Cement bond problems at UKOG’s Broadford Bridge well –  announcement to investors

Broadford Bridge 170827 Weald Oil Watch 2

Broadford Bridge oil exploration site, 27 August 2017. Photo: Weald Oil Watch

The Broadford Bridge oil exploration well in West Sussex has problems with the cement bonding, UK Oil and Gas announced this afternoon.

In a statement made after the stock market closed, the company said the cement bond on sections of the well were “less than optimal”.

This is the second formal statement made by UKOG recently to explain problems with the well at Broadford Bridge near Billingshurst.

Two months ago, the company confirmed it had permanently abandoned the first well after sections were washed out and it had drilled a sidetrack well, called BB-1Z.

The company had been expected to be testing the flow of oil in the Kimmeridge limestone by now. Today’s news explains why observers have commented that they have not seen any tankers entering and leaving the site.

UKOG said the problem with the bond meant that the wellbore was “not effectively” connected to much of the best open natural fractures. It said:

“The testing to date has not properly evaluated the full flow potential of the overall Kimmeridge reservoir sequence.”

Further fresh cement slurry will now be squeezed through the 7-inch casing to rectify the problems, the company said, in what it described as standard oilfield practice.

UKOG will need to bring back a workover rig to clean the well and carry out the cement squeeze.

The need to drill a the sidetrack at Broadford Bridge during the summer delayed the release of the previous workover rig to Angus Energy’s Lidsey oil site near Bognor.

Stephen Sanderson, executive chairman of UKOG, said:

“Although the forthcoming workover presents additional unplanned work, the reservoir zone’s cement-bond integrity is readily rectifiable by the planned short cement-squeeze phase, a common-place and routine oilfield practice. The well will then be restored to an optimal condition for further testing.

“I am confident that the revised forward testing plan will be able to deliver the results that will help demonstrate BB-1z’s near term commercial viability.”

The statement also said UKOG had recovered “measurable volumes of light oil and solution hydrocarbon gas to surface”.

  • UKOG shares opened on Wednesday 11 October down 30%.

Link to statement 

Updated 11 October 2017 to include change to share price

39 replies »

    • These are fascinating documentaries about the origins and ultimate aims of “Big Oil”, and its origins from the odious con man William Avery Rockefeller who was a vagabond from justice and then called himself “Bill Livingston”, for reasons that will become obvious, he was called “Big Bill”, or “Devil Bill” by those that knew him. He called himself a doctor, but he was not a doctor, and sold “snake oil” or “rock oil” for a living,
      (i wondered why that phrase was mentioned here by a poster, now i know why).

      it was his son John D Rockefeller who founded Standard oil. it seems that the subsequent oil and gas industry have continued the Rockefeller “trend” regarding behaviour. Two documentaries, “How” and “Why”, really worth spending the time to view and consider.

      I wont say enjoy, because that is really not a appropriate in this case.

  1. Just why, exactly in precise recorded detail did the cement bond fail? is it still failing? Gold Standard regulations needed here, now please!
    What price water protection now? Quite safe of course isnt it? Yeah, like we believe that?

  2. “If a man tells you he’s an asshole & that you deserve better, believe him…it’s a warning. It’s best you listen before he proves it to you.”
    ― April Mae Monterrosa

  3. so the bonding was checked (i guess by pressure tesing) it is not optimal, they elect to effect repairs to bring it to optimal level, and people are complaining this is not following good working practice? really? are you not undertsanding this? it demonstrates the drilling company are following procedures, the EA regulations, I would not want it any other way, it shows the people involved are following the regulations I expect to be followed. [Edited by moderator].

    • C Hobson
      I guess it was determined by the cement bond log, interpreted by the company, EXODUS and Premier Oilfield Laboratories.
      Not optimal for flow testing the full raft of plays it seems.
      No laws broken, no permit requirements broken, just some sweating investors.
      Not easy to drill and complete in that there fractured rock at the angle drilled it seems.

    • As the cement bond problems are “over some of the reservoir zones” I guess they are worried about flow behind casing during testing and therefore not knowing which zones are contributing, which is the sort of information you’d like to have for future well planning. (Horizontal into most productive zone?)
      A bad cement job at the reservoir zone should not affect shallower well integrity.

  4. I guess there will be a lot of sleepless investors tonight , rats and ship etc , Twitter is glowing but nothing from DL ? Many got stung today with stop losses triggered when share went sub 6p then they bought back in for the great RNS which could have been issued during play today. Cementing the deal eh? Naughty naughty poor investors.

