One of the targets of the West Newton-B exploration site in East Yorkshire contained “insufficient reservoir development”, partners in the project announced this morning.
Shares in one of the partners, Reabold Resources, closed down nearly 25% at 0.41p. Another partner, Union Jack Oil, ended the day at 0.1175p, down just over 21%.
In a statement, Union Jack said the West Newton B-1 well had been drilled to 2,295m and had encountered both the Kirkham Abbey and Cadeby formations. But it said:
“The secondary target, the Cadeby formation, contained insufficient reservoir development within the targeted slope environment”.
Wireline logs, cuttings and mud gas readings indicated hydrocarbons in the Kirkham Abbey formation, the statement said.
It added that the site operator, Rathlin Energy, had begun drilling a sidetrack well to West Newton B-1:
“The objective of the WNB-1Z side-track well is to further appraise the Kirkham Abbey formation on a structurally superior location, targeting enhanced reservoir quality and on-trend with the previously discovered Kirkham Abbey accumulations.”
The sidetrack would, the statement said, “provide additional data to inform the optimal locations of future development wells at the West Newton project”.
Last month, Rathlin Energy announced details of plans for an additional two well sites in the area. If approved, they would bring the number of the company’s East Yorkshire wellsites to four.
How many wells?
The West Newton B site was granted planning permission in June 2015.
At the time, a report by council planning officers referred to “up to two appraisal wells” at West Newton B. The permission document made no mention of sidetracks or the total number of wells.
The official wells register records that the West Newton sidetrack, WNB-1z, was spudded today (23/11/2020).
The register, compiled by the industry regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority, records sidetracks separately from parent wells. The WNB-1z sidetrack is listed as L46/10-2Z, while WNB-1 is L46/10-2.
So is the sidetrack part of WNB-1 or does it count as the second permitted well at West Newton?
We asked Rathlin Energy whether it considered the sidetrack to be part of WNB-1 and whether more drilling was planned at the site. We’ll update this article with the company’s response.
The planning permission at West Newton B includes a condition which allows the drilling rig to be onsite “for a maximum of two periods of ten weeks unless otherwise agreed in writing with the Local Planning Authority”.
The drilling rig for WNB-1 was delivered on 22 September 2020. Unless an extension is agreed, this means there are nine days to drill the WNB-1z sidetrack before the rig must be taken offsite by 1 December 2020.
DrillOrDrop asked Rathlin Energy whether it would meet this deadline or whether East Yorkshire Council had agreed more time. We’ll update this article with the company’s response.