Europa Oil & Gas has secured permission from the Surrey County Council's Planning & Regulatory Committee to carry out underground drilling of a borehole at the Holmwood prospect in the Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence (PEDL) 143 in the Weald Basin, UK.
Europa holds a 40% interest in PEDL 143, and the other partners include Egdon Resources (18.4%), Altwood Petroleum (1.6%), Warwick Energy (20%) and UK Oil & Gas Investments (20%, subject to completion of farm-in).
Following the approval, UKOG will go ahead to complete the previously announced farm-in with Egdon Resources to the PEDL143 licence.
"Following Surrey County Council's favourable decision, we are meeting with our joint venture partners and reviewing plans to take the Holmwood prospect forward to drilling."
The company will hold a 20% licence interest in PEDL143, upon completion.
In June, Egdon Resources has signed an agreement with regard to a farm-out of PEDL143 to UKOG.
Europa and its partners have planning permission for the surface site as well as the underground drilling corridor, following which the companies have to fulfil planning conditions and commence detailed drilling planning and environmental permitting.
Drilling is expected to take place in late 2016 or in 2017.
Europa and its partner Warwick Energy have commenced the farm out process of their combined 60% equity in licence PEDL 143.
Europa Oil & Gas CEO Hugh Mackay said: "Following Surrey County Council's favourable decision, we are meeting with our joint venture partners and reviewing plans to take the Holmwood prospect forward to drilling.
"With gross mean un-risked prospective resources of 5.6 million barrels of oil, as estimated in a CPR published in June 2012, Holmwood would be the UK's fifth largest onshore field were the mean resources case to be proved by drilling success."
UKOG CEO Stephen Sanderson said: "Although UKOG's involvement has only been since June 2015, subject to the required Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) consent, the project can now move swiftly forward to the important milestone of drilling and testing the Holmwood prospect towards the end of 2016 or early 2017."
Subject to receipt of the necessary OGA approval, UKOG will pay a 40% share of the Holmwood-1 exploration drilling costs to buy a full 20% working interest in PEDL143 from Egdon.