Industry

First official Horse Hill oil production data

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

Oil production at the Horse Hill field in Surrey ranked fourth in the UK onshore, according to the latest official data. But the daily average was below that previously claimed by the operator and was less than 2% of the UK onshore total.

The figures released by the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) were the first for Horse Hill since it was approved for long-term production in March 2020.

They showed that Horse Hill produced 181 barrels of oil per day (bpd) in March 2020 and 243 bpd in April 2020.

The site operator, a subsidiary of UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG), has described the Horse Hill-1 (HH-1) well as the UK’s most productive onshore wells outside Wytch Farm in Dorset.

In December 2019, UKOG said HH-1 was producing an average daily rate of 301 bpd. The company restated this figure in April 2020 and June 2020.

The OGA data is for fields or sites. It does not show the performance of individual wells where there are more than one in a field. It is not possible to use it to compare HH-1 with any of the Wytch Farm wells.

According to the data, Horse Hill’s daily production for March was 1.18% of the UK onshore total. The April figure was 1.62%.

A spokesperson for UKOG said the March production figures were for 19 days, and averaged nearly 300 bpd and included no water.

At the time of writing, shares in UKOG were unchanged at 0.215p.

UKOG announced plans in June to reperforate and recomplete HH-1. The work was due to be done in summer 2020 and UKOG said “if successful we remain confident this programme can further improve the well’s oil production rate”.

Oil production for top 10 UK onshore sites for March and April 2020. Source: Oil & Gas Authority

The Wytch Farm field, which has multiple producing wells, totalled 12,835 bpd in March 2020 and 12,716 bpd in April 2020. This was 83.91% of UK onshore oil production in March 2020 and 84.79% in April 2020.

The second highest ranking field in March and April 2020 was Singleton, operated by IGas in West Sussex (March 2020: 431 bpd, 2.82% of the UK total; April 2020: 358 bpd, 2.39%).

The IGas field at Welton in Lincolnshire was ranked third (March 2002: 393 bpd or 2.57%; April 2020: 384bpd or 2.56%). In 2019, Welton was the second biggest UK onshore producer, behind Wytch Farm.

11 oil fields produced no oil in March and April. Some companies reported they had shut in wells during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Updated 18/8/2020 to include company comment

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26 replies »

  1. To put this into context, the daily UK oil consumption was 1.55 billion barrels per day in 2019. In 2008 it was 1.7 billion barrels per day from which it has been gradually declining and is forecast to continue to decline in the forthcoming decades.
    See here: https://www.statista.com/statistics/332028/oil-consumption-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/#:~:text=Daily%20oil%20consumption%20in%20the%20United%20Kingdom%20%28UK%29,1.55%20billion%20barrels%20per%20day%20by%202019%20

    The UK exports oil to: The Netherlands, China, Germany, USA, Sweden, Spain, and others.

    • MKenward – 1.55 billion barrels per day? I think you have two many zeros……how about 1.55 million barrels per day?

      1.55 billion barrels is about 50% of our entire P90 north sea oil reserves? So in 2 days you are saying we have produced everything and it’s all over?

      At least cut and paste the units correctly.

      • Not my mistake; see copy/paste below. But it did seem rather high to me.:
        “Consumption of oil in the United Kingdom has seen an overall decline during this period, falling to 1.55 billion barrels per day by 2019. Most oil consumption in the UK is used for transport, especially road transport. However, demand is expected to decline in the following decades. In comparison, the consumption by the aviation sector is set to increase.”

  2. So, to put it in context, against 1.55 billion barrels per day, there is no issue with just 200-300 barrels per day!

    So, what is the issue for the antis?

      • Jono

        Good to see that the nature reserve that is the Beckingham oilfield is in there, but only 1%

        Or maybe the Whisby oilfield, which no one knows is there, next to the rammed car park that is Doddington Hall?

        Tourism and shopping – destroying the countryside (as we found out recently).

      • So, Jono, you should be protesting about solar farms, then?! 99 year leases on large areas of agricultural land. PLUS neighboring agricultural land can then be developed for all sorts of stuff due to the change of use the solar farm has produced. “Countryside” in DRC looking pristine?

        Green alternatives? Pathetic.

