The exploration company UK Oil & Gas Investments claims that it has struck significant oil reserves at a well it has drilled in Horse Hill close to Gatwick airport in West Sussex.
The company announced that analysis conducted on the site means that the well could yield up to 158 million barrels of oil per square mile. The company’s licenses cover 55 square miles of the Weald Basin, a region spanning Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire.
This suggests that the site could hold over 8.6 billion barrels of oil – just under a fifth of the amount that has been pumped out of the North Sea in the past 40 years.
At the current oil price of around $58 a barrel, the reserves lying under the West Sussex countryside could be worth just under $500bn, or £336bn. However, UK Oil & Gas Investments cautioned that it many only be able to extract a fraction of those reserves from the site.