Foreign Interest in UK Shale Gas Steps Up
Onshore UK looks to be on its way to becoming a major region of interest for large energy companies hoping to exploit shale gas resources after GDF Suez S.A. made a deal with Dart Energy Corp. to farm into some of Dart's licenses that cover the Bowland Basin in northwest England.
The French company's move into the Bowland shale, as well as a few of Dart's coal-bed methane projects, followed UK integrated energy firm Centrica’s own Bowland Basin deal with Cuadrilla Resources this summer.
The gigantic gas resources estimated to exist within the Bowland Basin are enough explanation on their own to justify the interest from major energy companies. The Bowland Basin is believed by the British Geological Survey to hold as much as 1,300 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of shale gas; Cuadrilla's licenses are estimated to contain some 300 Tcf while Dart is thought to be sitting on around 110 Tcf in its Bowland licenses.
However, the UK's positive political climate towards shale gas is also encouraging those international firms wanting to develop shale gas in Europe to look to the country as other European nations vacillate over drilling for unconventional hydrocarbons.
In GDF's own country, President Francois Holland (elected for a seven-year term in 2012) stated in July this year: "As long as I am president, there will be no shale gas exploration in France."
This policy by the French President might also explain why the country's leading oil and gas business, Total S.A., has also expressed an interest in the UK's burgeoning shale gas industry. Total Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie was reported at the start of October to have said that his company is in talks to take a stake in a UK project and is also considering bidding in next year's onshore licensing round.
Indeed, the Total Chief Executive called on the ban on hydraulic fracturing for shale gas in his homeland to be lifted in February this year.
View Full Article
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Generated by readers, the comments included herein do not reflect the views and opinions of Rigzone. All comments are subject to editorial review. Off-topic, inappropriate or insulting comments will be removed.
- Total Starts Up Antwerp Refinery And Petrochem Complex After Upgrade (Nov 30)
- Hoegh LNG: Pakistan LNG Import Project Consortium Folds (Nov 16)
- France's Total Buys Engie's LNG Business For $1.5B (Nov 08)
Company: GDF Suez more info
- UK Awards 27 Blocks for Shale Exploration in Latest Licensing Round (Aug 18)
- European Majors Team Up to Explore Arctic (Apr 21)
- GDF Suez Says Natural Gas Discovery Made in Southeast Algeria (Apr 20)
Company: Cuadrilla Resources more info
- Drilling and Completion Tick Up in the UK (Sep 21)
- Green Energy Firm Fights UK Fracking Plans (Dec 09)
- UK Government Gives Go-Ahead for Fracking in NW England (Oct 06)