Significant oil flows from the Horse Hill-1 well in the Weald Basin have been welcomed by Alba Mineral Resources, Doriemus, Evocutis, UK Oil & Gas, Stellar and Solo.
They have been informed by Horse Hill Developments Limited that light, 40-degree API, sweet oil has flowed naturally to surface from an 80-foot zone within the Lower Kimmeridge limestone interval at a depth of approximately 900 metres below ground level.
Flow commenced at around 10.00am GMT yesterday at an initial instantaneous rate in excess of 700 barrels per day using a 1-inch choke, in an approximate mix of 50:50 oil to water. The well was then choked back to 32/64 inches resulting in a steady early oil rate in excess of 463 barrels of oil per day over a further 7.3-hour period, in an approximate mix of over 99% oil and less than 1% water.
The Lower Kimmeridge flow period is planned to continue today at 0700 following an overnight shut-in from 1900 Monday. Upon completion, Phase 2 and Phase 3 operations will move to the shallower Upper Kimmeridge limestone and Portland sandstone zones at approximately 840 and 615 metres below ground level, respectively.
The HH-1 discovery well, the original exploration drilling phase originally completed at the end of 2014, is located within onshore exploration Licence PEDL137, on the northern side of the Weald Basin near Gatwick Airport. Evocutis owns a 1.3% interest in PEDL137.
Evocutis executive chairman Hamish Harris said: "These early results are very encouraging and have more than vindicated the board's decision to participate in the project. We look forward to further progress as further developments proceed."
Doriemus executive chairman Donald Strang said: "This is very exciting news for the Company. We look forward to further positive news as the project develops."
Alba's chief executive, Mike Nott, commented: "We consider these results to be a significant event for Alba, for the HHDL consortium and for onshore oil exploration in the United Kingdom.
"The test, the first ever in the Lower Kimmeridge limestone, provides incontrovertible proof that significant quantities of moveable oil exist within the Kimmeridge section and can be brought to surface at excellent flow rates. In this case from a vertical well with minimal stimulation. "While these flow rates are significantly in excess of our most optimistic expectations, we understand from HHDL that they can likely be significantly improved via the use of a horizontal well and appropriate conventional reservoir stimulation techniques.
"We look forward to more news from the final test results from the Lower Kimmeridge limestone and the remaining tests. We understand that HHDL will be starting the regulatory permit process so we can return to the well to demonstrate sustainable commercial production."