Gaulterís Gap oil well.
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BP have a single nodding donkey here.  The well was drilled in 1959. It used to produce about 350 barrels per day but this has now dropped to about 18 (12,000 litres).   The oil, and gas, comes from Middle Jurassic Cornbrash limestone.

There are also extensive exposures of oil shale at the nearby cliffs of Kimmeridge.   Although Kimmeridge Clay is the major source rock for the oil in the North Sea. This is not the source for the Gaulterís gap well.  The Gaulterís gap oil probably originated in the Lower Jurassic (Lias).

The total quantity of the field is believed to be 3.5 million barrels of which 2.7 million had been produced by 1986.   

Gaulter's gap caused a stir a few years ago when it appeared to have produced more oil than the original estimates for the total quantity in the field.  People wondered if it was being replenished from some deeper source, or even if they had discovered a widow's cruse of oil.  But it was not to be.  Better calculations revealed that the field was more extensive than the original estimates and was being depleted in the usual way.   

The succession in the original borehole (Brunstom, 1963) is as follows:

Lower Kimmeridge Clay

0-243m

Corallian

243-340

Oxford Clay

340-519

Kellaways Beds

519-537

Cornbrash

537-564

Forest Marble and Fuller's Earth

564-889

Inferior Oolite

889-909

Bridport Sands

909-1042

 

 

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Last modified: September 20, 2006