Oil flow work begins at Horse Hill as production figures fall again

Workover rig delivered to Horse Hill site in Surrey, 1 October 2020. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

Oil production at the Horse Hill site in Surrey fell for a second month in a row, according to official data published today.

The news coincided with the start of work intended to improve oil flows at the site near Gatwick.

A workover rig arrived this morning, followed by a statement from the operator’s parent company, UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG).

The work, previously announced in June 2020, will reperforate the full Portland oil producing section of the Horse Hill-1 well (HH-1), UKOG said. A “new simplified production tubing string” would also be inserted and the downhole pump set at a deeper level to “increase pumping efficiency”.

UKOG’s chief executive, Stephen Sanderson, said:

“We look forward to safe, swift and successful operations and to the resumption of stable oil production at Horse Hill as soon as possible.”

UKOG has said HH-1 has produced more than 300 barrels of oil per day “almost continuously”. It said the well was the UK’s most productive outside the Wytch Farm oilfield in Dorset.

Data released by the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) today revealed that in June 2020 Horse Hill produced 157 barrels of oil per day (bpd), or a total of 637 tonnes. This was down from 176 bpd or 737 tonnes in May 2020 and 243 bpd or 981 tonnes in April 2020.

Top ranking onshore oil producing fields in June 2020. Source: OGA

The Horse Hill site was ranked sixth by oil production in June 2020, down two places on April and May 2020.

The data, always published three months in arrears, also showed that water and gas production at Horse Hill had increased.

In June 2020, water production was 49 bpd (236 tonnes in total), just under a third of oil production. It was almost three times higher than the level in May 2020 (17 bpd or 88 tonnes). Water production in April was less than a barrel a day or a total of 0.9 tonnes.

Gas production, which is burned in a flare at Horse Hill, was 24.71 tonnes in June 2020, up from 22.04 in May 2020.

6 replies »

  1. As predicted, natural fractures increase the connectivity of both water and any oil as Angus discovered at Brockham, expect a real drop in the oil production figures for July when a site worker was overheard saying the well was knackered, I can’t write what he actually said. Still never mind there must only be so long that Sanderson can keep drawing wages until the truth comes out or UKOG decide they need to do a proppant squeeze just like UJO . Meanwhile…….,

  2. Big suspicions about aquifers being breached at Balcombe. Angus Energy state the water they found back in 2018 was left over drilling fluids, suggesting Cuadrilla didn’t do a very good job. But a report on the state of the well written for Cuadrilla paints a different picture. Contrary to Angus Energy’s claim in 2018 that the state of the well was good, the report mentions poor rather a lot. Could the ‘drilling fluids’ in reality be water from an aquifer? If it is don’t expect Angus Energy to own up. And don’t expect any government agency to question Angus Energy’s claim.

  3. What is the flaring of over 20 tonnes a month of gas doing to the environment? Why aren’t the operators compelled to treat it as necessary to make it useful and use it, or sell it? Obviously I realise they do what is cheapest for them as long as they are so permitted. But it’s about time that the various costs to the environment including wildlife were included.

    • I understand there are plans to utilize the gas for electricity generation, dc. Not sure why this has not happened before June, but I suspect it may be more related to timing than intention. Bit like having intentions to have a clean cobalt supply sometime in the future for the production of electric vehicles. If I had a few quid to bet, I would place it upon HH electricity generation being much sooner than kids not getting seriously ill in DRC.
      I think you will find that the compelling regarding HH will happen, if required. It will NOT in places where UK currently import oil from. So, there you go dc-welcome to the real world where HH represents an opportunity for UK to IMPROVE the global environment. But, you can trot around and raise some money and state the opposite.

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