Security guards and specialist rescue staff worked through the night to remove campaigners from a protest camp near the Horse Hill oil exploration site in Surrey.
Two people locked themselves together in a wooden structure on private land next to the site.
The operation lasted more than 12 hours and ended just after 3am today. Surrey Police confirmed there were no arrests.
The eviction was ordered by the Horse Hill site operator, HHDL, on behalf of the private landowner.
It was carried out under common law, by Able Enforcement, a Bristol-based company, which was involved in earlier camp evictions at Horse Hill and Leith Hill.
A team from the specialist search and rescue company, SGI, based in Dorking, was called. Steve Wood, of Able Enforcement, said this was because it has concerns that the wooden structure could collapse.
Mr Wood said it took about five-and-a-half hours to secure the structure and another seven hours to remove the lock on, which weighed more than 100lb. He said:
“It was the best lock-on I have ever seen”.
One of the people involved in the lock-on said they experienced discomfort during the eviction operation and two others experienced pain. They were treated at the protection camp.
A spokesperson for Surrey Police said:
“This was a private eviction. Police officers were attendance to prevent a breach of the police. No arrests were made.”
The eviction was livestreamed by the anti-drilling campaigners and followed on social media. DrillOrDrop understands a complaint have been made to police about the content of some social media posts. A spokesperson for Surrey Police
Under common law, landowners can ask people to leave their land. If they refuse, the landowner can remove them “using no more force than is reasonably necessary.”
Flow testing of the well at the Horse Hill site is currently underway. Yesterday, the site’s major partner, UK Oil & Gas plc, said results from the Portland rock formation flow test had “exceeded expectations”. DrillOrDrop report