Updated: Rathlin Energy reveals plans for 15 wells at West Newton

15 wells would be drilled in a decade in a rural part of East Yorkshire, according to a plan by Rathlin Energy for its West Newton gasfield in East Yorkshire.

The proposed wells, pipeline and wellsite facilities are estimated to cost nearly 400m Canadian dollars ($CAD)or around £260m.

The details were included in a report commissioned by the company and published on investor websites this morning.

The report said drilling was scheduled to start in June 2023 and end in November 2033.

Gas production would begin in 2026, with other wells coming on stream every year until January 2034. Under a best case, it predicted production would continue until 2052.

This is the latest expansion of Rathlin’s plans for the West Newton area, in licence area PEDL183.

In June 2022, statements to investors revealed plans for eight wells at West Newton.

Then, the company said these new wells could extract all the recoverable gas from the field, estimated then at 203 bcf (billion cubic feet).

Since 2013, Rathlin Energy has drilled two wells at West Newton-A and one vertical and a sidetrack at nearby West Newton-B.

The company currently has planning permission for production from six wells at West Newton-A. West Newton-B site has permission to drill one more well but not to produce. Neither site has permission for hydraulic fracturing.

Earlier this month, Rathlin announced it had switched its focus back to gas, after pursuing oil for three years.


The latest predictions were in a competent person’s report (CPR), a specialised appraisal of oil and gas prospects.

The report, from the Canadian company, RPS, reproduces Rathlin Energy’s West Newton Development Plan.

West Newton development plan

This estimates the company will spend $CAD19.1m (more than £12.5m) for each for the first five wells and another $CAD92.25m (£60.78m) for wellsite facilities and a gas pipeline that would connect the sites to the national transmission system.

The remaining 10 wells, including pipeline and wellsite facilities, are estimated to cost $CAD20.7m each (£13.64m).

Well abandonment and reclamation costs are estimated at $CAD0.91m per well, totalling more than $CAD13.5m (£8.89m). An extra $CAD1.5m would be spent on abandoning and reclaiming any gas plant at the end of the life of the project.

The CPR estimates the best case for technically recoverable gas is 197.6 billion cubic feet from the Kirkham Abbey formation. It puts the geological chance of success at 85%.

The best estimate is that this would raise revenues of US$396.1bn (about £361bn), it said.

The CPR said the best development strategy for the target formation, the Kirkham Abbey, would be to “horizontal wells with (small) multi-stage stimulations”.

Modelling has assumed the wells would be 1,500m long.

There is no reference in the CPR to fracking but stimulation is mentioned nine times.

The CPR said:

“Rathlin believes that they are extremely close to realizing commercial production in the West Newton area by employing horizontal wells using high quality drilling and completion fluids and small, optimized stimulation, as necessary.”

The CPR commented on Rathlin’s proposed schedule in the development plan:

“[It] allows for adequate time for the required drilling approvals and the completion of additional technical work … to mitigate the remaining risks associated with establishing commercial flow rates through reservoir stimulation.”

We have previously asked Rathlin Energy what is meant by optimised stimulation treatments. The company has not responded.

Ellerby, Spring Hill and Withernsea

The CPR also said there were “substantial” additional prospective resources in PEDL183 at Ellerby, Spring Hill and Withernsea.

This recoverable resource was estimated at 363.7 bcf. The geological chance of success for this gas was put at 43%.

Falling shares

Shares in Rathlin Energy partner companies fell during the day.

Union Jack Oil, which has a 16.665% stake in PEDL183, saw shares closed down more than 6% at 29.50p.

It said the CPR concluded that West Newton was “a highly valuable onshore project with resources comparable to those usually reported for offshore developments and at a time when forward gas pricing is higher than oil.

David Bramhill, Union Jack’s executive chairman, said:

“Such a significant domestic onshore gas resource as West Newton will be an important transition fuel in helping the UK achieve its 2050 Net Zero targets.”

Shares in Reabold Resources, which has interests in both PEDL183 and Rathlin Energy, fell more than 13% to 0.24p.

