Oil Drilling Rig Hijacked by Protectors of Countryside

Permaculture magazine
Thursday, 7th September 2017

Protectors of the Countryside have hijacked an oil rig near Billingshurst, attempting to prevent it being moved to drill others sites.

A direct action group is staging a protest at a Sussex service station to stop an oil drilling rig from the Broadford Bridge drilling site near Billingshurst in West Sussex from being transported to another site. 

The rig [1] has been used to drill the horizontal well at UK Oil and Gas’s exploratory drill site at Broadford Bridge, It is believed to have been used at other sites across the UK. UKOG own 100% of the site at Broadford Bridge and the company has stated it needs to drill a huge number of back to back oil drilling pads across the Weald to make exploration financially viable. UKOG own a number of sites across Sussex, Surrey and the Isle of Wight.

One of the activists, Dr Dave, is on top of the rig, a tactic used to delay transportation and draw attention to their campaign.

Dr Dave said: 

"Unless people take a stand we will see the industrialisation of the Weald from the edge of Kent to Hampshire. These dirty rigs will be destroying our environment, standing back to back across our green and pleasant land. People need to act urgently to stop this now.”

Sussex resident Dr Anna Currado said:

"So many local people in the villages near UKOGs site near Bilingshurst didn't want the drilling and we've tried all the formal ways of putting across our views but our voices have been ignored. We support peaceful protests like this to highlight the fact that our beautiful peaceful rural areas like at Adversane Lane and elsewhere are under attack. We believe UKOG is more interested in making a profit than anything else and we are trying to stop our countryside being destroyed by hundreds of oil wells."

At the Horse Hill drill site, sometimes known as the ‘Gatwick Gusher’, some contractors have stopped supplying after campaigners drew their attention to the risks of activity on the site. 

1 The rig is believed to be owned by British Drilling & Freezing,

2. www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0Nybav_Icc

A crowdfunder has been set up to pay for independent testing of the water and air around the Broadford Bridge site, to find out if the site is contaminated and unsafe. The crowdfunder needs your help. You can donate here: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/broadford-bridge10000

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