Ten people were arrested when opponents of operations to explore for oil in southern England blocked the entrance to the site of the so-called Gatwick Gusher at Horse Hill in Surrey.
The site operator, Horse Hill Developments Ltd, is testing the flow of the well. There is planning permission for additional wells at the site if the tests are successful. The major investor, UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) said in June it was preparing to submit a further planning application to seek consent to produce oil from the existing and future wells.
UKOG said yesterday it had increased its stake in the Horse Hill operation and the exploration licence areas PEDL 137 and 246.
Last winter, protesters occupied the Horse Hill site for two nights. UKOG has sought an injunction against protests at Horse Hill and another site at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex. A decision on the High Court application is expected soon.
Campaign speakers at Preston New Road
Campaigners against Cuadrilla’s shale gas operation at Preston New Road near Blackpool gathered outside the site to hear speeches from John Ashton, a former Foreign Office climate change ambassador, and Jamie Bartlett, author and director of the Demos Centre for the Analysis of Social Media.
The gathering was part of the weekly Green Monday event, which has been running outside Preston New Road for more than a year.
Cuadrilla is expected to begin fracking at the site shortly. This will be the first high volume hydraulic fracturing in the UK since 2011 and the first frack of a horizontal shale gas well.