    • John H
      Are you really sure that is exactly what hapenned? The bulletin boards are full of theories. But an after hours RNS gives everyone a bit if time to digest the information.
      Those in at 1p can sleep soundly I guess.

      • Plenty bought in at 7-11p too and plenty got out after the first unfortunate and unforseen problems. However Sanderson still gets his £607,000 a year , so what does that say about investing in promises ?

    • Save Lancs
      You are correct. Regulations are just, well ….. regulations.
      Well design, construction and operational issues come under the HSE. I am sure they also would not call the regulations ‘Gold Standard’. Probably ‘ Suitable and Sufficient’ is a better term.

    • I know it Save Lancs, the onshore industry has developed its own series of terminology evasions and obfuscations to cover up it’s failures. The EA is underfunded, inadequate, understaffed and deliberately organisationally and operationally crippled by this government so that it could not regulate a tory party conference in a brewery.
      I guess we could say that any and all regulations in regard to fracking “are not optimal”?
      Que Bono?

  5. Hewes62, thanks for that, perhaps someone needs to tell this government and Francis Egan at Cuadrilla, he keeps spouting Gold Standard regulations will be applied.

  6. David Smythe had always maintained that the Kimmeridge at Broadford Bridge was simply too fractured and under-understood to be reliably exploited for oil extraction. Stephen Sanderson has always maintained that the highly fractured nature of the Kimmeridge at Broadford Bridge was the very reason he would be able to extract ‘mobile’ oil without the need for excessive ‘stimulation’ of the deposits (even though UKOG’s specially commissioned Ernst & Young feasibility study seemed to feel otherwise). Hard one to call at present, though there does seem to have been something to David Smythe’s assertions that this area would be extremely challenging to drill. My personal feeling is that Stephen Sanderson’s statements read a bit like Orwellian Ministry Of Truth pronouncements. To describe cement bonding as ‘less than optimal’ when it has totally brought flow testing to a halt strikes me as a ‘tour de force’ in English understatement. To describe the forthcoming cement squeeze as both ‘short’ and ‘planned’ also strikes me as an exercise in double-speak. This situation was not foreseen, just as the wash-out of the first well was not foreseen. How is possible that its correction to ‘cement-bond integrity’ can be so easily understood to be ‘readily rectifiable’? How can that be so clearly foreseen? He states he is ‘confident’. Well he obviously needs to be, or his share price drops, and the Broadford Bridge well-pad appears to be draining money away at the moment just as ‘readily’ as its first washed-out drill shaft was leaking its drilling fluid. Or to put it another way ‘the forthcoming workover presents additional unplanned work’. Can’t we get The Plain English Campaign onto Oily Steve. ‘Never in the history of the English language have so many words been used to communicate so little’ (that was me by the way). And what does ‘measurable volumes’ mean? If you can’t measure it, it isn’t a volume, it’s an absence of volume. Voluminous unction, undetectable substance.

        • Very well said Jonathan, one might only wonder why these site locations were selected? Could they have been a worst case scenarios to see what could be technically overcome, hidden, concealed, tested and obfuscated operationally, in order to politically, socially and legally set precedents that would open up mass proliferation?
          Anomalous elements have always been a puzzle, the apparent variety of selected locations, and the vast amounts of money set aside for each site without any production result other than to isolate, quell and overcome any and all democratic objection and social, political, council and legal attempts to halt the operations?
          Loss leaders perhaps? Always interesting to “follow the money”, it would be perhaps enlightening to see what the present stage of the onshore onslaught has achieved in terms other than production of oil and gas?

    • Jonathan

      My opinion is that this will all run on for some time. More cash will be required I expect while various attempts are made to get oil out in reasonable quantities, and in order to pay the wages.
      The English language will be fully utilised in measurable volumes no doubt by both sides of the debate.

      What’s not to like about the extraction industry, ’twas ever thus. Not that a lot of people buying into the shares would know about i guess.

      But small firms sometimes crack problems larger companies cannot. Be it oil or wind it seems.

  7. When translated from PR speak to plain English I guess ‘less than optimal’ reads as ‘totally f****d up’ ?
    The phrase catalogue of errors springs to mind – glad I don’t have any cash behind these guys, lol.

  8. Has anyone heard yet when the new well on the road to Barns Green will start drilling ?
    They are already preparing the site.

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