The next big well in the Weald Basin is just weeks from getting underway, according to an update by UK Oil & Gas Investments.
The company already has planning permission for Broadford Bridge-1 (BB-1) in West Sussex and the drill pad has been constructed.
UKOG’s (LON:UKOG) 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.
The company, which wholly owns the licence, plans to drill into the Kimmeridge section at a 50-degree angle.
It is the Kimmeridge that provided to the gush to the Gatwick Gusher, the nickname of the Horse Hill-1 well.
“Operations will include the acquisition of an extensive coring, electric log and borehole imaging data set to provide further key information on the limestone reservoirs and natural fracturing,” UKOG said.
Work on Broadford Bridge will get underway sometime between now and the end of June and permission was granted for flow testing for up to 14 weeks.
While Horse Hill is the stand-out success to date in the Weald, Angus Energy has also perforated the Kimmeridge and plans to put its Brockham well into production.
Positive results from BB-1, meanwhile, would extend the footprint of the Kimmeridge and Weald Basin, marking it out as a possible new oil frontier.
The problem, however, is this huge swathe of greenbelt is at the nexus of the London commuter belt and an area of outstanding natural beauty, which means it may never be fully developed.
Earlier, UKOG and its partners said they’d had their licence on the acreage extended for four more 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 in Surrey as well as setting out a detailed work programme.
The UK Oil & Gas Authority has granted rights over PEDL137 and PEDL246 out to September and June 2021 respectively. The former is the host to the Horse Hill well, which one of the most significant onshore finds of recent times.
The agreement with the OGA also maps out work programmes for the licences, referred to in the announcement as retention areas.
This includes production testing of the Portland horizon and Kimmeridge limestone; the latter is thought to be part of a thick oil-bearing layer that may span large tracts of the Weald Basin in the south of England.
There are also plans for two new wells - the HH-1z Kimmeridge and HH-2 Portland. Part of the programme will be 50 square kilometres of 3D seismic and 25 kilometres of 2D on nearby PEDL246 along with a step-out well on the acreage.