Gatwick oil find could be 70% higher than previously thought – not good news say Friends of the Earth

The volume of oil in the area round Gatwick could be 70% higher than previously estimated, according to UK Oil and Gas.

The company commissioned a report by Schlumberger, which estimated 271m barrels of oil per square mile in the Weald. The figure is based on exploration at the Horse Hill well, near Horley.

The latest figure, announced yesterday (6th June 2015), compared with 158m barrels of oil in a previous report by Nutech.

Reacting to the announcement, Brenda Pollack, Friends of the Earth’s South East Campaigner said:

“Today’s announcement isn’t something to celebrate. The hype created by this company is good for their share price but not for local people.  We need the Government to stop giving tax breaks to the dinosaur oil and gas industry.”

“Oil extraction is deeply unpopular.  Local people are rightly concerned about more lorries, air and water pollution, noisy drilling and disruption to village life. Industrialising rural areas isn’t something we support.”

“Sussex and Surrey have huge potential to create a clean energy future – through ramping up renewable energy projects. Oil is a fossil fuel which should be left in the ground if the UK is to prevent climate change getting worse. UKOG’s main interest is raising profits with little concern for residents or the climate.”

UKOG said the 271 barrels figure comprised 16.2 million barrels per square mile from the Upper Portland Sandstone reservoir and 255.2 million barrels from the tight limestone and mudstone plays of the Kimmeridge and Oxford Clay and Lias. It said the estimated volumes should not be regarded as recoverable resources or reserves.

The company’s chief executive, Stephen Sanderson, added “This independent technical viewpoint adds further weight to the potential significance of the HH-1 well and the potential of the Horse Hill licences.”

UKOG’s shares had been suspended before yesterday’s announcement. City Am said they rose by up to l52% in early trading. But at the close of trading yesterday they were up 3.77%.

1 reply »

  1. ‘Local people’ have been very happy to import from less well regulated wells for decades and have always been unhappy with production near them. That is just human nature. The reality though is often very different. Most people have absolutely no idea about the infrastructure around them, to the point where I have seen a chunk of a village come out to declare their objection to a gas development 1.5 miles from the village and that they did not want any gas production equipment near them only to be reminded by the older people of the village that it had been there 15 years.

    I have drilled some 120 wells around the world and seen many things. Given that we are going to be using large amounts of gas for the next 50 years (albeit it reducing) we really do want to do it at home and regulate it ourselves if what we want is to maximise both its environmental ethics and human ethics.

    Of course, what we will probably do, as always, is shut down anything near ourselves and then import.

    The shale gas protesters know this one only too well though when they beg for propane at their anti fossil camps and wear their cheap plastic sunglasses. Extracting yourself from ‘the system’ is not possible. If you know your actions will only lead to outsourcing production and importing the products back in again because you know fully that you will use them because ‘you have to’ then your actions are hardly moral when you force production out of your own ability to regulate and into countries you know do not care as much as you about safety or the environment.

    It is ridiculously easy to stir up local opposition to anything at all. I know of some free tennis courts for a community blocked because the local housing didn’t like the idea of people coming to play free tennis near them. Make of that as you will, but it is very easy to stop things. The problem with energy is that we know we will use it and that the alternative is to import it. The town I live in has a large industrial facility that employs around 4000 people. At 5pm when they all leave it literally locks up the entire towns transport system meaning a 5 minute journey across the town becomes 40 minutes. To think that some people object to people having a job near them because it would mean 5 HGVs a day – I cannot see it as anything other than pure selfishness.

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