Frack Free Surrey opposed to major oil extraction near Gatwick

Campaigners from Frack Free Surrey staged a peaceful protest at Horse Hill, Horley SUS-141016-173535001
Campaigners from Frack Free Surrey staged a peaceful protest at Horse Hill, Horley SUS-141016-173535001

Campaigners have opposed extracting oil from huge deposits found under land near Gatwick Airport.

UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) confirmed this morning (Thursday April 9) up to 100billion barrels of oil had been found beneath Horse Hill near Horley.

Chief executive Stephen Sanderson said it meant The Weald area could yield up to 30 per cent of the UK’s oil demand.

Rob Basto, 66, of Reigate, a spokesman for Frack Free Surrey, said: “My main concern would be that this starts becoming a huge area of development of oil.

“Whether there’s fracking or not we are definitely opposed to any huge scale development of fossil fuels.

“We certainly intend to oppose any further activities at the drill site and campaign against any further oil or gas in the area.”

UKOG’s operator, Horse Hill Developments Limited (HHDL) started drilling at the village site in September 2014.

Frack Free Surrey held protests at the site over concerns it would be used to extract underground shale gas in a process known as fracking.

Protestors claimed HHDL’s partner company Magellan Petroleum Corporation said there could be large deposits of shale gas in the area, which if exploited could result in wells that require fracking to extract the gas.

During the protests, a HHDL spokesman said: “This is a conventional drilling project and none of the other partners have any interest in exploring unconventional opportunities.”