Updated: Protester occupies drilling rig in Sussex


170907 Pease Pottage UKOG Rig Eddie Mitchell4

Protester, Pease Pottage Service, West Sussex, 7 September 2017. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

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.

170907 Pease Pottage UKOG Rig Eddie Mitchell3

Protest at Pease Pottage Services, West Sussex, 7 Spetember 2017. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

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.

170907 Pease Pottage UKOG Rig Frack Free Sussex 4

Rig at Pease Pottage Services, West Sussex, 7 September 2017. Photo: Frack Free Sussex

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.”

170907 Pease Pottage UKOG Rig Eddie Mitchell2

Pease Pottage Services, West Sussex, 7 September 2017. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

170907 Pease Pottage UKOG Rig Eddie Mitchell

Pease Pottage Services, West Sussex, 7 September 2017. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

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.

25 replies »

  1. This will achieve……. Zilch apart from giving us more ammunition for future court injunctions should we wish to take them.
    [Edited by moderator]

  2. Must have been looking for a lift to Lancashire and became confused-they are, easily, after being Prof-erred a strange diet.

    Ineos will be laughing all the way to the courts! What a dossier of supporting evidence they will have by now.

  3. Do the gas companies pay tax? Do they ‘frack’
    Offshore accounts Cayman Islands. All the profits leave Britain. Dave’s few quid wont.
    [Edited by moderator]

  4. Why is an anti-frac protester trying to stop the work at Lidsey? Doesn’t he know that it’s a ‘conventional’ oil field and Angus don’t plan any frac’ing? Is he aware that oil has been safely produced from over a dozen fields in Surrey / Sussex / Hampshire / Dorset for several decades?

    • I’ll try to explain it to you “injuneer” the efforts to halt this activity anywhere in this country is not just the pollution aspect, if that was not bad enough, its more fundamental than that, its the simple fact that the processes, no matter how variously described an justified, incidentally there is far more spin and fabrication from the industry than ever from the protesters, is that it was imposed upon us, it promotes a police state mentality to protect it, it promotes the industry attempts to change the law to prevent protest, it has clearly compromised the government by whatever means, it invades communities, villages, our countryside and attempts to turn them into industrialised sacrifice zones, notably the north of England and Scotland are targeted and even called blatantly called “wastelands” in order to justify the imposition.
      The operators have hidden behind police and government protection, the government has not once produced anything more than industry propaganda, the public has been left totaly mis informed of the true impact of the process, not just in pollution terms, but in socialogical and police state terminology, for that is what we are seeing,
      The government and the industry act in secret to exclude public debate, they produce frankly laughable propaganda in meetings and even try to be anonymous, they act through other agencies, they denigrate the protesters, when it is they themselves that are the problem, and protest is just a result of that imposition.

      These pro industry posters have not helped at all with their derogatory and frankly at times before moderation, outrageous attacks on anyone who objected to it. what you see here is mild to what was being said before moderation happened.

      i was actually in two minds when i originally started looking at the subject, but i found to my utter dismay the attitude of the pros was so unpleasant, slowly i was moved to object to the treatment of what should have been open discussion into some sort of emotionally charged combative contemptuous gripe match.

      I objected to that often and said so.

      Then we began to learn that the processes involved in oil and gas extraction were not all sweetness and light, and the public in USA, Canada, and Australia was one of total and utter contempt by the various industry bodies, so that was a wake up call as well.
      So where are we now?

      This government is still hooked on promoting an industry that has a bad, if not insane track record of dishonesty, cover ups, non disclosure agreements to shut up claimants, compromised and co opted government bodies whilst simultaneously destroying and financially crippling environmental protection laws and agencies, allowing corporations to take out one injunction which clearly contradicts freedom of speech, action and protest, all of which are enshrined in common law.

      the misuse and compromising the police away from their correct and charter led duties to be concentrated to protect private corporations at the expense of protecting the public, who no longer seem to matter to government and the police any more.
      the concentration of highlighting protest as the problem when clearly it is the operators that are the problem, the protesters are just the result of that.

      That is not even approaching the long term pollution effects from an industry that may have bridges over cables to prevent workers from tripping, but bore down through our precious aquifers with processes and chemicals that are carcinogens that are clearly dangerous and rely on little more than a casing joint and a 25 mm plug of concrete to protect from pollution, the ageing process of bores, casings, joints and artesian pressures from various sub strata’s, are clearly little understood.

      The so called “gold standard” protection agencies are crippled by poor funding if not non existent, self regulation is like asking a school kid to mark his/her own exam papers and is an open invitation to fraud. Then there are the operational conditions, also self regulated, mistakes are common place, but admission seems to take many months if at all to reach the governing bodies, and then they have so few real contractual teeth, they can do little but slap the operators on the wrists, to which we see nothing but wry amusement.

      Like i said before, originally i could have moved either way on this issue, but all this together places the actions of the on shore industry into such stark relief that alarm bells rang at every turn.

      I really do think that the alternatives, no matter how far off, are far more preferable to having this potentially disastrous industry from gaining a foothold, the fact that we appear to be up against a compromised government controlling its police force to squash protest and legal injunctions to squash freedom of speech and protest just goes to show how serious these activities are, not just to the processes, but to the country as a whole.

      Does that make it any more clear for you?

  5. Hope he knows his action will not delay anything as the rig isn’t needed until the rest of the site is set up. So he’s going to get arrested (again I presume) for nothing.

  6. Injuneer-don’t expect logic. Dave has been fed a diet supplemented by false information (you have commented on this before) for a long time (started with the “Gatwick Gusher”). Several parties involved and all aimed to excite and incite the Dave’s of this world.

    Having falsely linked fracking to the Weald they now have the problem that if a large commercial oil find is established for the Weald it will excite the population and will filter back to a feeling of “let’s go for the double.”

    Their strategy is non existent, and unless there is a strange legal hiccup, I think next week will see the start of a number of injunctions.

  7. The residence of Sussex I have spoken too and that’s a lot ! are very excited by the prospects of a major oil discovery and further drilling. The anti mob seem to me well in the minority !

  8. Leave him on there all night without provision. Might think twice next time and send him a bill for lost revenue that is to be paid doing community payback. Let him do a hard days work lol.

    • Hmm, who do we send the bill to for the unwelcome and unwanted invasion and desecration of our country, the compromised government and the police and the inevitable massive clean up bill? Hurricane Harvey and Irma will be as nothing to that bill?
      Suggestions anyone?

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