Brockham Oil Watch is a non-political group of local residents concerned about the threat of unconventional hydrocarbon extraction from the Kimmeridge Clay Formation (or other unconventional reservoirs) at Brockham and beyond, as well as gaps in the current legislative/regulatory framework.

Following the government’s announcement on 2 November to put a partial moratorium on fracking, we launched an open letter to Government based on the recommendations of our legal briefing  Acid Stimulation: Fracking by Stealth, which is co-authored by Brockham Oil Watch and Harrison Grant Solicitors, with scientific advice from David K. Smythe, Emeritus Professor of Geophysics, University of Glasgow.

We are asking the next Government for 1) an amendment of the definition of fracking in the Infrastructure Act 2015 to include all well stimulation treatments which may enhance the productivity of oil and gas wells by increasing the permeability of the target rock, and 2) a permanent ban on all well stimulation for oil and gas exploration and production.

The reason behind this is that multiple communities are still threatened by fracking, even with the current Tory manifesto in place (see the list below).

The letter will be sent to the new Government, along with a full list of signatories, when the relevant heads of departments are confirmed.

Until then, we are inviting signatures. Since the launch over 500 individuals and groups have signed our letter including academics, parliamentary candidates and political groupings, councillors, NGOs, health professionals, environmental professionals and organisations, anti-fracking groups and other campaign groups. Signatories include Jeremy Leggett, George Monbiot, Vivienne Westwood, Joe Corré, Professors David Smythe, Stuart Haszeldine, Anthony Ingraffea, Robert Howarth and Denis Hall; Caroline Lucas, Jenny Jones, Jonathan Bartlett, Alan Simpson, Paul Kennedy, Doug Parr on behalf of Greenpeace UK and many more.

Fracking sites where communities are threatened (the ones we know about – let us know if we missed one you’re familiar with!):

  • Brockham, Horse Hill & Dunsfold in Surrey
  • Balcombe & Bradford Bridge in West Sussex
  • Arreton on the Isle of Wight
  • Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, Wressle in Lincolnshire
  • West Newton in East Yorkshire
  • Harthill and Woodsetts in South Yorkshire
  • possibly Third Energy’s sites in North Yorkshire, who were going to frack Kirby Misperton, but since sold the business and are now focusing on conventional sites (raising suspicions about what extraction methods those so-called conventional sites will require).


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Press Releases

Brockham Oil Watch 2 November press release


Media coverage

Call for fracking halt to be extended to acid stimulation in oil and gas industry, Drill Or Drop? 3 Nov 2019


Related coverage of this issue

Guest post: Mind your fracking language, Drill Or Drop? 9 Nov 2019

UK government’s fracking ‘ban’ has a convenient loophole, The Conversation, 8 Nov 2019

Fracking moratorium – the unanswered questions, Drill Or Drop? 4 Nov 2019