The Horse Hill site produced oil for the first time on Monday Photo: Reuters
Shares in UK Oil and Gas Investments soared by as much as 77pc after the Aim-listed developer announced that oil from its well near Gatwick Airport in Surrey flowed at a faster rate than expected.
UK Oil and Gas (Ukog) has claimed that oil from the so called "Gatwick gusher" at Horse Hill flowed from 900m below ground level to the surface without extra help from operators, and at a better rate than expected of 463 barrels a day.
The exploration company said the first ever flow test proves that “significant quantities” of Surrey oil can be brought to the surface “at excellent flow rates”.
"This is a very significant event for the company and for oil and gas activity in the Weald basin of southern England," said Stephen Sanderson, executive chairman of Ukog.
"Importantly, tests so far show oil has flowed to the surface under its own pressure and has not, so far, required artificial lift.
"The flow test, the first ever in the Lower Kimmeridge limestone within the Weald basin, provides proof that significant quantities of moveable oil exist within the Kimmeridge section of the well and can be brought to surface at excellent flow rates."
He said that while the flow rates were ahead of expectations, there was potential to increase them even further by using different techinques.
Ukog and its partners in Horse Hill have claimed that more than 9.2 billion barrels of oil lie under the 55 square kilometre licence area in the Weald Basin.