UKOG announces “ground-breaking results” at Broadford Bridge oil site – residents call for independent monitoring

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Cake at the Gate event, Broadford Bridge, West Sussex, 11 July 2017. Photo: Jon O’Houston

UK Oil & Gas Investments has described early results from its oil exploration well at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex as “highly positive and ground-breaking”.

The company said it has evidence of a continuous oil deposit up to 1,100ft thick. The site near Billingshurst could become its “flagship asset”, it said.

The announcement to investors yesterday came as campaigners and residents gathered outside the site gate for two days of protest at plans to acidise the well before testing. The Broadford Bridge Action Group said residents could be “guinea pigs” for the technique.

“Continuous oil deposit across the weald”

UKOG said it had evidence of wet gas readings and mobile light oil in the core, drill-cuttings and drilling fluid throughout the Kimmeridge Limestone target sections of the well.

This, it said, suggested there was a continuous oil deposit under the entire PEDL234 licence and the wider Weald Basin. The company now plans to test the well, known as BB-1, to establish whether oil will flow at commercial rates and quantities.

Stephen Sanderson, UKOG’s Executive Chairman, said:

“In the Company’s view, these highly positive and ground-breaking drilling results support our concept that a continuous oil deposit, some 1100 feet vertical thickness, underlies the BB-1 well location and the wider Weald Basin.

“UKOG as the largest licence holder in the prospective area of the Kimmeridge oil deposit is ideally positioned to take full advantage of this position.”

UKOG bought the entire PEDL234 exploration licence last summer from the former operator, Celtique Energie, and its partner, Magellan Petroleum. Mr Sanderson said:

“Given our 100% ownership of BB-1 and the 300 km² size of the PEDL234 licence, this licence now looks set to supplant Horse Hill as the Company’s flagship asset.”

He said natural fracturing in the Kimmeridge limestones “bodes very well” for the flow testing.

“Rescind permit or introduce independent monitoring”

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Protest at Broadford Bridge oil exploration site, 11 July 2017. Photo: Jon O’Houston

Residents gathered at the Broadford Bridge site gates for a second day this morning in protest at the approval by the Environment Agency of an environmental permit (DrillOrDrop report).

The permit allows UKOG to use acidisation, a process where (in this case) dilute hydrochloric acid and other chemicals are pumped into the well to stimulate the flow of oil from Kimmeridge limestones and shales. UKOG will also be permitted to burn in a flare any gases produced during the flow test.

Local campaigner, Jill Sutcliffe, called on the EA to rescind the permit or introduce independent monitoring.

“It was suggested in a government report that all such monitoring should involve a member of the local community.

“They are involving the local community in discussions but not in the monitoring and we don’t know what they are finding.

“We know what the company is reporting their findings but we don’t know the findings from an independent source.”

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Protest at Broadford Bridge oil exploration site, 11 July 2017. Photo: Jon O’Houston

Acidisation at Broadford Bridge could be a first in Sussex and “we will be guinea pigs”, she said.

Broadford Bridge Action Group, which also opposed the granting of the permit, said:

“We are demanding that the Environment Agency states publicly what independent testing will happen to protect our land, water and air.

“They claim there is no risk – how can they possibly know? They have not done the detailed work needed to be sure of this and there is no evidence that they will be on site regularly enough to monitor activities above or below ground – so how can they say it is safe?

“The agency is supposed to be there to safeguard the public instead they appear to prioritising commercial need over the long-term impacts on health of residents and the wider countryside.”


11 replies »

    • This was on Cuadrilla’s website for over a year. It refers to the Becconsall well.

      “In accordance with the planning consent well plugging and site restoration work WILL be carried out after the wintering bird’s season, ending 31st March 2016 and BEFORE THE DEADLINE SET BY LANCASHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL OF 31st OCTOBER 2016”

      No work was started let alone finished in 2016.

      Our suspicions are now proven facts. Cuadrilla mislead local communities.

      No wonder tens of thousands oppose it.

      • We would have completed on time had it not been for all the legal and illegal hold ups by your lot John boy, tens of thousands ? More like a few hundred.

        • 11,000 from within the county objected to PNR and Roseacre.

          6,862 from outside the county.

          That’s just Lancashire.

          You say our legal challenges, top planning specialists, and legal community actions are causing ‘snail shale’ however do not forget the serious technical failings by the industry which has added to those costly delays.

          The serious delays may have been shorter if Cuadrilla had admitted sooner that their failed fracking may have had something to do with the earthquakes.

          We have the resources and the determination to make sure shale does not develop

          Pro shale voices are alone in the wilderness.

          Keep howling, but every day the return calls are getting fewer and fewer (Government surveys)

          • You have no financial resources, that has been shown with the lack of support for Frackman. You no longer have financial aid to take your environmental cases to the HC. If you think your insignificant little bunch of oddly dressed people can match the resources of the likes of Ineos then you’re even more deluded than I thought.
            As far as I am aware you haven’t prevented anything, you may have delayed it but that is very different.

    • Anti-frackers can whine, protest, deny, spin scary stories, and lock on all they want. They’ve lost. It’s happening.

  1. What sort of suspicions would those be ‘GottaBKidding’? And what sort of ‘pro’ are we talking about?

  2. So the Environmental Agency is not up to scratch and a lady cake maker should step in to make sure that monitoring is being done correctly?

    This has gone beyond farcical and now enters utter madness.

    See the cake day couldn’t avoid a bit of fake news about fracking. Just wonder how the person from Lancashire managed to get her gear to Sussex?

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