Total abandons first shale gas exploration project in Denmark

Total logo against blue sky
Source: WikiCommons, Laurent Vincenti.

French gas giant Total is pulling out of its shale gas exploration project in northern Jutland, Denmark, the Danish Energy Agency (Energistyrelsen) said yesterday. The Vendsyssel-1 well, Denmark’s first ever fracking project, is 80 percent owned by Total and 20 percent by Denmark’s state oil company Nordsofonden.

Total confirmed the presence of gas but said it failed to find sufficient shale gas deposits to justify further exploration, as the thickness of the layer was smaller than expected. According to the company, the shale gas reserves found in northern Jutland were around 40 metres thick – half as thick as what would be needed for extraction.

In a press release the Energy Agency wrote “The drilling results have not fulfilled the company’s expectations to the reservoir conditions and seam thickness. There will therefore be no further work with the drilling, which is now shut down permanently”.

Total’s license runs to June 2016 and the company said it is considering other exploration projects in northern Jutland.

Total spokesman Henrik Nicolaisen told news agency Ritzau “We now need to make some considerations on what we will do from here. There are two options: either one continues with new test drilling in a new location or one stops” adding that the company had already spent 300 million kroner ($44 million) on the Vendsyssel exploration.

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