Formation damage reported at West Newton-B well

Suspected damage to the target formation at Rathlin Energy’s West Newton-B site in East Yorkshire is limiting hydrocarbon flow, two of the partners said this morning.

View towards West Newton-B wellsite following the removal of the workover rig on 30 August 2021. Photo: Used with the owner’s consent

Reabold Resources executives said in an online interview the damage was probably caused by “an aggressive completion” of the well.

Sachin Oza, co chief executive, said:

“In all likelihood, we ended up causing formation damage which resulted in this particular well location not yielding the flow result that we were expecting.”

He added that the project partners had expected the Kirkham Abbey formation to be low-permeability.

“We felt we had to be quite aggressive in the completion technique we were going to use.

“We actually found a good permeability system in the field.”

Earlier formal statements from Reabold Resources and Union Jack Oil said tests on the WNB-1z well showed signs of reservoir damage in the Kirkham Abbey formation.Union Jack said the suspected damage was “preventing optimum hydrocarbon flow”.

Reabold Resources said: “This is probably preventing more significant flow at this time”.

It added:

“The Kirkham Abbey reservoir appears to be sensitive to the drilling and completion fluids. We see clear signs of reservoir damage in near wellbore areas.

“Testing to date has not yet returned all the completion fluids injected into the formation and a measurable flow of hydrocarbons has not yet been achieved.”

WNB1z, a sidetrack, was drilled in November 2020 after the first well, (WNB-1) missed one of the target formations.

In December 2020, Reabold Resources, which has a 56% stake in the West Newton licence, said the sidetrack had “exceeded pre-drill expectations”.

Today, the company said WNB-1z had been suspended with gauges measuring pressure build-up.

Reabold said further testing on WNB-1z could follow the results of other tests on the nearby WNA-2 well.

Union Jack said remedial action on WNB-1z would be informed by the pressure data, WNA-2 results and an independent technical review. It added:

“Following remedial interventions, the WNB-1z well is expected to be suspended as a potential producer”.

At the time of writing, Union Jack shares were down 12% at 24.20p. Reabold Resources were down more than 17% at 0.26p.

The statements also said tests on the WNB-1z well had revealed:

  • Gas and liquid hydrocarbons recovered to surface
  • Significant hydrocarbon column of approximately 118m
  • Natural fractures in the Kirkham Abbey formation
  • Good quality gas recovered – 90% methane, 4.5% ethane and no hydrogen sulphide

Stephen Williams, co-chief executive of Reabold, said

“Testing at West Newton continues to provide valuable data to inform how to best develop this extremely significant oil and gas resource. Evidence of permeability and the extensive hydrocarbon column, in addition to the returns of gas and oil to surface, are extremely encouraging.

“Suspected formation damage at the B-1Z well also forms a key input into the development methodology for the West Newton field. We are fortunate in being able to progress the A-2 test whilst we undergo the pressure build up at B-1Z, and look forward to continuing to better understand how to optimally exploit this unique UK oil and gas resource.”

David Bramhill, executive chairman of Union Jack Oil, said his company, which holds 16.665% in West Newton, was “highly encouraged” by the initial test results on WNB-1z.

“Our enthusiasm is borne out by the return of hydrocarbons to surface at this ongoing and early stage testing of the Kirkham Abbey formation, natural fracturing and significant fluid injection rates of 5.7 barrels per minute (8,208 barrels per day).

“Following these promising initial results at the B1z well equipment is currently being mobilised to the A-2 well site for the recommencement of testing.

“The Joint Venture partners are resolved to unlocking West Newton`s inherent value and generating a successful return on capital invested.”

Local people reported yesterday that the workover rig had left West Newton-B. Eye witnesses said it moved to West Newton-A this morning.

Tests on WNA-2 were suspended two years ago after the discovery of oil, in addition to the expected gas. A revised well-test was approved by the Environment Agency. The tests would now restart, today’s statements said.

9 replies »

  1. The first well did not miss one of the target formations.

    The details were provided at the time by the operator, the incorrect statements on DoD have been corrected many times, yet the incorrect statements keep being repeated.

