Balcombe villagers protest against oil tests


Protest outside Angus Energy oil site at Balcombe, West Sussex, 18 September 2018. Photo: DrillorDrop

About 50 people from the West Sussex village of Balcombe joined a protest this morning against imminent tests at a nearby oil site.
They walked to the site at Lower Stumble to demonstrate their opposition to renewed oil operations in the village, they said.

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Protest against Angus Energy flow test at Balcombe, West Sussex, 18 September 2018. Photo: DrillOrDrop

The oil well has been suspended since it was drilled by Cuadrilla in 2013.

Angus Energy, which took over operation of the site in May 2018, has been bringing equipment on to the site for the past few days. A seven-day test of the flow rate of oil in the well is due start next week, Angus has said.


Delivery lorry leaving Angus Energy’s oil site at Balcombe, 18 September 2018. Photo: DrillOrDrop

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Equipment arriving at Angus Energy’s oil site at Balcombe, 18 September 2018. Photo: DrillOrDrop

Helen Savage, of Frack Free Balcombe Residents Association (FFBRA), said this morning:

“We wanted to come down here to remind Angus, and local and wider politicians that this work is not welcome here. We said no. We do not want it here and we do not think it should be done anywhere.

“We signed up to climate agreements. If local government agrees to these operations how are we going to reduce our carbon emissions?

“The government is prioritising oil and gas over renewables. The future is going to be in renewables. Why is the government not investing in them.”

FFBRA is particularly concerned about the impact of flaring at the Lower Stumble site on local air quality. Helen Savage said:

“If this industry takes off and this site and others go into production, we will have more wells drilled, more traffic movements and more effects on air quality, from here to the Isle of Wight. Where are we going to find clean air?”

The Green Party MEP, Keith Taylor, backed the villagers. In a statement he said:

“I want to extent my solidarity to campaigners and residents in Balcombe. I and fellow Greens will continue to stand with you in your fight – as we did five years ago. And, as in 2013, our strength in numbers and unity will prevail once again. more power to your elbows.”

Last night, four village representatives were voted onto the community liaison group, established as a condition of planning permission for the Balcombe flow test. They join four parish councillors and representatives of Mid Sussex District and West Sussex County Councils. The first full meeting of the group is on Thursday (20 September 2018).

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Last week, Angus Energy secured an interim High Court injunction. It seeks to outlaw trespass and what are described as unlawful protests at the Balcombe site and a nearby four mile section of road. The injunction also covers another Angus Energy oil site at Brockham in Surrey.

A second High Court hearing on the injunction has been set for 2 October 2018. People who wish to be challenge the order should file evidence with the court and serve it on Angus Energy by 24 September 2018.

DrillOrDrop invited Angus Energy to comment on today’s protest. This post will be updated with any response.

Reporting on this event was made possible by individual donations to DrillOrDrop

65 replies »

    • This was censored before??? Why – was it the link to the riot Police photo? If so, follow TW’s link….

      Yes TW – this is where our antis should be protesting if they really are concerned about climate change and our planet. Also we should be using the same removal / enforcement methods. Our swampies don’t know how lucky they are to live in the UK….

      [Typo corrected at poster’s request]

      • I would hazard a guess they are not YOUR ‘swampies’; hell, they have no idea who you are..
        …unless of course you are referring to the PAY AS YOU GOs sponsored by you know who….

        • I pay tax – they claim benefits (the ones who hide up trees and build wooden castles and lock on and surf lorries) …..although I did mean of UK origin.

          • And paying tax makes you a model citizen?

            Have you spoken personally to these individuals; are you privileged to the information about their source of income?

            Hide up trees?

            Paul, there is more to the human race than the consumer model. Stereotyping is a form of discrimination.

      • Hi Paul
        I’m afraid the system failed to “recognise” you when you posted the previous comment (hence the change in avatar) and flagged you as a new contributor. Posts from first-time contributors are automatically held in moderation until cleared by one of the DrillOrDrop team. This helps to prevent spam appearing in comments.

        Comment should now be visible.
        Regards, Paul

  1. I notice that yesterday a plan to double the passengers at Southampton Airport was announced.

    Long overdue. Will attract daft complaints but will prevent many people driving to Heathrow, and then picking up a flight into one of the mainland European “hubs” and then onto a connecting flight. Currently common practice through lack of a better option. Now, a better option, more environmentally friendly. Difference is the fuel will come from Fawley rather than somewhere in mainland Europe.

  2. Oh yes, vewright, real problem in those areas of the world where there is currently a desperate need for fossil fuelled generators, chain saws and bulldozers to help save lives amid the hurricane and typhoon season. The problem being-getting enough of them. Perhaps more will need to be brought in by ship or aeroplane, together with the construction equipment for rebuilding? Same with the wind turbines blown down and the solar panels under water.

    I wonder how we managed before fossil fuels were available for such things? (We didn’t, but that was during the days before the web, so over the horizon was something we didn’t see. Now, we can see it but only partially, it seems.)

  3. I don,t know how old you are sherwulfe.But there has always been hurricane typhoons Don,t play that old chestnut. [Edited by moderator]

    • Now, now TW’s alter ego; don’t quote the past, quote the now…..extreme weather events are intensifying due to changes in weather patterns attributed to climate change; mind you don’t get blown off your feet by the unseasonable storms in September, if you are in the UK…

  4. You have to question who are the ones he is addressing such twaddle to, Slade. Meanwhile, we shall just have to keep the debate at a more informed level and show a bit more respect for historical knowledge, and caution around what lack of sleep does to judgement. I would have thought the FACT that such events are referred to as a SEASON might be a bit of a clue.

    Fake news only works when it is disguised. Even a little bit helps, otherwise it looks very desperate.

      • Sherwulfe the info is out there on the internet.Do some research about the frequency of hurricane cyclone over the last 200 years .They have not increased in intensity Look at list on Wikipedia my dear Before You make your statement .Your ignorant does not become you These protesters are not on my doorstep nimbys selfishness to the extreme

        • First rule of research, don’t rely on the internet.

          Second rule, don’t quote Wikipedia (it’s a blog).

          Third rule TW, use your own avatar, your ignorant betrays you…..

          P.S. All humans are NIMBYS; it’s part of the survival process; oh, and am not yours and definitely not a dear, lovey 😉

  5. Weald Basin.
    I had a look on google map.
    Grass plots surrounded by tree lines and streets.
    Are you happy with this?
    Why are you not fighting to plant trees in those grass plots?
    Man made grass desert which can not support any wildlife. Terrible area.

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