Oil be dammed! It’s been a rather hectic two weeks in Lenigas-land.
The well has “gushed” in style. (By the way, gusher is a proper oil dude term if you care to look it up).
Do you remember some of those headlines from back in 2015?
‘New Gatwick Oil Gusher Means Nothing Says Expert’ (June 2015). Pah! Critchlow at The Telegraph, and so called ‘expert’ Matthew Jurecky, of GlobalData – time to eat your words!
And what about this – ‘Gatwick oil gusher claims ‘wildly optimistic’ warns expert’ (Apr 2015). Oh that will be Critchlow again, and his gloomy sidekick Jurecky. Critchlow no longer works at the Telegraph.
And there are quite a few others that can join those two.
Well yes, I have to admit the amount of oil flowing to surface has surprised even me. And I’m the eternal optimist.
On 16 February UK Oil and Gas Plc (UKOG) was able to report that that oil graded as “light, 40 degree API, sweet” flowed naturally from an 80-foot Lower Kimmeridge limestone layer at around 900-metres below ground.
To start with there was a 50:50 mix of water and oil gushing from a one-inch choke. When the flow was choked back to a half an inch that flow improved to 99% oil after the old drilling fluids spewed out.
On 17 February UKOG reported that the flow had continued at a rate of over 450 barrels per day, which is even better than anybody had expected, for nine and a half hours, and from a slightly smaller choke with absolutely no water.
From what I can find out the UK hasn’t seen a well like Horse Hill since 1981 when BP’s Welton well flowed at 500 barrels a day. And I think Welton was pumped not gushed.
The response has been amazing. Not just because the hard working and dedicated team led by the great Stephen Sanderson has been vindicated. But because finally the world has got to hear about, and learn about what lies beneath the Weald, and the huge implications for the UK.
My favourite newspaper, The Economist, even quoted Stephen saying “With the right investment the Weald Basin, the surrounding area to which the company has access, could produce 10-15% of Britain’s daily oil demand in a decade or so.”
The Economist is read by 5 Million people around the world each week (as well as a further 2.5 Million online). I happen to know that Obama and Cameron receive their own personal copies first thing every Friday morning.
There are even more oil zones to test over the coming weeks!
No idea how they are going to go, but the infamous Balcombe well south of Horse Hill, renowned for people protesting, over “we don’t want oil in the UK only wonderful wind, solar and wave power”, produced oil from the same limestones as the Horse Hill test zone. And the Portland sandstone is the Portland.
Imagine the potential of Horse Hill with an “Octopus Style” drill pad with 18 horizontal wells each tapping 2,000 feet of this limestone instead of the mere 80 feet currently under test. And Steve wants to bury the facilities as his preferred plan so the locals won’t even see the joint.
I’m mighty pleased with the work of our esteemed lads at UKOG over the past ten days. The gusher has certainly made a lot of non-believers and city folk blush and I’m looking forward to more great news in the weeks, months and years to come.
Surely Her Majesty’s Government must be now taking the onshore oil potential a lot more seriously now, Brexit or no Brexit.
Energy self sufficiency will make Britain “Great.”