A trio of energy companies has struck gold after discovering what could potentially be the country’s largest onshore gasfield near Hull.
Reabold Resources, Union Jack Oil and Rathlin Energy said initial analysis of a well drilled in the ground in West Newton, just a few miles north east of Hull, indicated the site could house some 189bn cubic feet of gas – roughly enough energy to power 3.4 million homes for an entire year.
If correct, it would dwarf the UK’s biggest onshore gas field at Saltfleetby in Lincolnshire, which was home to 73 billion cubic feet. It would be biggest land-based hydrocarbon discovery in the UK since 1973.
“First indications look as good or better than we had before so we are very confident on the size, if not larger,” said Stephen Williams, co-chief executive of Reabold.
The news sent shares in Reabold and Union Jack Energy up by 35pc and 37pc respectively.
Rathlin Energy drilled the initial well at West Newton in 2014, but struggled to get enough money to drill a second one. At the time, the oil price had collapsed and there was no interest among investors to put capital into gas projects.
Reabold, which was formed 18 months ago specifically to back these sorts of projects, invested £3m in Rathlin, giving it a 36pc stake in the company and a 25pc share of the gas project. Union Jack Oil, another oil and gas explorer with a similar strategy, has a 16.7pc interest in the project at West Newton.
The flow rate of the well, which measures how fast the gas moves from the rock to the surface, will be tested over the next three months, offering final proof that the project is viable.