Environment Agency permits further drilling
A NEW oil drilling permit has been awarded for a site in Surrey.
The Environment Agency (EA) has issued a variation and a new permit for Horse Hill Developments Limited, for use on its site near Gatwick Airport.
The company already held a permit to drill an exploratory borehole and manage wastes arising from that process. The variation allows it to drill a new borehole, drill a side track from the original borehole and carry out flow testing to understand the long-term economic viability of the oil and gas reserves.
No hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’ is permitted as part of the activity.
The company has also been issued with an environmental permit to allow it to store oil on site following production.
Conditions have been set out in the permits which will ‘ensure the local community and environment are protected’, according to the EA.
The agency considered the arguments raised by local residents during the four-week consultation with communities, interested groups and other professional organisations before reaching its decision.
A spokesman for the EA, said: “We would like to thank all those people who responded to the consultation. Since the consultation period closed, Horse Hill Developments Limited has provided additional information to clarify some of the aspects of their application for flow testing.
“After considering all of the information available and completing our assessment, we are confident the environment and people will be protected.
“Environment Agency officers will now ensure compliance with these operating conditions during the next phase of works.”