Oil field near Gatwick far richer than previously thought

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The ‘Gatwick gusher’ oil field contains 271.4 million barrels of oil per square mile, according to assessors from Schlumberger.

Previous estimates for the site, more formally known as Horse Hill-1, put the figure at 158 million barrels per square mile.

The new figure is slightly inflated since it includes an extra 16.2 million barrels per square mile from the Upper Portland Sand reservoir, which was not included in the previous total.

The new assessment was published today by UK Oil and Gas (UKOG), which has a major financial interest in this and other sites across the region.

UKOG CEO Stephen Sanderson said: “This independent technical viewpoint adds further weight to the potential significance of the HH-1 well and the potential of the Horse Hill licences.”

He had previously been quoted by the BBC as saying: “Based on what we’ve found here, we’re looking at between 50 and 100 billion barrels of oil in place in the ground.”

It is not clear how much of that oil can be recovered, but Mr Sanderson said they expected to be able to extract between five per cent and fifteen per cent of the oil.

UKOG has said that the oil-bearing rocks at Horse Hill-1 are naturally fractured, so they do not expect to have to use hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’ to release the oil.

Shares in UKOG, which were suspended ahead of today’s announcement, are now re-opened for trading.

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