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UK Oil and Gas says Gatwick oil prospect delivering “North Sea-like oil rates”

22 March 2016

Private developer UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) says its test oil well at the Horse Hill site near Gatwick has seen successful flow tests during February and March after permission was granted to commence operations by regulators. UKOG chairman Stephen Sanderson said: “The flow test results are outstanding, demonstrating North Sea-like oil rates from an onshore well."

Horse Hill test rig: Image - UKOG
Horse Hill test rig: Image - UKOG

He said the well had achieved an impressive aggregate oil rate equivalent to 8.5% of total UK onshore daily oil production after permission to proceed was granted by the Environment Agency, Surrey County Council, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Oil and Gas Authority. 

“Whilst there is still much work to be done, this test has moved the project into a potential commercial reality. The Horse Hill licence owners remain committed to ensuring that any resultant future commercial operations will respect the rural beauty of the Weald basin and the way of life of local residents,” Sanderson said.

The development had doubled its daily output to 323 barrels of oil per day, thought to be the best ever from a UK onshore well. Current oil production in the UK is 20,000 barrels per day, compared to a consumption of 1.4 million, but Horse Hill could contribute 1,700 barrels a day.

The rig will now be taken down and the site will be cleared for the next regulatory permit stage.

“This well has clearly exceeded my most optimistic expectations,” Sanderson said.

The flow tests proved not only that oil can be brought to the surface but that it can be done without fracking, he said, which is prohibited at depths of less than 1,000m. The Horse Hill deposits are at around 900m below the ground.

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