UK Oil & Gas, one of the companies behind the Horse Hill well near Gatwick Airport, is looking at multiple oil production sites across southern England.
Each site would have 16 wells and at its peak would produce 2,500 barrels of oil per day.
The figures are based on conceptual studies by the consultancies Xodus Group Ltd and Barton Willmore. They examined what would be needed to develop production in the Jurassic tight oil plays in the 11 licences UK Oil & Gas (UKOG) holds in the Weald and Purbeck-Wight Basins.
The study concluded:
- Production sites could avoid National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, as well villages and towns
- Sites of 4-8 acres could accommodate both drilling and production facilities
- Peak production levels would require eight tanker visits a day
- Produced water from the well would be reinjected
- The wellpad would have a life of about 30 years
- Drilling would be expected to last three years
A statement from UKOG said:
“The conceptual studies are based on developing multiple potential sites across the Company’s licences, each of which would consist of a conceptual multi-well pad with 12 horizontal production wells delivering around 2,500 barrels of oil per day at peak production, plus an associated production processing facility site”.
UKOG’s executive chairman, Stephen Sanderson, said the studies would help the company understand the scope, potential economics and operational viability of production from the Jurassic oil plays. He said they had also considered “how to keep the environmental impact to a minimum to respect the rural beauty and way of life of the south east of England.”
Barton Willmore, which has identified sites for Egdon Resources, Celtique Energie and Infrastrata, said this was the first “sift” of potential locations for oil production. There are no details available about how many wellpads are envisaged or where they would go. But in an executive summary of its report, Barton Willmore said:
“The study has focused primarily on searching for previously developed land, co-locating with existing “brown field” industrial, minerals and waste sites, including disused factories, airfields/ airports, quarries and sewage treatment works, government land (such as Ministry of Defence), identifying existing woodland clearings and identifying sites adjacent to main roads away from urban areas.”
Xodus based its predictions of peak output of 2,500 barrels per day on a pad with 16 well slots, 12 for production, one for water reinjection and three spare or future slots. The industry representative body, UK Onshore Oil and Gas says UK onshore wells currently produce 20,000-25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
“Once the drilling phase has been completed, the only visible part of the well pad could be the site fence, electrical substation, control panel and the concrete well pad itself. If all wells are drilled sequentially, the total drilling period could last approximately 3 years”, Xodus said.
According to the model, oil would be extracted by electric submersible pumps below ground so there would be no “nodding donkey” pumps.
The oil would be taken by tanker to the Fawley refinery near Southampton. At peak production, there would be eight tanker visits a day, one every three hours. After three years, tanker movements would fall to four a day, the model predicted. Any gas from the wells would be compressed and used to generate power.
- UKOG has interests in 10 onshore and one offshore licences, including the two Horse Hill PEDLs 137 and 246 and Markwells Wood (PEDL 126).
- Barton Willmore has worked with oil and gas companies to identifiy the following oil and gas sites: Broadford Bridge, near Billingshurst (Celtique Energie), North Kelsey in Lincolnshire (Egdon Resources), Bury Hill Wood near Dorking (Europa Oil & Gas) and Preesall Underground Gas Storage Facility, Wyre Estuary, Preesall, Lancashire (Halite Energy).