Angus Energy has said it will abandon the Brockham oil field in Surrey if it does not get permission to reinject waste water.
The most recent monthly presentation for investors said the company aimed to restart oil production from the Portland formation and inject water at the site near Dorking. But it said this was subject to approvals by the Environment Agency (EA) and Oil & Gas Authority (OGA).
The presentation said:
“If these are not received, the company will look to abandon the field.”
Angus said it is submitting a revised hydrogeological risk assessment to the EA. It was also running a cement bond log to confirm the well integrity of the intended water injection well, BR3, it said.
The EA has confirmed that Angus has applied for an environmental permit for water reinjection.
There has been no oil production at Brockham since October 2018.
In an interview last year with DrillOrDrop, Angus managing director, George Lucan, said commercial production from the Portland at Brockham appeared to depend on water reinjection.
“Injecting water would clearly allow us to increase the recoverable oil and would potentially solve problems in terms of disposing of water elsewhere.”
He said it was “almost impossibly expensive” to treat produced water from Brockham because the salinity was so high. It was, he said, taken by tanker to an incinerator.
Angus Energy raised £1.5m in October 2019 to fund decommissioning at its sites. At the time, the cost to the company of decommissioning Brockham was estimated at £300,000.
Brockham Oilwatch, a local campaign group, has said:
“We are liaising with the EA and local authorities to make sure there is a proper public consultation on this application.”
Water had previously been injected at Brockham. But in November 2018, the EA refused a request by Angus for water reinjection.
In a decision document issued at the time, the EA said controls had been imposed because Angus Energy had not provided required information, despite several requests. The company had also failed to assess adequately some risks to groundwater and had not proposed appropriate techniques.