An Angus Energy-led venture has spud an exploration well on the Horse Hill prospect in the UK's onshore Weald basin.
Venture partners revealed on Wednesday that drilling had started on the Horse Hill-1 well in Surrey north of Gatwick Airport.
The well will be drilled to a total depth of 2646 metres and test a number of conventional stacked oil targets in the Jurassic Portland sandstone, Corallian sandstone and Great Oolite limestone formations, as well as a deeper conventional gas target in the Triassic.
The partners also plan to core and log various shale and tight formations in Cretaceous and Jurassic sections of the Weald basin on foot of the recent UK government report suggesting significant shale oil potential in the basin.
"We are very pleased that drilling operations are now underway on this exciting prospect that has both oil and gas targets that have proved to be productive for oil elsewhere in the basin,” Solo Oil executive director Neil Ritson said.
UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) chairman David Lenigas said the probe would be “one of the first wells drilled in this part of the Weald Basin to test for the potential for conventional gas in the deeper Triassic formations”.
The prospect has been estimated to hold 341 barrels of original oil in place and 234 billion cubic feet of original gas in place, with prospective recoverable resources of 87 million barrels of oil and 164 billion cubic feet of gas.
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.
Angus Energy is the largest shareholder in Horse Hill Developments, which is gaining a 65% share in PEDL 137 in return for fully carrying licence holder Magellan Petroleum, which retains the other 35%.
Angus Energy owns 40% of Horse Hill Development, with smaller stakes held by UKOG (20%), Stellar Resources (10%), Solo Oil (10%), Doriemus (10%), Alba Mineral Resources (5%) and Regency Mines (5%).