Horse Hill update: Environmental permit, planning application and licence acquisition


Initial flow testing at Horse Hill. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

Three announcements today on the so-called Gatwick Gusher oil site at Horse Hill near Horley in Surrey.

The Environment Agency said it had issued a draft environmental permit for flow testing and further drilling. The planning application for this work could be decided in a matter of weeks and one of the companies with an interest in the well has increased its stake.


The Environment Agency has begun a consultation on a draft permit issued today for future work at the Horse Hill well site.

The permit is a variation of the original one issued in 2014, which had allowed the drilling of a single exploratory borehole. If confirmed, the variation would permit:

  • Short-term and extended well tests on the technical and commercial viability of the existing Horse Hill-1 (HH-1) well
  • Deviated side-track from HH-1 and extended well test for up to 75 days
  • New appraisal well, Horse Hill-2 (HH-2), and extended well test for up to 75 days
  • Flaring of gas during the tests up to 10 tonnes per day

A separate application has been made for an oil storage permit.

The public consultation on the draft permit and the decision document runs until 4 August 2017. The EA said:

“Our mind remains open at this stage: although we believe we have covered all the relevant issues and reached a reasonable conclusion, our ultimate decision could yet be affected by any information that is relevant to the issues we have to consider.

“Unless we receive information that leads us to alter the conditions in the draft permit, or to reject the Application altogether, we will grant the permit in its current form.”

The permit proposes standard controls on emissions, smell, noise and vibration. It sets limits on emissions from the flare of oxides of nitrogen, carbon monoxide, total volatile organic compounds and hydrogen sulphide. It requires measurements of the gas flare feed rate and combustion temperature. Produced water must not be reinjected but transported off-site to a treatment facility. The permit also prohibits storage of waste for more than three months on site.

natalie bennett at Horse Hill.2jpg

Protests during initial flow tests at Horse Hill


Public Health England recommended conditions to ensure there was no impact on public health from emissions of nitrogen dioxide and particulates from flaring and diesel engines or volatile organic compounds from oil tanks.

In earlier public comments on the application, there were concerns about the use of acid in the wells. The EA responded that the process would “not present a risk to groundwater”.

There was also concern that the operator would use well stimulation techniques on tight deposits of shale. The EA said:

“If … the Applicant decides it wishes to proceed either to further testing using methods not approved in this permit a variation of the permit will be required.”

In response to concerns about threats of contamination to surface or groundwater, the EA said:

“We are satisfied that the methods of well construction, including drilling additives and extended well tests, which are controlled by this permit, will not pose a risk to groundwater or surface water given the mitigation measures required. We are satisfied that drinking water supplies are not at risk.”

Planning application

Horse Hill leaflet

UKOG information about plans for Horse Hill

UK Oil & Gas, one of the companies with an interest in the Horse Hill well, announced to shareholders this morning the planning application for testing and new wells would come before Surrey County Council within weeks.

The company said the council expected the application would be considered at scheduled meetings of the planning committee on either 2 August or 13 September.

The extended well tests were scheduled to start in the final quarter of this year (October-December 2017), UKOG said. This would follow testing at the company’s nearby oil site at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex, which received an environmental permit last week (DrillOrDrop report)

If the Horse Hill well tests were successful, UKOG said production could begin at the end of 2018 or in early 2019.

UKOG acquisition

UKOG also announced it had increased its interest in the Horse Hill licences. It has acquired a 1.9% shareholding from Regency Mines plc in Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL), the site operator.

The transaction, which has to be approved by HHDL, will take UKOG’s interest in the licences, PEDL137 and 246, to 32.435%. The cost is £54,498 in cash and £268,502 in the issue of new ordinary shares in UKOG.

This is the first acquisition since UKOG released unaudited accounts last month in which it said it planned to expand its licence position onshore in the UK, particularly in the Weald of southern England.

