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Spring in step for IGas plan

UK explorer IGas is eyeing an appraisal programme for its shale gas project in northern England after recent drilling delivered “highly encouraging” results, writes Anamaria Deduleasa.

IGas said the recently drilled SR-01 exploration well at Springs Road in North Nottinghamshire hit all its target shale zones, hitting pay in the Bowland shale, the Millstone Grit and the Arundian shale.

The well, located on PEDL140 licence in the Gainsborough Trough basin, “favourably” compares to commercial shale operations observed in North America such as the Permian and the Marcellus, said the operator.

“All three targets were encountered, with 429 metres of hydrocarbon bearing shales encountered within the primary target, the Bowland shale,” IGas said.

“The core results indicate a mature, organic rich source rock with good porosity confirming favourable gas resource density. In particular, the low clay content is encouraging and an indication that hydraulic fracturing of the rock should be effective.”

Working with its joint venture partners, IGas will now consider the data in order to begin planning for both the appraisal programme and pilot development within the Gainsborough Trough, including redefining the basin model.

“We were particularly pleased with operational performance during drilling leading to the well costs coming in around 20% under budget,” said IGas chief executive Stephen Bowler.

The SR-01 well is the second in a three-well exploration drilling programme at IGas’ sites at Tinker Lane and Springs Road.

Ineos is a partner at Tinker Lane, while France's Total is a partner at Spring Road.

The first exploration well, at nearby Tinker Lane, did not find the targeted shale formation although it did find traces of shales.

IGas has not yet applied to be allowed to frack at its sites, amid little public support for fracking in the UK.

However, after the UK’s commitment, unveiled earlier this month, to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the onshore oil and gas industry argues its production will be even more vital.

“These results demonstrate that within the East Midlands we potentially have the resources to produce gas... whilst reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” Bowler argued.

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