More oil is pumping at the 'Gatwick gusher' oil find -- but it's the worst drill yet

Things are progressing well at Horse Hill-1, the oil find near Gatwick airport.

The site was dubbed the “Gatwick gusher” earlier this year after UK Oil & Gas (UKOG), which owns just shy of 20% of the claimed it had discovered about 100 billion barrels of oil near Gatwick Airport. Independent analysis confirmed two months later that there is a whole glut of oil underneath the ground in the Horse Hill-1 oil field.

UKOG and its partners have had much success with two test drills in the so-called Upper Kimmeridge area of the site and on Wednesday updated investors on progress at another area — the Upper Portland sandstone field.

The latest test pumped oil but at a relatively disappointing rate. Oil was pumped at a rate of 168 barrels per day (bopd) for 9 hours. That compares to 463 bopd at a test well in the Lower Kimmeridge area and 900 bopd from a test well at the Upper Kimmeridge site yielded.

UKOG also notes in its release that the only commercial well in the Upper Portland area is the Brockham field, which is 8km away and not in the Horse Hill-1 catchment area. The Brockham field pumped an average of 117 bopd in the 1980s.

UKOG CEO Stephen Sanderson says in Wednesday’s update:

The Horse Hill well still continues to flow and perform above management’s expectations. Higher flow rates and markedly better crude quality than the Upper Portland oil from the nearby Brockham field make the HH-1’s commercial prospects very real. We look forward to the results from the optimised pumping programme.

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