UKOG Broadford Bridge update: “unproductive” section, plans for new sites, extended flow test consent and new analysis

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Broadford Bridge, 23 December 2017. Photo: Broadford Bridge Action Group

UK Oil and Gas has announced that a section of the reservoir at its Broadford Bridge oil well in West Sussex is “unproductive” because of low permeability.

In a statement (pdf) to shareholders, the company also said it was seeking two new sites in the Broadford Bridge licence area and expected to submit a planning application in spring 2018.

The company has been carrying out tests to measure the flow of oil in the Kimmeridge Limestone at the Broadford Bridge well near Billingshurst.

UKOG has consistently argued that the Kimmeridge Limestones of the Weald were naturally fractured and wouldn’t need fracking techniques to make the oil flow.

But in today’s statement, UKOG gave this result from test four, in a section of the Kimmeridge Limestone horizon it has called KL3:

“Whilst containing moveable hydrocarbons, [it] appears to be unproductive due to low reservoir permeability.”

UKOG said there had been mechanical and other problems with the test. Fluids initially flowed at 300 barrels of fluid per day (bfpd), dropping to 30-50 bfpd, it said. This was mainly completion fluids with traces of live oil and a gas blow during pressure build up periods.

UKOG has experienced problems with the Broadford Bridge well since the summer. In July, it confirmed it had drilled a side-track well, BB-1z, after a section of the original borehole washed out. There were later cement bond problems with the side-track. Today’s statement did not say whether these issues had been resolved.

The company had consent from the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) to conduct the flow tests until December 2017. Last week, a group of residents offered to help UKOG to restore the site (DrillOrDrop report). But today the company said the OGA had extended consent for flow testing until the end of February 2018.

A spokesperson for Broadford Bridge Action Group sad:

“This confirms what we have said all along – they have found nothing,

“They are breaking their promise of needing only 14 weeks for flow testing and the extension into spring could seriously impact on the wildlife  and lives of people in the local area.

“The only people benefting are the management of the company paying themselves huge salaries.

“UKOG’s new commitment to carry on prodding more deep holes into two further new sites in the Weald regardless of their failures is nonsensical. We want them to back off the whole of the Weald and put their energies into renewables which will bring them much better returns.”

At the time of writing, the UKOG share price was down more than 26% at 2.92p.

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Broadford Bridge, 23 December 2017. Photo: Broadford Bridge Action Group

New sites

UKOG’s statement also said the company had accelerated plans for further drilling in the licence area around Broadford Bridge, PEDL234. This followed analysis of the Kimmeridge source rocks at the well, it said.

UKOG said:

“Planning Consultants have been engaged and are actively pursuing the acquisition of two further drilling sites in the central sector of the licence.

“An application for planning consent on the first of these planned locations has commenced and is expected to be submitted to the local council in mid-spring 2018, with drilling planned for spring 2019.”

Next tests

UKOG said flow test 5, in the upper 100ft of KL3, would start in the New Year. It said analysis indicated that this zone contained around 54 ft of oil-bearing limestone, similar in thickness to the Horse Hill oil discovery, with multiple open natural fractures.

Testing in the horizons KL4 and KL5 would also be carried out in 2018, UKOG said. Analysis had revealed a further 60ft of oil reservoir in KL4 and a further 20ft in KL5, the company added. These horizons would now be perforated before testing.

Depending on these results, a 40ft limestone section in the KL1 horizon may be perforated and flow-tested, UKOG said.

It expected testing would be completed by the end of January 2018.

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Broadford Bridge, 23 December 2017. Photo: Broadford Bridge Action Group


UKOG said analysis from Broadford Bridge had demonstrated that 38.5° API gravity low sulphur oil was generated from a limestone-rich Upper Jurassic shale source-rock, probably the Kimmeridge Clay Formation.

The oil had near identical geochemical properties to that produced at Horse Hill, today’s statement added.

“It is therefore interpreted that the BB-1 and HH-1 oils are from the same family of oils representing a common Upper Jurassic stratigraphic origin.”

UKOG said analysis confirmed that Broadford Bridge was within the Kimmeridge continuous oil play and that most of the 300 km² of the PEDL234 licence to the north of BB-1 fell within the prime Kimmeridge exploration so-called “sweet spot”.

The company’s Executive Chairman, Stephen Sanderson, said:

“These data have also opened our eyes to the possible additional ways to extract oil at commercial rates from BB-1 and future wells elsewhere in the play.”

