A campaigner opposed to onshore oil and gas exploration climbed onto a drilling rig at a service station in West Sussex early this morning.
DrillOrDrop understands the incident started before dawn at the Pease Pottage service station on the M23 south of Crawley.
Reports from the scene say the man came off the rig voluntarily at about 12.20pm.
The rig is thought to have left the Kimmeridge Oil & Gas exploration site at Broadford Bridge near Billingshurst yesterday. It is expected to be used next at the Angus Energy oil site at Lidsey near Bognor Regis.
In a comment on social media made at 6am, Frack Free Sussex said:
“Our plucky rig surfer was up all night under the harvest full moon.
“Dawn is now breaking over British Drilling & Freezing’s grounded machinery, which was en route from Broadford Bridge. The driver turned up at 2am to set off, so he’s four hours behind already.
“We vow to stop this dirty, destructive industry at every stage.”
Dave is quoted as saying:
“Unless people take a stand we will see the industrialisation of the Weald from the edge of Kent to Hampshire.
“These dirty rigs will be destroying our environment, standing back to back across our green and pleasant land. People need to act now to stop this now.”
Sussex Police confirmed the incident was still underway. A spokesperson said:
“At about 2.45am on Thursday (7 September), police were called to Pease Pottage services on the M23 after an anti-fracking protestor is reported to have climbed onto a rig truck.
“Officers remain at the scene as of 9.40am and are attempting to negotiate with the man to get him down from the vehicle as soon as possible.
“No wider disruption has been caused to the services.”
Sussex Police said on 8 September 2017 that a 53 year old man from Crawley had been charged with hindering a person from driving on their onward journey, contrary to Section 241 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act. He is due to appear before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 21 September.