UKOG’s Executive Chairman, Stephen Sanderson, said today:

“This acquisition fits perfectly within UKOG’s stated strategy to further consolidate and increase its holdings in the Kimmeridge oil play in the Weald. The licences remain a significant part of UKOG’s extensive Kimmeridge portfolio, containing both the HH-1 oil discovery and its likely continuation across much of the licenced area.”

Egdon acquisition

Also today, Egdon Resources announced it had acquired the oil field at Fiskerton Airfield in Lincolnshire from Cirque Energy. The transaction cost $750,000 (about £590,000).

The deal comes a week after councillors in North Lincolnshire refused Egdon’s application for oil production at the Wressle site near Scunthorpe.

The Fiskerton oil field, in licence EXL294, is about 7km east of Lincoln. Oil was discovered in 1997 and cumulative production totalled 440,000. It is currently producing about 19 barrels a day from one of two production wells. The second well is shut-in awaiting a work-over.

Egdon said it planned to increase production to 30-40 barrels per day following what it called “low cost well interventions”. It estimated more than 100,000 barrels remained recoverable from the existing wells.

Mark Abbott, Managing Director of Egdon Resources, said today:

“We are pleased to acquire the Fiskerton Airfield oil field for a modest cash outlay. The field has suffered from a lack of investment over recent years and we plan to undertake simple low-cost workovers to enhance production and profitability in the short-term, adding valuable near-term cash-flow to Egdon’s portfolio. In the longer term, we will investigate the potential to enhance productivity through in-fill drilling.”


Horse Hill draft environmental permit

Horse Hill draft decision document

Online consultation on Horse Hill draft environmental permit

UKOG announcement to shareholders 10 July 2017

Egdon announcement to shareholders 10 July 2017


32 replies »

  1. So, I suppose there will be a repeat of the “fracking” nonsense, and then it will be “we don’t need it” when one of the largest sites for fossil fuel usage is a few miles away, that is not going away but expanding, and the clockwork motors on a 747 are a tad inconvenient.

    Looks like flow testing will have been conducted elsewhere before the meeting, and production will have started on another local site, so it will be interesting to see what the wider picture then looks like.

    • A somewhat anticipatory supposition? Clockwork motors on a 747? An interesting proposition? Electromagnetic maybe? Now that is a real possibility. perhaps Nikola Tesla could have helped their?

      • You keep telling us that Nikola Tesla has found way to produce free electricity. Well if that’s the case why renewables heroes billionaires like Elon Musk and Vince Dale throw their money into it? HERE is why? The laws of physics dictate that nothing can be created from nothing and energy can only be created by transfer from one form to another. So in energy term there is no such thing as free energy.

        • Oh dear TW, you are such a good fall guy! You know not of which you speak.

          Lets take this in easy steps shall we? Because it requires some reasoning and physics, and i wouldnt want to tire you out too much.
          The “laws” of the conservation of energy were first proposed (as far as we know) by Thales of Miletus c. 550 BCE, but made most famous by our dear Sir Isaac Newton In 1687, published in his Principia,

          That stated that the total energy of an isolated system remains constant—it is said to be conserved over time. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it transforms from one form to another. For instance, chemical energy can be converted to kinetic energy in the explosion of a stick of dynamite. In technical terms, conservation of energy can be rigorously proven by the Noether theorem to be a direct consequence of continuous time translation symmetry.
          So, energy cannot be be destroyed or created can it?
          This is the idiots guide to physics, but consider the “Big Bang”? What existed before the Big Bang? Anything at all? Nothing? No time, no space, no matter, no energy? And not even a place or dimension, in which such a thing can exist?

          i can prove to you, by simple logic, that the big bang did, and did not happen! Easy peasy! First imagine nothing? Doesnt work does it? Because our whole existence is entirely within matter time space and energy, most now say its all energy, just in different forms. Then imagine the big bang, everything springs into existence at once, energy, time and space, instantly just like that! But, and here is the kicker, as energy time and space sprang into being from nothing, energy time and space only exist from that moment? Before that none of these things existed? So before the big bang, there was no time to measure “before”, after the big bang, energy time and space only exists from that moment on, therefore in any way we can measure it, the big bang never happened! Even if it did! Because there was no energy time and space for it to occupy?

