Investors in the West Newton oil and gas site north of Hull have announced that drilling is underway on a second well.
Union Jack Oil said in a statement this morning the well, to be called West Newton A-2, was spudded at 1.45am.
Drilling is expected to take about 40 days, to a total depth of 2,061m, the top of the carboniferous geology.
The targets are gas in the Kirkham Abbey formation and oil in the Cadeby reef formation.
Reabold Resources, which recently bought into the licence operator, Rathlin Energy, described West Newton as “extremely attractive” because of its scale and location. The licence, PEDL183, covers 176,000 acres.
Reabold’s co chief executive, Stephen Williams, said in a statement today:
“The West Newton A-1 discovery suggests that we may have one of the largest onshore UK gas fields and we are delighted to have been able to fund the appraisal well that can potentially prove up its considerable value. If successful, West Newton’s close proximity to abundant infrastructure and demand centres mean that it could be an important near-term addition to supplying UK energy demand.”
David Bramhill, executive chairman of Union Jack, said:
“West Newton is a near term, and potentially high impact project which, if successful would deliver a major UK onshore gas development.
“The well is fully funded from existing cash resources, and in preparation of success, also funded for any long-term gas production test, plus further technical and initial conceptual commercial studies.
The two investors rate the chances of success at 60%-72% for the gas and 24-26% for the oil.
Union Jack estimated 189 billion cubic feet of gas equivalent in the Kirkham Abbey formation and 79.1 million barrels of oil equivalent in the Cadeby formation.
If the West Newton A-2 well were successful, it will then be tested, Union Jack told the Investor’s Show in London last month.
If the tests were successful, the company said a site to the south, known as Springhills, would be drilled. This may refer to West Newton-B, which was granted planning permission in June 2015 but no work has been carried out apart from an archaeological survey.