Horse Hill, Horley, Surrey

Rig protest at Horse Hill oil site, 10 October 2020. Photo: Extinction Rebellion

Last updated 18/10/2022

Key facts

Address: Horse Hill 1 well site, Horse Hill, Hookwood, Horley, Surrey RH6 0RB

Production planning application: SCC ref 2018/0152
Surrey County Council approved application on 11 September 2019 to retain and extend existing well site, HH1 and HH2 wells, and vehicular access to allow: the drilling of four new hydrocarbon wells and one water reinjection well; the construction of a process and storage area and tanker loading facility; new boundary fencing; well maintenance workovers and sidetrack drilling; and ancillary development enabling the production of hydrocarbons from six wells, for a period of 25 years.

Latest planning application: SCC ref 2020/0018 for the storage of crude oil. Approved August 2022

Operator: Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL)

Majority investor: UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc (UKOG)

Licence: PEDL137

Status: Permissions for six production wells and 20 years of oil production; one well drilled and currently being flow tested.


16 August 2022

Crude oil storage plan approved. Details

15 August 2022

UKU’s highest court to rule on climate impact of onshore oil production. Details

Interview: campaigner “vindicated” by Supreme Court hearing on climate impact of oil production.

28 July 2022

Horse Hill application for retrospective changes to site operation and layout requires updated environmental assessment. Details

16 May 2022

NSTA approves water reinjection at Horse Hill oil well. Details

13 May 2022

NSTA agrees a one-year extension to Horse Hill retention area programme, allowing an extra year to drill a second Kimmeridge well. Details

5 May 2022

Environment Agency grants permission for water reinjection, plus oil production, further drilling, testing, acid treatment and burning waste gas. Details

31 March 2022

Climate campaigner seeks to take legal case on Horse Hill emissions to UK’s highest court. Details

3 March 2022

Environment Agency minded to allow “substantial” changes at Horse Hill oil site. Details

17 February 2022

Legal challenge fails on climate impact of Horse Hill oil production – but judges divided. Details

16 December 2021

UKOG announces plans for geothermal energy hub at Horse Hill. Details

4 October 2021

Government urged to withdraw from legal case in support of oil production at Horse Hill. Details

10 September 2021

Horse Hill Developments Ltd declares a loss of £17.8m. Details

2 August 2021

OGA allows more time to drill at Horse Hill – Kimmeridge appraisal well now due by September 2022. Details

30 June 2021

UKOG protest injunction granted against five campaigners. Details

29 June 2021

Oil company in court to finalise protest injunction. Details

25 May 2021

UKOG issues 262 million shares to complete purchase of equipment at Horse Hil. Details

28 April 2021

Horse Hill scales back oil storage plans by more than 80% (from 285 to under 50 tonnes). This reclassifies Horse Hill as a lower tier COMAH site with lesser regulations. Details

23 April 2023

Campaigner in 12-hour rig protest acquitted of trespass at horse Hill. Details

21 April 2021

Closing date of consultation on environmental permit changes for Horse Hill. Details

16 April 2021

Horse Hill is a “talented but troublesome teenager”, says UKOG as it goes into the red. Details

Scaled-back UKOG protest injunction heads to trial after more than three years. Details

2 April 2021

Horse Hill production continues to slide. Details

25 March 2021

Climate dispute over Surrey oil wells to go to Court of Appeal. Details

4 March 2021

Changes sought to Horse Hill environmental permit to allow drilling, flaring, well treatments, testing and water reinjection. Details

1 March 2021

No immediate production peak after Horse Hill workover – new data. Details

9 February 2021

Judge “radically scales back” UKOG protest injunction. Details

5 February 2021

Campaigners claim victory over UKOG injunction. Details

4 February 2021

UKOG abandons injunction on slow walking protests. Details

3 February 2021

BBC fined £28,000 for contempt of court after broadcasting footage of Horse Hill hearing. Details