    Seems to be the way that excitement is created, and a certain narrative is preferred, however, remember the saying, “fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.” If there are any “me’s” still confused, go back to the original statement, which referenced both formations being encountered, but the Cadeby formation showed insufficient reservoir development. Which is why the focus was then placed upon the Kirkham Abbey formation.

    The real world is not that scary, and knowing what goes on within it does remove confusion.

    • Thank you for your comment.
      DrillOrDrop has previously responded to your comment that an incorrect statement was made about the WNB-1 well.
      We have previously pointed out that the mineral planning authority at East Riding of Yorkshire made the following formal statement when it extended the time allowed to drill the WNB-1z well:
      “Whilst drilling the first well target geological formations were missed thus part of the well below approximately 950 metres has been plugged, abandoned, and redrilled known as a sidetrack.”

      • Ruth – the statement made by the mineral planning authority at East Riding of Yorkshire is plainly incorrect. The press release from Union Jack Oil dated 23rd November 2020 states ‘The WNB-1 well has been drilled safely to a Total Depth of 2,295 metres, encountering both the primary and secondary objectives, the Kirkham Abbey and Cadeby formations, respectively. The Kirkham Abbey formation indicated a hydrocarbon charge based on wireline logs, cuttings and mud gas readings. The secondary target, the Cadeby formation contained insufficient reservoir development within the targeted slope environment. Clearly the formation is present but not reservoir quality which is fairly common in carbonate formations – it is definitely not ‘missing’ as you have reported several times.

          • That was the information I was referring to David S, and have done several times. Obviously available, and I see no reason why it should be ignored.

            Indeed, if the Cadeby formation had been “missed” then the logical subsequent action would be to spend further time and money looking for it!

            Going back many years, if I missed meeting a young lady that I was interested in, then I would try and do so at another time. If I had met her, and found the reservoir quality was not developed (thick as two short planks), then I would prioritize elsewhere, but being a reasonably efficient, and upstanding operator, would not do so if I had really missed her in the first place!

      • I hear all sorts of comments from all sorts of people, Ruth. However, I tend to go for the horse’s mouth comment, as given within an RNS, from the operator, rather than a third party. Once a third party joins the chain, then distortion is possible, and that is shown quite often in other situations. There are numerous training films on that particular subject. The BBC showed a great example recently and then had to apologize to Dyson. Perhaps, the “horse’s mouth” should have been checked, and used?

        The side track was specifically for the Kirkham Abbey formation. The other formation initially targeted was the Cadeby, and that was encountered, (if something is encountered, how can it be missed?) but had insufficient reservoir development at that site to justify more time, and expense. As stated, in a RNS, at the time. And, then the side track.

        Why select a quote from a third party, that is getting all it’s information on the subject from the operator, but ignore the one from the operator, which was much more detailed? There is obviously a reason, but it can not be accuracy.

        My interest, Jono? Very simple. Would like to know the facts rather than specifically selected tit bits. I look for journalism to inform me, amongst other sources. Maybe that makes me unusual on DoD? Don’t think so.

        I am surprised you still have to wonder, as that subject has been discussed many times-with you. So, again, no financial interest at all, but I use fossil fuel just like you, and would prefer it is the best form of fossil fuel it can be-which includes maximizing local sourcing and reducing transport emissions. I also have the same interest in what I eat. Should I just eat the chlorine washed imported chicken, and moan about the better choice that I could have made? Or eat the chicken in the restaurant that has been slaughtered without stunning, if there is a better choice if I bother to become informed?

        That, I suggest is much more coherent, than:
        Your interest? Use something and whinge about it’s production, even when the standards of production are at a higher level than most of the rest of that product you use! If you are a logical person, Jono, then the only logic to that is you prefer imported fossil fuel to locally produced, and not that concerned about the environment. So, I would suggest the vested interest implication would be better avoided.

  2. lets get the termination correct. Geological sidetrack due to target being missed or not present. Normal when drilling.

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