PEDL201 – Widmerpool Gulf

Drilling operations were completed in October 2014 on the Burton on the Wolds-1 well located on PEDL201 in Leicestershire which was drilled on a geological feature known as the Hathern Shelf, a stable platform area, evaluating a conventional oil prospect in the Rempstone sand, productive at the Rempstone oilfield to the west of PEDL201.

The well encountered the Rempstone sand in the primary reservoir which was water wet and as a result the well was plugged and abandoned.

However, a thickness of Bowland Shale was encountered during drilling, which according to studies undertaken by the British Geological Survey, has potential for unconventional resources of shale oil or gas if buried to greater depths.

Drill cutting samples of the Bowland Shale source rock collected at the well were sent for analysis to Houston based Weatherford Laboratories to determine source rock quality. Weatherford are recognised experts in source rock evaluation.

Following analysis, Weatherford concluded that the Upper Bowland-Hodder Shale interval in the Burton on the Wolds well from the East Midlands region of the UK is a very good source rock containing dominantly oil prone Type 11 organic matter.

The Bowland Shale at the site of the Burton on the Wolds-1 well is deemed, not unsurprisingly, to be thermally immature owing to its shallow depth. Source rock maturity is a function of heat flow, burial depth and time. To the north of the well location is the Hoton Fault which forms the southern boundary of the Widmerpool Trough. Regional well correlations show the Bowland Shale to be buried at a much greater depth and is believed to be thermally mature for hydrocarbon generation.

The results of the Weatherford analysis and the BGS studies suggest an unconventional shale play is present under the retained part of PEDL201.

Awards of licences adjacent to PEDL201 to other parties under the 14th Round, offer encouragement regarding the unconventional play within the area under licence.