Flow tests underway at “Gatwick Gusher” oil site at Horse Hill



Horse Hill well site. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

The leading partner behind the Horse Hill exploration site in Surrey has confirmed that operations have begun to test the flow of oil.

UK Oil & Gas Investments plc said in a statement this morning all equipment needed to test the so-called Gatwick Gusher well was now on site.

Previous tests in spring 2016 led to headlines about outstanding and unprecedented onshore flow rates. But the rates were achieved during test periods lasting only a matter of hours.

The extended well tests are expected to last about 150 days, finishing in November. According to the statement, they are expected to begin with the Portland formation, followed by two Kimmeridge Limestone zones, known as KL4 and KL3.

The statement said the tests aimed to confirm that the wellbore was connected to a commercially-viable oil volume in one or more of the zones. Data from the tests would also allow the first estimates of the reserve (technically and commercially-recoverable oil) in the Portland and Kimmeridge, the statement added.

The UKOG Executive Chairman, Stephen Sanderson, said:

“UKOG remains confident that the comprehensive long-term production testing campaign will provide the necessary data to fully assess Horse Hill’s Portland and Kimmeridge commerciality and help move the project towards timely production and positive cash flow.

“Horse Hill remains a fundamental and exciting part of the Company’s core portfolio and we look forward to a safe and positive test campaign.”

The statement said the test sequences would include:

  • Short optimised rate test
  • “Choked back” steady-state flow periods – to obtain data on the connected oil volume in each zone
  • Long pressure build up tests

Oil produced during the tests would be sold on the “spot” oil market, UKOG said. Revenues would be used to offset the test costs.

UKOG said the tests would use for the first time in the UK what was described as a “new type of clean-burning enclosed flare”. The flare, using technology from landfill sites, had been developed by Landfill Systems, PW Well Test and UKOG. It is regarded as “best available practice” by the Environment Agency, UKOG said.


Horse Hill Protests

Slow walking protests flow tests in spring 2016. Photo: David Burr/Alamy Live News

The previous flow tests at Horse Hill saw environmental protests and the establishment of a protection camp nearby.

UKOG is currently seeking an injunction against protests outside Horse Hill, another oil site at Broadford Bridge in West Sussex, and company offices in Guildford.

The injunction has been challenged by six women from Sussex and Surrey and a hearing is expected next week.

DrillOrDrop page on the Horse Hill site – key facts and timeline

43 replies »

  1. Your 10 point challenge was answered, I recall. You really need to get your shift times and comments co-ordinated.

    Assumptions again Sherwulfe. What I do after 7pm? Because I rarely post after that time, I am in bed? Hmmm. Perhaps, there are more than two choices?

    • Sorry, Martin. It has not been answered. If you think it has, it shows how you approach this debate. I’m afraid if you want to sling insults you must be prepared to take some back; or we could just get on with debating the articles?

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s