West Newton B drilling “exceeds expectations with substantial hydrocarbon accumulation”

Drilling results from Rathlin Energy’s West Newton B site in East Yorkshire indicate a “substantial hydrocarbon accumulation”, partners said this morning.

West Newton B well site in East Yorkshire, 2 October 2020. Photo: West Newton and Sproatley Gateway to the Gasfields

A statement by Reabold Resources, which holds a 56% stake in the West Newton licence, said the results of the operations:

“have exceeded pre-drill expectations, further suggesting that the West Newton discovery would be the largest UK onshore discovery since 1973.”

It said the estimated hydrocarbon column in the target Kirkham Abbey formation was “at least 118 metres, significantly exceeding previous observations”.

Another partner in the licence, Union Jack Oil, said the sidetrack well, WNB1z, had encountered a 62m hydrocarbon saturated interval in the Kirkham Abbey formation.

It said there was “scope for the overall hydrocarbon column to considerably exceed the current identified interval”.

Last month, results showed that the secondary target, the Cadeby formation, was unsuccessful at West Newton B.

Today’s statement said drilling operations had now concluded and production casing had been run in preparation for a well flow test.

The drilling rig and associated equipment would be demobilised before the end of the year, the statements said.

Sachin Oza, co chief executive of Reabold, said:

“West Newton continues to surpass expectations and we are confident that it will be the largest onshore UK discovery since 1973.

“With more analysis to be done, we believe that these indications augur extremely well for the future of the West Newton project, which has the potential to be a meaningful and crucially local source of hydrocarbons for the Humber region.”

Fellow chief executive at Reabold, Stephen Williams, said:

“The B-1Z well has indicated substantial areal extent by discovering the Kirkham Abbey, located 2.5km from the previous A-2 discovery. With better-than-expected porosity and a positive comparison versus the A-2 well, the B-1 well has significantly increased the size of the observed hydrocarbon column, and we are yet to encounter an oil water contact demonstrating the potential for further upside.”

David Bramhill, executive chairman of Union Jack Oil, which holds 16.665% in the West Newton licence, said:

“There remains an extensive number of technical studies to be carried out to complete analysis of the WNB1Z well data, including correlation of the A1, A2 and B1Z well results and updated resource volumetric estimates, all of which will have a bearing on the planning and timing of the testing programme which is the next important milestone in determining the development potential of the West Newton project.”

11 replies »

  1. To reduce confusion, please check out the GS Lexicon of Named Rock Units:

    Official BGS Name: Roker Formation
    Alternative Name(s): Kirkham Abbey Formation
    Names no longer used on new BGS maps/reports:
    – Upper Magnesian Limestone (Durham)
    – Roker Dolomite Formation
    – Hartlepool And Roker Dolomite
    – Concretionary Limestone

    Here you can see the ‘Type Section’ of the Roker Formation:
    Partial Type Section: Sea cliffs at Roker, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.
    (From mouth of Roker Park to Cannonball Rocks). Smith, D B, et al. 1986.

    Here you can see a ‘Reference Section of the Roker Formation:
    Reference Section: About 16 metres. the uppermost 5-6 metres comprising of dolomite ooid grainstone.
    Coastal cliff section near Cross Gill, Blackhall Rocks, County Durham. Smith, 1995.

    Hope this helps!

    Robin Grayson FGS
    Liberal Democrat

  2. One has to wonder…..
    This Reabold/UJO project is being touted here as “the largest onshore prospect since 1973″….BUT..
    on 29 November in interview, David Bramhill (MD of UJO) claimed Biscathorpe ranked higher than West Newton and was possibly the largest ever in the UK.
    Is it just a phrase they like to apply to any hole in the ground that hasn’t actually been proven?
    Makes all their claims very hard to believe.

    • Very similar choice of words to those used by Cuadrilla when describing the wonderful results of their test fracking operations at Preston New Road, near Blackpool in Lancashire.
      Obviously Cuadrilla being somewhat over-optimistic as recent announcements have proved.

