Research

Horse Hill monthly oil production falls to record low

Official oil production at the Horse Hill site in Surrey has fallen to its lowest level so far, according to monthly data released today.

Source: Oil & Gas Authority

The site, operated by a subsidiary of UK Oil & Gas plc (UKOG), is the UK’s newest onshore oil production site. It was nicknamed the Gatwick Gusher four years ago when estimates claimed it could supply 25% of UK needs.

But data published by the Oil & Gas Authority showed that production has fallen by nearly two thirds since the first full month in April 2020.

The figures for September 2020, the most recent available, report that Horse Hill produced 376 tonnes of oil, or 93.30 barrels of oil per day (bopd).

Source: Oil & Gas Authority

This was down 30% on the August level (536 tonnes or 128.44 bopd). Horse Hill represents 0.6% of UK onshore oil production.

The September total is far short of the results of tests in 2016, which claimed aggregate flow of 1,688 barrels per day.

The data also reveals that Horse Hill has fallen to eighth place in the list of the UK’s largest onshore producing fields. In April, it was in fourth place, behind Wytch Farm, Welton and Singleton. It dropped to fifth in May, sixth in June and seventh in July and August.

Monthly oil production for September 2020 in leading UK onshore fields. Source: Oil & Gas Authority

These are the final monthly production figures for Horse Hill before work began to improve oil flows on 1 October 2020.

UK Oil & Gas announced it was reperforating the full Portland oil producing section of the Horse Hill-1 well, inserting a simplified production tubing string and setting the downhole pump deeper to increase pumping efficiency.

Water and gas

Source: Oil & Gas Authority

The total amount of formation water produced at Horse Hill fell in September from 226 tonnes in August to 180 tonnes in September. But the ratio of oil to water was 2.1, down from 2.4 in August.

Water production is usually lowest when a field begins production and increases as fields mature. Horse Hill has planning permission for a water reinjection well but has not yet drilled the well. The company has said water reinjection would cut the cost of disposing of waste water and could help to maintain reservoir pressure.

Source: Oil & Gas Authority

Production of waste gas at Horse Hill also fell in September to 15.5 tonnes, down from 20.75 in August. The ratio of gas to oil was down slightly. Gas at Horse Hill is currently flared.

Onshore oil

Total UK onshore oil in September fell for a second consecutive month to 57,800 tonnes, from a 2020 high in January of 63,287 tonnes.

The biggest producing field, Wytch Farm, in Dorset, which supplies 84% of UK onshore oil, fell 4% in September to 48,558 tonnes. But production at other fields at Welton, Stockbridge, Humbly Grove, Horndean and Glentworth all increased in September.

Onshore production in September was 1.7% of total UK production.

4 replies »

  1. 93 bopd is that it? From a full month of production too. That isn’t in line with company estimates;

    “Based on what we’ve found here, we’re looking at between 50 and 100 billion barrels of oil in place in the ground,” said Steven Sanderson, UKOG chief executive.

    “We believe we can recover between 5 per cent and 15 per cent of the oil in the ground, which by 2030 could mean that we produce 10 per cent to 30 per cent of the UK’s oil demand from within the Weald area.”

  2. Depends on the line that is drawn, Dorkinian, through to 2030, and whether or not that line might be varied by an unpredicted event, such as a pandemic.

    Wonder what British Airways company estimates were through to 2030, made around the same time? Amazon probably happy bunnies that they have the opposite, the High Street probably within the British Airways grouping.

    But, if you really wanted to make the point that UKOG are within exactly the same situation as many other sectors, you could have done it a lot more simply. Less exciting perhaps, but the reality usually is. Good job SS was not trying to excite people as he used “believe” and “could mean”. Very responsible (needs a bonus!)-and the contrast is interesting.

  3. I didn’t realise that pumps are affected by Covid-19 Martin, thank you for that clarification, I expect Sanderson was busy making PPE , too busy to inform investors about how well things are going at the Mega oil field. There was no break in production during August- September apart from the 29th when they pulled rods , there can only be one conclusion that it isn’t what Lenigas said it was ( but hardly surprising) The well will be drained dry by Easter 🐣
    Can you still hear the words echoing “Billions of barrels I tell ya ?”

  4. Well, Jono, the billions of barrels were in place. I think you have conflated what is pretty certain to be (still) in place, with what might be possible to extract, which will show over time.

    Mr.Musk, after a much longer period, is still referring to his holy grail, of looking forward to the day he can supply an economically priced EV.

    Whilst the antis do seem to have a pre-occupation around speed of delivery for oil sites, it does not seem to extend to other areas that encompass the alternatives. Is it to do with a concern that anti interest will wane faster than that of the oil exploration companies?

    Meanwhile, I note both Stockbridge and Horndean continue to produce after MANY years in production, and would expect some areas of the Weald to be perfectly capable of doing the same. Of course, they will become increasingly difficult to find, as per the low hanging fruit rule, and whether the return justifies at any given time.

    And, the “break in production” is a side issue. I think it has been demonstrated that interventions determine the level of production and it is the degree and justification of those that will determine production.

    And Covid-19 does have a double impact there, Jono. Shouldn’t need to provide the clarification, but you are welcome to it. Not just one conclusion, apart from one Jono conclusion.

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