UK Oil and Gas Investments plc confirmed this morning it had raised the money it needs to begin drilling its well at Broadford Bridge, near Billingshurst in West Sussex.
The company announced it had secured £6.5m through the placing of 812,500,000 new shares.
In a statement to investors, Executive chairman, Stephen Sanderson, said:
“This fundraising, the largest in the Company’s history, has illustrated great confidence in our strategy to deliver near-term commercial production from both the new Kimmeridge Limestone play and our interests in five conventional discoveries in the Weald Basin.
“The Company can now proceed with confidence to implement the first elements of this strategy, commencing with the drilling and extended well testing of our 100% owned Broadford Bridge-1 Kimmeridge Limestone well.
“Broadford Bridge will start our planned 18-month operational journey that could be truly transformational for the company. There are exciting times ahead.”
At the time of writing (11am) the UKOG share price was down 6.16% at 0.87p.
UKOG acquired the Broadford Bridge site at Wood Barn Farm and its licence area PEDL234 in August 2016 from Celtique Energie and Magellan Petroleum UK Ltd.
The site has had planning permission since 2013 but Celtique carried only construction work before suspending development because of a financial dispute with Magellan. Planning permission is due to expire in September 2017.
A packed meeting of residents on April 30 heard calls for objections to drilling at Broadford Bridge (DrillOrDrop report).
Opponents said UKOG plans to drill for oil in the Kimmeridge limestone. But they said it is required under its planning permission to comply with the environmental statement, which was for drilling for gas in a sandstone reservoir. The company was also accused on inconsistencies and sloppiness in its application for a variation of the environmental permit.
The UKOG said the points had been dealt with in discussions with the Environment Agency (DrillOrDrop report). Before the meeting, UKOG leafleted nearby homes, accusing opponents of scaremongering and misinformation (DrillOrDrop report).
Other UKOG sites
UKOG has a planning application for extended well testing and further drilling at Horse Hill in Surrey. It has withdrawn an application for drilling and oil production at Markwells Wood in the South Downs National Park.
The company also has interests at two sites near Dorking in Surrey: the Holmwood site (also known as Bury Hill Wood or Leith Hill), where the operator Europa is waiting for final approval for drilling; and the Brockham oil field in Surrey, where the operator, Angus, is in dispute with Surrey County Council over a new side track well.
UKOG also has an interest at the Lidsey well near Bognor in West Sussex, where Angus said planning consent was finalised last month (DrillOrDrop report)