      • Obviously??

        No. Cuadrilla will not know whether they could have achieved what they suggested Peter. You certainly do NOT, as the tests have been stopped. Not sure that returning to the Mystic Meg approach is that worthwhile even though it has made good money in Blackpool for many years.

  3. Alternatively:

    Of the two options, Abbey surpasses expectations, Cadeby not showing the formation that was hoped for, so more time and effort and money to be lavished upon Abbey and Cadeby saved for another day.

    As usual, one “sister” taken to the ball, the other disappointed!

  4. I think, Alex, when it says “we are confident” it is still not an absolute. If it was, then the share price would be a lot higher than it is.

    A lot of people are confident about a lot of things, but you do need to then apply probability. In the case of the lottery, confidence is there by those who take part, probability of success is low. Those who follow footie, would be confident Man. City would beat a non league club and probability would be much higher.

    I recognize that anything to do with fossil fuel has to be looked upon as some sort of strange and unique entity that defies all other norms, but it doesn’t.

  5. The same was said about Broadford Bridge, Brockham and the Dorking Dribbler, it’s just rubbish. Mugs will be funding Xmas for CEOs again. NoOil NoOil .

  6. No way to talk about Mr. Musk, Jono!

    One of the world’s richest men, yet to return a sustained income to the share holders.

    The alternative way of funding a lavish life style-but, on a somewhat greater scale.

    As I stated above, oil and gas is not a strange and unique entity. I knew someone would jump in and help me to show that. Thanks.

  7. Don’t tell me there are mug punters still out there who are falling for this ponzi scheme nonsense.

    Drill a hole claim gold and then recover iron.

    • There are things you need to know about oil and gas exploration.
      It is perfectly normal in the industry to drill 10 or more dry holes before having enough understanding of the subsurface geology to have a major discovery well.
      It is normal for a steep and expensive learning curve. Every well will lead to more knowledge allowing reinterpretation of all the previous wells. Huge mistakes can also occur, For instance, knowing the local geology and detailed maps it was easy for me to predict that that the Holme Chapel No.1 wildcat would be drilled in the wrong place, due to spectacular misinterpretation of the seismic lines. Rather than the expected reef knoll, they drilled through the Deerplay Fault and Thieveley Fault and the seismic lines,. Having failed to find the non-existent reef, I persuaded the drilling crew to keep on drilling overnight and they proved slate basement. At today’s prices that would be about a million dollars for a dry hole. But it enabled me and others to reject the orthodox block-and-basin model in favour of a new tilt-block model that has – so far – largely stood the test of time. The consortium of three USA companies had to be able to stand the loss of a million dollars and went back to the States. And as for mug punters and ponzi scheme? Nope, none there.


      Robin Grayson FGS
      Manchester Liberal Democrats

    • Actually, mug punters was a phrase concocted by the financial sector as a marketing tool to help persuade the investor they should funnel their money through them, pay their fees and they would be so much better at investment management. Unfortunately, whilst the phrase has been utilised by others who think it is valid, recent research shows the mug punters have just as good a record of fund management as the IFAs, and also, there have been some good examples of financial gurus who made bad decisions costing their clients £billions.

      So, flfs, interesting that even on something adrift of fossil fuel you show an inclination towards fake news. I recognise there is a lot of it about, but even school kids are being educated now how to avoid it. Perhaps you believe DoD is a safe haven, but I prefer to trust most will be reasonably educated.

      I did read an article a while ago that the most extreme example of investment into claims versus delivery, was Tesla! So, again, fossil fuel not so unique, is it?

      As for Robin’s points, the only thing I have concern about is if he is so able to direct these sloppy oil and gas companies as to how to do it correctly, he is left with so much time for his other pursuits! Maybe I was mislead in my industry that the technical guys who were really good, then ended up even busier as consultants, rather then typing away at midnight.
      I also recall reading about the desperate need to extract oil on shore in UK during WW2. Wonder who was called in to do that?

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