Police officers outnumbered shale gas opponents at times during the delivery of the first rig to the IGas exploration site at Misson in north Nottinghamshire.
Eye witnesses reported that at one point there were about 38 officers and seven protesters. The number of officers reportedly reached about 50. There were no arrests.
The deliveries included the conductor rig, which sets the conductor pipe on a well site. This is the first layer of steel casing of a well that provides structural support.
Some local people who watched the deliveries complained about aggressive policing and said their ability to protest had been constrained by an injunction granted to IGas at the High Court on 3 September 2018.
The injunction also covers the other IGas site in Nottinghamshire at Tinker Lane and a site in Cheshire at Ellesmere Port. It prohibits obstruction of the highway and unlawful interference with access to the sites. The injunction is expected to be challenged at a High Court hearing on 2 October.
The conductor pipe has been installed at the Tinker Lane site and drilling the main borehole is scheduled to begin there in the final quarter of 2018 (October-December).