Environmental campaigners have already pledged to fight any potential drilling for oil in the south east.
Today’s announcement of the discovery of potentially 100 billion barrels of oil underneath Gatwick airport and the Weald of Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, has prompted Friends of the Earth to predict developers will face a big public backlash.
Friends of the Earth South East campaigner Brenda Pollack said: “The prospect of dirty oil extraction in southern England will greatly alarm local communities and put fracking firmly on the region’s election agenda.
“Any firm proposing to drill for oil in the region knows it will face huge opposition – as happened at Balcombe, Fernhurst and Wisborough Green. Drilling proposals in Sussex have already been turned down.
“The next Government must end our reliance on climate-changing fossil fuels and invest in real solutions to the energy challenges we face, such as renewable power and energy efficiency.”
The company that announced today’s discovery UK Oil and Gas Investments, has said it wouldn’t need to frack to extract the oil.