1 February 2021

Horse Hill oil production drops during workover – latest data. Details

15 January 2021

Details of new production wells and water reinjection. Details

13 January 2021

Horse Hill protest case dropped “in the public interest”. Details

1 January 2021

Horse Hill monthly oil production falls to record low. Details

21 December 2020

Campaigner loses judicial review over climate effects of 20 years of oil production at Horse Hill. Details

1 December 2020

Oil production up slightly – but so are waste water and gas. Details

30 November 2020

Charges dropped against four people who protested at Horse Hill on 1 June 2020. Details

18 November 2020

Second day of judicial review of Surrey County Council decision to grant planning permission at Horse Hill for 20 years of oil production. Details

17 November 2020

First day of judicial review of Surrey County Council decision to grant planning permission at Horse Hill for 20 years of oil production. Details

Vigil at Horse Hill. Picture post

Oil case over Horse Hill production challenges future big carbon developments. Details

16 November 2020

Oil site campaigners accused of climbing the Horse Hill rig appeared in court. Details

5 November 2020

Test underway on Horse Hill-1 well to find out whether recent intervention has successfully increased oil flows. Details

3 November 2020

Rig leaves Horse Hill after well intervention. Details

1 November 2020

Production slide continues at Horse Hill. Official data shows July 2020 oil production was lowest so far. Details

26 October 2020

Minister and Friends of the Earth join legal challenge over Horse Hill oil production (on opposite sides). Details

21 October 2020

Traffic arrangements approved for Horse Hill drilling and oil production scheme. Details

12 October 2020

Brighton father pleads not guilty over Horse Hill oil rig protest. Details

10 October 2020

Rig occupied by two activists in protest at fossil fuels. Details

6 October 2020

“Substantial losses” revealed in accounts for Horse Hill Developments Limited. Details

5 October 2020

Slow walk protest over oil production at Horse Hill. Details

1 October 2020

Work begins to improve oil flow on HH-1 as production figures fall again. Details

2 September 2020

Climate change “lightship” passes Horse Hill oil site as part of national protest. Details

1 September 2020

Horse Hill oil production falls – latest data. Details

17 August 2020

First official Horse Hill oil production data. Details

3-4 August 2020

Slow walking protests at Horse Hill. Details here and here

29 July 2020

Two activists plead not guilty to Horse Hill protest in June. Details

17 July 2020

Campaigner wins right to challenge Surrey County Council at appeal court over climate impact of oil production at Horse Hill. Details

6 July 2020

Fossil fuel protest by Extinction Rebellion outside Horse Hill oil site. Details

30 June 2020

Stimulation, sidetracking or conversion to water injector considered for Horse Hill2z well. Details

Climate campaigners plead not guilty to trespass at Horse Hill. Details

4 June 2020

UKOG announces plan to boost production from Horse Hill’s Gatwick Gusher. It also announces loan repayment and equipment purchase. Details

1 June 2020

Environmental campaigners breach security and carry out lock-on protest. Details

11 May 2020

Campaigners celebrate changes to UKOG protest injunction. Details

9 April 2020

Women win right to continue challenge to UKOG protest injunction. Details

“Fake Facebook account” allegedly used for UKOG protest injunction, court told. Details

2 April 2020

Oil company seeks to block campaigners from injunction challenge. Details

1 April 2020

UKOG injunction accused of “bullying” and “breach of right to protest”. Details

31 March 2020

UKOG delays capital spending because of coronavirus. Details

23 March 2020

Campaigners ask court to scrap UKOG injunction against oil and gas protests. Details

22 March 2020

Oil company seeks to add 100+ more people to protest injunction. Details

13 March 2020

UKOG announces OGA production consent for Horse Hill. Details

9 March 2020

Solution announced for formation water problem at Horse Hill. Details

19 February 2020

UKOG announces start of intervention to shut off water in HH-2z well. Details

13 February 2020

Climate impact of burning Horse Hill oil was not council’s concern, says judge who refused judicial review. Details

