Caution Urged Over UK Shale Gas Estimates

on June 04, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Blackpool's Shale Gas Drilling Begins

By Kiran Moodley

Following UK firm IGas’ news that a larger amount of shale gas than previously thought may be available in the north of England, the British Geological Survey (BGS) has urged caution.

IGas said there could could be between 15 and 170 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas in an area of 300 square miles in the north west of England. It estimated that the most likely amount would be 102 tcf of shale gas.

But Dr. Nick Riley of the BGS said the range of the estimate from IGas showed how unreliable the news was.

“The announcement by IGas of their estimate of a range of between 15.1 to 170 tcf of “Gas Initially In Place”…serves to demonstrate the high degree of uncertainty in calculating the UK shale gas resource even in a relatively small area,” Riley said.

“It is vital that significant exploration drilling and testing is carried out in various parts of the UK in order to reduce uncertainty about the UK shale gas resource,” he continued. “It is important to realize that a gas resource is not the same as a gas reserve. The shale gas reserve will be a fraction of the resource figure and will be dependent not only on the geology, but also socioeconomic & regulatory factors that affect the ability to produce the gas and get it to market.”

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