Angus Energy said this morning its Balcombe oil well in West Sussex had flowed at rates of 853 and 1,587 barrels of oil per day in tests. But the company said it had encountered unexpected water and ran out of time to do more than two tests because equipment had failed.
In a statement to investors, Angus said this morning it believed it could isolate the water-producing zone and establish commercial production at the Balcombe well under normal pumped conditions.
The company will need to apply for planning permission and environmental permit consents to go into production.
The tests were restricted to seven days and the statement said the duration of each test run was limited.
Angus said the water produced was “not expected”. It believed the horizontal section of the well had intersected a small high-pressure water zone. This would “require isolation in the future”, it said.
The company said it tried to identify the water zone but coiled tubing equipment failed after the second test.
The statement said the first flow of 853 barrels of oil per day (bopd) did not include the 22% produced water. The second flow, of 1,587 bopd, did not include 6.6% produced water.
During the initial flow period, the statement said, the well slugged at up to 3,000 bopd but this had to be reduced because it exceeded the separator operating capacity.
The statement added that the company had not observed or measured carbon dioxide or hydrogen sulphide. It said the oil was a light quality, around 34 API. It expected the quality would be similar to the levels recovered at Lidsey (38-40 API), also in West Sussex.
Paul Vonk, managing director of Angus Energy, said:
“We are obviously pleased with the results of the Balcombe-2z flow test and encouraged as we take our next steps towards producing from the Kimmeridge layers in the near future at the Brockham Field. This programme was successful because our team at Angus and our service providers maintained the highest standards, the most important of all being safe operations.”
Angus Energy’s partners in the Balcombe well, Cuadrilla, welcomed the completion of the flow test.
Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said:
“We are encouraged by the results from two initial flow tests of the Balcombe horizontal exploration well. Further analysis of the data collected will be carried out, and potentially further testing may be required, to finally determine the commercial potential for the site.”
A second statement to investors confirmed that BNP Paribas Securities Services, acting for the New York fund management firm, Bergen Global Opportunity Fund, had reduced its shareholding from 11.35% of voting rights to 9.34%. Bergen Asset Management LLC is ultimately owned by Eugene Tablis.
- Angus Energy is at the High Court in London this morning for its injunction against protests at Balcombe and Brockham. DrillOrDrop will be reporting on the hearing.