have aimed to raise awareness of the site.

The group has established a protest camp and members have walked in front of lorries going to the site to slow down deliveries. A march and mass cycle rally is planned for tomorrow (Saturday 20th February 2016).

The site operator, Horse Hill Developments Ltd, is testing the flow of oil from the well. The first two tanker loads of oil left the site earlier this week.

One of the investors in the site, UK Oil & Gas Investments, said the well continued to produce high quality oil at good rates. Its executive chairman, Stephen Sanderson, said the first two tankers containing 348 barrels of oil had been sent for refining on Tuesday.

Protest details

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Reproduced with the permission of the photograher

Protester Isabelle Bish was outside the site this morning and explained what happened.

“The waste tanker was on its way to the site at about 8.30am.”

“A couple of people got ready to walk the lorry up to the site. A guy got onto the lorry and lay down on the top. He refused to move.”

Horse HIl 1 160219

Reproduced with the permission of the photographer

“The police came soon afterwards. They used scaffolding and a winch device to get him down from the top. He was up there until about 1pm. He was then arrested.”

A spokesperson for Surrey Police said:

“Officers established a cordon around the vehicle but the man refused to engage with officers or climb down from the vehicle.”

“The road was not closed but traffic flow was restricted as a result of the incident.
The man was removed from the vehicle and arrested for interfering with a motor vehicle. Another man was also arrested at the scene for the same offence. Both men remain in police custody while enquiries continue.”

Julie Wassmer, of East Kent Against Fracking, said local people who drove past the protest had thanked those involved. She said:

“They do not want 120 lorries a day disrupting their journeys”.

She added that the Horse Hill Protection Group (HHPG) was currently monitoring safety issues at the site which they did not feel the Environment Agency was adequately equipped for, following government cuts.

DrillOrDrop reported earlier this week complaints by local residents about a smell coming from the site during the first flow test. Link to post We’ll be posting a follow-up to this with new information next week.

March and mass cycle

Another protest is planned for tomorrow (Saturday 20th February) starting at 12 noon. The meeting point is the Black Horse pub, Reigate Road, Horley RH6 0HU. Details

Cyclists will also gather at the site, some of them beginning their journey in London Details. And a bus is expected to bring campaigners from Brighton. Details


There is also a public meeting about the Horse Hill site on Sunday 28th February 2016. It is organised by Frack Free Surrey and Surrey Against Fracking, from 4.30pm-6.30pm, at Hookwood Memorial Hall, Horley RH6 0AZ. Details

Updated 6.35pm with statement from Surrey Police

7 replies »

  1. Why would there be 120 lorries a day Julie Wassmer? Is this a plot in one of your upcoming fiction novels?

    If this goes to production (and it would be totally stupid not to) then there will be pipes installed, and the fluids will be transported without anyone knowing about it. A bit like Wytch Farm in the World Heritage Site of Poole Harbour, with its multimillionaire houses, with wells drilled right underneath them. Pipelines go to Southampton for refining. (about 17,000bbl/day). No one knows its there!

    At least the PR is right. NOBODY DRIVE THERE!! People can then protest and go back to their fossil fueled lives, and pretend that a renewable powered world would work, when it will not, in the near future at least, alas.

    • Wytch Farm peak production was 110,000 barrels per day. Horse Hill peak production is forecast at 2,500 barrels per day from a twelve well pad. Wytch Farm oil is from conventional rock strata. Horse Hill oil will be from unconventional rock strata. Unconventional rock strata wells are short lived with low production per well. The unconventional Bakken field in North Dakota has average production per well of less than 150 barrels per day, which is why there are thousands and thousands of densely spaces wells there.

  2. And then the fuel was safely transported away and went to keep people warm, power hospitals, make clothes etc.

    Yes, the world is transitioning away from fossil fuels, but to attack people involved in keeping the world turned while that happens just to make yourself feel better is deplorable.

    I send my best wishes and prayers to all the people who had surgery today or whose lives in any way depended on what these people attacked, and send my best to all the scientists and engineers working hard to help the world transition safely to a low carbon future.

    To these people, those attacking others during the transition. Hopefully they will not frame their failure in psychosis and paranoia.

  3. He looks like the ISIL fighter in that pic. Have they implanted their or any link between these anti fracking protestor and ISIS? Obviously ISIS want us to buy oil and gas from the middle east so they get revenue to fund their war. But can they get this far already.

  4. The idiots even disconnected the air brakes!!!!! And they filmed them selves doing it and put it on line. They soon took the video down when they realised what they had done.

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