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Friday 1 December 2023 Dublin: 2°C
Black gold

The UK has struck oil...

Quite literally. There could be 158 million barrels worth of the stuff beneath Gatwick Airport alone.

shutterstock_183221429 Shutterstock / xtock Shutterstock / xtock / xtock

BRITAIN MAY HAVE discovered an oil deposit beneath the south of England containing the equivalent of 100 billion barrels.

After exploratory drilling last year at Horse Hill near Gatwick Airport UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOGI), the expoloration firm responsible, have confirmed that that particular drill-site alone could yield up to 158 million barrels.

The find would represent the biggest oil strike in the UK for at least the last 30 years.

horse hill Google Maps The location of the find, at Horse Hill, just south of Central London. Google Maps

To put the 100 billion barrel figure into context, that is more than twice the amount of oil produced by Britain’s north sea oil drilling platform over the last 40 years.

Stephen Sanderson, CEO of UKOGI, has deemed the find a ‘possible world class potential resource’ in a an investor briefing note.

Sanderson does admit however that geological factors mean that a maximum of 15% of the oil vein is likely to be recovered.  That could still leave this particular oil find providing up to 30% of the UK’s demand by 2030.

easyJet launch new Moscow route Steve Parsons / PA Gatwick Airport, Sussex, close to where the oil was discovered. Steve Parsons / PA / PA

“Based on what we’ve found here, we’re looking at between 50 and 100 billion barrels of oil in place in the ground,” Sanderson told the BBC.

We think we’ve found a very significant discovery here, probably the largest onshore in the UK in the last 30 years, and we think it has national significance.

Onshore oil production is nothing new in the south of England.

It has been conducted in the Weald area (a region spanning Kent, Sussex, Surrey, and Hampshire. and also where Horse Hill is located) for decades.

Currently, there are around a dozen oil production sites situated in the area.

The discovery is certainly good news for the consumer.

Despite recent falls in the price of oil given a worldwide production glut, long-term prices for oil and gas are expected to rise unless energy companies start discovering more of the resources or finding better production methods.

Read: Big Oil is about to get even bigger

Read: The guys who own our gas lines are to offer their first apprenticeships in 30 years

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