          Neat isnt it? Energy created from nothing? So if it can be created, then it follows, it must be destroyed? Where? Look at a black hole, but dont get too close!

          OK? Second problem? who said that “free energy” is free in real terms? the universe has existed since? Well you know that one. The sun, and one presumes our galaxy is countless billions of years old, maybe as old as the big bang, which, as we now know, never happened.
          Our sun has been pouring out energy since its beginning, our planet is one of, how many now? 8? 9? 10? X? And also have done so for who knows how long?
          all that time, the sun has been pouring out energy, it formed the fossil fuels from vegetation all that time ago, it is pouring out energy now and will be we hope for some time to come? The earth itself is an electromagnetic engine, it has an iron core which spins at a different rate to the crust, the result is an extremely powerful electromagnetic field, The atmosphere is positively charged, the earth is negatively charged, the higher into the atmosphere you go, the greater the charge differential. About 100 metres up in the air, there is sufficient charge to flow through a circuit to the ground beneath, if it is sufficiently well “Earthed”.
          So, build a tower, Tesla built a 57 m high tower at Wardenclyffe in Shoreham, New York in 1901-1902, it was earthed down in the ground with steel poles, it was a dome raised high enough to have a high differential charge between air and ground and was intended to incorporate a magnifying apparatus to transmit the energy through the air at a particular frequency. A reciever need not be connected by wire, it simply needed to be attuned to the transmitter frequency and energy was free, from the air, no moving parts, no generation other than the tower, simple easy construction, everywhere, all the time FOR EVER!
          So you see it is not actually free, it draws upon the structure, and electromagnetic qualities of the sun, the earth, the galaxy, the stars, the universe, that pre exists, the result, apart from the construction of the tower, is free, for ever, no down time, no moving parts, no pollution.

          But, it could not be metered, and Tesla was not interested in fame or fortune, his gift of knowledge was free, for everyone, everywhere, for ever, so it was stolen from him and quickly hidden and only now are we rediscovering it. It is still Nicola Teslas birthday, may i suggest you thank him for this free gift.

          Why has it not been used before now? Ask your own industry what it has done to anyone who tried to use it and make it publicly available, there are long long lists of deaths, thefts, disappearances and worse, buying up or destroying patents and hiding them, you name it, it has been done. Go figure. Why is it becoming known now? You are looking at it, the medium of instant communication, and that is under attack too.

          Now do you understand what free energy means? Any more questions?

          [Corrected at poster request]

          • Phil, maybe I’m wrong, but I’m sure that the magnetic field is generated by convection currents in the liquid outer core and not by the method you describe.
            P.S. If the technology is so well understood, why don’t all the wind companies build Tesla free electricity generators into their towers?

            • There are several ways the electromagnetic field is generated, its a whole subject in itself, but I have all ready been accused of being too long in my posts. So please do some research yourself.
              Why isn’t Tesla generation used at all? That is a suggestion you should put to your energy provider, your government and your scientists, happy hunting!

      • PhiC… Love the idea of free energy. who doesn’t? I even enjoyed the Ted Talk link but in following up on various demos of Tesla machine/generators they were all as boring as they were unconvincing. It’s great to have an obsession (sometimes) but would you mind leaving that subject aside unless and until you can find an example of a 1 megawatt power source based on those principles?

        • That is Interesting? Do you object to the concept? Do you know anything about Nikola Tesla? See above. i will post other links if you want? But i have done so before and on this subject on one or other of these posts. That is not an unusual reaction, i know, i was there once.
          Was Tesla a charlatan? Where did AC power generation come from? it wasnt Edison, he proposed DC and tried to demonise Tesla’s AC power generation and transmission by electrocuting dogs and elephants! And refused to pay Tesla the money he owed him. Nice guy!

          Please feel free to look it up yourself if you wish? You don’t need to read to anything i have written, its not that hard to find articles and inventions?

          if you want to look at frequency engineering, look at Victor Schauberger’s work, that was back in the 1930’s.

