Brockham update: Rig down, potential reservoirs announced and the reason for 24-hour working


Photo: Jon O’Houston

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.

Potential reservoirs

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.”

24-hour working

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.

“No fracking”

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”.

He added:

“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.”



Brockham Protection Camp. Photo: Jon O’Houston

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.

Short film  by Jon O’Houston about recent operations and protests at Brockham

20 replies »

  1. Oh my God! The horror, the absolute horror. Did you see the size of that rig! It’s huge. How awful. And the whole process lasted 6 weeks! What an absolute desecration of the countryside. What kind of awful people are these guys?

    • ‘ Slow and steady wins the day’

      These are the words of Paul Vonk, chairman of Angus energy.

      Angus energy operate 2 wells.

      Brockam and Lidsley.

      Output from Brockam Sept 2015 to Aug 2016 6 Barrels of oil per day
      Output from Lidsley Sept 2015 to Aug 2016 4 Barrels of oil per day

      No associated gas from either site

      Each well produced more water than it did oil.

      Energy security that we can’t possibly do without.

  2. I think most people can appreciate why people are upset about this taking place on the edge of an AONB and in an Area of Great Landscape Value, not to mention the impact on climate change by extracting new reserves of fossil fuels.

  3. Ruth, if Angus Energy are undertaking not to do any hydraulic or acid fracking at this well, can they describe what methods they will use? Will this description be in the letter to the local community?

  4. Linda, I suspect they will do so ONCE the data collected has been fully analysed and compared to the Horse Hill data. That latter data suggested that the strata(s) were already fractured and that oil would flow naturally to the surface. Flow tests were conducted at Horse Hill which confirmed that. The proximity of Horse Hill has obviously been an encouragement to Angus to determine whether there is common ground.
    There are a number of oil wells across the south of England which operate already, and have done so for some years, but I suspect the yield from this particular area could be somewhat higher, hence the exploration even against low oil prices.

    • ‘yield from this particular area could be somewhat higher’

      You mean higher than 6 Barrels per day of oil and 7 barrels of water that it presently produces.

      All aboard the Horse Hill hype 7 miles away

  5. John-you do yourself no favours with such misinformation. Why do you think this work has been done on this site? To maintain past production? Do the maths.

    Horse Hill was flow tested, production levels were recorded and PUBLISHED. Lorries (numerous) were filmed carrying oil away, with antis attempting to stop them.

    If flow testing is conducted by a listed company the levels of output measured MUST be accurately reported to the market, as it obviously is price sensitive information reference the trading and value of shares. Those reports to the market are published and readily available. Haven’t tried it myself, but you could probably “Google It.”

    I would be the first to suggest the yields from Horse Hill are initial results, but they were close to the highest output for any on-shore well recently examined in UK.

    But then, I am sure, in your mind, the operators just wish to now chuck a large amount of money around seeking to expand the testing and development at Horse Hill? How do they square that circle with share holders?

    I suggest you wait until next week before you dig any deeper.

  6. Wonder if the investors will notice that side track is not being drilled, instead an old well is being renamed to BR-X4Z.

    • I would suggest the side track was drilled from BR X4 which is what the Z indicates, in fact this is probably the second time, initially it would have been called BR 4 with the X added the first time it was side tracked

  7. Anonymous-suggest you don’t read too much into, basically, nothing!

    The well has been subject to examination during a work-over. Data has been collected and will be analysed, and then the company will decide the most cost effective way to proceed (if there is one.) It’s known as a SCIENCE based evaluation.

    Angus are obviously trying to utilise the experience gained locally at Horse Hill and identify whether similar possibilities extend to their site. I would anticipate if their data points in that direction further development will work closely with Horse Hill. After all, there would be no point them duplicating what might happen on the other site until results are seen.

  8. Martin – a great deal was made of side track drilling in Angus’ IPO documents so surely it is material. Not disagreeing with the rest of your comment, but more obstacles are in place than expected.

  9. Anonymous-I think you will find Angus will look carefully at the data they have collected in the work-over and will decide whether that indicates there is need, at this stage for side track drilling.
    I can not see they would want to duplicate Horse Hill exploration, unless they considered it would offer a different perspective. They are both looking for the same possibilities, and I suspect they will co-ordinate their exploration accordingly. That is not to say they will do so as a JV (although that could happen) but these tests, and results, have to be declared as they are linked to share value, so it is perfectly possible for one company to see what the other plans and adjust, or delay, their plans accordingly. It just makes economical sense not to duplicate, and carry that cost.

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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.