What’s likely for 2024, what’s not and why!

There’s no doubt in my mind that 2024 will be extremely positive on operations.

Based on David Bramhill’s latest interview and recent RNS announcements, West Newton will get drilled this year. This prospect potentially contains one of the biggest gas discoveries onshore UK in half a century.  As announced on 29 September 2022, the Competent Person’s Report on West Newton confirmed gross 2C unrisked technically recoverable resources of 197.6 bcf of sales gas, with an estimated 86% geological chance of success. This is a substantially high cos and bodes well for the drilling operation. The anticipated recoverable gas resource at West Newton will have the potential to meet the daily gas demands of over 380,000 homes in the UK for many years to come. Based on OFGEM data indicating that an average 3-bedroom UK home consumes 7.9 Kwh/day of electricity and 32.9 Kwh/day of natural gas.

Wessle as I have previously written about was also mentioned, again, intent to drill this year.

So, West Newton and Wressle (Penistone Flags) are on the cards for the UK assets, these I believe will be the only two UK assets developed pre-election.

I look at the ultimate benefits of all the assets and I feel West Newton and Wressle are the two most important to be commenced before a possible government change and the likelihood that a Labour government would restrict further drilling/development. The three JV partners in Wressle need to maintain the cash flow, there’s no doubt when it comes to the Ashover Grit and the Penistone Flags, these are the ongoing, decade plus cash cows and need to be prioritised.

West Newton, if successful will be a game changing, company making asset. It is too big to leave in the hope things don’t change politically. It needs to be mobilised and that drill cutting into the surface later this year.

I see many people shouting ‘what about Biscathorpe, what about Keddington’?

Well, the sad fact in my opinion is Biscathorpe is going to be subject to an objection to the planning approval which will delay any work there way past the general election. As good as this asset is, it cannot be prioritised in the same vein as the other two aforementioned. With Keddington, I do believe it is purely a case of there or Wressle. Egdon have their own projects outside of the JV with Union Jack, they only have so many hands and Keddington is likely way down the list now, regardless of their assurances last year that they would hope to drill this in late 2023 and early 2024. I would be very surprised to see any progress there this year.

North Kelsey is a dead duck for now, again in my opinion, probably best forgotten.

Not forgetting Union Jacks US assets where the company does not rely on year long waits for planning permissions and equipment availability, we can certainly look forward to the looming Andrews-1 well in a few weeks time and potentially additional wells in between that and the recently announced Wilzetta well.

So, 2024 – this is the summary of my ‘likely’ events:

The Penistone Flags

West Newton

The Andrews-1 well

The Wilzetta Fault

Any additional wells with Reach in Oklahoma

Whilst this is all being brought to fruition, the company remains in receipt of revenue streams from both Wressle and Keddington, remains profitable and remains debt free.