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Heathrow is the UK’s busiest airport and has said that its main focus now is on the campaign for building a new runway. The airport was chosen as the preferred site for expansion over Gatwick Airport, which is another popular London-based airport.

On Friday, Heathrow published its first-half results, which stated that passenger numbers rose 1.3%, enhancing its adjusted core earnings to 748 million pounds ($1.2 billion). This is a rise of 6.3% compared with the previous year.

With the airport already operating at full capacity, it makes sense for Heathrow to be allowed to have another runway. Not only that, but the airport has continued to campaign to be given permission to expand as this will not only create more flights for consumers, but also bring in more money.

The main reason for opposition towards building a runway at Heathrow is because some prominent politicians, local residents and environmental groups disagree with what would change as a result of the new build. There would be more air and noise pollution, which is bound to be a major factor for the locals.

However, despite Heathrow’s efforts at convincing everyone in general that the new runway will have more benefits than cons, the Prime Minister David Cameron is still yet to make a decision. Cameron stated that he would make a decision by the end of the year.

David Cameron overlooked the most vocal opponents of the airport’s expansion when he set up a new aviation committee. This was set up earlier this week and revealed that the committee also considered that building the runway at Gatwick, who is Britain’s second busiest airport, is a viable option.

Reports have stated that the amount of oil in the Gatwick airport area could be about 70% more than expected, an exploration company says. There are around 271 million barrels of oil per square mile (mmbo) in the Weald, UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) estimated. However, the total amount of oil in the field has not been revealed yet.

A past report estimated about 158 mmbo once an exploration had taken place at Horse Hill. Local people were concerned about pollution, according to Friends of the Earth. There are plans put in place by UKOG to drill more exploration wells in the Weald and to assess the potential of the reserves in the area.

In the South of England, oil has been produced onshore for many years. Across the Weald, there are currently around a dozen oil production sites. It is in an area spanning Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire.

UKOG has suspended their shares temporarily because of the announcement about the Horse Hill oil reserves. Shares were suspended on Aim from 7.30am and other companies who are also involved in the Horse Hill development have suspended. Other companies include Solo Oil, Alba Minerals, Stellar Resources and Doriemus.

 

Reports out today from UK Oil and Gas (UKOG) are currently sending shockwaves throughout the media and markets is an announcement of a significant amount of oil found in West Sussex at the Horse-Hill-1 well near Gatwick Airport with estimated reserves of between 50 to 100 billion barrels being given which if verified will be the biggest onshore oil find in the UK in over 30 years.

To put this potentially huge find in to perspective, operations in the North  Sea have so far extracted 45 billion barrels of oil over the last 40 years and this site is only 55 sq miles in size.

oil

Oil Found In West Sussex. Does this mean we might see more of this in the future?

However, not all of it will be recoverable as the oil is at depth with estimates of between 3 and 15% being given by the Chief executive of UKOG, Stephen Sanderson where he has been quoted as being based on similar finds both in sizd and geology in Texas and Siberia.

That being said the oil found in West Sussex, even on the lower estimates could provide the UK anywhere between 10-30% of its oil needs by 2030.

If any drilling went ahead to recover the oil it should have a knock on effect for industries in the region to supply equipment, people and to build the necessary infrastructure required to support it which could include Hastings and the surrounding area as they have one of the largest manufacturing bases in the region with the capacity to expand it if things went ahead.

Even after the find was announced today it will not be extracted immediately, it will be a long term project. There will also be major factors involved before mass extraction would occur such as mitigating the potential environmental issues that go with drilling and the fact that its been found in a highly populated area and much needed infrastructure improvements would need to factored in across the region as well to cope with production, transportation and storage.

Its a challenge that is sure to polarize opinion on both sides of the fence and will require some serious innovations to keep disruption to a minimum and will need to have robust environmental safeguards in place although reports are suggesting that the site itself will not need to be fracked.