Protestors greet lorries at ‘Gatwick Gusher’ drill site

HORSE HILL FRACKING - LORRY ARRIVES AT RIG SUS-160302-160547001
HORSE HILL FRACKING - LORRY ARRIVES AT RIG SUS-160302-160547001

Lorries delivering testing equipment for an oil well nicknamed the ‘Gatwick Gusher’ were met by protestors.

Police and about 35 anti-fracking protestors were at site in Horse Hill, Horley on Monday (February 8). Frack Free Surrey (FFS) campaigner Peter Whittick said Green Party leader Natalie Bennett would be there at 11am on Friday (February 12).

UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG) announced there could be as much as a billion barrels of oil beneath the site in the Weald Basin last April. A spokesman said he hoped the flow tests which would determine the commercial viability of extracting oil would start this week.

Campaigners who feared oil exploration would reveal rocks suitable for fracking started ‘slow-walking’ trucks to the drill site on February 1.

A police spokesman said officers would monitor activity and ‘facilitate peaceful protest’ during the works. She said no arrests had been made and added the force “takes a balanced approach and arresting an individual will always be a last resort”.

Company Horse Hill Developments Limited had been drilling at the site since September 2014. It insisted the site was a conventional oil well but FFS feared partner company, Magellan Petroleum Corporation, would announce 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.