UK Oil & Gas Investments, the exploration, development, and production group, just revealed that it discovered about 100 billion barrels of oil near Gatwick Airport.
The group said in a regulatory statement that up to 100 billion barrels of oil could be onshore beneath the South of England, after it drilled a well at Horse Hill near Gatwick Airport, West Sussex, last year. The number comes from the fact that UKOG said that the local area could hold 158 million barrels of oil per square mile and from management estimates confirmed this morning on the BBC.
"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 and interpretations to comprehensively change the understanding of the area's potential oil resources," Stephen Sanderson, the CEO of UKOG, said in a statement.
He added in an interview with the BBC (emphasis ours):
"Based on what we've found here, we're looking at between 50 and 100 billion barrels of oil in place in the ground. We believe we can recover between 5% and 15% of the oil in the ground, which by 2030 could mean that we produce 10%-to-30% of the UK's oil demand from within the Weald area."
UKOG acknowledged, however, that by its estimates only 3% to 15% of the oil could be recovered, when compared to similar geology in the US and West Siberia.
But this is a boon for Britain as Scotland's North Sea oil industry continues to battle dwindling oil production. It has produced only about 45 billion barrels in the past 40 years.
In 2014, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries laid out how the North Sea oil industry was in dire straits. The average oil output in 2013 from the North Sea clocked its lowest level since 1977.