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Cuadrilla announces successful completion of Balcombe drilling operations

26 September 2013

On September 23, UK onshore oil and gas exploration company Cuadrilla confirmed the success of its initial drilling operations in West Sussex. The company said it had started the removal of drilling equipment from the site and expected to have removed all equipment by September 28.

The Cuadrilla drilling site near Blacombe - Photo: Cuadrilla
The Cuadrilla drilling site near Blacombe - Photo: Cuadrilla

A company press release gave the following details:

"On-site operations involved the drilling of a vertical exploration well to an approximate depth of 2,700ft, collecting 294ft of rock samples (“core”) on the way. We also carried out a set of advanced petrophysical logs which provide valuable data about the characteristics of the underground rock and the fluids contained in those rocks.

"As per UK requirements, cores from the vertical well have already been divided between Cuadrilla and the British Geological Survey, who maintain a record of all UK drilling.

"In addition to the vertical well a horizontal well was drilled through the middle Kimmeridge Micrite which is a band of limestone rock within the Kimmeridge Clay Formation.  A total distance of some 1700ft of horizontal drilling was achieved, drilling in a direction of just south of due west under the Balcombe estate. Using geo-steering technology, the entire 1700ft was successfully drilled within the target limestone.

"Along with the operational drilling success achieved at Balcombe the well also confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons.  Whilst further testing will be required to determine flow rates, Andrew Quarles, Cuadrilla’s Exploration Director said that “the well was a success and we are very encouraged by the findings so far.”

"Francis Egan, Cuadrilla CEO, said: 'The well is now closed off for the coming months as Cuadrilla applies for planning permission to come back and test flow rates. We appreciate that the Balcombe community has had to bear the strain of protest, as have our on-site and support team and contractors. We commend West Sussex County Council and the Police for both facilitating peaceful protest and preserving order'.”

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