  3. What happened to the 1600 barrels a day that Dave Liargas boasted about ? Oh yes , that was just to boost the share price so that he could sell at a huge profit while bumping those who wanted to get rich quick . Even a couple of months ago Sanderson was saying HH was the second biggest onshore production site in the UK , it’s all lies . The next set of figures will include the depleted / water cut production and should open a few more eyes to the Gusher scam . Never trust a company where the CEO knows not to invest his own cash .

    • Jono

      Yes – you need to be careful about investing on AIM

      Better to invest in Novacyt it seems as someone said in February on a bulletin board. Sell all your investments and buy this said the chap. I think it was 10p then and he sold out at 500p
      But for each winner there must be more losers eh

  4. Er, climate change, Paula C??!!

    Nope. With Wytch Farm declining, (used to produce over 100k barrels per day) HH would simply replace a small part of that decline. Those huge imports that Malcolm “conveniently” ignored would still continue, but may be lessened a little by other local production such as HH, which is environmentally better than shipping from all around the world. Perhaps ask someone in Mauritius? So, unless you follow the Ms. Abbott school of maths.-not to be advised-you are barking up the wrong tree, Paula.

    As far as Jono-well!!

    Destroying the countryside? Where? Wytch Farm? NO. Stockbridge? NO. Horndean? NO.

    So, between the two of you a fictional account to justify your activities. Now, in Jono’s words, that is just pathetic.

  5. PS:

    The other piece of information Malcolm unwittingly supplied:

    UK oil production by 2035 predicted to be 25m Mtoe.

    DEMAND??

    73 m Mtoe.

    Looks like a heck of a lot still being imported by 2035-like TWO THIRDS OF USAGE!

    So, why not attack a few hundred barrels per day and try and pretend it is changing the world, or even the UK, even though there is no evidence to show either is true!

    • Those imports could possibly be cut a bit sooner, now that equipment has been delivered without any delays to the West Newton B site.
      The news broadcast from the antis certainly helped boost UJO’s share price.

  6. hewes62

    The point about UK exporting oil is often made, as an attempt to imply UK must have enough oil to do so, yet the demand v production stats. PROVE different. (jP has particular difficulty.) Many commodities are traded overseas (exported) from UK even when UK is a net importer for those commodities. UK is a trading nation, and has followed such practice for centuries. Take an item like Vit. C. UK produces very little, imports a lot, but also exports some, same with Vit. E, same with cars.

    The antis seem to wish to present different “realities”, which are better known as fantasies, for fossil fuel, to justify their own agenda. Like the building upon sand-it is easy to do.

    • Martin
      Thanks
      Yes, I was not sure what point is being made.
      We import steel and make cars, should we be self sufficient in steel? (Actually I like the idea as the vast iron ore quarries around corby east Leicestershire and so on were great places to play in – open up some more coking coal mines as well). Maybe that is not the point tho.

      • Some people don’t understand that “oil” is actually a group of products (dependent on the length of the hydrocarbon chain) not a single product. You can have too much of one type and not enpough of another. Also some of a exports will be “passing through” from Norway (especially gas).

  7. Quite a drop off in oil production considering HH did not get production approval until the 13th March. The 755.48 tonnes of oil for March (5538 barrels) works out at 291 bopd compared to the 243 bopd for April. Having said that we don’t know how many days the well was not producing due to maintenance. They were certainly not producing on some days in April, May and June with wirelines down the well.

  8. Mike-I suggest the other consideration is that with Covid-19 and impact upon oil demand-and prices- there will be little incentive to maximize production at $40/barrel return knowing it is likely to be $55/barrel shortly.

    It would make sense for any planned interruptions in production to be done whilst the cost to sales is at (probably) the low point. So, production levels during Covid-19 may be more than misleading.

    • Martin. If it wasn’t for the fact they have a re-perforation planned for HH-1 your comments would make sense. But they don’t.
      I would put it down to fair wear and tear due to constant stopping and starting of production and natural decline in flow rate.

      “The HH-1 intervention is planned to further improve oil production rates by a full re-perforation of the well’s Portland section using larger and more deeply penetrating perforating guns, at twice the perforation density per foot compared to the current completion. The reperforations are designed to materially increase the ability of oil to flow into the wellbore.
      The work will also reconfigure the well’s production tubing set-up and deepen the downhole pump to maximise pumping efficiency and hence maximise HH-1 production. The recent installation of the new higher capacity Unico L706X linear rod pump also forms part of this production optimisation process.”

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