By Jonathan Davies

The discovery of oil onshore in the south of England could be 'significant' for the UK, according to UK Oil & Gas.

The organisation said there could be up to 100 billion barrels of oil, but admitted that a only a fraction could be recovered.

UK Oil & Gas drilled last year at Horse Hill, near Gatwick Airport, and discovered the surrounding area could hold around 158 million barrels. By comparison, the North Sea industry has produced around 45 billion barrels in 40 years.

"We think we've found a very significant discovery here, probably the largest [onshore in the UK] in the last 30 years, and we think it has national significance," Stephen Sanderson, UKOG's chief executive told the BBC.

The oil has been discovered at depths between 2,500ft (762m) and 3,000ft (914m) below the surface.

"Based on what we've found here, we're looking at between 50 and 100 billion barrels of oil in place in the ground," said Mr Sanderson.

"We believe we can recover between 5% and 15% of the oil in the ground, which by 2030 could mean that we produce 10%-to-30% of the UK's oil demand from within the Weald area."