Why did the Weald basin oil discoverers change their tune, and leave CEO Stephen Sanderson with egg all over his face?

Well here’s a funny thing, Missus. At 09.35 BST this morning I posted this piece about the allegedly real size of the Weald Basin oil find as outlined by UKOG’s CEO Stephen Sanderson.

But then at 10.42, UKOG issued a statement ‘clarifiying’ what Sanderson had said.

Although called the CEO of UKOG, Mr Sanderson is not on the Board, as such: in other words, he has no power. He’s got the title at UKOG, I’d imagine, because he has an outstanding record of both finding oil, and estimating what it’s worth.

With over three decades of experience under his belt, Sanderson can list several notable coups in his career: He was the key player in discovering the huge Norwegian Smørbukk-Midgard field complex for ARCO (now BP); and over time, he’s spearheaded and managed the successful appraisal of oil and gas fields in the North Sea, Netherlands and Algeria. He has an appraisal and exploration track record in excess of 170 fields with asset values of up to $7 Billion on average.

So Stephen Sanderson is no slouch. In fact, on hiring the bloke last January, David Lenigas, UKOG’s Chairman, commented: “Having been the author of the technical appraisal of our recent Horse Hill discovery in the Weald Basin, Stephen will add significant technical and commercial strength to the Company’s management team here in the UK.”

But on this occasion, he appears to have mispoken: when he said “world class find”, he meant to say “worthless find”.

To be exact, the Board on which he does not sit said that the company had “not undertaken work…sufficient to comment”. But Mr Sanderson, I have established, did not announce the revised estimate of the energy find to the media without the Board’s approval.

So why the sudden change of heart? Did Downing Street panic that the gaff might be about to blow on the destruction of its austerity and fracking rationales?

Stay tuned to this story: it has all the makings of a biggie.


  1. Rather interesting because the UK will have to compete with others to sell this on the global market. If so it will have to be subsidised to extract because the cost in labor in the UK per hour going to be far higher than elsewhere is it not and you can’t extract the oil from in another country. So do expect a glut of cheap immigrant oil workers to do the job!

    Also the Neocon conservatives will want to subsidise the extraction with one heck of back hander to themsleves but that is only possible if the two legged sheep in the UK are entertained by all the reality TV. Yes it could make a difference to old labour but NuLabour are not old labour and akin to the other mainstream parties now who will just want to fill their own pockets.

    The British taxpayer should also start to scream odious debt is being incurred if all monies is not used to pay down debt and not just the interest on the debt = deficit.

    Nothing will change until we remove them from office once and for all as has always been the way for change at the highest level.


  2. Well done Mister John

    If this story bears fruit it may well alter the course of the UK election such that via my Ukip trojans
    my cunning plan to govern England by proxy will come to pass !

    You d eventually come to like that — but not a lot I suspect ……


  3. Let’s look at the bigger story. People in the know buy shares in the company. An announcement was made by somebody who isn’t even on the board. Shares rose by 200%. The shares were sold. Shortly after a retraction was made. Could it be that I am wrong?


  4. The Daily Wail article says:
    UKOG boss, Australian businessman Mr Lenigas, who lives in Monaco, is a director of 16 British companies and has been criticised in the past for exaggerating the success of his enterprises to jack up share prices.
    Sounds like another ‘pump and dump’ scam.
    The oil industry was skeptical because oil companies are going bust all over the world due to the Saudis forcing the oil price down (and the world recession using less oil).
    The Weald oil (however much is actually there) is difficult to get at and needs a high oil price to make it worth using. Best to save it until needed. Say, in 20 years time when oil is scarce and expensive.


  5. BillK

    I think you’re probably right…but the Tory Michael Felon often leaves a nasty taste in the mouth. There is grubby stuff in here, my nose is twitching like a bloke with St Vitus dance.


  6. Weald basin oil. Shell put a drilling rig on my family’s farm in 1967,next to the A24. There are a number of small, producing fields today, Singleton, Storrington, Lydsey, Horndean etc. I wonder why the majors have spent 47 years ignoring Mr. Sanderson’s discovery of untold riches.


  7. Pingback: John Ward – Weald Basin Oil Find : Top-Speed Volte Face By UKOG Following Slogpost – 16 April 2015 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  8. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2995239/Why-Royal-Society-wrong-climate-change-devastating-critique-worlds-leading-scientific-organisation-one-fellows.html
    A Fellow of the Royal Society: no warming since 1998, despite CO2 levels rising ~ 10%.
    In fact, a cooling trend started to show in 2000, which has not yet continued long enough to become statistically significant.
    I’m reading a book: Dark Winter, by John L Casey, who is predicting a 20 – 30 year Little Ice Age, starting now.
    I’ll finish it, research the chap, & report.


