Angus Energy (LON:ANGS) made its AIM debut Monday having raised a comparatively modest £3.5mln – but it arrives on the junior market with some big plans.
It is worth stressing this isn’t some exploration punt targeting crude in the wild waters off West Africa.
No, it’s onshore, UK-based and focused on production and development.
Providing the upside to the base case is an asset called the Brockham Oilfield in Surrey.
It shares many geological similarities with the nearby Horse Hill discovery, over the border in Sussex and better known as the Gatwick Gusher.
In fact Angus was one of the driving forces behind Horse Hill before it divested its stake to concentrate on Brockham, one of two assets it is bringing to market.
The initial plans are fairly modest. It will perform a side-track at Brockham and drill a new horizontal well on the other licence, Lidsey, in West Sussex.
The idea is to get production up to around a ‘gross’ 400 barrels a day.
The operating expenses for these assets are between US$14-20 a barrel, meaning Angus is likely to be cash generative even at the current depressed oil price.
In drilling the side-track at Brockham, Angus will first go into the Portland sandstone, host to a known oil play that is already generating 35 barrels a day.
It will then push on into the Kimmeridge, before perforating a horizon called the Coralian.
But it’s the Kimmeridge that set the gusher at Gatwick gushing at 1,688 barrels a day.
Three discrete layers within this horizon will be of particular interest to the Angus team.
Over the last two to three decades around 30 wells have been drilled into the Kimmeridge limestones of the Weald Basin, which underlies the south and south-eastern corner of England.
However they were never tested for oil as the sedimentary rock was thought to lack the porosity required to host it.
What the experts suspect is the Kimmeridge at Horse Hill is naturally fractured, allowing oil to accumulate that when accessed flows easily to surface under its own steam.
If this model holds up then there would be no need for fracking to release this hydrocarbon bounty.
There is no guarantee that Brockham will enjoy identical geology to Horse Hill – but there is a suspicion it does; well more than that.
It is a hunch based on drilling carried out by BP, which used to own the Brockham licence.
One of Angus’ field partners, a firm called Doriemus, commissioned the consultant Nutech to make a comparative analysis of the Horse Hill-1 well and Brockham-1, sunk by BP in 1987.
It is too early to definitively assert this, but Angus believes the maturity and fracture analysis of the two have striking similarities.
We’ll find out soon – once Brockham receives the sign off from the powers that be at the Health & Safety Executive, Oil & Gas Authority and Environmental Agency.
“We know we have these limestone layers, they appear to be naturally fractured and the maturity is slightly better than Horse Hill,” says Angus managing director Paul Vonk.
“So now of course we have a great incentive to go there and assess them.”
After receiving the green light to drill the Brockham side-track the actual drilling should take roughly 10 days.
Re-entering the Portland should increase output by 150 barrels a day. If the Kimmeridge pays out in the same way it did at Horse Hill then you might add a further 1,4000 barrels to production. That’s a big deal.
“If we have the flow rates that Horse Hill had then it will be completely transformational compared with 100-150 barrels a day we are looking for from the Portland,” said Vonk.
The neat trick is Brockham is permitted for production. So, unlike Horse Hill, it could be put onto production immediately.
Horse Hill was drilled first it was an exploration well and were carried out over hours rather than weeks or days.
So it will require extensive further testing and the compilation of a field development plan before commercial production can take place.
That will take some considerable time to achieve. So in effect Brockham could leap-frog Horse Hill in the race to get oil to market.
If it finds oil, Angus wants to learn a great deal more out about potential of the Kimmeridge.
However it won’t be rushing through the gears. Slow and steady wins the day, says Vonk.
The evaluation of the zones of interest is likely to take a number of weeks as the Angus team assesses each discrete horizon.
“We are not looking for a quick result. We are looking for a comprehensive result that we can share with petroleum engineers and draw conclusions for the area around it,” he adds.
Slow and steady, maybe. But expect plenty of news flow too as Angus unravels the mystery of the Kimmeridge and potentially the wider Weald Basin.
Story by ProactiveInvestors