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Oil Borings, Midlothian

Volume 154: debated on Monday 15 May 1922

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asked the Secretary for Mines if oil has been struck in D'Arcy bore, Midlothian; what is the depth; whether the strata reached are oil bearing; and what is likely to be the quantity of oil delivered per hour?

Oil was met with on 6th May in the D'Arcy borehole at a depth of 1,810 feet, and the oil bearing formation was penetrated to a depth of 10 feet. By 9th May the oil had risen 170 feet in the borehole, the diameter of which is 8 inches. The oil is of excellent quality, with a high percentage of petrol, kerosene and lubricating oils. It will probably be necessary to instal a pump before an estimate of the yield can be arrived at.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that at West Calder, although oil was struck, the quantities first issuing from the boring did not continue, and are the experts satisfied, when we have struck oil here, that it is likely to continue?

I should be very reluctant to say anything of the kind. The hon. Gentleman knows what a precarious thing it is.

Can the right hon. Gentleman say if the force of the oil is sufficient without requiring a pump?

I have already said that it will probably require a pump to bring it to the surface.


asked the Secretary for Mines what has been the total cost of the bore at West Calder, now abandoned, and of the bore at D'Arcy, Midlothian, up to the present; and how much more money will require to be spent before operations cease?

It is difficult to furnish definite particulars of the actual cost of individual borings which form part of the general scheme to drill for oil undertaken by Messrs. S. Pearson and Son under their agreement with His Majesty's Government. The estimated cost of the boring at West Calder to 31st December, 1921, may be put at £50,202, and of the D'Arcy Well at £42,298. These sums include a proportion of all overhead charges. The West Calder boring has now been abandoned at a depth of 3,918 feet, and drilling has been suspended at D'Arcy owing to oil having been met with at a depth of 1,810 feet. The further expenditure necessary should be very small, and it is hoped that it may be found possible to turn the D'Arcy Well over to commercial interests on favourable terms.