Rocks could hold huge reserves of ‘black gold’

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EVIDENCE that a rock basin holds commercially-viable oil has been boosted by a major discovery.

UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) said drilling of a 55sq mile site near Gatwick Airport – part of the Weald Basin – had uncovered 158m barrels per square mile of oil.

The Weald Basin stretches across Hampshire and West Sussex and several sites have been earmarked for oil exploration, including off Hulbert Road, Leigh Park, and Forestside, near Rowlands Castle.

Other reports suggested the deposits in the Weald Basin were less than expected.

Stephen Sanderson, chief executive of UKOG, said the latest discovery had ‘the potential for significant daily oil production’.

He said: ‘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.

‘Drilling the deepest well in the basin in 30 years, together with the ability to use concepts, techniques and technology unavailable in the 1980s, has provided new cutting-edge data to comprehensively change the understanding of the area’s potential oil resources.’