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To: secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Secretary of state for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, secretary of State for Energy and Clean Growth
Earthquakes in the UK
With immediate effect, halt all on-shore exploration and extraction of hydrocarbons, from any area of the Weald.
Set up a panel of independent experts with an independent chairman to review the UK seismic information and compare to all operational records of Brockham and Horsehill oil exploration sites from the period March 2018 to the current time and require the panel
a. to establish whether the earthquakes are possibly due to well operation activities
b. determine whether it is safe/sensible to continue well operations taking into account the well companies long term development plans for hydrocarbon exploitation across the UK
c. recommend monitoring and safety actions (in line with the traffic light system in place for fracking) if extraction activity is to continue
d. to determine if, considering the insignificant amount of recoverable oil forecast, whether the risks outweigh any benefit
Why is this important?
As of 2nd March 2019 here have been 23 earthquakes in Surrey since April 1st 2018, including a magnitude 3.1 on the 27th February. The shallow epicentres mean these earthquakes have a significant effect at the surface and therefore have a higher intensity and potential to cause structural damage. No natural explanation has been given for such an unprecedented series of increasingly strong earthquakes (unknown in the area for almost 300 years). With oil exploration and production taking place at Brockham and Horsehill and plans to significantly increase both these operations and others. Because of the risk of further significant and damaging earthquakes and the related risk to buildings, major infrastructure for example Gatwick Airport, and possibly life, as well as causing significant pollution. Clearly action must be taken to prevent any risk of a devastating earthquake being caused by hydrocarbon extraction activity.