---ADDS TIMETABLE, SHARE PRICES AND BROKER COMMENT---
Drilling has started on what could be one of Britain’s biggest onshore oil and gas prospects in several decades.
The Horse Hill-1 well, near Gatwick, will be key to unlocking an estimated mean 671mln barrels and 456bn cubic feet of gas.
It is being drilled to a total depth of more than 8,600 feet targeting the Portland and Corallian sandstones, the Great Oolite limestone formations, as well as a deeper conventional gas target in the Triassic.
The licence is 65% owned by special purpose vehicle called Horse Hill Developments Ltd (HHDL), which is operator, while Magellan Petroleum Corporation has a 35% interest.
They aren’t alone in the venture, which also features as HHDL stakeholders David Lenigas’s UK Oil & Gas Investments (LON:UKOG), Stellar Resources (LON:STG), Doriemus (LON:DOR) and Alba Minerals (LON:ALBA).
Solo director Neil Ritson said: "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.
“The next few weeks will be an exciting phase for this investment."
Solo led the pack with a 10% gain on the back of this morning's update, UK Oil & Gas was up 4%, while Stellar and Regency succumbed to profit taking following a run up ahead of the start of work.
Assessing the impact on Solo, Barney Gray, of Old Park Lane Capital, said: "With drilling operations now underway, we anticipate regular updates over the next few weeks as drilling progresses and various oil and gas targets are probed within the well.
"In the event of a successful outcome, we would expect to see significant upside to Solo’s current share price."
*Jason Robertson, analyst at Dowgate Capital, has produced this helpful timetable that gives his best guess at how the drilling will progress.
Day 1 (3rd Sept) – Spudding
Day 13 to 15 (15th -17th Sept) - Portland oil target
Day 25 to 27 (27th Sept - 29th Sept) - Corallian oil target
Day 33 to 34 (5th/6th Oct) - Gt. Oolite oil target
Day 49 to 60 (21 Oct to 1 Nov) - Triassic gas target