Gatwick-Gusher proponent David Lenigas is hoping for good news from the Surrey County Council on Wednesday, when a committee is expected to make a decision on plans for a new programme at the Horse Hill project.
Horse Hill was the project that sparked an emerging new oil play in southern England - with the subsequent Brockham, Broadford Bridge and Lidsey wells following on with success - and the proposed programme aims to provide a long term production test for the new field.
READ: Horse Hill follow ups Lidsey and Broadford Bridge have shown promise but there’s still a lot more to do
Lenigas, in an interview with Proactive Investors ‘ Stocktube, highlighted that the 120-day flow test will be a follow up to the project with the “biggest onshore flow rate in British history” and said he hoped the council will approve two or three more wells, though he sees the possibility of even more drilling.
“I see potentially another six wells being drilled in the Weald basin next year, some will be production and some will be exploration. But, it is pretty exciting. It is all starting to come together.”
Lenigas remains confident in Horse Hill’s multi-billion barrel potential.
“Nothing has changed [since the initial Horse Hill estimates]. Not one of the consultants who originally came up with the estimates for the whole Weald basin, at P50 over 100bn barrels, or even if you look at Horse Hill between 10 and 12bn barrels, within the Horse Hill licences.
“Nothing has changed. In fact, it has actually just got better because we’ve now determined with the work that has been done at Broadford Bridge and at Brockham that the whole system appears to be naturally fractured which opens up huge potential for more oil.”
Speaking more broadly about the findings of more recent wells, Lenigas added: “What we’ve learned is the Kimmeridge itself is naturally fractured, whether it is in the limestone or in the Kimmeridge formation itself, which means there’s a lot of oil that can come out of that whole Kimmeridge system.
“It is very exciting. And there’s a lot of wells coming online.”
Broadford Bridge continued to flow light oil
The UK explorer on Monday told investors that the Broadford Bridge-1z well continued to flow light sweet oil as well as gas from the Kimmeridge limestone section. It added that the flow continues to clean-up, it has demonstrated increasing oil cut, and sustained periods of gas flaring.
Most significantly, UKOG pointed to similarities with the Horse Hill well – which is relatively nearby, just 27 kilometres away.
Along with the results from the Horse Hill well, the Broadford Bridge results to date show that the Kimmeridge contains “a thick regionally extensive continuous oil accumulation”, UKOG noted.
Stephen Sanderson, UKOG executive chairman, in a statement said: “The near identical reservoir characteristics seen at both BB-1z and HH-1, some 27 km apart, show this accumulation is laterally extensive over much of the Weald Basin. UKOG as the largest licence holder in the basin is in a prime position to exploit this resource.”
“This proof of geological and scientific concept is a major achievement and has significant positive implications for the prospectivity of PEDL234 and our extensive licence holdings in the Weald.”
The project update comes as investors await the start of an optimised flow testing programme – which will follow clean-up and a quick work-over – with multiple zones due to be targeted.
The testing programme is pencilled in to continue by mid-December.
“Our focus now moves to delivering further proof that BB-1z can deliver both commercially viable rates and volumes of oil to surface,” Sanderson added. The test results to date are technically significant and highly encouraging and I am confident that the more finely focussed and optimised testing plan can establish commercial viability."
Plainly, there are multiple moving parts to the emerging multi-project oil play and it is a fast moving story. And with plenty of upcoming catalysts on way the Horse Hill, Broadford Bridge, Brockham and Lidsey projects remain ones to watch for speculative oil investors.