The Angus Energy-led venture at the Horse Hill prospect in southern England still plan to spud the Weald basin exploration probe next month, partner Magellan Petroleum said.
The explorers plan to target Portland sandstone, Corallian sandstone and Great Oolite limestone formations, as well as a deeper Triassic gas target, with the Horse Hill 1 probe in Surrey.
While the well’s targets are conventional, the probe will have the opportunity to core and log various shale and tight formations in the Cretaceous and Jurassic sections of the Weald basin, partner Magellan Petroleum said.
The basin made headlines earlier this month on foot of a UK government report from the British Geological Society estimating that 4.4 billion barrels of shale oil may be present in the Weald.
Magellan Petroleum chief executive J Thomas Wilson said that in addition to the conventional targets the licence PEDL 137 well would provide “invaluable data for validating the BGS's findings on the shale formations and our expectations for the tight formations”.
Wilson said the explorer believes there could be additional resources in tight formations present between the thick shale packages of the Jurassic and Cretaceous sections, which were referenced but not attributed an estimate in the BGS report.
The Horse Hill area was explored by Esso’s Collendean Farm 1 well in 1964 which found “good oil shows” but which seismic re-interpretation suggests was drilled into “the wrong side of a significant fault”, the venture said previously.
Prospective recoverable resources have been estimated at 87 million barrels of oil and 164 billion cubic feet of gas.
Angus Energy will gain a 35% stake in PEDL 137 after it fully funds the Horse Hill well, while Magellan Petroleum will retain 35%.
Angus Energy's stake is part of a special purpose company named Horse Hill Development that will gain a total of 65% in the play, with smaller stakes going to Stellar Resources, Solo Oil , Doriemus and UK Oil & Gas Investments.