Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL) has made changes to its previous applications for several permit variations as part of its operations at Horse Hill well site.

These revised changes, if approved, will allow HHDL to:

  • construct up to 4 new boreholes in addition to the 2 boreholes already constructed
  • use one of the 6 boreholes as a reinjection well 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 injectivity test gives an indication of the total permeability of the well. It will provide information on the rate and pressure at which fluids can be pumped into the well without fracturing the formation. This information usually indicates well performance.

HHDL is the holder of a number of Environmental Permits issued by the Environment Agency in accordance with the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2016.

Public consultation on the new permit variations is now open and runs from Monday 22 March 2021 until Wednesday 21 April 2021.

See further information and details on how to take part in the consultation

An Environment Agency spokesperson said:

In deciding whether or not to issue the variations to the current permits, the Environment Agency will take into account all relevant considerations and legal requirements.

We are keen to understand the views of local people before we make a final decision and would urge anyone interested to let us know what they think.

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.

For further information, please email

Further information

For further information on how we determine applications, the time scales involved and how we regulate onshore oil and gas, please see:

Public consultations

Horse Hill Development Ltd (HHDL) Existing Environmental Permits

The current permitted activities at the Horse Hill Well Site allow the undertaking of the following activities:

  • a mining waste operation for the management of extractive waste from prospecting mineral resources, not involving a mining waste facility
  • a mining waste operation for the management of non-hazardous extractive liquid waste and gas, from prospecting for mineral resources not including a waste facility resulting from well testing operation. No more than 10 tonnes of natural gas may be flared each day
  • the discharge of clean surface water off-site during periods of non-operational activity. Discharges to surface water may not take place during drilling, flow testing or well testing
  • the loading, unloading, handling or storage of, or physical, chemical or thermal treatment of crude oil with a capacity of no more than 500 tonnes
  • accumulation and Disposal of radioactive waste from the NORM Industrial Activity of the production of oil and gas
  • store and handle crude oil up to a capacity of 500 tonnes within the existing infrastructure and within the current permitted boundary

Previous applications to change the permit for oil storage to allow for increased storage capacity and a new permit for operating a medium combustion plant have now been withdrawn.

Revision History:

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Permit Variations applied for at Horse Hill oilfield

by Editor time to read: 2 min