Past activity »

Land off Horse Hill (South East) (Weald (Sussex/Surrey))


Update 01/10/20: Work over rig on site
horse-hill-article-13-noticeUpdate May 2019 – UKOG have submitted a new planning application for this site but the council have delayed the decision. Read more…

The site is on land off Horse Hill, Hookwood, Horley, Surrey to the north of Gatwick Airport. A vertical exploration well was drilled in October 2014, which passed through a number of shale formations despite being billed as a conventional well. It was subsequently announced that core sampling of the shale layers, including the Kimmeridge Clay, suggested that up to 11 billion barrels of shale (tight) oil could lie under the Horse Hill licence area (though only a few percent could possibly be extracted).

The Horse Hill well is targeting the same shale formations as the Balcombe well drilled by Cuadrilla Resources and the Holmwood-1 well planned by Europa Resources. Fracking company UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG), with a large stake in the Horse Hill well, also have a stake in the nearby planned Holmwood-1 well at the site which also intends to explore the Kimmeridge Clay for shale oil. This threatens the drilling of thousands of wells across the Weald. The British Geological Surveys estimates well over a thousand wells while those from UKOG, based on data from Horse Hill, might require over 3000 wells.


For answers to some of the wider questions being studious ignored by the mainstream media see:

The site is in the PEDL 137 licence area which is 65 percent owned by Horse Hill Developments and 35 percent by Magellan Petroleum. The fracking company UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG) with a 30 percent stake.

Planning Applications

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Licensee Planning ID Notes Submitted Decision Status Consultation
Horse Hill DevelopmentsRE10/2089Construction of an exploratory wellsite to include plant, buildings and equipment; the use of the wellsite for the drilling of one exploratory borehole and the subsequent short term testing for hydrocarbons; the erection of security fencing; construction of a new access onto Horse Hill and an associated access track with passing bays, all on some 1.16 ha, for a temporary period of up to 3 years, with restoration to agriculture and woodland.15/10/201021/01/2011GrantedClosed
Horse Hill Developments2016/0189The retention of the existing exploratory well site and vehicular access onto Horse Hill; the appraisal and further flow testing of the existing borehole (Horse Hill-1) for hydrocarbons, including the drilling of a (deviated) sidetrack well and flow testing for hydrocarbons; installation of a second well cellar and drilling a second (deviated) borehole (Horse Hill-2) and flow testing for hydrocarbons; erection of security fencing on an extended site area; erection of acoustic/light barrier; modifications to the internal access track; installation of plant, cabins and equipment, all on some 2.08ha, for a temporary period of three years, with restoration to agriculture and woodland.14/10/201618/10/2017GrantedClosed
Horse Hill DevelopmentsRE18/02667/CONRetention and extension of an existing well site, HH1 and HH2 wells, and vehicular access to allow: the drilling of four new hydrocarbon wells and one water reinjection well; the construction of a process and storage area and tanker loading facility; new boundary fencing; well maintenance workovers and sidetrack drilling; and ancillary development enabling the production of hydrocarbons from six wells, for a period of 25 years.07/12/2018TBAApplicationOBJECT NOW

Environmental Permits

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Licensee Permit ID Notes Comments open Comments deadline Status Consultation
Horse Hill DevelopmentsEPR/BB3691NN/A001Application from Horse Hill Developments Limited for an environmental permit for the management of extractive mining waste, resulting from the prospecting for oil and gas at Horse Hill, Hookwood, Horley, Surrey RH6 0HN10/09/201417/10/2014GrantedClosed