The Gatwick Gusher was back in focus today, with the partners in the Horse Hill exploration site, including Solo Oil PLC (LON:SOLO), having their licence on the acreage extended for a further four years along with the rights to explore and develop a second area nearby.
The update from the partners also provided a timeline for testing the Horse Hill well, near Gatwick airport in Surrey, as well as setting out a detailed work programme.
The agreement with UK Oil & Gas Authority includes production testing of the Portland horizon and Kimmeridge limestone, with the latter thought to be part of a thick oil-bearing layer that may span large tracts of the Weald Basin in the south of England.
Solo’s boss Neil Ritson said: “Extending the time we can retain the entirety of the licence areas by four years whilst we test and appraise the discoveries made by the Horse Hill-1 well is a positive development as it considerably increases our flexibility in completing the work programme.”
He added: “Testing at Horse Hill will likely start in the second half of 2017 and is the next step in the evaluation process."
Solo owns 6.5% of the licences via its 10% ownership of the operator Horse Hill Developments.
Meanwhile, the next big well in the Weald Basin is just weeks from getting underway, according to an update by UK Oil & Gas Investments (LON:UKOG).
The company already has planning permission for Broadford Bridge-1 (BB-1) in West Sussex and the drill pad has been constructed.
UKOG’s licence area is on the southern flank of the basin and is described as a mirror image of the fault block at Horse Hill, host to one of the most important onshore discoveries of recent times.
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