A new study by the British Geological Survey has found that the UK’s Bowland shale play holds best-estimate in-place resources of 37.6 trillion cubic metres (1329 trillion cubic feet).
‘The Carboniferous Bowland Shale gas study: geology and resource estimation’ summarises the background geological knowledge and methodology which has enabled a preliminary in-place gas source calculation to be undertaken for the Bowland-Hodder shale gas play across a large area of central Britain.
The organic content of the Bowland Hodder Shales is typically in the range 1-3 per cent, but can reach 8 per cent.
This large volume of gas has been identified in the shales beneath central Britain, but not enough is yet known to estimate a recovery factor, nor to estimate potential reserves (how much gas may be ultimately produced).
An estimate was made in the previous DECC - commissioned BGS report, that the Carboniferous Upper Bowland Shale, if equivalent to the Barnett Shale of Texas, could potentially yield up to 4.7 tcf (133 bcm) of shale gas.
The study conducted for the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) covered 11 counties in the north of England, centred around the Bowland shale.
Other areas in the UK have shale gas and shale oil potential, and later in 2013 the Jurassic shales in the Weald Basin of southern England will be the subject of a further BGS/DECC study.