Union Jack Oil PLC (LON:UJO) and its partners in the West Newton discovery are advancing efforts to select new well locations, as they seek to start planning for the next phases of the Yorkshire oil project.
Project operator Rathlin Energy has submitted screening requests to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council for two new potential hydrocarbon wellsites, UJO noted in a statement.
Screening the possible well sites, for the West Newton C and West Newton D wells respectively, is the first step in the planning process to further explore and appraise the West Newton hydrocarbon field.
This work will determine whether planning application submissions for West Newton C and West Newton D will require environmental impact assessments.
It comes as Union Jack and its partners at West Newton look forward to results from the latest well.
Earlier this week, UJO noted the completion of site preparation and the imminent start of a key drill programme, at West Newton B – kicking off with conductor drilling down to 80 metres, before casing and the erection of the primary rig to drill down to a 2,000 target depth.
UJO owns a 16.665% interest in the West Newton project, which is potentially one of the largest ever onshore discoveries in the UK.
The base-case estimates for the project see some 146.4mln barrels of oil initially in place and 211.5bn cubic feet of gas, whilst the upside version anticipates 283mln barrels of oil and 265.9bn cubic feet of gas.
Data gathered during the West Newton B programme will inform a subsequent well testing programme which will aim to establish production capabilities and guide future activity at the project.
Future drilling at the C and D locations will potentially help confirm the scale and scope of the discovery.
Not only is the size of the project significant, but its location is also favourable for development.
The project is located in the vicinity of the Humber region which is host to a substantial portion of the UK’s petrochemical industry. Moreover, this region has been identified by the UK government as a focal point for the development of a ‘zero carbon’ or carbon-neutral industry cluster.
As a potential nearby source of hydrocarbons, West Newton could offset feedstock from further afield or imports.
“The Zero Carbon Humber energy and chemicals cluster has been identified by the UK government as a funding recipient to develop the world's first carbon-neutral (net-zero) industrial cluster by 2040. Hydrocarbons are used as raw materials to make a range of products including fertiliser for agriculture, PPE for hospitals, detergents for homes, paints, mouldable plastics, mobile phones, laptops, surfaces for roads as well as used to heat homes and businesses,” Rathlin stated in its statement.
“Rathlin Energy believes the West Newton Field has the potential to provide local feedstock to a Humber net-zero project replacing the need for imported hydrocarbons while at the same time developing indigenous energy sources, contributing to the economic welfare of the Humber region and enhancing local job prospects.”
Rathlin intends to carry out a public consultation for the proposed field development over the coming months, and ahead of making any formal planning applications.