The first tanker of oil from the latest operations at the Horse Hill exploration site near Gatwick Airport has been sent to a refinery, UK Oil and Gas announced today.
In a statement to investors, the company said light sweet crude oil and associated gas had flowed over a four-day period.
The Horse Hill well is being tested to assess whether the Portland rock formation contains commercially-viable volumes of oil. Tests on the Kimmeridge limestone formation are then expected to follow.
UKOG, the main investor in the Horse Hill site, said the first tanker, containing 214 barrels of dry oil had been sent to BP’s Hamble oil terminal in Hampshire.
The company said metered daily rates of oil from the Portland formation were equal or higher than the values recorded during initial flow tests in 2016. These achieved 323 barrels of oil per day over a 8.5-hour period (link).
The highest hourly rates from the latest tests would imply a daily rate of 352 barrels of oil per day (bopd), UKOG said. It added that flow had “not yet been optimised for maximum sustainable flow rates”.
Several periods of natural flow, without pumping, had achieved rates equivalent to 228 bopd over a two-hour period, the company also said.
The statement said initial analysis indicated that the Portland formation was “performing very well” compared to 2016 and productivity appeared to have been unaffected by the two-year shut-in period.
The statement added that the well would now be shut in for a planned 24-hour pressure build-up test. Operations would then include further flow parameter optimisation, followed by the first of three planned flow tests.
UKOG’s Executive Chairman, Stephen Sanderson, said:
“Although we are in the very early stages of our 150-day test campaign at Horse Hill, the signs to date are extremely positive for the Portland oil pool.
“The unexpected bonus of natural oil flow to the surface, without the use of a pump, gives us cause for further optimism regarding the Portland’s overall commercial potential.”
Investors appear to have reacted cautiously to the results. The share price closed up 2.97% at 2.6p.