Exploring West Sussex geology
with David Bone
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Equipment & brief risk assessment


Brief description

Whilst we are not allowed access to the site, we can stand outside the perimeter fence and see the “nodding donkeys” extracting oil from deep underground. We will discuss why and where oil is found in West Sussex and the details of the Singleton operation.


The Singleton oil field was discovered in 1989 and two production wells were drilled in 1991 to a depth of approx. 4,100 feet. There are now six wells producing about 600 barrels of oil per day (1 barrel = approx. 35 gallons).The bores deviate to the south with up to 2,000 feet horizontally drilled through the reservoir rock of Great Oolite limestone. The site is currently being expanded with a new multi-lateral horizontal production well to the south-west. This is 16,800 feet in length with 4,000 feet of it within the reservoir. Further development will increase production up to 1,000 barrels per day and, ultimately, 1,500 barrels per day. Singleton has produced 3.7 million barrels of oil since 1989 an has an estimated capacity of 107 million barrels of oil with a potential recovery factor of 10%.