The company said the CPR validated its view that West Newton was a “strategic asset that can play an important role in improving the UK’s security of supply”.

Reabold’s co-chief executive, Stephen Williams, said:

“We are very excited by the prospective resource potential from Ellerby, Spring Hill and Withernsea, which combined are potentially larger than West Newton, and we would note that there remains considerable further running room on the licence beyond that covered by the CPR.”

Rathlin Energy has not mentioned the CPR on its website. Last week. it published notes from a recent community liaison group. There is no reference in the notes to an additional 15 wells. It did say West Newton had the potential to meet the daily gas demands of more than 380,000 homes for “many years to come”. It did not say how long a period that was.

Updated to correct conversion from Canadian dollars to pounds

16 replies »

  1. Hahaha 🤣 😂 I can’t believe that anyone falls for this pie in the sky fairytale anymore, it’s a scam just like all the others , Rathlin don’t know their Gas from their Elbow ( do you see what I did there to avoid censorship? ) They make it up as they go along #jackanory

  2. I would have thought that you’d welcome the decision to revert back to the extraction of gas at West Newton, which was the initial assessment, rather than oil with a probable increase in road traffic. I wonder how the naysayers actually heat their homes? Living 1000 asl it was pretty chilly in parts of last winter even though we didn’t have the frequent snowfalls of Winter 2020/2021, especially on those gloomy anticyclonic sunless and windless days in November/December. I have tried to improve the warmth of my house by insulating the cellar and using draught excluders etc, paid for out of my own pocket. I have always worn jumpers inside the house rather than continue with T-shirts in mid-Winter, turn off the lights when not in use and keep the thermostat at a sensible level. I am on dialysis three times a week for a total of 12 hours so I feel the cold more than I used to, hence I shall be buying a couple more items of thermal clothing next week. The waste of electricity in the vast majority of schools I taught in for over 25 years was simply staggering, with lights and computers left on in empty classrooms, to thermostats, controlled by somebody in Canada, either being set too low or too high. The old residents in my village laugh and say that things don’t compare to 40/50 years ago but still it can be pretty nippy. My house is terraced and backs on to another house and faces NW. The only outside wall is at the front so where would I place a heat pump? If I look out of my front door I see nine wind turbines and there are numerous older wind turbines on the surrounding hills, sometimes working and sometimes not, and the landscape, despite some fantastic views, is what you might call ‘industrial’ rather than ‘picture postcard pretty’. There is , in my opinion, no such thing as ‘green’. The turbines are not made of rhubarb I can assure you and nor the are the solar panels. They are made of numerous exploited minerals excavated from the Earth and then manufactured using energy mostly from oil/diesel and gas and often then transported to our shores from around the World. The failure of successive Governments over the last 50 years to look to become energy self-sufficient has been lamentable and we are paying the price. There are still plenty of people in the North who complain about the closure of most of the mines in the recent past and they have a point when some are struggling to heat the homes. If you say that we in the UK have reduced our carbon emissions, some immediately point out that 99% of World emissions come from outside of the UK. Of course it hides the fact that we have often outsourced energy requirements to importing gas and LNG from overseas. Instead of celebrating the fact that we have a chance to provide an energy supply from le within the UK, some people still wish to hinder any such moves. May I wish you all a comfortable Winter even to the energy hypocrites out there.

    • Morning John.

      You make some very valid points, but probably not the place that valid points are valued.

      Do keep warm this winter. My parents were very frugal users of energy and had a pretty simple approach. They made maximum use of daylight, so they adjusted their bedtimes from winter to summer and then they boiled a large kettle first thing in the morning and plonked the boiling water into two flasks to last them the day, and no TV. Remarkable how small things like that can add up.
      Yesterday, I switched my central heating on! Not terribly cold but my grandson was visiting with his Mum and they seem to feel the cold more than I do! So much for Greta’s generation!

