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. [Edited by moderator] FACE IT U ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR OVER INFLATED HOUSE PRICES and just a bunch of nimbies that happy to import cheaper serfs (BUT OBVIOUSLY MANAGEMENT Deserve their wages and not being outsourced) and get their oil/gas from DODGY COUNRIES rather then UK PLC

  2. UKOG successfully recovers rock core from Broadford Bridge oil well . Stopped reading at that point because the rest is of no relevance whatsoever.

    Shame it took days to report on though. Drill or Drop think oil oozing, sorry seeping from samples wasn’t worth a mention Friday #justsaying

  3. Looks like quite a good turn out. Good that people want to know more about how this is going to pan out on their doorsteps. Of course they wouldn’t find out much from these comment threads here – only how they would be treated with derision and abuse by the pro’s, but even that is quite useful to learn about. The attitude of local inquiry being irrelevant is pretty unhelpful Mrs M.

    • Not forgetting evicting badgers to take residence, while avoiding the areas at large’ low flying buzzard. Come on Ruth and crew please let’s see both side of the coin.

  4. Sorry, computer did a funny. Meant to add, strange about the omission of this last week as it is directly related to the other site being reported.

  5. It seems the only hard-core anti remaining nowadays is PhilC. Could it be that Hobbit has jumped on a plane for a holiday? That’d mean using………. fuel! Shock horror.
    All I see from the photo is a bunch of triple locks looking to hand their overpriced property down to their non streetwise kids that vote for Corbyn. His CV sure is inspiring, do nothing for 40yrs and end up with a 1.4 million pad courtesy of others hard earned tax! Oh the contradictions that surround socialism.
    Keep your eyes peeled on the SNPs reaction to the Scottish Labour bill to ban fracking! Just as well Labour is obsolete in current form.

    • [Edited by moderator]
      The Scots won’t want methane in their whiskey even if the could use it to flambe the Christmas puds.

      • But I bet they will be using their mobiles, TV, solar panels, and kitchen products made from products which need plastics/oil remnants. The day people can make plastic from hessian we can give us the oil exploration.

        • Well they’ve got one of the biggest O&G finds yet (West of the Shetlands) up their sleeves. Why bother with onshore? … but the sooner we move away from our gross overuse of plastics the better.

          Cellulose nano-fibres (or nanocellulose) from wood and plants (probably hessian too) might be the next big thing. The Japanese, Canadians and Norwegians are steeling a march in that direction … it even has applications in cleaning up the mess from O&G. But I guess this is too forward looking for the frack-heads.

          • Hurricane is not commercial at today’s oil prices, probably not at twice this price. Fractured secondary porosity by the way. Similar to culong basement fields offshore Vietnam.

  6. I recognise that it may be a plea that falls on deaf ears, but PLEASE could we enter into debate on ONE site in the Weald, where we all know that (to date) the strata has been found to be naturally fracked, and widely reported ie. DOES NOT REQUIRE FRACKING, we could avoid someone suddenly starting to discuss the demon of fracking? This is becoming such a blatant and obvious attempt to misrepresent the facts that even the most uneducated (in respect of oil and gas) can not fail to notice the unwarranted repetition. In some respects, it does increasingly show the lack of real, solid, objections, but even stating that it does seem a little pointless. As my old Mum used to say, if you can’t say anything worthwhile, read and listen and after a while, you can.

    • I think what you mean Martin is ‘naturally fractured’ – as in ‘overlying shales exhibit a high degree of natural fracturing’. If you had done some homework on fracking you would understand that it doesn’t create new factures it expands and props open pre-existing ones. N.B. I’m strictly referring to the shale layers here. 15000psi and more wouldn’t do anything to solid shale.

      In other words fracking relies on the cracks being their already, preferably in nice parallel planes which you dissect (at as near to a right angles as possible to maximise the yeild). The fractures are where the target hydrocarbon deposits have built up over millenia.

      Geez I didn’t think I’d need to be giving you guys tips like this. Now you can enlighten me about the limestone if you like.

      • Wrong Philip P. The gas in the shale is held in several different types of pore space, a combination of mineral hosted pores and organic hosted pores. Whilst fracture stimulation may exploit existing natural fractures the predominat fractures are new and induced by the hydraulic fracture treatment. This connects the pores spaces and thus releases the gas. It is rare to find open natural fractures containg gas (or oil) in shales.

        • But.. not wrong . My implication was just what you’ve said but stated more plainly. In the case of regions of natural porosity, with organic pores as it were, are you trying to sayt you can rely on major flows without stimulation? Can you give examples? Otherwise I’ll maintain that fracking shale (at commercial return levels) relies on hydraulically stimulating existing fissures (thereby extending them) and propping them open etc. If there are regions where it is even possible to create new fractures as you suggest (to get at the organic pores) then you’re also contradicting Martins supposition that fracking isn’t necessary. What mechanism other than fracking would you be suggesting?

          • Read my post again. I am saying that the shale requires hydraulic fracture treatment but the treatment is making new fractures in the shale to connect the porosity, not relying on opening up exisiting fractures, which if present, are often cemented closed. It does not rely on existing fractures.

            • I think you may be confusing porosity with permeability. Stimulation is only necessary where the permeability is very low / not existent. But of course you must have porosity with hydrocarbons.

              Stimulation may not be necesssary in the Bowland shale because a lot of it is not actually pure shale but contains a lot of sand which may exhibit natural permeability.

    • Martin the antis are exceptionally dim when it comes to energy and how the world operates. [Edited by moderator]

  7. Hi PhilipP! See you still have a problem with the foot and mouth.

    You are, of course ignoring all those Scots involved directly, or indirectly, in N. Sea oil and gas? And those employed at Grangemouth?

    (By the way, reference the old argument concerning house prices how are they doing in Aberdeen since the N.Sea exploration started? My friends who lived there have had to move out to a less expensive area now.)

    I think you will find the Scots were pretty happy to exploit the last shale boom-they just used old technology.

    A classic error. What the Scots want, is very different to what Queen Nic. wants. She still wants oil at $110/barrel and thinks her little interventions can help to produce that!

    • ‘you still have a problem with the foot and mouth.’ see my response to you (just now) above Martin.

      Meanwhile comparing the shock tactics and localised impacts of shale fracking with the practice of pumping O&G out of huge remote reservoirs through a large straw is not comparing like with like. You won’t see me putting up much of a fight over the latter. I’d just like to see it wind down naturally while we move towards cleaner energy.

  8. PhilipP-you are on form! Be careful about this great find West Of Shetland. Not quite as great an opportunity as you would suggest. Market is already questioning how great, and viable it is. On top of which, oil between $30-$40/barrel creates a whole new economics. There will be a lot of deep water oil finds that are not that attractive at those prices.
    Transport cost of oil to the refinery will become much more important under these circumstances. This site to Fawley is a whole different ball game to West of Shetlands to wherever.

  9. No independant assesments of what they have found? Use the internet its a marvelous tool, all the information you want to answer your questions is available in the public domain! Check Ukog website for a start! Really is a terrible excuse and shows a general ignorance and points to merely wishing to cause trouble than any actual desire to find out what is happening!

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