New oil drilling underway at Horse Hill

1909 Horse Hill UKOG

Drilling rig at Horse Hill, Surrey, September 2019. Photo: UK Oil & Gas plc

UK Oil & Gas plc has announced the start of drilling at its Horse Hill site near Gatwick Airport.

In a statement to investors this morning, the company said a well designed to produce oil from the Portland formation was spudded yesterday morning (29 September 2019).

The drilling operation comprises a vertical pilot hole, to be called HH-2.

UKOG said today the pilot well would be drilled to a depth of about 3,000ft. The company has previously told DrillOrDrop the HH-2well would be drilled deeper than the Portland, into the Kimmeridge formation.

A side-track well, HH-2z, would then be drilled horizontally, UKOG said. The side-track would have a total length of 5,800ft, of which 3,200ft were within the Portland formation’s most productive zone, the company said.

The pilot well would collect geological data to ensure the horizontal well was positioned within the Portland formation, UKOG said.

The statement said the HH-2z well was “expected to be put into long term production by the end of 2019”.

Earlier this month, local campaigners questioned whether the Horse Hill site had planning permission for both HH-2 and HH-2z. DrillOrDrop report

UKOG also has planning permission to drill a horizontal sidetrack well off the HH-1 well into the Kimmeridge. Another four production wells, approved earlier this month, may be subject to a legal challenge by local opponents.

UKOG’s chief executive, Stephen Sanderson, said

“The spud of HH-2/2z is another UKOG landmark milestone and a key enabler towards establishing long term oil production at Horse Hill.”

“We are confident that the meticulously planned HH-2/2z operation, the first of two planned horizontal wells in the Portland oil pool, leaves little to chance.

“We look forward to a safe and successful drilling campaign and to the realistic prospect of HH-2/2z delivering a significant increase in UKOG’s net oil production and associated revenues before the end of 2019.”

At the time of writing, (10.15am bst) UKOG shares were down 4.44% at 1.07p.

  • In a separate statement, UKOG announced it had awarded options on 121,500,000 shares, 1.8% of the existing share capital, to employees and directors. The statement also established a share incentive plan and allotted 201,000,000 shares to an employee benefit trust

DrillOrDrop page on Horse Hill key facts and timeline

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