Alba Mineral Resources PLC’s (LON:ALBA) Horse Hill stablemate UK Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UKOG) revealed that drilling is now proceeding confidently after a coring programme has identified the “sweet spot” in the Portland reservoir.
The brief programme saw the operator analyse and measure the Portland via the vertical pilot hole, prior to an imminent switch to horizontal drilling through the most productive portion of the reservoir.
In a statement on Tuesday, UKOG described oil “bleeding profusely from core throughout the sweet spot”, which it said is in the Upper Portland’s most porous, permeable and productive interval.
It noted that the recovered core is being analysed further in a Surrey lab and it expects the findings will “directly impact” possible increased oil in place and recoverable oil volumes.
Going forward, the drill team will plug the vertical hole to the ‘kick-off point’ from which horizontal drilling will begin. The programme will utilise ‘geo-steering’ in order to ensure the well remains within the identified sweet spot.
UKOG chief executive Stephen Sanderson said: "The HH-2 coring programme has delivered its key short-term goal of defining the Portland reservoir's sweet-spot, the most porous and permeable vertical zone within the oil pool.
“We can now confidently proceed ahead to drill the HH-2 horizontal trajectory wholly within the most oil productive part of the Portland, the zone capable of delivering the significant flow rates we seek."
Alba executive chairman George Frangeskides, meanwhile, added: "It is good to hear that the coring programme has been successfully completed and that this has assisted in the identification of the Portland Sandstone's sweet spot.
“This should certainly now enhance the prospects for the forthcoming drilling of the HH-2z horizontal section."
Alba owns an 11.765% interest in Horse Hill Developments Limited (HHDL), the operator and 65% stakeholder in Horse Hill.
UKOG, via shareholding in HHDL and direct interests at project level, holds some 85.635% of the Horse Hill project.