Industry

Horse Hill drill rig delivered

1810 Horse Hill UKOG2

Horse Hill oil site near Gatwick Airport, October 2018. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

The rig to drill new wells at the Horse Hill oil site in Surrey has been delivered.

The major investor in the site, UK Oil & Gas plc, confirmed in a statement to investors this morning that the rig had arrived. It said the start of drilling was “expected shortly”.

An eyewitness reported at 6.20am yesterday that a convoy of drilling equipment arrived at the site near Horley.

Planning permission limits operations (except drilling and well tests) to 8am on weekdays.

The UKOG statement said drilling would begin with the vertical HH-2 well. This would be followed by work on a 1,000m horizontal section, called HH-2z, into the Portland formation.

The drilling operation was expected to take about 60 days, UKOG said.

Stephen Sanderson, UKOG’s chief executive, said:

“The journey to long-term oil production at Horse Hill has now begun. We look forward to a safe and successful drilling campaign at our flagship asset.”

For the past five years, the Horse Hill site has had just one well, HH-1, targeting the Portland and Kimmeridge formations. This flow of oil from this well is currently being tested.

Today’s statement said tests on Kimmeridge had been temporarily postponed while the rig was installed. They would resume before drilling began and continue throughout the drilling operations.

Consent for a “deviated horizontal well”

The HH-2 well was granted planning permission in 2017. At the time, UKOG described HH-2 as a “deviated horizontal well” which would target the Portland formation.

But in June 2019, the company began referring to HH-2 as a “vertical pilot hole” that would be drilled beyond the Portland into the Kimmeridge. It also mentioned for the first time HH-2z as a sidetrack or horizontal section to HH-2.

In August 2019, in a variation to Horse Hill environmental permit, the Environment Agency also referred to the “HH-2 pilot hole” and “HH-2z sidetrack”.

This apparent change of well names and drilling proposals alarmed some people living near Horse Hill. They were concerned that UKOG was trying to drill an extra well, targeting an additional formation, without planning permission. DrillOrDrop report

UKOG told DrillOrDrop earlier this month that HH-2 was a single well “being drilled as a vertical pilot well (HH-2) and a sidetrack from HH-2 called HH-2z. This is oil industry and Oil & Gas Authority terminology”.

Surrey County Council told DrillOrDrop, also earlier this month:

“Any changes to the naming/numbering of these wells will have no effect on the scale or nature of the development that was permitted.”

  • Frack Free Surrey and Horse Hill Protection Group are hosting a public meeting on oil drilling at the Horse Hill site. 8pm-10pm, Church Hall, Vicarage Lane, Horley RH6 8AR. Details
  • In a separate development, 20 years of oil production at Horse Hill was approved by Surrey County Council’s planning committee on 11 September 2019. The council also approved four more production wells at the site, along with a water reinjection well and storage and tanker loading facilities. Breaking news and reaction

DrillOrDrop’s key facts and timeline for Horse Hill

8 replies »

  1. So far the testing on HH1-the first vertical test well has produced 39205 barrels of oil from the Kimmeridge and 29568 barrels from the Portland.

    Glad I don’t have “puddles” that big in my garden.

  2. Yep, indeed Colin. The one that was investigated by a group of independent experts and declared as coincidental. One amongst around 250/year in UK I understand.

    I do tend to go with such expert investigation and conclusion, rather than the speculation from other so called experts who are then shown to be incorrect but just carry on speculating. I find it does help my sleep patterns and would recommend it to others.

    (I worked in research close to Horley for a while, some years ago. I was taught that speculation was not science, and whilst things seem to have changed, I still stick to my viewpoint that emerged after having to rewrite several technical reports.)

  3. Yes the “Experts” were all convinced the earth was flat once until sufficient speculatory evidence accumulated so that it had to be admitted it was not.

    All science exists in paradigms where experimentation is developed to prove the current paradigm is true. Any contrary views are ridiculed long after the evidence that changes the paradigm is available.

    When the world became round no one had to explain how that happened it had always been round and that was the end of it! That is the joy of science it is always “true at the moment” and no one is to “blame” for having espoused an alternative truth previously.

    The problem is who is accountable for the damage caused by following the implications of one truth when an alternative truth is in vogue, and why should the early adopters of the speculative alternative truth be ridiculed and damaged by those who are “died in the wool”. Our culture is becoming compensation oriented and this is a tricky one.

    Most research scientists dream of the day they “prove” that whatever was the truth before, is in fact wrong that is how science progresses.

    • Excellent post protectdunsfold you have said the incontrovertible truth, the frack earthers will loudly stick to their illusions and then quietly slide into the new paradigm and claim they really said it all along and claim it as their own.

      We see these so called “experts” twisting and turning, spinning on their collective axis, until they can scream the loudest for the new paradigm and damn everyone else who dares say different.

      The empty glass fibre vassals of the old establishment making most noise can never be seen to be wrong.

      Twas ever thus.

      No one expects the Martian Inquisition!

    • A couple of very revealing reports here protectdunsfold from The Corbett Report, these outline how science is a political device and how the data and statistics are being deliberately “interpreted” into a particular political or social or corporate agenda. The result is that many now distrust science and physics due to the weaponisation of reports to achieve whatever result is required.

      Really worth watching.

      The Corbett Report – The Crisis of Science

      The Corbett Report – Solutions: Open Science

    • This is also interesting on the Emperors New Clothes Syndrome which is a another very close parallel of the way in which anyone who dares to challenge the fanatically protected status quo is vilified decried for even speaking up. This of course has very close parallels to recent events regarding the amount of vitriol and venom that has emerged over the school strike for climate and more than 4 million adults and children demonstrating against the lack of movement to protect future generations from the degradation of local and planetary destruction of the environment, human and wildlife habitats and ecological protection.

      Just as we are seeing attempted at Dunsfold.

      The Evolution of the Emperor’s New Clothes Syndrome

      https://thedisgruntleddemocrat.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-evolution-of-emperors-new-clothes.html

  4. Yep, a big dilemma, Protect.

    But, there is always speculation whilst we wait for the science to be proven wrong. So, many can speculate to their hearts content, and when they are long gone, in the majority of cases, they will only be remembered as those who speculated incorrectly and the science was shown to be correct.

    I think you will find it was science that proved the earth was round(ish). Humanity did eventually pay attention to the Laws of Physics and arithmetic, as suggested many years later by the Chief Scientific Adviser. You would think with such examples, he would not have to make that plea many centuries later, but he did. Perhaps when some were showing that the earth was not flat we should have had the benefit of the Internet to be able to excite all the flat earthers to support their views? That could have kept the discussion going for many years-but it would not have changed the reality.

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