Oil drilling underway at UKOG’s Broadford Bridge site in West Sussex

Broadford Bridge 170525 Will Lightburn

Photo: Weald Oil Watch

UK Oil and Gas Investments announced today that drilling had begun at its well site at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex.

In a statement to investors, the company said operations started at 5pm on Monday 29 May 2017.

The well, to be called Broadford Bridge-1 or BB-1, is near the village of Billingshurst in Petroleum Exploration and Development Licence 234.

UKOG said the well would test for oil in Kimmeridge limestones and would test what was described as “a mirror image geological look-alike” to the company’s oil discovery at Horse Hill in Surrey.

Executive chairman, Stephen Sanderson, said:

“BB-1’s prime objective is to demonstrate that moveable light oil in commercial quantities exists within the Kimmeridge Limestones on the southern side of the Weald Basin, over 30 km to the southwest of the Horse Hill Kimmeridge oil discovery.

“This finding would demonstrate conclusively that the Kimmeridge contains a significant continuous oil deposit, straddling the entire central area of the Weald Basin from Horse Hill to BB-1.  If proven, UKOG, as the largest licence holder in the Weald Basin and in the Kimmeridge play, is ideally positioned to take full commercial advantage this oil deposit.

“We look forward to the results of the drilling, extensive coring, electric logging and comprehensive borehole imaging programme, and ultimately to long-term flow testing of BB-1 in the summer.”

The statement said drilling began with a 17 ½ inch diameter vertical hole within 300m thick Weald clay.

Drilling will continue, the statement said, until the well reached 1,900m within the Jurassic Corallian sandstone, the secondary objective.

A step-out will deviate to around 50 degrees to vertical to penetrate four target Kimmeridge limestone. The end of the well will an estimated 1km north-north-east of the well site. The Kimmeridge Limestones are expected to be encountered at around 950-1,200m below the surface.

UKOG said it had all permissions to drill the well. If oil was discovered, the company would test the well and it expected to receive final consents for testing from the Environment Agency and Oil & Gas Authority.

UKOG’s operations at Broadford Bridge have prompted opposition from some local residents and protests outside the site. A man was arrested on 25 May, the day the rig was installed.

9 replies »

  1. I believe there is a dispute about whether UKOG really do have all the permissions in place. Could anyone confirm whether this really is the case, and explain the grounds for disputing this. Does it look like this is a tactic that drilling companies are starting to use to circumvent the delays in the planning process? If so, are planning authorities or other relevant agencies taking any legal steps to deal with this.

  2. For Mike New:

    “I don’t think they have cottoned on to the new well is slanted at 45 degrees whereas the original was only 20 degrees. See Figure 1.3: Well Trajectory of Waste Management Plan Document Number: BB-PR-Q10 Rev. 3 in the EA consultation document that is still open”

    Looks like 50 degrees now Mike????

  3. UK Oil and Gas PLC seem to be doers whereas the other small E&P companies are largely talkers .

    Steve Sanderson the supremo of UKOG has got some gumption .

    The anti-frackers should be warming to him as he’s not convinced by the economics of shale gas and tight oil and is only interested in hydrocarbon accumulations in remote reservoirs with conventional trapping mechanisms .

    It should be clear to all from the middle paragraph of that quotation of him that if this well comes in , it is all over for the anti-fossil fuel movement in the Weald .

    If the Conservatives get back in they might even start authentically supporting onshore exploration and production which they have not really done yet .

    • It is funny because Cuadrilla is supposed to be leading the charge in onshore exploration but instead ukog and igas third energy are the one that are making the headline in progress while Cuadrilla is sitting on its hands.

  4. Keep Billingshurst Frack Free could be in a bit of trouble?

    Click to access Letter%20to%20N%20Herbert%20MP%2028052017.pdf

    “The newsletter spread on the internet by KBFF of 25th May 2017, expressed claims that our work at Broadford Bridge is “illegal, ill judged, irresponsible, and irregular”. Such claims are profoundly untrue and deeply offensive. We are an ethical and socially responsible company
    and have demonstrated that by our regular engagement with residents and parish councils. For your information, we served a Letter of Claim from our lawyers Hill Dickinson LLP to KBFF on 26th May, referring to their defamatory comments. We have requested KBFF cease and
    desist from making further false claims, withdraw their comments and apologise. We are prepared to use all legal means available should KB
    FF fail to comply with our requests. We regret that the situation has arisen but KBFF must realise that they are bound by the same law and duty of care that they incorrectly accuse us of breaching.”

    Not sure why KBFF are exposing themselves like this; the Broadford Bridge Well does not include fracking? So Billinghurst will be frack free with or without them.

    “As at the Horse Hill oil discovery, the Kimmeridge Limestone rock intervals are expected to be extensively naturally-fractured. This entirely natural fracture-system has enhanced the rock’s ability to permit oil to flow into a well at good rates. Consequently, the well does NOT require “fracking”.

    KBFF are doing a good job making money for Lawyers…..

    • Ah but Paul, some of the rabble at the gates witnessed UKOG personnel carrying H2O in bottles, shock horror! Word spread and arrests were made. Surely by now we all know what ‘chemicals’ lead to fracking by stealth!

  5. Great News ! The hypocrites who use oil/gas but protest because they have nowt better to do will be out in force to oppose! Well about 10 or 20 I expect at most!

  6. Well, the antis have been keen to use the law to further their own agenda (pretty unsuccessfully), now we will see how it works in reverse.

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