History has a habit of repeating itself and I couldn’t help feeling a spot of déjà vu as the trucks started rolling out of Horse Hill laden with oil again. Second time in a fortnight!
It’s now gushing at over twice the rate as last time. 900 plus barrels a day no less. Add that to the 463 barrels a day from the other week, and that’s a lot of oil. Each tanker is nearly 200 barrels, so that 7 tankers a day at for both oil zones. That’s a lot of full petrol tanks.
And hopefully more oil to come from the next test zone.
Horse Hill is beginning to look like a game-changer for the UK oil industry. Horse Hill is now flowing better than the Wytch Farm discovery well, currently the biggest onshore oil field in Western Europe.
Which got me thinking.
You may have missed it, buried in the back pages of the newspapers this weekend, but there’s a quiet debate going on about Europe. Are you in? Out? On the fence?
Well I’m an Aussie so it’s not for me to say. But my wife and daughter are British, and whatever the Brits decide on Jun 23 will affect our family, and generations to come.
So the stakes are high.
Now as I see it the arguments for and against Europe fall into two categories. Financial arguments – trade, tariffs, economy, and jobs. And sovereignty arguments – laws, Eurocrats, and accountability.
It’s a complex issue, with passionate arguments on both sides, which is why I suppose so many people are still ‘sitting on the fence’. Do you sacrifice sovereignty and making your own laws, for easier trade and better tariffs?
Now as a man from down under I have a couple of observations here.
The UK is a proud and great country. Britain used to rule the waves and had a lot of the old world under its wings. Growing up in Oz, it was a dream to come to London, and make a success.
Now my experience over the past few years had been interesting. I suppose I rather expected a more positive spirit of entrepreneurialism. I expected a rather less bureaucratic business culture. And I expected more proactive politicians.
So here’s my beef. Horse Hill could make a big difference to the UK. With the low oil price and the cost of production it could start punching its own weight with the likes of the North Sea. Technology means that techniques that were simply not available to BP and Esso a generation ago can now be used with spectacular effect. Once they start drilling horizontal wells down there, this is going to look completely different.
According to the Beeb yesterday every job in the oil industry directly affects 3.4 further jobs. And the impact on the economy could be worth £Billions.
So Mr Osborne (by the way I happen to admire the work you have done straightening out this country’s finances): once you have stopped fannying around with the Brexit it’s high time to get serious about the UK’s onshore oil industry.
Dynamic companies like UK Oil and Gas Plc need the Government to step up. They need simpler permitting and supportive regulations.
The rule book is being ripped up as we speak. The world is changing. You move too slowly, you fall off.
Let’s get that oil flowing, let’s get that economy moving, and let’s help the UK rediscover its inner mojo.