3 February 2020

Court date in challenge to approval of Horse Hill oil production. Details

31 January 2020

UKOG submits planning application to Surrey County Council for storage of crude oil. To be determined under delegated powers by planning officers. Details

30 January 2020

Deadline for comments on Horse Hill transport and traffic management plan. Details

28 January 2020

Operation to find water source in Horse Hill well delayed to next month. Details

7 January 2020

Horse Hill lorries to be ordered to “stay in lane”. Details

23 December 2019

Shares in UKOG fall 8% on news of the test of HH-2z which identified formation water. Details

17 December 2019

UKOG considers contempt of court action against protesters (see 10 December 2019). Details

10 December 2019

Extinction Rebellion campaigners block the entrance to the Horse Hill site. Details

5 December 2019

Transport and traffic management plan submitted for Horse Hill production work. Details

2 December 2019

UKOG shares fall on news of £2m fundraising for Horse Hill. The company said partners were unlikely to contribute their share of costs. Details

27 November 2019

UKOG announces that first horizontal well at Horse Hill – HH-2z – is completed. Flow test will now start. Details

25 November 2019

Deadline for comments on environmental permit for oil production. Details

12 November 2019

Legal challenge launched to Horse Hill oil production plans. Details

3 November 2019

Fire at Horse Hill oil site. Details

29 October 2019

Public consultation starts on changes to Horse Hill environmental permit. Details

22 October 2019

Horizontal drilling begins at Horse Hill. Details

29 September 2019

UKOG statement says HH2-2z well spudded. Details

25 September 2019

Campaign group announces legal challenge to planning approval for four additional production wells. Details

24 September 2019

Horse Hill drill rig delivered – drilling to start “shortly”, says UKOG. Details

11 September 2019

Planning permission approved for four additional production wells and 20 years of oil production, plus storage and tanker loading facilities. News updates and reaction

UKOG announces completion of its acquisition of Magellan Petroleum’s 35% stake in Horse Hill from Tellurian for £12m in shares and cash. This increases UKOG’s stake in Horse hill from 50.635% to a controlling 85.635%. Details.

5 September 2019

Planning officers recommend approval of Horse Hill production scheme. Details

24 June 2019

Deadline for comments on new material on Horse Hill planning application. Details

21 June 2019

“Gatwick Gusher” broke safety laws over blowout preventer in 2018. Details

22 May 2019

Council seeks new comments on Horse Hill oil production plans and decision delayed until at least July 2019. Details

9 May 2019

Planning decision on long-term production and further wells delayed until at least June 2019.

20 March 2019

Surrey County Council reveals a thousand objections to latest application and a delay to at least May for the decision.

18 February 2019

Closing date for comments on application for four more wells and 20 years of oil production. Link to application

16 January 2019

UKOG plans “near continuous” oil production from Horse Hill in 2019. Details

21 December 2018

Plans published for four more wells and 20 years of oil production at Horse Hill. Details

Six women win right to appeal against UKOG injunction against protests. Details

15 November 2018

UKOG publishes numbers from Horse Hill well test. Details

5 October 2018

First results of the extended well test on the Portland layer suggest the well has connected to a reservoir with 7 – 11 million barrels of oil in place.  Estimates that the well could achieve a long-term flow rate of 362 bopd.  Details here and here

30 September 2018

Scoping application for a site extension and up to 6 wells onsite submitted to Surrey County Council.  Details

11 September 2018

Eviction of protest camp. Details

10 September 2018

Horse Hill Portland oil tests “exceed expectations”, says UKOG. Details

3 September 2018

High Court grants UKOG injunction but curtails some parts of the order. Details

30 August 2018

Solo Oil sells stake in Horse Hill. Details

20 August 2018

Protest blockade of Horse Hill oil site. Details

27 June 2018

UKOG announces start of extended flow testing. Details

19 December 2017

UKOG says it will submit a planning application for production and extra wells at Horse Hill. Details

