Extend fracking ban to Surrey oil sites – Surrey Greens’ demand to regulators

The Government announcement that fracking is being suspended misses out the huge expansion of oil and gas production using unconventional techniques in the South East.

Green Surrey County Councillor Jonathan Essex said: “The ban needs to be extended to the unconventional oil and gas extraction methods used in the Weald, which carry the same earthquake risks and other risks from methods involving acid stimulation.”

“In Surrey the County cuncil has just approved a huge expansion of oil production at Horse Hill, which has been linked to earthquakes, even though the regulator doesn’t recognise a link.

“I gave evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Group on the impact of shale gas earlier this year about how activities at Horse Hill had been ignored in assessing the cause of the Surrey swarm of earthquakes. The quakes are affecting a wide area, have damaged property, and are making many people very anxious. There was another one just yesterday.

“And as well as earthquake risks, the government needs to act on climate risk – which means leaving all fossil fuels in the ground. They need to listen to the climate science as well as geologists. It’s time for a move away from fossil fuels and a switch to renewable energy, not a kick-start for a new oil industry in the Weald”.

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  1. Mrs Valerie Drummond
    Posted Saturday, 2 November 2019 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    This is unaceptable that Horse Hill is still suffering with Fracking when clearly it has been deemed BY THE GOVERNMENT AS UNSAFE, POTENTIALLY POLLUTIVE &

    How bazzaar and ludicrous that it is still allowed to continue @ Horse Hill !!
    Have you all contacted your MPs in that area ? Have ytou written to 38% & AVAAZ to get a petition up and running to get signatures from all in the south east that are concerned ?
    peace & Love of Life

    • Sarah Finch
      Posted Saturday, 23 November 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Hi Valerie, unfortunately the government’s moratorium on fracking doesn’t cover sites like Horse Hill, which are using a method called acidisation to extract the oil, rather than fracking proper.

      We are campaigning hard to stop the drilling going ahead at Horse Hill, in particular one local resident is challenging the decision through the courts – you can read about that here: https://chuffed.org/project/support-surrey-oil-legal-challenge

  2. Christian Petersen
    Posted Saturday, 16 November 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

    Hi Cllr Jonathan Essex,
    Can you tell me please what the All Party Parliamentary Group’s reaction was to your evidence please? And what happens next, do they feedback their decisions etc? Do they have the power to stop the drilling?
    Many thanks.

    • Sarah Finch
      Posted Monday, 25 November 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      The All Party Parliamentary Group was generally sympathetic to the evidence given. For example, one MP representing areas that have suffered subsidence following coal mining agreed that a similar level of controls needs to be brought in to address the impacts of oil drilling.

      However, the APPG also heard evidence from geologists who want to deregulate fracking. Jonathan argued that the current strict ‘traffic light controls’ on fracking in the North should equally apply to the oil drilling in Surrey which has, incidentally, led to larger earthquakes than from the sites that fit within the government’s official (very narrow) definition of fracking. For more details of the meeting see https://drillordrop.com/2019/04/02/fracking-earthquake-rules-should-be-extended-to-other-onshore-oil-and-gas-operations-mps-told

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