En­vi­ron­ment Agency per­mits fur­ther drilling

Surrey Advertiser - - Front Page -

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.”

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