Anti-fracking demonstration at ‘Gatwick Gusher’ site

Anti fracking protest at 'Gatwick Gusher' oil well
Anti fracking protest at 'Gatwick Gusher' oil well

An anti-fracking protest was held at a drill site nicknamed the ‘Gatwick Gusher’ after a company said it held billions of barrels of oil.

Some 35 people gathered at the site in Horse Hill, Horley, at 10am on Sunday (January 31).

Lisa Scott, 47, of Reigate Road, Hookwood, said: “It’s something I’m very passionate about.

“We spend a lot of our time trying to have a healthy environment and having a clean way of living and then somebody comes a long with a big sledgehammer.

“We need to try to to stand up for ourselves and defend our environment.”

UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) announced there could be as much as 100billion barrels of oil beneath the site last April.

A spokesman said it did not expect to have to use hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ to release the oil from ‘naturally fractured’ rocks at the well, Horse Hill-1.

The demonstration was organised by Frack Free Surrey.

A spokesman said flow tests to test the commercial viability of extracting oil from the Weald Basin were due to start in weeks.

Lisa Scott said oil exploration company Magellan Petroleum Corporation had promoted the use of fracking in the UK and held a licence to drill for oil at Horse Hill.

She feared the tests would find rocks suitable for fracking and said: “They have very freely proposed that they are intending to use unconventional sources to exploit the hydrocarbons here.

“I don’t believe that people in this industry would only half exploit something that they see as a perfectly legitimate means of making money.”

She said fracking at Horse Hill would result in a 30 per cent reduction in house prices within two kilometres of it; weekly traffic from 100s of tankers on the country road; tremors; and chemical contamination of the River Mole.

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