BBC Insight South East ran a piece on the Horse Hill oil well near Gatwick this week.
It’s interesting viewing – and debunks the ‘100 billion barrels of oil under the Weald’ figure we heard back in April. You can watch the programme here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06h87kw/inside-out-south-east-12102015 (It’s available for 27 days at the time of writing)
One of the interviewees, Professor Al Fraser, a petroleum geologist working at Imperial College, London, gave a useful explanation of the characteristics of the Weald oil basin.
And he estimated that far from the bonanza the media had speculated about, the Horse Hill well might in fact make a profit of about $150 a day.
Meanwhile, nothing is happening on (or under) the ground at Horse Hill.
Back in May, Horse Hill Developments Limited, the site operators, applied to the Environment Agency for a Mineral Waste Variation Permit, which would allow them to test the well they drilled last summer (subject to getting various other permits too).
As far as we know, the Environment Agency has still not issued this permit.
If the Mineral Waste Variation Permit is issued, the operators will still need a Radioactive Substances Permit – which is also subject to a public consultation. So it’s not likely that testing will take place any time soon.