Angus Energy and Cuadrilla have come together for the controversial Balcombe oil field in southern England
Angus Energy Plc. has teamed up with UK fracker Cuadrilla for the controversial Balcombe oil field in southern England. The Balcombe project is a controversial one as it was at the centre of high profile anti-fracking protests back in 2013. The AIM-quoted company has agreed to acquire a 25 per cent stake in Balcombe. It is paying £2 million upfront and a further £2 million upon approval of the transaction by the UK Oil & Gas Authority. It will also pay for the test of the horizontal Balcombe-2Z well.
In a stock market statement, Angus said that the planned operations will be classed as ‘conventional production’ and added there will be no fracking at the Balcombe site. Paul Vonk of Angus said Balcome-2Z will add to the company’s knowledge base and understanding of the Kimmeridge play which is being tested by a number of wells including the Horse Hill project and Broadford Bridge well. He said that this transaction complements the company’s existing asset base and aligns with its goal of enhancing shareholder value. Vonk added that this joint venture is an important milestone as Angus executes its business plan and that both the new partnership and Cuadrilla's and Lucas' recognition of Angus Energy's ability to manage and execute operations in a safe and efficient manner at Balcombe are gratifying to the entire team.
Meanwhile, Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said that following the approval of its planning application to flow test and monitor the existing horizontal exploration well at Lower Stumble, Cuadrilla is delighted to form this new partnership with Angus Energy, an existing and successful operator in the area. He said that this agreement will enable the testing works to be undertaken in a timely way and to the highest standards, whilst Cuadrilla also continues to focus on its shale gas operations in the North West.
Earlier, Cuadrilla had drilled down the area, which is part of the Weald basin, but decided against fracking after the discovery of naturally fractured limestone target rocks and advanced its interests in North West England. Meanwhile, many other companies have reported significant oil potential within naturally fractured zones which also includes a well at the Horse Hill site.
Meanwhile, Angus already has stakes in the Lidsey and Brockham oil fields, where Kimmeridge zones are present, and has a deal to take a stake in the Holmwood project which directly neighbours Horse Hill.