When the BBC’s energy correspondence John Moylan, announced at 7.03 am on April 9 last year, that there could be 100 billion barrels of oil in the Weald Basin south of London there was uproar.

Not celebration.  Not thanks.  A kind of un-British scorn, cynicism and disbelief.

The BBC came up with the 100 billion barrel headline for the whole Weald by chatting with Steve Sanderson, and thumbnail sketched the ultimate potential of the Basin by using the Horse Hill numbers extending over a much bigger area.

Wells in the Weald have been producing oil for decades (you’ve probably put some of it in your car).  But you’d be forgiven for not noticing – the nodding donkeys are so well hidden it’s like keyhole surgery.

What was different was that our advisers Nutech, the world’s leading reservoir analysts, had conducted state of the art drilling, electronic logging, and detailed analysis using techniques that had simply not been available a generation ago. Nutech are leaders in their field, and one of a handful of authorised companies to hold all the UK onshore drilling data for Her Majesty’s Government.

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Is the “Gatwick Gusher” real – hell, yes!

Today’s news of the oil flow test results from Horse Hill, 1.2 miles from London’s second airport, Gatwick, is truly astonishing.

They show beyond doubt that what lies beneath the south-east of England is a strategic oil play of huge potential and of national importance for the UK.

The first of three zones to be tested gushed to the surface yesterday at a sustainable flow rate of 460 barrels of English’s finest 40 API oil through a tiny half inch hole.  For the layman – that’s fast flowing, consistent, high quality oil.

So many doubters with their poisoned pens thought the Gatwick Gusher was simply hype.  Many even penned that there would not be a chance in hell that this well would even flow.  They’re going to have to eat their hats.

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Ah Cuba.  Land of sunshine, old cars, real rum, grand old buildings, azure seas, Partagas cigars, and fishing.

I was strolling through Havana on a warm but rainy January evening, sun struggling to set over the Plaza de Armas and something struck me.  No advertising!

How refreshing.

Look at all the photos you see of Cuba.  Or just type ‘Cuba’ into Google images.  Where are all the ads?  Where are the posters for McDonald’s, AT&T, Verizon, Unilever?  Sky, Talk Talk, KFC?  Where are the ads for Pepsi, Coca Cola, Citi, Chase?  O2, Heineken, Vodafone, Asda, Unilever?  For HBO, Comcast, Apple, Samsung, Universal, and Cracker Barrel Old Country Restaurant?

At the moment commercial advertising is illegal in Cuba.  As is public relations.

As you’d expect, the vultures are circling.  The prize, as they sadly see it, is a healthy slug of revenues selling the eyeballs of the 12 Million Cubans to the likes of McDonalds, AT&T and the rest of the gang.

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It’s just been reported that a US maintenance crew made a hash of repairing a nuke.

It’s been a tough week for our chums across the pond. As well as bodging the nuke job, they also lost one of their top of the range, laser-guided anti-tank missiles. They sent it back from Spain on an Air France jet, but instead of Florida, it ended up in Cuba. Serves them right for trying to save on the postage.

You wouldn’t want to be sat near that fella in first class.

Mind you, it would be more interesting than some of the people I’ve met. Take James, our friend trying to bring the e-cigar industry to Cuba. As much business vision as a packet of pretzels and the personality to match.

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Dave’s Tip No1: Understand the local flow and do business with people who ‘get it.’

Graham Greene’s ‘Our Man in Havanais brilliantly funny.  Written in 1958, he takes the mickey out of the British secret service’s MI6.  They were shown up to be gullible and inept, falling for a Pommy bullshit artist, Jim Wormold, who fooled them into thinking sketches of vacuum cleaner parts were plans for a ‘supergun’.  The secret service lads were given the run around over a supposed Missile Crisis, four years before one actually happened for real.

I think I met the real Wormold on my trip to Cuba last week.  James (for that was his name), a Scotsman, sat next to me on the short flight from Cancun to Havana.  From his bag he proudly produced a stash of ‘Cohiba’ branded e-cigars. You couldn’t make it up.

E-CIGARS!!!!  Now call me an old traditionalist, I just about get the whole e-cigarette thing – helps you give up, only problem is you look like a dick sucking on a fairy-lit Christmas tree.

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Good to see The Economist and the FT writing about lithium and energy innovation in the past couple of days.

The Economist says that demand for lithium and high-density energy storage is set to soar amidst a global scramble to secure supplies.   The world’s largest battery producers Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, and ATL are hoovering up supplies, as are carmakers such as Toyota and Tesla, and other end users.

Gloomy news if you rely on lithium for your anti-depressant drugs.

In fact, The Economist calls lithium “the world’s hottest commodity”, explaining that the price of 99.5%-pure lithium carbonate imported to China more than doubled in the two months to the end of December, to $13,000 a tonne.  Some even suggest the Chinese spot market may even hit $20,000 in the next few months.

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America’s been caught napping in its own backyard.

If the US government thought their 55-year trade and financial embargo against Cuba would preserve Cuba for the United States of America they couldn’t be more wrong.

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If you’re not in Vegas this week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) I suggest you have a good look.

Because there are big shifts underway, folks, that are going to transform our lives.

The show is always an extraordinary mash up of techies, fans, business-leaders, and hacks.  And every year there’s a load of hype about this or that new gizmo.

Last year everybody was obsessing about wearable tech, as the world waited for the launch of Apple’s smartwatch.

But the challenge, as ever, is to cut through the hype about gadgets, and to focus on the trends that are genuinely going to change our lives.  Let’s not forget that CES was the venue for the launch of CDs, DVDs and 3D printers.

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Cuba’s internet is changing fast (it needs to).

I’m no fan of state owned telecoms companies.  They’re generally where ambition goes to die.  They stifle innovation.  And customers never get a good deal when there’s a monopoly.

But Cuba’s Telco chief Maya Arevich Marin, President of ETECSA, has rather impressed me.

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A big fat tax free bonus from King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia for almost every man, woman and child on this big blue planet of ours.

So the oil price has taken another dive.  $37/barrel as of this morning.  The lowest for over ten years, and lower than during the global recession of 2008.

Surprised?  Perhaps.

Pleased?  Well it depends whose asking.

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