UKOG successfully recovers rock core from Broadford Bridge oil well – but criticised for failing to attend public meeting

Broadford Bridge meeting 170626 2

Public meeting at West Chiltington, 25 June 2017. Photo: Broadford Bridge Action Group

UK Oil & Gas said today its oil exploration programme at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex was producing positive results. But the company was accused of keeping local people in the dark when it did not take part in a public meeting, attended by more than 120 people last night.

In a statement to investors, UKOG said it had successfully recovered a 330ft rock core from one of the Kimmeridge Limestone target zones in the well (KL4).

It also reported that light oil was continuing to seep from shales and limestones in this section of the well. This, it said, suggested that the oil discovery made in 2014 at Horse Hill was part of a bigger continuous reservoir underlying about 30km of the Weald basin.

Stephen Sanderson, UKOG’s Executive Chairman, said:

“The coring programme continues to deliver positive results and important new insights into this continuous oil accumulation, the first of its kind discovered in the UK.”

He said rock cores would be taken from two other target formations (KL3) and KL2) at Broadford Bridge. He expected flow testing would begin in the second half of July.

Last week, UKLG made the first announcement that mobile light oil had been observed in Kimmeridge Limestone. It also said wet gas readings had “increased significantly” at the top of the KL4. Mr Sanderson said:

“I am privileged and excited to have seen, smelt and touched the oil in the KL4 samples today.

“This is a significant and positive result at such an early stage in the well.”

“We would still like questions answered”

Broadford Bridge Action Group, a local environmental alliance, responded to today’s company statement:

“They [UKOG] frequently put out statements talking up findings at their sites in order to attract investment.

“We have no independent assessment of what they have found and so are unable to comment on the context, quality or significance of this find. Either way, we would still like many questions answered.”

Broadford Bridge meeting 170626

Public meeting at West Chiltington, 25 June 2017. Photo: Broadford Bridge Action Group

The group, which organised last night’s meeting in West Chiltington, about two miles from the well site, accused UKOG of “keeping the local community in the dark”. A spokesperson said:

“Many attending didn’t know anything about what was happening at the site until they heard about the public meeting.

“Of most concern was the expansion of the site, as UKOG say they want to drill more wells between Billingshurst and Horse Hill, thereby industrialising the countryside.”

Other people were concerned about UKOG’s financial stability and the effect of drilling on farmland and on water quality and supplies, the spokesperson said.

Speakers included Graham Warren, a former Environment Agency hydrogeologist, Tony Whitbread, Chief Executive of Sussex Wildlife Trust, and environmentalist, Nicola Peel. Among the audience were parish and country councillors.

“Local residents desperate to know what’s happening”

The Broadford Bridge Action Group spokesperson said:

“Local residents were fully engaged in the debate and desperate to know more about what is happening and how it will affect them.

“We were pleased to be able to answer most questions but disappointed that UKOG failed to take up our offer to attend and have a place on the panel. They told us they were worried that they’d be shouted down but, despite a packed room, the debate was level-headed and balanced.

“It’s clear from the experts who spoke and contributions in the room that there are many vital questions that remain unanswered about the risks of water, land and air pollution, the abilities of the Environment Agency to provide enough resource to ensure safety, the lack of an emergency plan in case of accident and the apparent lack of an insurance bond by UKOG to mitigate against anything going wrong on the site.”

UKOG has organised three visits for local people to Broadford Bridge in the past two weeks. But Broadford Bridge Action Group said:

“These have mainly been attended by Parish Councillors from Billingshurst, West Chiltington and Pulborough, as there was no public announcement made of these visits.”


Today’s statement from UKOG was welcomed by the company’s former chairman, the Australian mining engineer, David Lenigas, who has interests in the oil site at Brockham, near Dorking.

He tweeted: “Great to see UKOG’s Broadford Bridge well update this morning. This is looking really good for UKOG and great for Brockham and HH [Horse Hill].”

David Lenigas 170626

But Balcombe campaigner, Kathryn McWhirter, said now was not the time to build an oilfield. Writing in The Argus, she asked:

“Are we sleepwalking into an oilfield? The oil industry hopes we are. So do the Conservatives.

“If they get their way, there will be wells across the Weald, with West Sussex the prime target.

“Are we prepared to see the countryside we love industrialised for the sake of a small, short-term reduction in our balance of payment deficit, and profits for the few?”


UKOG statement on coring and continued oil seepage 26 June 2017

UKOG statement on oil seepage 23 June 2017

DrillOrDrop report from the Broadford Bridge site (14 June 2017)

54 replies »

  1. Fun here isn’t it. [Edited by moderator] The main emphasis in the protests in the Weald i.e. BB1, Markwells Wood etc has been on the risk of pollution rather than any ideas of property values. Whether by design or accident, these two sites are both close to public water sources and faulting which makes them risky ventures if high pressure stimulation techniques are in use. Having talked to residents all along the Arun and Adur rivers as well as those close to the site at Broadford bridge, They come across not as NIMBYs but NIMRODs…..Not In My River Or Ditches. Money is not at the root of these protests. Often when false accusations are made it is the they take the form of what the accuser would do in the accused’s position. If the economic benefit (ahem) is all you wish to talk about then tar yourself with the oil, feather yourselves with the dollars and be laughed out of town.
    However it is nice to see occasional rational debate on this forum. Long may it continue

  2. PhilipP-my comments were referenced to Anna’s post! Can’t see what your problem is with that, but if you wish to deviate, feel free. But repetition of smokescreens does become a bit obvious.
    Hope you have not invested too much into Hurricane. I suspect a lot of people will be surprised at the new economics of oil extraction and will be caught out. Equally, as such economics continue to filter through to the public then fracking (as per the USA) may get a sudden surge of support. I have been posting this repeatedly reference PNR, and suggesting the antis reasoning to prevent all test exploration at all costs will look very suspect to the public if similar benefits are seen with gas in UK.

  3. Having just called your bluff on your knowledge of fracking Martin I’m surprised you persist in this way. Actually I’m not that surprised, as a lot of the fracking pushers on this site rely on bluff. The more I can stir that up the more those tricks and games your industry relies on become transparent to any interested visitor, not to mention the aggression and inhumanity on display for all to see. The smokescreen analogy is still a good one.

    California and other countries (I’d rate California as a virtual country going by the size of its economy) is storming ahead towards an economy based on clean energy, Why not share that kind of future? We could be encouraging that vision not this fossil fuel, polluting, global warming backwardness.

  4. You don’t mean California within USA that is such an environmental disaster?? Have I not been posting since Trump pulled out of Paris that USA would still be forging ahead with alternative energy and would still be dropping carbon emissions? Even with opening the first new coal mine in Penns. Oh yes, it was you who wanted to make excuses for Germany increasing their carbon emissions.Well, Donald could regulate that for them, as I suspect the steel exports from Germany to USA will decline pretty rapidly now. And with the Wall covered in solar panels, as Donald said in Iowa last week, the taller it is the better it will be for the environment!

    Seriously, you need to forget this either/or philosophy. USA, and other countries, can frack away producing huge cost savings for their population and industries, then they have more resource to plow into other areas. But, their own, not through subsidising other countries who are their competitors. It is the countries who volunteer to become uneconomic who find those investments are stifled.

    What were the flow test results at Horse Hill? Did they frack? No they did not, read up on it and you might just learn something. Will the same be seen for Angus, UKOG, Europa? Well, the flow testing has yet to happen, but so far the picture looks very similar.

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 )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s