Brockham ready to produce oil by summer and could be better than Horse Hill, says Angus


Photo: John O’Houston

Angus Energy said today it expected to be ready to produce oil from a new sidetrack well at its Brockham site in Surrey by this spring or summer.

The company announced results of analysis of the well, called BR-X4Z, in a statement this morning. It said the thickness of the Kimmeridge limestone reservoir was similar to the thickness reported at the exploratory oil well at Horse Hill, near Gatwick Airport, eight miles to the south.

“Based on the evidence so far, Angus has confidence that the well will be similar to Horse Hill and perhaps given that the reservoir is potentially much thicker in zones not previously tested the results could be even better.”

The company said it was ready to install new production facilities for the Brockham well and to prepare for production as soon as it had approval from the Oil and Gas Authority.

“Targeted completion for production is in spring/summer 2017.”

The statement continued:

“Our professional team will shortly be meeting Surrey County Council to discuss the position in relation to the sidetrack and also to agree what further planning permissions are necessary in order to regularise the existing site cabins, fencing and associated structures.”


Map: Oil and Gas Authority

Surrey County Council has consistently told DrillOrDrop that the recent work at Brockham was a workover operation that was covered by a planning permission granted in 2007. The council said Angus did not have permission for horizontal or vertical drilling.

But the statement from Angus said the BR-X4Z sidetrack was drilled to 1,391m to evaluate the Portland, Corallian and Kimmeridge formations at Brockham. The sidetrack is marked on a map (see above) published by the OGA, with a spud date of 20 January 2017.

Paul Tresto, a DrillOrDrop reader and regular contributor, had this explanation for the apparent contradiction (see full comment below):

“They [Angus] used an existing wellbore and sidetrack drilled by BP in 1987, cleaned it out, isolated the sidetrack, logged the wellbore and ran and cemented production casing. The well was required to be renamed.”

Drilling details

According to Angus, the gross thickness of the Kimmeridge formation in Br-X4Z is 385m.

It said the company had used the Weatherford Ultra Wave Acoustic borehole imaging tool – the first time this had been deployed in Europe. The statement said this confirmed evidence of natural fractures in two main limestone intervals, previously tested at Horse Hill.

The tool also confirmed what Angus described as “abundant natural fractures” in sections of interbedded shales and limestones between and below the two main limestones.

The statement added that Br-X4Z had observed oil shows in the Portland and Corallian formations and the company was “confident of additional production from the Portland”.

The Angus Energy share price closed down slightly on the day at 12.25p.

Link to statement


13 replies »

  1. Are we given to understand that Angus Energy had no planning permission to drill vertically or horizontally, yet have done both?
    Is this not a sufficient breach of the meaning and the word of the planning conditions to warrant a closure until the required planning application is legally applied for and achieved, or not?
    Are these more examples of gold standards or does it indicate a breach of contract?

    • “We are given to understand that Angus had no planning permission to drill vertically or horizontally” – it would appear that they have done neither and never intended to. They used an existing wellbore and sidetrack drilled by BP in 1987, cleaned it out, isolated the sidetrack, logged the wellbore and ran and cemented production casing. The well was required to be renamed.

      In any case planning permission should not be required from the LPA for subsurface activities, these are covered by OGA, HSE, EA etc.

      Sorry to disappoint you and the fellow antis but we have been through this before. The rig used was a workover rig, not a drilling rig.

      Does this mean the druids will be back slow walking?

      • Surrey County Council do not seem to be aware of this ambiguity of terminology, there seems to be a whole slew of those, so if the word “drilled” used, isn’t that drilling vertically and horizontally? Or is there a special secret interpretive drilling dictionary being used? Perhaps that needs publishing, otherwise, god forbid, the public might be misled and fail to appreciate the true meaning of what is being said? One wrong word (or many) and the public might get the wrong idea. Now wouldn’t that be awful?

        Looks like drilling to me, work over rig or not, still looks like it has drilled illegally doesn’t it? Isn’t that what Surrey Council think?

        Is this a 22m work over rig by any chance? perhaps they could lend it out to Third Energy? They seem to be short of one?

        • You may be interested to know that wells can be drilled verically, horizontally, any angle between 0 and 90 degrees, and in a few cases at ovhigher angles than 90 degrees.

        • I think locally produced oil is better than imported oil for human rights, ensuring safety and environmental standards. Whilst I think burning oil is daft, this is better than imports from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria, taxes raised from it should support zero emission transport development.

          Blockading UK oil is in my view is naive. As is disrupting ANGUS A COMPANY TRYING TO PROVE FRACKING IS NOT REQUIRED.

  2. Dear Paul. Thanks very much for this information, which is extremely helpful. I will incorporate it into the post. It’s a shame that the council nor the company were not able to be so clear. Thanks again and best wishes, Ruth

    • Ruth – it might be worth contacting Angus to confirm (or not) that my interpretation of what they did is correct. SafteyCatch thinks that Surrey County Council are convinced Angus drilled a new well?

      • Thanks for the clarification Paul, I see the headline text has been rewritten, thanks Ruth.
        As you say the literal interpretation of the terminology used may not be the actual intention behind the words.
        Perhaps Surrey County Council understand the interpretive implications of the terms, but perhaps not, It would as you say, be worth checking. Certainly the original headline text indicated not.
        I did say “we are given to understand” indicating it was a literal interpretation of the headline text. But I also got the company needing a work over rig wrong, my bad.
        It just goes to show the inherent ambiguity of English written language, the resulting pitfalls are perhaps one of the misinterpretations and apparent inexactitude of fracking terminology and how that may be understood differently by two or more people reading the same sentence?

  3. SafetyCatch, what a fantastic attempt to not understand and then get the name of the operator who needs a workover wrong.

    • Ahh someone’s awake! Just using standard industry terminological ambiguity, words do not mean what they say, neither do they say what they mean? So yeah, I got the operator wrong, so in the terminology of the industry that means nothing at all, now was it wrong linearly, or exponentially, I forget how inaccuracies are measured in the O&G industry? Did I have planning permission for that inaccuracy, perhaps I should appeal?

      • Just a comment on language – as I noted elsewhere on this board the new gas powered CHP installation in the centre of Gateshead is called the Gateshead Energy Centre – wow, thank God it’s not a power station!

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