Brockham Oilwell Site 1, Feltons Farm, Old School Lane, Brockham, Betchworth, Surrey, RH3 7JP
Based on Angus Energy website:
“The field was originally discovered by the Brockham 1 exploration well drilled in 1987 by BP which found oil in the Portland Sandstone.
Subsequently the Brockham X2 pilot hole and associated Brockham X2Z sidetrack well were drilled by SOCO and partners in 1998. The X2Z sidetrack was later abandoned having been drilled in a section of the reservoir with poor reservoir quality. As a result, the X2Z sidetrack was plugged back and the BRX2Y sidetrack drilled (in 2003). This sidetrack BRX2Y is currently producing from the Portland Sandstone.
In 2007 the BRX3 sidetrack was drilled from the original BR1 borehole and was converted into a water injector. BRX4 was also drilled that year.
In January 2017, Angus Energy drilled a sidetrack well at Brockham without planning permission, whilst describing the work as maintenance. During these operations, they have confused the wellheads and apparently encountered a health and safety issue, which necessitated a 24-hour work pattern for over 7 days. Angus then made formal complaints to Ofcom against the reporting of the unauthorised drilling by national titles, but those were dismissed.
Angus have been criticised by the Oil and Gas Authority for lack of clarity and documentation of the drilling operations, and by the Environment Agency for their operating procedures not being up to the required standard. Tim Hall, who is the chair of Surrey County Council’s Planning and Regulatory Committee called Angus “the least reliable hydrocarbon applicant we have dealt with” and expressed his frustration at how Angus and other firms are playing the regulators off against each other. Angus have not engaged with the local community in any meaningful way, but instead took out an injunction directed at persons unknown (i.e. anyone) and covering peaceful protest activities over miles of local roads.
Wells X1 and X2 (but not X4) are covered by planning permission for oil production until 2036 granted by the Surrey County Planning Authority (CPA) in May 2007 (Ref. MO 06/1294). BRX4Z received a retrospective planning permission for its drilling and a 3-year appraisal permission in August 2018. It doesn’t have planning permission for production.
Operator & Ownership Structure
Operator: Angus Energy Plc (acquired the asset in 2012)
License – PL235 (Production License)
- Angus Energy – 65%
- Terrain Energy – 10%
- Doriemus PLC – 10%
- Brockham Capital Limited – 10%
- Alba Minerals – 5%
Angus Energy plc
Angus Energy, incorporated in England and Wales on 1 June 2015, is the holding company of the Angus Group founded in 2009 by Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius, who has overseen the drilling of the high profile Horse Hill-1 well, adjacent to Gatwick airport.
Angus Energy (through its subsidiary Angus Energy Weald Basin No. 3 Ltd) owns interests in, and is the sole operator of Brockham and Lidsey oil fields. In February 2017 it purchased from Europa Oil a 12.5% interest in the Bury Hill Holmwood license. On 22 January 2018, Angus announced that it would become the operator of Cuadrilla’s Balcombe licence in West Sussex, after acquiring a 25% stake (subject to Oil and Gas Authority consent).
Angus Energy plc was admitted to the junior AIM market on 14 November 2016.
In early 2019, there was a major upheaval at the helm at Angus Energy plc. Paul Vonk was ousted as Managing Director at the end of January and replaced by hereditary peer Lord Lucan; and Cameron Buchanan has stepped down as interim Chair to be replaced by Lord Clanwilliam, another Eton educated peer. Additionally finance director Carlos Fernandes and geologist Andrew Hollis have joined the board and Rob Shepherd has departed. Jonathan Tidswell-Pretorius remains as non-board director of operations, having been found to have broken the company’s share dealing code.
Who benefits from oil production at Brockham
- Angus Energy’s shareholders and directors.
- Contractors to Angus Energy, mainly during short -term maintenance or drilling works.
- Felton’s Farm landowners. According to documents filed with the London Stock Exchange, Ms Brodie, through Brockham Capital Ltd, is receiving a six figure annual payment and has interests the Brockham and Lidsey licences in exchange for a lease over the Brockham land and the right to inject off-site water at Brockham. Angus will be obliged to make additional payments if production reaches certain levels.
- The UK government.