  9. Tony Heller runs a site enjoying highlighting the errors/falsifications/distortions of various govt agencies. He was having enough of an impact to get himself barred from twitter. He was restored after an uproar. Expecting the possibility of harassment via wordpress, as JW, myself & one other commenter has experienced, he is now moving to self-hosting:

    Only one piece US climate data which correlates with CO2 – the amount of data tampering NCDC is applying to US temperature. :)

    John Doran.


  10. In the words of Josephine Witt of ‘Confettigate’:
    ‘We own our own lives –
    and in the face of the overwhelmingly powerful external
    environment of the ECB’s monetary police,
    sometimes it’s hard to remember.

    We own our own lives –
    and they’re not the chips in the ECB’s gambling game,
    not to be played with, not to be sold, not to be devastated.

    We own our own lives!
    -will be the outcry of those who face repression,
    when we begin to see our poverty not as personal defeat or unchangeable destiny.

    master of the universe,
    I come to remind you that there is no god,
    but there are people, behind those lives,
    and if you rule instead of serving,
    you will hear our outcries louder, brighter, inside and outside your halls, everywhere, and you shall deserve no rest.

    And while the ECB can only persist in its autocratic hegemony, depending on states of surveillance and police,
    finally, the daily violence is enrooted here,
    we will find our radical answers
    and act with no violence against those human disasters.

    Because we will not accept the insane narrative that the ECB wants to impose to all people wherein even freedom of speech and dignity can be sold to the bank in order to survive. Persisting in its arrogance against the people, the ECB increases perilously its own debt to them. A press conference is not enough to call it “democracy”.
    I do not expect this illegitimate institution to hear my voice, neither to understand my message,
    it would be too much to ask,
    but I know for a fact that a lot of people do understand very well the matter.
    Today I’m just a butterfly sending you a sentence, but be afraid more are coming. We will take back the power over our own lives.
    The ECB’s debt is not yet paid.’


  11. Regarding the Weald supposed oil field discovery and tests at 3000ft depth .This is very shallow in terms of depth. It has been experienced in the USA, that drilling deeper thru.depleted shallow oilfields has opened up newer deposits.
    Maximum drilling capacity of modern drilling rigs is 30 to 35,000 ft vertical. Horizontal land drilling has been drilled out to near 10 miles in areas such as Sakhalin and Argentina.
    As previously mentioned,sometimes there is more profit made from speculating on oil companies on the floor of the Stock Exchange than in the actual production of a well.. Buyer beware of the pump and dump brigade.
    Normally oil companies are very tight with information on a wells capacity, as they arrange their chess pieces for development,They can sit on a well for up to 30 years, it is after all ,money in the bank/ground..


  12. “Oil discovery”?
    More like a “disinformation grenade” IMO and perfectly un-testable until proven otherwise.
    Still, it will be used as a solid asset against which to run with policy agendas and accounting backflips.


  13. Seems to me the fact that somebody has just been sold a huge white elephant in the form of Milford Haven gas terminal might have something to do with this. Somebody spent a lot building it, then the price of gas tumbled on world markets due to the efficient use of fracking and now they’ve sold it. The buyer would be mightily pissed if the price of fuel fell again. Just speculating is all…


  14. If you follow the George Carlin philosophy we are all f*cked no matter what.

    Has anyone wondered how much these last decades all the “fears” we were told about never actually happened? The biggie is Iraq and the WMD bollocks. Then there was Peak Oil which I solemnly believed in, and now we have ISIS after Al Qaeda. To me the climate change scare does seem to indeed be a scam after reading Michael Crichton’s State of Fear which dispels climate change completely. You can still be an ecologist and love nature yet think scientifically about the validity of these models which have been developed for decades but may be absolute hogwash.

    What we do have however, is a bank/government/corporation/media melange which is toxic. it spews fear porn (and that too, to say nothing of drug money laundering (yes which bank might that one be?). Once you have realised how evil this fear is and what a lie it is then it is tremendously liberating.


  15. It’s good to read these comments regarding oil. I’ve read quite a few of F William Engdahl’s books including the highly informative ‘Myths, Lies and Oil Wars. He talks about the abiotic properties of oil and the manipulation of absolutely everything in pursuit of the control of oil including the creation of false constructs such as Global Warming. I’ve now come to the conclusion that almost everything is contrived and manipulated and nothing can be believed. I’d recommend him as an author – he’s no fan of the ghastly American political establishment.


  16. Pingback: Abyss | Gabriel Vents

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