On Thursday Angus confirmed it had begun work on a well at Brockham, in Surrey.
It is a re-entry and sidetrack to a hole drilled by BP (LON:BP.) in 1987 that will first go into the Portland sandstone, host to a known oil play that is already generating 35 barrels a day.
It will then push on into the Kimmeridge, before perforating a horizon called the Coralian.
Kimmeridge has potential
The Kimmeridge has the potential to really move the needle, for this was the source for all the excitement at nearby Horse Hill, which flowed at a better than expected 1,688 barrels a day.
Horse Hill and Brockham are thought to share many geological similarities.
Eagerly anticipated will be the results from three discrete layers within the Kimmeridge.
What the experts suspect is the Kimmeridge at Horse Hill is naturally fractured, allowing oil to accumulate, so that when accessed, it flows easily to surface under its own steam.
If this model holds up then there would be no need for fracking to release this hydrocarbon bounty.
“All the original BP wells at Brockham that passed through the Kimmeridge and Corallian formations were drilled without properly assessing their hydrocarbon potential,” said Angus chairman Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius.
“[We] look forward to update the market with the results of the assessment in due course."
The same geology as Horse Hill?
There is no guarantee that Brockham will enjoy identical geology to Horse Hill – but there is a suspicion it does; well more than that.
It is a hunch based on drilling carried out by BP, which used to own the Brockham licence.
One of Angus’ field partners, a firm called Doriemus, commissioned the consultant Nutech to make a comparative analysis of the Horse Hill-1 well and Brockham-1, sunk by BP in the 1980s.
Angus believes the maturity and fracture analysis of the two have striking similarities.
The drilling should take roughly 10 days.
Re-entering the Portland should increase output by 150 barrels a day.
If the Kimmeridge plays out in the same way it did at Horse Hill then you might add a further 1,4000 barrels to production. That’s a big deal.
Brockham permitted for production
The neat trick is that Brockham is permitted for production. So, unlike Horse Hill, it could be put on tap immediately.
Horse Hill was drilled as an exploration well and the testing was carried out over hours rather than weeks or days.
So it will require extensive further testing and the compilation of a field development plan before commercial production can take place.
That will take some considerable time to achieve. So in effect Brockham could leap-frog Horse Hill in the race to get oil to market.
If it finds oil, Angus wants to learn a great deal more out about potential of the Kimmeridge.
However it won’t be rushing through the gears. Slow and steady wins the day.
The evaluation of the zones of interest is likely to take a number of weeks as the Angus team assesses each discrete horizon.
At 10.15am, the shares were changing hands for 8.63p, up 7.84%. The shares were listed on AIM last month at 6p.