Permits sought for extra boreholes at drilling site near Gatwick

Permits are being sought for extra boreholes at a drilling site near Gatwick.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 4:50 pm

Surrey County Council granted planning permission for the current scheme at Horse Hill back in 2019.

But before work can start, Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL) has to secure a variation to existing permits from the Environment Agency.

A public consultation on the permit variations is open and runs from today (Monday March 22) until Wednesday April 21.


These revised changes, if approved, will allow HHDL to:

• Construct up to four new boreholes in addition to the two boreholes already constructed

• Use one of the six boreholes as a reinjection well to support production

• Carry out well treatments such as an acid wash and solvent treatments

• Run 90-day well tests for each of the four additional wells before they are either added as production wells at the site, or abandoned

• Undertake an injectivity test within one of the wells (HH-2z) and any other wells as dictated by HHDL

• Incinerate natural gas at a rate not exceeding ten tonnes per day during production operations. This to continue until it can be demonstrated that the incineration of natural gas is no longer considered Best Available Technique through a cost benefit analysis.

An injectivity test gives an indication of the total permeability of the well. It will provide information on the rate and pressure at which fluids can be pumped into the well without fracturing the formation. This information usually indicates well performance.

Further information and details on how to take part in the consultation can be found at

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “In deciding whether or not to issue the variations to the current permits, the Environment Agency will take into account all relevant considerations and legal requirements.

“We are keen to understand the views of local people before we make a final decision and would urge anyone interested to let us know what they think.

“An environmental permit sets out stringent conditions that all oil and gas sites must adhere to. We will not issue an environmental permit for a site if we consider that activities taking place will cause significant pollution to the environment or harm to human health.”