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.