Back in 1987 BP, one of the great global oil majors, found oil at the base of the Surrey Hills just outside the M25. The nodding donkeys at the Brockham X1 oil well have been quietly pumping Portland oil for the UK economy for 14 years now.
But did they miss something? I think so.
Brockham X1 is a deep well. Nearly 7,000 feet. BP drilled straight through the the Kimmeridge limestones that were the secret to this year’s spectacular success at Horse Hill, only five miles away near Gatwick Airport.
Horse Hill was fondly nicknamed the “Gatwick gusher.” That’s pretty accurate because it really did gush.
Nearly 1,700 barrels of Britain’s finest black gold gushed to surface at Horse Hill. Open up the choke to full bore and it’s anyone’s guess what it would have gushed. The biggest oil hit for a single well in British onshore history.
At 41 API, it’s an even better brew than North Sea Brent at 38 API. That means (for the non oil folk amongst us) better quality and better price.
And it wasn’t just BP who may have missed the potential of this extraordinary deposit. That other global major Esso actually drilled not one but two wells at Horse Hill in the 1960’s and didn’t realise the potential of the Kimmeridge limestones either. They never even tested the limestones!
Cock up? Or conspiracy? There is indeed an argument for both.
These big oil guys have budgets bigger than some small countries and buildings full of really smart people. They drilled straight through it and never bothered to perforate it!
I suppose we will never know why they never tested the Kimmeridge.
Horse Hill has been a great success. With North Sea oil in rapid decline and jobs in Aberdeen being slashed there’s never been a more important time for UK oil.
The IEA is warning that “the world risks becoming ever more reliant on Middle Eastern oil.”
Blighty needs to keep the lights on, and the wheels of industry turning.
Brexit elevates the issue, but importantly presents a huge opportunity. The UK can and should prioritise home grown oil, energy security, and the UK Government needs to streamline and fast track the approval processes.
At the end of the day we’re talking about money into the exchequer and people’s jobs and livelihoods.
The oil in the Weald is a game changer. Things are about to get very interesting down in the Weald Baisin.
Nutech and Schlumberger say there is a huge amount of oil under Surrey and Sussex. This needs to be a national priority. Every country cries out for energy security. Oil will continue to be an essential part of the overall energy mix, alongside solar, wind, hydro, gas, and nuclear.
Answer – Doriemus has a 10% direct working interest in Brockham and I’m going drilling for black gold again. Plus, I’m back on the famous Horse Hill Syndicate.
Nutech and I have been through all the drill logs and analysis from the Weald Basin. They tell a story.
The logs from Brockham X1 bear a striking resemblance to Horse Hill. Almost the same thicknesses of juicy Kimmeridge limestones can be seen in both wells. A little known fact is there are actually three of them, not two. Horse Hill only tested the two upper limestones that were 100 feet thick. They never tested the Kimmeridge Micrite (Limestone) three because it was only about 30 feet thick. But it looks like there’s oil there too.
Unlike Horse Hill, Brockham has the great advantage of already being a producing UK oil field. So any new oil drilled could be put straight into production and immediately added to the UK’s domestic oil supply.
It’s time to test the Kimmeridge limestones at Brockham. The plan is to do it as soon as possible. This year.
No need to drill a new well, just a short cheap side-track from one of the existing wells within the Brockham fence. And it can be drilled in a week, not months like Horse Hill.
The good lads at Angus Energy have been busy upgrading the surface facilities at Brockham expecting a big uplift from the rather dull 50-100 barrels a day that Brockham has been sucking out of the Portland for last 14 years.
Success at Brockham will help not only my old mates at UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc, as they have a small stake in Brockham. It will also help prove once and for all the thesis that there’s a serious amount of recoverable oil in the Weald.
So to the mighty BPs and Essos of the world – let’s see what you never discovered!
The proof of the pudding will be in the eating, and we’re about to find out.