    • All other global warming -related considerations aside, John, – a huge consideration – and taking very seriously the energy waste you rightfully highlight, your own efforts to stay warm, and the extractive element underlying renewables of all sorts, have you looked into what happens to gas produced locally? The market takes over, John, and the gas goes to the highest bidder, at home or abroad. Truss cannot stop this, nor can she control the companies’ pricing. Fracking is not the answer.
      It is not hypocritical, John, to use as a bridge gas already available, notwithstanding the cost of transport, any more than it is hypocritical to use a mobile phone or a plastic keyboard. What is hypocritical is justifying fracking while exacerbating the global warming situation to the destruction of hundreds of thousands (and counting), using the erroneous (see above) pretext of helping those increasingly impoverished by Trussian attempts to placate party members.

      • Except, John, you referred to LNG so obviously know about that. Probably also know that UK cannot export gas as LNG as it has no facilities to produce LNG! So, China, for example could bid away yet it would be a waste of time as they would find there was a gap between them and UK and not just in distance. You may also know USA applied an export ban on gas for some while, so Governments have many powers they can use to extend security.

        Meanwhile, I was notified this am about a reduction in my energy bill from my energy supplier as the Government has plonked a windfall tax upon UK produced energy and is now dividing that up and sending out to those like myself. So, that is the reality John that you will be aware of, I trust.

        Others may want to change that reality to incorporate their political messaging, but my reality is £67/month off my energy bill, with a windfall tax upon UK produced energy to help fund. Strangely (lol) there is no contribution towards that from imported gas or oil, which is why some posters have to try and confuse the reality. I would have thought your post John, where you showed you knew the reality, would have spared you, but it would appear not. Perhaps if there was more UK production value there could be more than £67?! A quaint old concept involving arithmetic that I hope your time in education will have supplied you with the tools to use. I also hope you have the £67 coming.

  3. You mean the same pie in the sky around Angus and gas, Jono?

    Oops, there goes another rubber tree plant.

    Censorship Jono? Wash your keyboard out. Just moderation.

  4. You mean so different from the way on shore wind farms and solar farms were first established in UK?

    And then local people found they suddenly had them, and hadn’t been consulted and certainly not agreed?

    Saucy gander.


      I see your back at work now .. It’s a pity that we all have to wait until AFTER the weekend to hear your pearls of wisdom .

      I know that this type of thing ( LINK BELOW ) is what you’d expect in a dictatorship like Zimbabwe , so it will really come as a shock to the readers ……..

      BE WARNED…….. They REALLY are thinking of allowing Fracking companies to gauge public consent for FRACKING in their communities.

      DONT WORRY MARTIN , I will be hanmering this information home to everyone.

      As your response shows you’ve not read/understood the article, I’m delighted to put it forward for you again .

      ●●● FRACKING TAKE NOTE ●●●

      DRACULA may soon be put in charge of the BLOOD BANK .

  5. Hearing voices now Jack!

    Read Jack. Now, perhaps you need someone to read my posts to you, but I rely on others to be able to do that for themselves. Good things come to those that wait, Jack.

    Keep hammering away. But that is what you do to try and get the pieces to fit.

    As I stated previously, not that different from wind turbines and solar farms.

    Perhaps that is the real problem? Now the playing fields have started, why should the new one not follow the previous ones.

    • Thank you MARTIN ,

      Your OPINIONS are unimportant, because that’s exactly what they are , your own OPINIONS backed up with nothing.

      SO if you are going to say , quote , ” not that different from wind turbines and solar farms ”

      Can you PLEASE SUPPLY some credible evidence to back up your OPINIONS in the form of ” LINKS “…………. thank you

  6. [Edited by moderator]

    There will be plenty of people who are familiar with reality, like me, who may live within 1.5 km of a solar farm and were not consulted at all. Were not informed of the noise to expect from driving of posts. Were not informed that when agricultural land achieved a change of status it was a very short journey to sell neighboring land for housing-and that has since happened, and the new houses have gas central heating.

  7. [Edited by moderator]

    Meanwhile, I note today there has been another warning of potential gas shortages in UK this winter. DYOR Jack. I also note the green burning of wood pellets at Drax is now looking to be pretty dirty green. DYOR Jack. I also note OPEC+ are talking again about cutting oil production to push prices higher. DYOR Jack.

    [Edited by moderator]

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