West Newton is a GO!

Today’s RNS confirmed a revised drilling plan at its West Newton asset, utilising the West Newton A drilling site. It should be noted that the initial operation in 2013 encountered 27 metres of potential gas pay at the top of the Kirkham Abbey formation. After perforation and clean up, there was an initial flow but further attempts to clean up failed and the well was shut in and suspended under normal operational and safety procedures.

The plan now is to drill a new well. The WN-A3, which will be directional, offering significant cost savings compared with a horizontal well

An additional material secondary target in the deeper Permian Rotliegend Sandstone will also be evaluated during drilling of the WN-A3 or by the re-entry of WN-A1.

As mentioned in my ‘flash comments’ earlier, the Rotliegend is a geological formation found in northwest Europe, particularly in the North Sea region. It’s known for its significance in hydrocarbon exploration, especially for natural gas. The formation consists of sandstone layers deposited during the Permian period, known for their high porosity and permeability, making them excellent reservoir rocks for trapping and storing hydrocarbons. Many oil and gas fields in the North Sea are situated within the Rotliegend formation, and it has been a target for exploration and production activities for decades.

The history of Rotliegend oil drilling operations primarily revolves around exploration and production activities in the North Sea region, particularly in countries like the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Discovery and Early Exploration during the 1960s-1970s) show that the Rotliegend formation was first recognized as a significant hydrocarbon-bearing reservoir in the North Sea. Initial exploration efforts focused on mapping the geological structures and identifying potential drilling locations.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, several oil and gas fields within the Rotliegend formation were discovered and developed. Companies like Shell, BP and ExxonMobil were among those involved in drilling operations and establishing of production facilities.

Advances in drilling technology, such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing helped improve the recovery rates from Rotliegend reservoirs. These technologies allowed operators to access previously inaccessible hydrocarbon deposits and enhance production from existing wells.

Despite the maturation of some fields, exploration for new Rotliegend prospects continues, with companies employing advanced seismic imaging and drilling techniques to identify additional reserves and extend the life of existing fields.

So this could be a nice additional target to add to the drilling campaign with this revised drilling plan which is described as a cost effective and with an above average chance of success. With planning already in place for the West Newton A site and other associated approvals being accelerated, an early stage development scenario is forecast with significant cash flow if proven to be successful.

There’s no doubt Union Jack is heading in the right direction with this and their other assets. With the possibility of a higher Energy Levy on profits should we see a labour government elected and additional restrictions on any future drilling, diversifying into the US is a shrewd move by the management, removing any risk of being held back on their advance towards becoming a mid-tier oil company.

With just weeks to go, Union Jack’s first US well will spud, beginning a new era for the company to add to its UK production and revenues.

I am very confident too in David Bramhill’s goal to see the Penistone Flags drilled this year, one would have to start believing those who continue to berate this management are slowly being proven wrong.

It would seem 2024 will be a news-rich period based on 4 planned drilling operations, increased revenues, gas to grid at Wressle, gas and oil in the US, mineral royalty investment returns and more.

Exciting times lay ahead for shareholders and hopefully true value will start being seen sooner rather than later.