          • I know all that AC/Tesla stuff from years ago. Just wondering why you feed your certain interests into threads in such an off-topic manor. If you’re really talking about viable energy alternatives – which would be kind of on-topic in a very general way – then they need to be just that ‘viable’.

            • Its Teslas birthday today, I can’t think of a better day to post this can you? I understand there are at least two projects being quietly produced as we speak.
              Viable? I guess we will see?

  2. [Edited by moderator] If Telsa machine is so viable economically the Chinese Russian and whoever else have to depend on oil would have at least attempt to build it. It sounds like gold mining from sea water, plenty of free gold but no one want to do it.

    [Edited by moderator]

      • I didn’t mean to down play his invention. I am sure it was brilliant. But like many brilliant experimental discovery it doesn’t seem to have an economical viability to make it to the market. Energy is about mass scale security reliability and portability and environmental viability. Fail one of these factors then the technology wont be attractive to investors or humanity.

        • Are you OK with the physics now? Anything technical to say, any questions? Technical issues to call into doubt? Only economics to question then? You agree with everything else? Yes?

          “Fail one of these factors then the technology wont be attractive to investors or humanity.”

          Tell me TW, how does fracking gas and proppant squeezed and acidisation of oil extraction meet these condition and “free” energy not meet those conditions?

          Excuse me, but free generation, once the towers and receivers have been built, or for cities, perhaps atmospheric platforms that also have wind and solar panels, tied to the national grid.

          That is not economic? How? Please educate me as to how that is not economic? Less than oil and gas? More? Less than nuclear? More?

          Think of local towers, maybe airborne for big cities, or multiple towers on top of taller buildings, free height advantage, no moving parts for the Tesla and solar sections, only moving parts for the wind generation? New wind generation is efficient and can be made quite beautiful and are designed not to endanger birds, no noise to worry about up there, torroidal edge vortex generators are almost silent, The present commercial wind towers are ten or twenty years behind the presently available technology, they are redundant in almost every way.

          OK, forget wind generation for a moment. Tesla generation is simple physics, easy to build, non intrusive, non polluting, no moving parts with new computerised technology and materials, it should be a doddle?

          Pardon me, but how is that not economic? how has that changed in the last 100 years?

          • Great. Why don’t you go ahead and do it? I am sure with your knowledge and passion on the topic you would be more convincing than Mr Tesla himself. You will be the hero. Just make sure dont take away the $ revenue from wind and solar or the ecomobs will came snd vandalize your Tesla tower of free energy.

          • PhilC – [Edited by moderator] You say Tesla generator physics is simple, economic and construction ‘should be’ a doddle. But what hasn’t changed in the last 100 years is that none of this has been proven to be the case.

            • Another long one for you, it should keep you happy for another 160 years.

              I used to wonder why we continue to make the same mistakes, follow the same old hollow lies and obey the same old fake rules?

              the answer is simple enough really, Its because its safer that way, we really don’t want the answers. They would make us have to take responsibility for ourselves for a change, with all the answers we would have make a better world, and that would require thought and effort and change everything we know, no more safe comfortable slave cages, physical and mental, no more illusory cage walls, there would be no escaping the responsibility of stepping outside the cage, the cage in our heads is much tougher than the physical cages, we would have to work hard for it and be responsible for the mistakes we made if we actually did something.

              So when, in every couple of generations, someone special comes along and actually says, not only is there a solution to all our problems, but they actually give it to us freely, non gratis, not to sell it and make themselves rich, or become self styled nobility, or slave owners, or gods, but just say, here it is, its simple, now you can fix the world, go and do it.

              We always run a mile, we persecute them, murder them, sideline them, get rid of them by whatever means available, and bury their quick and easy solutions just as quick as we can, and quickly fall back into our familiar old comfortable slave cage. Like a lion that has been caged and tortured all its life, and then someone opens the cage door, but the lion wont come out, because the cage door is now deeply embedded in the lions head, it no longer has a concept of freedom, or open doors.

