Energy firm Cuadrilla has confirmed the discovery of Hydrocarbons at its exploratory drilling well in Balcombe.
The testing - which has been subject to an impassioned campaign this summer - has been hailed a success by the company.
Cuadrilla announced today (Monday September 23) operations have been completed and it expects to remove all equipment from the site by September 28 when its planning permission expires.
A spokesperson said: “Along with the operational drilling success achieved at Balcombe the well also confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons.
“Whilst further testing will be required to determine flow rates, Andrew Quarles, Cuadrilla’s exploration director said that ‘the well was a success and we are very encouraged by the findings so far’.”
Francis Egan, Cuadrilla CEO, said: “The well is now closed off for the coming months as Cuadrilla applies for planning permission to come back and test flow rates.
“We appreciate that the Balcombe community has had to bear the strain of protest, as have our on-site and support team and contractors. We commend West Sussex County Council and police for both facilitating peaceful protest and preserving order.”