COUNTY NEWS: 100bn barrels of oil found under land in Sussex/Surrey

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Claims have been made that a major oil field has been found below the countryside in the north of Sussex/Surrey border.

UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) has confirmed this morning (April 9) that there could be as much as 100billion barrels of oil beneath Horse Hill near Gatwik Airport, on the Sussex/Surrey border, after it carried out drilling there.

The company’s chief executive Stephen Sanderson said this morning that it meant The Weald area could yield ten to 30 per cent of the UK’s oil demand.

While the area needs appraisal and testing to prove its commercial viability, it had ‘the potential for significant daily oil production’.

Together with another discovery, Portland Sandstone, it was a “possible world class potential resource”.

Mr Sanderson told the BBC: “We think we’ve found a very significant discovery here, probably the largest [onshore in the UK] in the last 30 years, and we think it has national significance.”

Similar wells in the US had seen “estimated recovery factors” of between three and 15 per cent of the oil in place, he added.

The company has said the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, where chemicals and water are blasted into the rocks to release shale oil and gas, would not be needed. Instead traditional wells could be used.