UK Oil & Gas Investments plc announced Tuesday that oil flows in excess of 900 barrels per day have been achieved from a second zone at the Horse Hill-1 discovery in the UK’s weald basin. The latest developments at Horse Hill are a shot in the arm for the UK onshore oil and gas industry that could lead to the potential creation of hundreds of jobs in the sector.
Originating from an 88-foot aggregate perforated zone within the Upper Kimmeridge limestone interval, at a depth of approximately 2,755 feet below ground level, the 100 percent dry, 40-degree API, light, sweet oil flowed freely to surface without pumping. Oil initially flowed to surface at Horse Hill-1 in February from an 80-foot zone within the Lower Kimmeridge limestone interval, at a depth of approximately 3,000 feet below ground level, at an initial rate in excess of 700 barrels per day in an approximate mix of 50:50 oil to water. This rate was eventually stabilized to just over 456 barrels per day, consisting of dry oil with zero water.
Following the latest flows from the Upper Kimmeridge limestone interval, the combined average stable output from the Upper and Lower Kimmeridge zones is now over 1,360 bopd. On completion of the Upper Kimmeridge test, operations will move to the shallower Portland sandstone zone at approximately 2,017 feet below ground level.
Commenting on the Horse Hill-1 rates, Stephen Sanderson, UKOG’s executive chairman, said in a company statement:
“This test provides unequivocal proof of concept for the company’s new Kimmeridge limestone oil play. The two Kimmeridge flow tests have not only shown that moveable oil exists within the Kimmeridge, but more importantly, that it can be extracted at commercial rates even from vertical wells without significant stimulation.
“This result is therefore very significant for the company and the Weald Basin of the UK. The Kimmeridge play has moved from science project into the zone of commercial reality. The well's natural aggregate flow rate from the Kimmeridge limestones of 1,360 bopd looks to be one of the highest natural flow rates recorded in a UK onshore wildcat well since the Wytch Farm discovery in the 1970s. It should be noted that the planned use of horizontal appraisal and development wells may further significantly enhance production flow rates seen to date.
“Following the final flow test in the overlying Portland, Horse Hill Developments Limited now plan to move full speed ahead to obtain the necessary permissions to return to the well, drill a horizontal sidetrack and conduct long term production tests.”
Solo Oil plc Chairman Neil Ritson commented in a company statement:
"This result, coming shortly after the successful test of the Lower Kimmeridge limestone, is a clear and unequivocal demonstration of the potential of this exciting new play. Two zones independently testing at high natural flow rates clearly indicates that oil can be extracted at high rates even from vertical wells without significant stimulation. The results obtained to date are truly ground-breaking and move the Kimmeridge limestone play in the Weald Basin firmly in the direction of commercial production."
In an independent report last year, Schlumberger calculated that 10.993 billion barrels of mean oil in place was imbedded within the 55 square miles of the PEDL137 and PEDL246 Horse Hill licenses. Schlumberger’s estimates build on the company’s previous petrophysical evaluation of the Horse Hill-1 well, located in PEDL137 near to London Gatwick Airport, which estimated the gross OIP for the Jurassic section of the UK’s HH-1 well to be approximately 271 million barrels of oil per square mile.
UKOG owns a 20.163 percent interest in PEDL137, with Solo Oil holding a 6.5 percent stake.
The development at Horse Hill could lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs in the coming years. Wytch Farm, which produced an average of 20,000 barrels per day in 2013, is one of three onshore oilfields in southern England operated by Perenco that already employ around 650 people.
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