Oil company ‘not undertaken work’ to verify 100bn barrel estimate

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The oil company, which announced a major oil well find near Gatwick Airport, has issued a ‘clarification’ over the estimated amount found there.

Last week UK Oil & Gas Investments’ (UKOG) announcement of a major oil find at Horse Hill, about a mile from the airport, led to reports of there being up to 100bn barrels of oil in the Weald Basin.

Today (April 15) UKOG clarified its position saying it had not explored the whole Basin, but only a 55 square mile area it is licensed to explore.

However it maintained its estimation of 158million barrels of oil per square mile.

A number of sites across the 1,100 square mile Weald Basin have been drilled, including those at Balcombe and Billingshurst.

The company’s shares soared by 300 per cent following the announcement last Thursday April 9.

A statement, issued on advice from The City, said: “US-based Nutech Ltd estimates that the Horse Hill-1 well in the Weald Basin has a total oil in place (OIP) of 158 million barrels per square mile.

“The OIP hydrocarbon volumes estimated should not be considered as either contingent or prospective resources or reserves.

“The Horse Hill licences cover 55 square miles of the Weald Basin in southern England in which the Company has a 20.358 per cent interest.

“It is estimated that the relevant Jurassic section of the Weald Basin is approximately 1,100 square miles.

“The company has not undertaken work outside of its licence areas sufficient to comment on the possible OIP in either the approximate 1,100 square miles or the whole of the Weald Basin.

“Further development work in the form of appraisal drilling, well testing and assessment of recovery factors will be required to seek to quantify net resources in relation to the Company’s licence areas and to prove its commerciality.”

This has led to outcry from environmental campaigners.

Friends of the Earth South East campaigner Brenda Pollack said: “UKOG has backtracked on the wild claims it made last week and admitted that it has no idea how much oil is under the Sussex Weald.

“This is yet another example of the potential for shale oil and gas being over-hyped by an industry desperate to start pumping profits with little concern for residents or the climate.”