Up to 100 billion barrels of oil could have been found in Southern England.
The discovery, which equates to more than double the amount of oil produced by the North Sea over the last 40 years, is one of the largest onshore discoveries in the UK to date.
However, only a fraction of it could be recovered, according to exploration firm UK Oil & Gas (UKOG).
Having analysed results from a preliminary well drilled at Horse Hill, near Gatwick; the local area could hold 158 million barrels of oil per square mile. The company believes between 5 and 15% of the oil is recoverable, which means that the discovery – when combined with other oil production sites across the South East – could cater for up to 30% of the country’s demand. What’s more, UKOG believes the resources could be accessed without resorting to fracking.
UKOG chief executive, Stephen Sanderson, commented: “We think we’ve found a very significant discovery here, probably the largest (onshore in the UK) in the last 30 years. Based on what we’ve found here, we’re looking at between 50 and 100 billion barrels of oil in place in the ground.”