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Successful Flow-Test Confirms Gatwick’s Oil Potential

After capturing headlines with news of a 100-billion-barrel discovery late last year, the first successful flow-test at the Horse Hill well near the UK’s Gatwick airport confirms the potential for some 500 barrels per day from this single license.

UK Oil & Gas (UKOG), the operator of the Horse Hill well (HH-1) says that oil has flowed to the surface at a faster rate than originally anticipated, with light sweet oil rising from 900 meters below ground level at a rate of 463 barrels per day.

Exploratory drilling at the HH-1 discovery well was completed in late 2014, and UKOG says the well could produce up to 500 barrels of oil per day.

Shares in UKOG, which owns just over 20 percent of the license, were up 40 percent on the news.

Related: Oil Markets Unimpressed By Crude Output Freeze

UKOG had earlier come out with sensational news that the area could hold up to 100 billion barrels of oil; however, a soberer assessment by Schlumberger put the estimate at about 10 billion barrels of oil on the UKOG license area, which covers 55 square miles.

"Importantly, tests so far show oil has flowed to the surface under its own pressure and has not, so far, required artificial lift," the BBC quoted UKOG executive chairman Stephen Sanderson as saying.

Related: Will Billion-Dollar Coal Remediation Tech Take a Hit After Supreme Court Ruling?

There is likely to be opposition from farmers and local communities to extraction, through hydraulic fracturing, at this site. The well is located with onshore exploration license PEDL137, near Gatwick airport, on the northern side of the Weald Basin, which covers more than 4,000 square miles in southern England.

Protestors are frequently gathering at the Horse Hill site to demonstrate against the use of fracking.

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UKOG has reportedly begun the process of obtaining regulatory approval to carry out further tests to demonstrate 'sustainable commercial production.'

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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