Climate campaigners deliberately slowed down three tankers bound this morning for the Horse Hill oil production site in Surrey.
They said they were protesting about continued oil extraction at the site near Gatwick Airport during a climate emergency.
The action began at 8am. Police are on the scene.
Last week, UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG), the parent company of the Horse Hill operator, announced the start of work to reperforate part of one of the wells at the site. This was designed to improve the flow of oil from the Portland formation in Horse Hill-1.
Local resident, James (54), said no tankers had been leaving the site recently indicating problems with the well:
“This procedure is a desperate attempt to get revenue from their only productive well and runs the risk of more earthquakes in the vicinity as the wells sits in complex, faulted geology which is poorly understood since UKOG has not commissioned any seismic surveys which they are required to do as a condition of their licence.
“Whilst this requirement has a deadline of the end of September 2021 it makes absolutely no sense to drill before getting the seismic survey.”
Tash, a 72-year-old activist and writer from Brighton, criticised Surrey County Council for declaring a climate emergency and then approving planning permission for oil production at Horse Hill.
“In the time I have left on earth, I want to do all in my power to protect this beautiful, diverse planet that we are trashing, so that we leave a safe and abundant home for all our children and the children to come.”
UKOG was granted a civil injunction against protests outside its sites in Surrey and Sussex. This is being challenged at the High Court. The date of the hearing has not yet been confirmed.
Critics of production at Horse Hill are also seeking a judicial review of the planning permission for production. This will be heard at the appeal court in November. Last week, a 71-year-old grandmother raised more than £5,000 towards legal fees in a 100-mile sponsored walk (DrillOrDrop report).