IGas ups shale estimates after promising results at Barton Moss

Natural gas drilling worksite with dramatic sky.
Source: Nightman1965-Fotolia.com

IGas Energy has upgraded its shale gas estimates in the North of the UK to somewhere between 50 and 352 trillion cubic metres of gas after positive results at it’s new Barton Moss exploration well.

IGas estimated gross gas-initially-in-place (GIIP) in a range between 50 and 352tcf, with the ‘most likely’ estimate set at 192tcf. The net GIIP is estimated between 34 and 263tcf, and the ‘most likely’ figure is 147tcf.

The company’s prior estimates were pitched between 15 and 172tcf, with 102tcf deemed ‘most likely’.

Following the test, IGas believes that the Bowland Shale, on top of which the Barton Moss site is located, is similar in its structure to the prolific Marcellus and Fayetville shales in the U.S. The permeability of shale rocks at the Bowland is also high when compared to U.S. shales.

Permeability is defined as a measure of the ability of a porous medium, such as that found in a hydrocarbon reservoir, to transmit fluids, such as gas, oil, water, in response to a pressure differential across the medium. Unconventional resources are most often found in accumulations where permeabiliby is low. High permeability of the Bowland shale might mean that it will require less stimulation to produce hydrocarbons.

“The results of Barton Moss well are encouraging in respect of the shale potential of the area as they have helped further refine the existing basin models and verify the earlier preliminary prognosis,” chief executive Andrew Austin said in a statement.

“Our work in the north-west continues with seismic acquisition, site selection and the up-coming well at Ellesmere Port,” he added.

IGas is currently Britain’s biggest shale outfit after it took over the rival Dart Energy in May this year, in a deal reportedly worth £117.1mln. Together the firms have over 1mln acres in Britain’s major shale basins.

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