Updated: What’s happening at Brockham oil site in Surrey?


Photo: Colin Gong

Work is underway at Angus Energy’s oil site at Brockham, near Dorking, in Surrey. But the company appears reluctant to reveal details of what it is doing.

Last week, the company said in a statement it had received approvals from the Oil and Gas Authority and the Health and Safety Executive.

The statement (dated 15 December) said: “The rig is now on site and has started work on the approved program”.

A quote from Angus Energy’s chairman, Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius, suggested the work was connected to plans for a proposed side-track well.

DrillOrDrop asked Angus Energy for details about the current operations at the site.

The company responded on 19 December:

“Thank you for contacting Angus Energy. Unfortunately, we will have to decline your invitation to answer these questions for your website.

“Angus Energy Plc. never comments on future operations, objectives and performance of the firm, to any individual or organisation (this includes any assumptions underlying or relating to such statements).

“We note in your letter your dedication to accuracy which we admire and respect. The most relevant, accurate and up to date information on the firm is available on our website for all to see.”

DrillOrDrop then asked Surrey County Council about the work, the current planning permission and what conditions applied to the operations on site.

A council spokesperson replied today (20/12/2016):

“The activity is being treated as what is known as a ‘work-over’ which is covered by an extant planning permission for production extending until 2036 granted in May 2007.

“The operator is to comply with the planning conditions attached to the 2007 planning permission.  The company is using the ‘work-over rig’ under the 2007 permission.

“The work was planned to take place over working ten days, which with public holidays etc. is expected to extend into the New Year.

“Officers understand that the rig being used is some 16 m in height – this is compliant with planning permission.”

Side-track plans

Angus Energy has proposed drilling a side-track well for exploration and production at Brockham. But DrillOrDrop understands planning consent has not been granted and no application has been submitted to Surrey County Council.

A protection camp was established near the site at Feltons Farm earlier this month and opponents of the operation have been carrying out slow walks in front of visiting lorries.

BBC Surrey reported on 12 December that its reporter and a campaigner opposed to the site had been threatened by a masked man. The reporter said on air that the man wouldn’t say where he was from, or where he was going but he did say ‘I will be back’.


Source: Google Maps

Exploration and production

Angus Energy has said the new side-track well would allow it to explore for oil in the Kimmeridge and Corallian formations and prolong production from the Upper Portland reservoir.

Angus Energy’s chairman, Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius, said:

“We are pleased to have received the required approvals from the UK Government to perform the new work.

“We have commenced with the abandonment of the required redundant wells in the upper Portland formation before re-entering the original Brockham-X1 well that BP drilled in 1987 down through the Portland, Kimmeridge, Corallian and in to the much deeper great Oolite formations.

“All the original BP wells at Brockham that passed through the Kimmeridge and Corallian formations were drilled without properly assessing their hydrocarbon potential. Angus Energy looks forward to update the market with the results of the assessment in due course”.

The operation received a mining waste permit from the Environment Agency on 14 November, the same day the company floated on the AIM share index.

On 16 December, Angus announced it has increased its interest in the Brockham oil field by 10% to 65%. A statement said it had paid £100,000 to Terrain Energy for the extra investment.

The Brockham site is in production licence area PL235. Oil was discovered by BP in 1987.

Angus Energy had interests in the Horse Hill oil exploration site near Gatwick but this year it gave up its final holdings to focus on Brockham.

It also plans to drill a new horizontal well at its other licence at Lidsey in West Sussex. reported last month that the aim was to get production up to around 400 barrels a day.

Updated on 16/12/2016 and 20/12/2016 to include additional details

50 replies »

  1. Well , no pun intended , it seems from a council report that there is only permit to clean the old , some say damaged , well , no licence to drill even applied for , but , dont ask me , maybe ask the council before spending any profits?

  2. So a 10 day work over generates a “protection camp”! Sounds like some people don’t have enough to do. From what they said a Kimmeridge sidetrack is being thought about by Angus. We will see once they have finished the work over.

  3. Not a good weekend for PhilC. Watched Andrew Neil earlier today taking apart some guy from Greenpeace who had an issue with air quality-have not seem such a car crash in ages (false claims repeatedly exposed) and then Luke Johnson in The Sunday Times exposing how “charities” such as the Humane League raise funds.

    Integrity with information is a bit like virginity-once you lose it, no getting it back.

    I don’t want to convert anyone, but I would simply advise those who have concerns about oil or gas exploration please do your own research carefully. There are a number of organisations who see this as a gravy train from which to raise funds, without which they would not exist. You may have concerns about information from organisations that have a financial connection-just remember this is on both sides of the debate.

    I, and others, asked the question on this site, what was the problem with this exploration by Angus. No answer, but the question and the high lightening this was not answered, was “venom”! Interesting world we live in.

    • ‘So Europe is turning to renewables and walking away from Gas?’
      From the same report page 19:

      ‘And yet since 2007 and the onset of the economic crisis in Europe, gas demand on the continent has decreased. The EU’s own 2050 Energy Roadmap predicts that natural gas imports into Europe will decrease under all possible scenarios considered.

      The European Commission estimates that if the EU’s 2030 energy efficiency goals are met, EU gas imports would be reduced by 174 Mtoe per year by 2030. This is about 20 times more than projected import volumes via the Southern Gas Corridor, showed a 2014 study by think tank E3G.13’

      In particular:

      ‘The same study shows that the EU did not use the same figures to assess the need for the pipeline, but instead projected European gas demand in 2030 to be 72% higher than if the EU’s energy efficiency goals are met.14’

      Ring any bells, another industry telling porkies….

Add a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s