              Because we have, again, been offered the very thing we cannot bear to have, we cannot see the cage door is open, because the cage door in our heads is closed and will never be open.

              We cannot bear to face the knowledge and the power to actually DO something about it! So well brainwashed and conditioned to obey are we.

              Opening the gates in our heads means we cant hide any more behind arguments and disagreements, wars and greed and self interest.

              We cannot escape out of the “do nothing” box and we would rather leave it up to someone else to run our lives for us.

              We would have to take our courage in both hands and be responsible for ourselves for once, and that is painful, we might just have to deal with our own short comings rather than someone else removing the burden from us.

              We would have to do the work, not some slimy paid dictator, who doesnt give a damn for anything but his/her own greed, not some bureaucratic oligarch, not some self serving pack leader? We! would have to do it, and that would never do would it?

              So we bury another poor bugger, sideline the danger of waking up, forget the sting of responsibility and ignore the stacked locked boxes we surround ourselves with.

              Much safer to argue the toss with the convenient opposition, because that way we can always say it was all their fault, it cannot be our fault because we never do anything, we just like to sit back and blame everyone else. Much easier.

              No, we don’t want answers or solutions, that would mean we have to be awake..

              Now where are those nails? That locked forgotten box almost got opened that time and nearly got remembered then?

              Better use extra strong 160 year proof lock this time? Isn’t this warehouse getting crowded with boxes?

            • Forbidden technology, military protectionism, prop up the o$€¥£&g imperative that fills the oligarchy rice bowls. People have tried to introduce this and many other innovations, such as running cars on water, or HHO or many other such attempts to free us from the strangleholds, if they were lucky they survived the experience, many weren’t so lucky. The ultimate disincentive you might say.

            • Look into it if you are interested? Perhaps we cannot just expect someone else to hand us all the answers on a plate and still maintain our illusions? Or ignore the offer?
              Perhaps we, each of us, have to go out and find it for ourselves?
              That way we are taking responsibility into our own hands, tough but necessary. We can expect all the answers to be given to us, but the hard bit, is actually putting it into practice?

  3. Thanks for the suggestion PhilipP- I did that some while ago.

    Pretty bog standard oil extraction being examined for Horse Hill. The antis tried to make fracking an issue last time and, as I stated, will try and do the same again. I hope I am wrong but it is what has been done reference other oil exploration sites in the Weald recently.

    Now, you can pretend the poor lost souls do not understand, but we both know they do and they will continue to use fake news to attract attention. It is starting to get called for what it is, even by the Church. When your groups actually have something factual to present you might find the public have stopped listening.

    • There you go, I said the “fake news” lie would get trotted out before long.
      More cage walls, more locks for the stacked boxes.
      Is there such a thing as a “fake news denier?” Or perhaps a “truth denier?would be more appropriate?

  4. [Edited by moderator] regarding the tolerance toward ‘fake news’. Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson summed it up very nicely.

    JN: You want answers??
    TC: I WANT Answers??

    • Sigh! There you go, maybe try a little more reading and less scrolling, you guys like to see a fight, but you don’t like someone who points out the fight was not necessary.
      The fight isn’t necessary, the answers are right here, all you have to do is unlock that cage of the mind.
      Sigh indeed!

      • Btw Philip P, you said why introduce this little subject at all? Well, if you scroll (oh dear) to the top, you will see that martin mentioned a “clockwork 747” and I replied that Tesla could perhaps have designed an electromagnetic motor. TW then challenged me on free energy and conservation of energy, though he didn’t define it. So I answered as to why physics has a major anomaly, energy, if you believe the concept of the big bang, can be created from nothing, and the equally bizarre concept of black holes provides a scenario for the destruction of energy, the rest was about Nikola Tesla whose birthday it was on the 10th. So you see it was a valid thread all the time wasn’t it?
        I’m sorry you felt it necessary to challenge me on that, but not one person, so far, has mentioned any technical or physics argument to say any of what I said, was wrong, and still have not.
        Please feel free to do so anytime.

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