IGas finds shale resource off northern England

Eric Watkins
OGJ Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 15 -- IGas Energy PLC said it has identified a “significant” shale resource as potentially extending more than 1,195 sq km of its acreage in northwest England with an expected average thickness of 250 m.

“These shales are understood to be hydrocarbon-bearing as they have been locally demonstrated to be the source rock for hydrocarbons in the Liverpool Bay area,” IGas said.

The firm said that total organic carbon has been measured to range from below 0.7% to more than 5% with an average in the Holywell shales of around 2.1%.

IGas has identified independent consultants to review the hydrocarbon potential of the shales and their potential to produce gas. It said the consultants will be reporting on the results “once this work is complete.”

Meanwhile, IGas Chief Executive Officer Andrew Austin said the continuing work on understanding the full potential of the acreage to deliver gas once again gives the firm “greater confidence” in the resources it holds.

"The potential of delivering shale gas is particularly exciting, as this sector has seen significant growth in North America and increased interest across continental Europe," Austin said.

The UK is one of several countries in Europe where exploration for shale gas is being carried out by international oil and gas companies. Others include Sweden, France, Germany, Austria, Poland, and Hungary.

In addition to work by Royal Dutch Shell PLC in Sweden, ExxonMobil Corp. is exploring Lower Saxony, while OMV is testing formations near Vienna. By yearend, ConocoPhillips and 3 Legs Resources are expected to have test results from northern Poland (OGJ Online, Sept. 21, 2009).

IGas’s latest announcement coincided with reports that IGas increased its estimates of gas at its Point Of Ayr project by 7.5% to 3,823 bcf.

According to recent reports, IGas currently has enough reserves to power about 7% of Britain’s homes for the next 15 years and is targeting net production of 8,000 boe/d by the end of 2014 on 20-50 sites.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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