Horse Hill applies for permit change to allow well testing

The operators of the Horse Hill exploratory oil site near Gatwick have applied to vary their environmental waste permit to allow them to test the well.

The application, by Horse Hill Developments Limited (HHDL), was published by the Environment Agency yesterday. A public consultation runs until 25th June 2015.

One of the partners in HHDL, UK Oil & Gas Investments, claimed last month that it had discovered 100bn barrels of oil in the Weald, based on drilling at Horse Hill. It later issued a clarification saying further testing and drilling was needed before the amount could be confirmed.

The permit application includes details of HHDL’s plans to test three target formations of the well: the Upper and Lower Jurassic limestones and the Portland sandstone.

According to the environmental method statement, for each formation, the process will include:

  • Perforating the well
  • Circulating dilute hydrochloric acid (acid wash to clean the well)
  • Opening the well to flow

The environmental method statement says the acid wash will use at least 48 cubic meters of dilute hydrochloric acid in total (16m3 for each section). Another 48m3 might be required to repeat the process. It adds that the hydrochloric acid will be at 15% concentration.

The application says likely waste products from the well test will comprise spent acid, diesel and water. There is no reference to waste gases or the need for flaring.

Mobilisation of equipment is expected to take one week and perforation of the well, testing and securing the well another four weeks.

  • The Environment Agency is currently consulting on a set of standard rules covering acid wash in oil and gas wells. The deadline for responses is 15th June 2015

Horse Hill details
Horse Hill, Hookwood, Horley, Surrey, RH6 0HN
Licence area: PEDL 137 – the exploration phases is due to expire on 30th September 2015 and HHDL has applied to the Oil and Gas Authority for a one year extension to 30th September 2016
Planning permission Granted by Surrey County Council on 16th January 2012, reference SCC 2010/0197. Permission is for three years from the start of work.
Well spudded 2nd September 2014

11 replies »

  1. Well I hope no one complains about this. Perforate, 15% acid wash to clean up wellbore, followed by flow test is what has kept everyones car running for the last 60 years. If there is spare acid, could donate to local school to use in science experiments, or sell as patio cleaner.

  2. Ken, we don’t need fossil fuels except for propelling our bodies into space. Get with the times my friend…burning more fossil fuels is going to make our situation worse. Make no mistake, this is all for greed and profit at the expense of our natural world. We cannot afford to make our situation worse

  3. As the senior partner with a 35% direct woking interest at Horse Hill Developments Limited, J. Thomas Wilson, President and CEO of Magellan (NASDAQ MPET), commented in a statement on 15 May 2015: “We believe the outcome of the flow test of the Upper Portland is the next critical step, which, if successful, could allow us to move the license into the production period and start producing oil from HH-1. Our strategy is also focused on establishing the potential of the Kimmeridge and Liassic formations in the Weald Basin, which we believe could contain significant hydrocarbon prospects.”
    The Kimmeridge and Liassic formations are unconventional, which means that most likely they will require hydraulic fracturing.
    As reported earlier in Drill or Drop? Magellan is in a legal dispute with its partner Celtique in a neighbouring licence over funds for a proposed well at Broadford Bridge near Billingshurst in West Sussex.

    • Thanks for pointing this out. There are interesting differencesbetween what Magellan tells its shareholders and what the site operators are saying.

  4. Seriously, how is pumping shit into the ground a way forward for the ecology and future of the earth we rely on for food. How can anyone justify the meager benefit of extra pollutants for a brief respite from imagined fuel famine. There is no future in fossil fuels and no hope for those that think that it is the salvation of the economy.

  5. Get know we need oil.Stop kidding yourselves.The UK needs to tip importing oil and gas in shipping tankers from other countries.

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