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UK's biggest onshore oil discovery 'in 50 years' made just outside Hull

UK's biggest onshore oil discovery 'in 50 years' made just outside Hull


A huge oil field, which has been called the biggest onshore discovery of its kind in the UK for decades, has been found in Holderness.

Drillers looking for gas at West Newton near New Ellerby made the find, which has been dubbed the biggest onshore hydrocarbon discovery since the 1970s.

The site has been a constant scene of protest for campaigners strongly against Rathlin Energy's work at the site, and has been the scene of increased controversy since East Riding of Yorkshire Council approved the firm's plans to extend test drilling there in November last year.

In the time since, protesters have even been arrested for obstructing the highway and obstructing police officers in a bid to draw attention to the work going on in Holderness amid fears Rathlin would use the site for fracking, which the firm has always denied.

Just in June, Reabold Resources, an investment firm working with Rathlin and Union Jack Oil at the East Yorkshire site, announced it believed it had discovered the UK's largest onshore gas field at West Newton, with estimates it held at least 189 billion cubic feet of gas.

However, the latest discovery could prove to change the approach of the company who were initially solely exploring the potential to obtain gas.

Speaking to the Express, Stephen Williams of Reabold said: “When we went into the drilling we had expected it all to be gas.

“We had previously said there could be significant liquid components but that we did not know what this was.

“Analysis has now shown this is essentially an oil field with a gas cap and that's important for us because the valuation of oil is typically significantly higher than gas and is easier to develop with less surface equipment required and less capex to get started."

Mr Williams has confirmed the team will carry on the oil exploration in order to “nail down exactly what is in this field", with its gas exploration temporarily put on hold.

He added: "Then we will move into the development phase where we figure out how to drill the wells that will ultimately produce oil.”

The find is believed to be the biggest onshore hydrocarbon find in the UK since the 1970s.

The Telegraph reported shares in Reabold and Union Jack increased by 14 per cent and 11 per cent respectively following the discovery, with Mr Williams saying Reabold had expected a return on its initial investment of £3m of more than 50 per cent, and this number was now substantially higher.

Published: 30-08-2019

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