Permit variations issued for Horse Hill oilfield


Press release

Operator will be able to construct new boreholes and carry out other activities to support production.

The Environment Agency has issued permit variations to Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL) for its operations at Horse Hill well site.

These will allow the operator to:

  • construct up to 4 new boreholes in addition to the 2 boreholes already constructed
  • use 2 of the 6 boreholes as reinjection wells to support production
  • carry out well treatments such as an acid wash and solvent treatments
  • run 90-day well tests for each of the 4 additional wells before they are either added as production wells at the site, or abandoned
  • undertake an injectivity test within one of the wells (HH-2z) and any other wells as dictated by HHDL
  • incinerate natural gas at a rate not exceeding 10 tonnes per day during production operations. This to continue until it can be demonstrated that the incineration of natural gas is no longer considered Best Available Technique through a cost benefit analysis.

An Environment Agency spokesperson said:

An environmental permit sets out stringent conditions that all oil and gas sites must adhere to. We will not issue an environmental permit for a site if we consider that activities taking place will cause significant pollution to the environment or harm to human health.

The decision to issue these permit variations follows our review of comments received during the last period of public consultation which closed on 31 March 2022.

When making permit decisions, we use information on the potential environmental and human health impacts of the activity. In deciding to issue these permit variations, the Environment Agency considered all relevant considerations and legal requirements.

Further information, including the consultation Decision Document.

Previous public consultations on the permit variations took place in March 2022 and in March-April 2021.

For further information, please email

These permit variations are issued subject to HHDL having all other correct permissions in place from our regulatory partners before they use it.

See further details of the recent public consultation that closed on 31 March 2022.

For further information on how we determine applications, the time scales involved and how we regulate Onshore Oil and Gas, please see the following:

Public consultations

Published 9 May 2022

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