2 December 2017

Protest camp evicted from Horse Hill oil site. Details 

30 November 2017

Campaigners occupy the site. Details

18 October 2017

Surrey County Council approves planning permission SCC ref2016/0189 for two more wells and more testing. Live updates from the meeting and reaction

8 September 2017

Environment Agency grants permit for flow testing and extra drilling. Details

4 August 2017

Closing date for comments on draft environmental permit to allow extended flow testing and extra drilling. Link to consultation

2 August 2017

Possible date for decision at Surrey County Council of planning application for extended flow testing and extra drilling (to be confirmed)

10 July 2017

Environment Agency publishes draft variation on environmental permit to allow extended flow testing and extra drilling. UKOG announces the planning application for this work will be heard in August or September. The company also announces it has increased its stake in the licence. Details

4 April 2017

Oil and Gas Authority extends PEDL137 and 246 covering the Horse Hill area until 2021. Details

24 February 2017

Surrey County Council asks for more information on plans for drilling and testing at Horse Hill. New deadline of 31 July 2017 agreed. Details

22 December 2016

Consultation opens on environmental permit application for extended flow testing and drilling. Details

3 November 2016

Planning application (SCC ref 2016/0189) published for appraisal and testing of existing Horse Hill-1 well, drilling a sidetrack to HH-1 and drilling a second deviated borehole, followed by flow testing and restoration

27 October 2016

Latest planning application validated

14 October 2016

Latest planning application for additional wells and extended flow testing submitted to Surrey County Council

1 October 2016

Horse Hill Developments Ltd confirms it is preparing to submit a planning application for flow testing and new wells at Horse Hill. Details

25 July 2016

Eight anti-fracking campaigners found guilty of offences arising from protests outside the Horse Hill site. One was found not guilty. Details

21 July 2016

Public exhibition about plans for Horse Hill at Charlwood Parish Hall, 2pm-7pm. Residents say it’s the wrong site Details But Stephen Sanderson, executive chairman of UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc, suggested 1% of production revenues could go to local landowners and residents Details

1 July 2016

The Oil and Gas Authority announces new work programme for PEDL246 at Horse Hill, including the requirement to drill a sidetrack by 30 September 2017. Details

28 June 2016

Surrey County Council confirms an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required for future drilling and testing

17 June 2016

Nine Horse Hill  protesters cleared after a trial in Redhill Details

13 June 2016

Prosecutors drop case against a protester arrested at Horse Hill. Details

26 May 2016

UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc announces it has raised £4m through the placing of ordinary shares in the company. The proceeds are to be used on the Weald Basin portfolio, including Horse Hill. Statement

16 May 2016

Pre-application meeting with Surrey County Council planning officers about further proposals for the site, including extended well tests and new wells

18 April 2016

UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc acquires all of Angus Energy Holdings in Horse Hill Developments Ltd for  £1m cash and £0.8m in shares. Statement

21 March 2016

UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc announces rates of 323 barrels of oil per day from the final Portland flow test. This brings the total aggregate rate to 1,688 barrels of oil per day, which UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc describes as  “exceptional” for the Kimmeridge Limestones and Portland Sandstones. Statement

9 March 2016

UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc reports oil flow rates of 168 barrels per day from the Upper Portland sandstone at about 615m below ground level. The two Kimmeridge and Upper Portland zones have a combined flow rate of 1,528 barrels per day. Statement

1 March 2016

UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc reports oil flows in excess of 900 barrels per day from Upper Kimmeridge limestone interval at 840m below ground level. Statement

20 February 2016

Rally and cycle ride from Horley to Horse Hill to protest at flow testing. Photos

19 February 2016

Lock-on protest on a tanker visiting the Horse Hill site. Details

18 February 2016

Environment Agency reports no odour or water quality issues after complaints about Horse Hill testing. Details

17 February 2016

Company reports 40-degree API sweet oil flowed naturally from the Lower Kimmeridge limestone interval at about 900m below ground level. Statement

16 February 2016

Neighbours complain about smell at Horse Hill as company reports oil flows from the Lower Kimmeridge Limestones. Company statement

