Campaigners from Extinction Rebellion have locked themselves together to block the entrance of the Horse Hill oil site near Gatwick.
In a statement, the organisation said this was part of a day of action highlighting the links between fossil fuels and the climate emergency.
The Horse Hill site, operated by a subsidiary of UK Oil & Gas plc, received planning permission in September from Surrey County Council to extract oil for 20 years.
Extinction Rebellion said this would add an estimated 10 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Molly, one of the campaigners who is taking part in the protest said:
“We are paying UK Oil & Gas a visit to highlight that recent permissions will make Horse Hill the second largest onshore oil facility in the UK.
“They are not only contributing to climate chaos with 20 years of climate wrecking CO2 and methane emissions, but will also be using extreme extraction methods to produce tight oil from shale rock.
“It’s time everyone realised this is a real emergency and that companies like UKOG have to go.”
The High Court has granted an injunction against protests at the Horse Hill site.
UK Oil & Gas said in a statement this morning:
“We notice that the XR protesters outside our Horse Hill site are wearing helmets, overalls and using drinking vessels which are all made from oil-derived products. How will they cope without oil? How will any of us cope?”
A specialist police unit has been working to release the protesters from the lock-on device. Photos used with the owners’ consents.
A spokesperson for Surrey Police later said Gillian Fletcher, 57, of Clifton Road, Wokingham, and Steve Lowes, 48, of Goring Road, Staines-upon-Thames, had been charged with wilful obstruction of a highway. They have been released on conditional bail and are next due to appear at South West Surrey Magistrates’ Court in Guildford on 31 December 2019.
Extinction Rebellion also held a protest today at Surrey County Council headquarters in Kingston (see DrillOrDrop report). The council is due to decide in January 2020 on UKOG planning application to drill for oil at Dunsfold.