Core analysis confirmed that the Kimmeridge shales in BB-1 contained world class oil-source potential, UKOG added.

It said several Kimmeridge zones exceeded 30% Total Organic Carbon (“TOCs”) by weight, three times higher than the equivalent section seen in Horse Hill. The richest source potential lay within shales between KL3 and KL4, as is the case at Horse Hill, the company said.

17 replies »

  1. What a nice, tidy site!

    Much more appealing than the estate being extended local to me, and cleaner too. No sign of standing water, either. What’s all the fuss about?

      • What are you basing your statement on? There are dozens of abandoned rig sites around England; the ones in my area are all back in their original state as farmland.

  2. No sign of any commercial value unless you deal in second hand drilling fluids , maybe the site is tidy because they have so much time to sweep up while not doing any producing ? It’s a duffer and an embarrassment .

  3. Can’t see why testing the various levels would be confused with production, but it seems it is easy to confuse some.

    Is there authorisation for production? Err, NO!

    An embarrassment indeed, when some can not be bothered to do simple research. Even without moving off DOD, that little snippet of basic info. could have been ascertained, but it seems as if the basics are not required.

    “No sign”???

    • So testing doesn’t produce results ? If you don’t have a production licence the oil from flow test ( or lack of it ) is still produced . Seems they have no problems producing spent fluids , maybe there is a market for that? Let’s face it UKOG have totally messed up the drilling with the wrong drilling mud and rickety old rig , the cement job is ” less than optional ” it took over 100 days of drilling on a 28 day budget to come up with a few pictures of a guy pouring 5 jars of oil Which could have come from anywhere. UKOG couldn’t find the sweet spot in a chocolate factory.

  4. “So testing doesn’t produce results”!!! That is pretty lame-what is the RNS of 27th about, that Ruth refers to? Oil was produced-just not a great deal of it, from the levels tested so far!

    I do agree that perhaps, in hind sight they should have concentrated initially upon what should be the sweet spot, but they appeared to want to spend a lot of time gathering extra data first. With HH just about to start again, that is understandable, and will allow greater focus and probably reduce time and cost there. If this site was being operated as a production site then your comments would be valid but you are posting as if it is when it isn’t.

  5. This is an indicator of the likelihood of unviable commercial flow rate at weald and for Cuadrilla academic exercises at balcombe. Waste of time and investor money.

  6. As UKOG have not made any attempt yet to produce commercial flows from the Weald, your comments are a bit premature TW. You could turn out to be correct but better to pull back from the speculation dark side that permeates the antis.!
    I know this is not quite so revolutionary as the space race, but looking back on that, would we have expected a rocket to be fired at the moon for a manned landing without many development tests beforehand? January should indicate the future for BB-I have a feeling it will be commercial, probably not the volume some would like, but maybe a “few earth orbits” progress to integrate into the programme.

  7. Ahh, Sherwulfe! Finishing the year with the standard confusion.

    Electricity generation is a lot different to heating!! Seems by 2030 UK is in for a return to a frozen Thames, and my domestic bills show that during the current winter months I still pay out more per month for gas than I do electricity (even allowing for charging of my Hybrid, and running an air sourced heat pump.) New housing stock is being added with gas boilers and central heating systems. Russian ships sniffing around the off-shore pipelines importing much of our gas, as well as searching for communication cables (the modern version of U boat strategy.)

    On shore gas is becoming strategic, hence change to planning system. Enjoy your comfort blanket, I (and all I have chatted to over the festive period) have adjusted the time clocks and thermostats on our gas heating systems to get our own warm glow.

  8. You obviously missed the snippet that the majority of new houses are being built with GAS FIRED HEATING SYSTEMS, John!

    Just more of the fantasy world of “this is how it could be” and not enough of the real world “this is how it is”.

    Next it will be unicorns bringing heat in thermos from warmer climates to every household! (All funded by another green tariff, generously paid by the gullible consumer.) Never mind, looks as if good old Jim has patched up the pipeline and it should return to full operation in a few days, so perhaps the Russian gas can be done away with-for the moment. Funny how a couple of pipeline problems around the world can quickly raise the oil price, and inflation, reducing the publics willingness to fork out even extra.

  9. Exactly our point thank you Martin, pipelines leak! Also would love to know what that patch is in bottom left hand corner, hope it isn’t run off, as over time the ground looks more dead. Will phone EA to have a look. Good to have photographic evidence.

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