UK county council validates two IGas exploratory shale wells

Drilling rig
Source: DollarPhotoClub

The UK shale driller IGas has had its planning permission to drill two exploratory wells on land off Springs Road, about 70 km east of Manchester, approved by Nottinghamshire County Council after it has “met all of NCC’s requirements.” The proposal covers works to drill two exploratory wells in order to evaluate the geology in the local area and begin the process of assessing its potential for shale gas recovery.

IGas plans to drill a vertical well to a depth of approximately 3,500 metres and then – if results turn out to be encouraging – a second well may be drilled, initially vertically before being directed horizontally in a southerly direction within one of the potentially productive horizons.

Sally Gill, planning manager for Nottinghamshire County Council told Redford Times: “IGas is seeking permission to explore for shale gas on this site, which would involve test drilling at Springs Road, to the north-east of Misson. The application does not include any proposal to carry out fracking.

“If permission is granted, the test drilling would allow IGas to evaluate the potential resource of shale gas trapped beneath the surface. Depending on the results of the test drilling, IGas may, or may not, seek permission to extract the shale gas using fracking, but that would require a separate planning application which would be subject to further consultation.”

IGas embarked on a community engagement process that began in early 2014, including the formation of a Community Liaison Group (CLG), providing community representatives with a forum to meet with members of the IGas project team, discuss the proposals and make recommendations. There have also been two public information events to give residents the opportunity to find out more about activity at the proposed site. Further events will be held during the consultation process.

According to a statement issued by the company, IGas has already incorporated the feedback they have received into the application in areas including heritage, lighting, health, and landscape character and visual impact.

Commenting on the news Stephen Bowler, CEO of IGas, said: “The drilling of the wells at Springs Road would be an important step in helping us to understand the shale gas potential in North Nottinghamshire and more widely in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire. Natural gas, including gas produced from shale, is important not only for electricity generation, but also for heating over 80% of UK homes and providing feedstock for key manufacturing processes. It is vital that the UK identifies new sources of gas if it is to safeguard the UK’s security of supply, with locally sourced gas also having a positive impact on the environment, jobs and the economy.

“As part of our commitment as a responsible operator, we have listened to the local community and have routed traffic north of the site away from the village of Misson. I would encourage local residents to come and talk to us at our events which we will be holding over the coming weeks so they can be reassured that this project will be carried out safely and environmentally sensitively.”

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