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Drilling begins at West Newton

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Oilfield Technology,

Rathlin Energy has announced that drilling has started at the West Newton B site in East Yorkshire, UK.

West Newton covers 176 000 acres and could represent the largest UK onshore oilfield discovery in decades, after revealing a significant liquid and gas development opportunity with two hydrocarbon discoveries.

The wellsite and access track construction work has now been completed. All permits and permissions are in place to commence conductor drilling operations and any pre-operational conditions have been satisfied.

The active area of the site has been fully lined with an impermeable HDPE membrane and a surface water discharge system has been installed which allows for environmental isolation of the wellsite. Two drilling cellars have been installed. Northern Power Grid has completed the electrical connection to the site which will allow the operations to utilise mains electrical power for site requirements, rather than diesel generators, where possible.

On Monday 17 August 2020, the conductor rig and associated equipment was mobilised to site. Conductor drilling operations be conducted Monday - Saturday between the hours of 07:00 - 18:00.

The conductor rig will drill to a depth of approximately 80 m into the Cretaceous chalk where steel casing will be installed and cemented to surface. The conductor casing will provide a stable base for the main drilling rig and protect surface formations during the drilling operations. Following completion of this phase of operations, the conductor rig will be demobilised and the site prepared for arrival of the main drilling rig.

The main drilling rig will be mobilised to the site and rigged up over a period of one to two weeks in preparation to drill the main borehole to a depth of approximately 2000 m. Once the drilling operation starts it will continue 24 hours a day. Site access will also be required 24-hours a day, seven days a week, however, most deliveries shall be planned for daytime hours.

The drilling operations will continue for six to ten weeks. Once completed, the drilling rig will be demobilised from the site over a period of approximately one week.

The information gathered during the drilling of West Newton B-1 will inform a subsequent programme of well testing to establish productive capability and any future drilling operations.

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