Consumers could find they are able to compare energy rates from more sources if an oil exploration project in Lincolnshire yields results.
Europa Oil and Gas believes it has identified a potential new oilfield in Lincolnshire only 100 yards from a wildlife reserve and is expected to produce initial test results on the site in the next few weeks, reports the Telegraph.
A range of safeguards have been put in place to protect the nearby Whisby nature reserve, with no drilling to take place during the bird-breeding season and earth banks to be built once the project is complete.
Paul Barrett, Europa managing director, told the paper: "We should be able to recover up to five million barrels at first, with the well capable of flowing a couple of hundred barrels a day initially."
It is thought the new reserve could produce 20 million barrels of oil altogether, worth about £1 billion.
The North Sea has been the source of much of the UK's oil supply for many years.
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