Huge oil find under village in West Sussex

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The Independent Online

Residents of a small village in West Sussex have been told they are sitting on a £345m oil reserve.

Northern Petroleum has been carrying out exploratory drilling close to the village of Forestside and has discovered estimated reserves of six million barrels of oil. A "nodding donkey" pump is now likely to be installed to extract the oil, though there are concerns about the potential damage that could be done to the environment.

Oil has long been suspected to be lying below the Markhams Wood site and some estimates have suggested there could be up to half a billion pounds worth there.

Derek Musgrove, managing director of Northern Petroleum, said: "It's encouraging. The good thing is, we've managed to drill it without great impact on the local community."

Sandy Parker, 59, a resident of the village, said: "We should have bought shares. I'm just glad for them. They've put a lot of effort into it."