158m barrels per square mile – latest announcement from Horse Hill oil discovery

UK Oil & Gas, one of the companies behind the Horse Hill exploratory oil well near Gatwick airport, announced this morning it estimated there were 158m barrels of oil per square mile in the Weald Basin. This could mean 50bn-100bn barrels across the region, meeting up to 30% of UK oil demand, the company said.

UKOG suggested it could recover 5-15% of the oil and it restated that it would not need to frack.

This is the latest in a series of announcements by the company since drilling the well near Horley in Surrey last year.

In March, the company described Horse Hill as a “world class” find. In February, chief executive Stephen Sanderson told investors the source rocks at Horse Hill were “super rich”, and “as good, if not better, than stuff in the North Sea”. He said the results challenged the British Geological Survey estimates of 2.2-8.5bn barrels of oil in the Weald Basin.

This morning’s estimate follows analysis of cores from Horse Hill by the US company, Nutech. Its report saids almost three quarters of the oil in play (114m barrels) were in the Upper Jurassic Kimmeridge in a sequence of limestone and mudstone at 2,500-3,000ft (762m-914m).

Stephen Sanderson said the area had potential for “significant daily oil production”. He described the Upper Jurassic as a hybrid play and said it was analogous to areas in the US Bakken and Permian basins and the Bazhenov formation of West Siberia.

He also said again that it thought the oil could be recovered without hydraulic fracturing. “The Company considers that the high pay thickness, combined with interpreted naturally fractured limestone reservoir with measurable matrix permeability, gives strong encouragement that these reservoirs can be successfully produced using conventional horizontal drilling and completion techniques.”

UKOG said the potential of the Weald Basin as a whole was still being analysed. But in interviews Mr Sanderson said: “Based on what we’ve found here, we’re looking at between 50 and 100 billion barrels of oil in place in the ground. We believe we can recover between 5% and 15% of the oil in the ground, which by 2030 could mean that we produce 10%-to-30% of the UK’s oil demand from within the Weald area.”

  • The Horse Hill well is in PEDL 137. UKOG owns a 30% direct interest in Horse Hill Developments Ltd. HHDL owns 65% of PEDL 137.

Reaction to today’s announcement

5 replies »

  1. “UKOG suggested it could recover 5-15% of the oil and it restated that it would not need to frack.”

    Industry yet again using its narrow definition of fracking in an attempt to allay peoples’ genuine fears. Most campaigners fortunately use the broad definition of fracking which includes ALL exploration activities. As we know from Balcombe, Barton Moss and West Newton, air, light, noise and water pollution all accompany exploration activities so it is completely irrelevant whether a company states it is going to frack or not. If the industry believes that locals are going to fall for this “we’re not fracking” rhetoric after everything it has done so far, it better think again!

    It is safe to say that any onshore oil and gas company who starts drilling right now is interested in fracking and communities should do all in their power to stop the industry as soon as it becomes active in an area as happened in Belcoo, Co. Fermanagh over the summer. The sooner a community takes action, the greater the chances of winning. This is why we need to see ‘fracking’ as an entire lifecycle that begins with seismic testing.

    • So you’re against ALL drilling then? Including drilling for geothermal or water? And if its the drilling that’s bothering you why didn’t anyone complain about the 2000 wells already drilled?

      • In the UK onshore 2,000 wells have been drilled over a period of 100 years. That equates to 20 per year.
        The unconventional rock this operator is targetting produces an average of 135 barrels per day.
        At 20 wells per year that would provide 2,700 barrels per day.
        Oil currently fetches USD50 to USD60.
        20 wells would generate USD135,000 to USD162,000 gross revenue per day or up to USD60,000,000 per year before tax and other large overheads. Overheads include drilling, well completion, transport, planning approval and security.
        Although to many USD60,000,000 is a large amount of money it is less than USD1 per person in the United Kingdom.
        It will take a very large number of wells of this type to produce a useful amount of oil.

  2. Thanks for your comment. I’m planning a reaction post – are you happy for me to use material from your comment?

  3. When will this government realise we the other options, I really hope the election gets rid of these money hungry business fat cats running out nation!

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