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%.