Within the past hour, the workover rig at Angus Energy’s site at Brockham oil site near Dorking in Surrey has been taken down.
The company reported yesterday that it had encountered potential hydrocarbon reservoirs in three formations.
It said this added to hopes that the geology at Brockham was similar to that at the Horse Hill oil discovery at Horley, near Gatwick, about seven miles away.
Angus said it had finished work to complete, log, case and cement a well at the site and expected equipment to be moved off in the next few days.
An Angus statement said potential reservoirs had been logged in the Portland, Kimmeridge and Corallian layers and there had been hydrocarbon shows in all three formations.
Chairman Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius said:
“We are pleased to have encountered hydrocarbon shows missed in the previous drilling by BP in 1987 in the three Kimmeridge target intervals and are delighted to see encouragement for the predicted analogy to the Horse Hill geology. Encouragingly, we have also seen oil and gas shows in the underlying Corallian.
“Further analysis is underway to identify the extent of hydrocarbon presence and the ability of these hydrocarbons to freely move into the wellbore.
“New Ultra Wave well logging technology has been used in the logging of this well and will, once analysed, allow us to make an image of the borehole wall in order to map the presence of, and density of, natural fractures in the target reservoirs.
“This will enable us to target the most prospective zones which have the highest potential for future production.”
News also emerged yesterday that a section of a well at the site had to be abandoned urgently.
The details were in an email from Surrey County Council about 24-hour working at the site, which had prompted complaints from people living locally.
Ian Gray, team leader for planning enforcement at the council said:
“Angus Energy identified during the maintenance that one of the wells was found to be ‘live’, resulting from hydrocarbons bypassing an isolation plug. As such, they needed to work quickly to ‘kill’ that section of the well by sealing it and cementing it ASAP: abandoning the well safely.
“This was why the 24-hour working was deemed expedient by officers. As such, whilst I appreciate that night time operation of the rig whilst the workover took place may have been inconvenient to some, what CPA [county planning authority] officers agreed to was both short term & temporary.”
The county council has confirmed that the work on the site was covered by planning permission granted in 2007, which continues until 2036. The council said Angus Energy did not have planing permission to extend the well vertically or horizontally and a new application had not been submitted.
In a separate email seen by DrillOrDrop, Mr Tidswell-Pretorius said the company was seeking to reassure local people about operations at the site. There had been two meetings with them over the past two days, he said, and the company had given local people a tour of the site. Mr Tidswell-Pretorius added:
“We are preparing a legal letter for the local residents/groups stating we as a company shall not engage in any hydraulic or acid fracking at Brockham”.
“We hope all operations to be completed later today with rig down starting straight away.
“All loads will be leaving during agreed hrs and rigging down crews only working as per allowed daylight hours.”
Opponents of the work at Brockham established a camp near the site, which DrillOrDrop understands will be disbanded soon.
Campaigners have been carrying out slow-walking protests in front of delivery lorries since December. Four women who were arrested for obstruction have been released on bail until tomorrow (28 January 2017). A 20-year-old man charged with tampering with a vehicle has been bailed to appear at Redhill Magistrates Court on 13 February 2017.