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. Crow, Thank you so much from me I was so excited to return home and see this , we need to get active again like Balcome like the north and you did it well done and I am very grateful

    • And I see the Tewkesbury branch of the Green Party are objecting to even an anaerobic digester in their local area. Good Heavens where do they think we are going to get our natural gas from, given that over 80% of the population heat their homes with gas.

    • You mean active like the protestor outside the Cuadrilla site who was arrested for shouting, “We will get ISIS to bomb you up soon’” …just a few months after the Manchester bombing. Clearly another learned protestor sensitive to the needs of the community.

    • Are you typing that message on a computer keyboard, and is that keyboard made of plastic, and is that plastic made from oil? Can a 5 ton lorry transporting said keyboard from factory to shop run on anything else all day except oil or CNG? How do we mine and transport all the rare earth minerals needed to make solar panels and wind turbines? “We don’t need oil”, think again.

      • That is not true anymore, synthetic fuels and carbons are now taking over. Airlines use synthetic fuels, so does the military, that was the result of the oil embargoes back in the seventies, we learned to make synthetics. Materials can be grown from the molecules up, science is understanding how nature puts together elements from combining natural materials and sunlight, and now we can reproduce much of the physics.
        Solar panels no longer require rare earths, the latest highly efficient systems produce solar panels using two of the most common elements on the earth. Wind generators are twenty years behind modern technology, now we can make highly efficient generators using electromagnetic gearboxes which solve the heating and failure problems.
        We all ready have enough oil washing around the planet, we can produce better gas from cracking water, HHO, we can combine materials and make highly efficient generators.
        The source of all energy, fossilised or not, is the sun, now we are learning to use that directly.
        No, we do not need more oil from under our feet, poisoning and carving up our countryside we need to conserve what we have and synthesise the rest from basic elements.
        This government is no better than previous governments, they are only set up to solve the problems of the past, hence our present insanity, we need to prepare for the future, and that means investing in future energy production and manufacturing, not sitting on problems that have all ready been solved by others.
        Welcome to the future.
        [typo corrected at poster’s request]

  2. Did it help? No. No delay. Police time wasted, no other impact-that will come later. Every action produces a reverse action.

  3. Could someone explain to Dave that the rig drills and then goes away. They are too expensive, and sort after, to stand back to back. Plenty of inconspicuous oil production sites around UK, but difficult to find, err, because they are inconspicuous!

    Understand spudding will happen shortly, which probably indicates production in October, subject to any technical hiccups. Then, a nice tax bonus to pay for benefits. Very circular world.

    Onwards, and downwards.

  4. Can’t quite see what this has to do with Cuadrilla, shale gas or Lancashire, John!

    I understand you and Dave don’t see that, but that is a whole different matter. I would seriously suggest you, and others, stop trying to link these matters. It obviously excites Dave, but there is quite a high risk that such linkage will end up as the final own goal.
    I know my advice will be ignored, but then, if I didn’t, I would not give it!

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