South Downs oil production could start soon

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OIL production could soon begin on the South Downs.

UK Oil & Gas Investment has struck a deal to acquire full ownership of the Markwells Wood oil field at Forestside, near Rowlands Castle.

A rig was built in woodland several years ago by Northern Petroleum and was producing 100 barrels of oil a day, although commercial production had not started.

But the company decided to back out, as well relinquish an exploration licence for a two-acre field off Hulbert Road, Leigh Park.

UKOG already owned 60 per cent of the Markwells project and it has now bought the other 40 per cent from Magellan Petroleum for a nominal £1 fee.

Chief executive Stephen Sanderson said it was an ‘excellent opportunity’.

He added: ‘Given that we view Markwells Wood to be the eastern extension of the Horndean oil accumulation, we look forward to working with IGas Energy Plc, operator of Horndean, to help realise value from the significant oil in place.’