Conisbro’ Drilling Makes ‘Oil Strike’

July 1963

South Yorkshire Times, July 27th

Conisbro’ Drilling Makes ‘Oil Strike’

“There oil in them thar hills” might be the latest catch phrase in Conisborough since workmen started drilling a bore hole at the X.L. Crisp factory in Sheffield Road really have struck oil, but in the words of secretary and director of the crisp company Mr. C. M. Wright “its not likely to be a second Trinidad strike”

Foreman of the drilling team Mr. John Lewis laughed; “we’re hoping we’ll hit an oil well but its not likely.”

He explained: “we brought up a skim of oil, you´re likely to do that drilling through shale.” the oil is neither pure enough no in sufficient quantity to amount to a “strike” but one substance the party do expect to find in quantity is water, which is the real reason for the drilling operations.

“Its a matter of economics.” said Mr. Wright “we use so much water during the cleansing and preparing process that it is cheaper to have a bore hole than to use the public supply.”

Own Well

The factory uses about 4,000 gallons of water every hour of the working day and water rates are costing the company £1,000 a year.

With their own well they could make a substantial saving and reduce the chance of a breakdown as the result of a main burst on a heavy demand on public supply during hot weather.

Using a percussion drilling process, a depth of 122 feet had been reached by Wednesday, three week after operations started, and work could go on for some time yet probably go down to 800 feet.

“It depends on the amount of water needed.” said Mr. Lewis “we’re aiming at anywhere above 10,000 gallons an hour. Eventually we hope to find an underground lake.”

When work is completed the water will be drawn up three inch diameter pipe by a submerged electric pump, to be piped to the processing department.

While records of the various rock formations brought up by the drill will be passed on to the authorities for inclusion on geological survey maps.

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