A gas firm drilling in the North West of England says it could be sitting on double the amount of shale gas it had originally expected.
IGas Energy believes it could find nearly ten trillion cubic feet of shale gas at its Ince Marshes site in Cheshire. IGas first stumbled upon the shale gas section in January while drilling for coal bed methane (CBM).
Announcing IGas’s operational update this week, CEO Andrew Austin said: "Ince Marshes-1 is a particular highlight, potentially at least doubling the independent pre-drill estimate. "Our shale potential offers a significant opportunity for the Company and potential partners, in addition to our CBM resource base of over 300 million boe (barrels of oil equivalent)."
The firm is now looking for a partner in its shale operations, known as a "farm-in", following "significant industry interest". Mr Austin suggests the find could be "important" for British energy supply. "The UK Government’s announcement about a new gas generation strategy and the support given in the budget to the industry are all signs that UK sourced hydrocarbons are going to play an increasingly important role in the future energy mix of the country."
This is the second major discovery of shale gas in the region, following Cuadrilla Resources’ discovery in the Blackpool area last year. Cuadrilla’s estimates suggest the UK could have 200 tcf of shale gas in the Bowland shale in the North alone.