8 February 2016

Flow testing operations begin. Statement

3 February 2016

Surrey Police warn protesters will be arrested for obstructing the highway at Horse Hill. Details

2 February 2016

Workover rig installed for flow testing at Horse Hill. Details


30 November 2015

Environment Agency issues a variation to the mining waste permit to allow flow testing of the exploratory oil well. Details and company statement

26 August 2015

UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc announces estimates of oil in place in its Weald licences at 10.993bn barrels. Statement

8 July 2015

David Lenigas steps down as chairman of UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc. Statement

18 June 2015

UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc announces results of a Nutech study which estimates 9,245m barrels of oil in the Kimmeridge shales and tight limestones. Statement

28 May 2015

Horse Hill Developments Ltd applies for variation of mining waste permit to allow further well testing.

8 May 2015

Two anti-fracking campaigners are found guilty of obstruction outside the Horse Hill-1 well site. Details

28 April 2015

UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc confirms that the operator of Horse Hill has applied to the Oil and Gas Authority for a one-year extension to PEDL137, which has an initial term that expires on 30 September 2015. Statement

15 April 2015

UK Oil & Gas Investments issues a clarification on estimated oil in the Weald Basin. Statement

9 April 2015

Stephen Sanderson, executive chairman of UK Oil & Gas Investments plc tells the BBC there could be 100bn barrels of oil in the Weald. Analysis of the Horse Hill well suggests the area around the well could hold 158m barrels of oil per square mile. DrillOrDrop report and  Reaction

18 March 2015

UK Oil & Gas Investments says analysis of cores taken from Horse Hill confirms 407 net feet of potential oil play in the Kimmeridge Clay, Oxford Clay and Middle Lias formations, as well as 102 Portland sandstone oil play already reported. Statement

3 February 2015

Stephen Sanderson, executive chairman of UK Oil & Gas Investments plc, tells investors shale found at the Horse Hill well is a world class source rock for oil. DrillorDrop report


17 December 2014

Estimated oil in place in the Upper Portland sandstone put at 8.2 million barrels, up from an earlier estimate of 3.1m barrels. Statement

5 November 2014

Horse Hill-1 well drilled to 8,770ft and completed. Statement

24 October 2014

UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc announces an estimated 3.1m barrels of oil in place in the Upper Portland. Statement

16 October 2014

Horse Hill-1 well drilled to 6,612ft. Statement

7 October 2014

David Lenigas, chairman of UK Oil & Gas, tells BBC Radio Surrey the Horse Hill site could yield 80m barrels of oil and 160 bn cubic feet of gas, worth £2bn. Details

6 October 2014

Alba Mineral Resources, which has a stake in the Horse Hill-1 well, announces oil shows were identified in the Portland Sandstone. Statement

Protest picnic at Horse Hill-1 well. DrillorDrop report

29 September 2014

Horse Hill-1 well drilled to 1,795ft. Statement

24 September 2014

Marriott 50 rig drilling at depth of 116ft. Statement

18 September 2014

Magellan Petroleum Corporation confirms it will not proceed with option to acquire additional logs beyond those required for the conventional targets at Horse Hill-1, allowing drilling to be completed on schedule in about six weeks. Statement

 2 September 2014

Horse Hill-1 well spudded. Statement

13 August 2014

UK Oil & Gas increases its stake in the Horse Hill field to 20% for £750,000. Details


16 January 2012

Surrey County Council issues decision document on planning permission for exploratory wellsite with one borehole and short-term testing (SCC ref 2010/0197)

9 November 2011

Surrey County Council grants planning permission for exploratory wellsite with one borehole and short-term testing (SCC ref 2010/0197)

17 November 2010

Surrey County Council validates planning application SCC ref 2010/0197 for an exploratory wellsite, drilling one borehole and short-term testing

15 October 2010

Magellan Petroleum UK Ltd submits planning application SCC ref 2010/0197 for an exploratory wellsite, drilling one borehole and short-term testing

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