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Lancashire shale tests reveal ‘excellent’ fracking conditions

January 13, 2018

By Paul Homewood



Good news from GWPF:



The fracking firm drilled a 1.6 mile deep vertical well at its protest-hit Preston New Road site, through two different types of shale, to reveal “excellent rock quality” for fracking.

The tests also suggest a high natural gas content in the core samples, Cuadrilla said.

The findings rebut a warning from a team of scientists at Heriot-Watt university last year that the UK’s most promising shale gas reservoirs had been warped by tectonic shifts millions of years ago.

The report claimed that these geological quirks meant Britain was unlikely to be able to produce economic amounts of shale gas.

Following the test results, Cuadrilla boss Francis Egan said he was “confident that there is a very sizeable quantity of natural gas in the Bowland Shale”.

“In addition we can confirm that the rock composition is very suitable to hydraulically fracture. This give us great confidence as we start drilling what will be the first horizontal well drilled into UK shale rock,” he said.

The fresh optimism in Lancashire follows another boom for Mr Egan’s plans earlier this week after West Sussex Council gave the greenlight for his firm to test the wells located near the village of Balcombe.


Despite all of the hysteria about the fracking process, as the Telegraph points out, “hydraulic fracturing will not be necessary at the Balcombe site because the geological layers are mostly made of softer limestone.”

  1. Bitter@twisted permalink
    January 13, 2018 1:33 pm

    A team of scientists from Heriot-Watt said UK shale deposits would not be economic because of blah, blah, blah.
    The Biased Bull$hit Cartel breathlessly reported this “fact”.
    Greenp1ss, WTF and other ecomarxist “protest” groups screamed that we would all die horribly as they used both legal and illegal means to stop the tests.

    And guess what?
    Guardianista head explosions are the only side effects.
    Music to my ears.

  2. Colin Brooks permalink
    January 13, 2018 1:46 pm

    I wrote about the Bowland Shale in Lancashire for years on Bishop Hill and the claims I made there were rubbished by the Bishop himself (Andrew Montford who is now at GWPF). I also wrote to the government and to my MP about what this shale deposit contained. The facts were given early on by Cuadrilla but more completely by the parent company (A.J. Lucas) in their annual reports online.
    Before the government stopped the drilling (over supposed earthquakes) Cuadrilla had already drilled through a shale deposit thicker by far than the much touted US shale deposits. Cuadrilla reported that they expected 50% would be recoverable but that figure would increase with new technology. It was clear that the Bowland deposit alone could supply us with gas for hundreds of years. The Conservative government (Cameron) sat on this and prevented exploitation by Cuadrilla.
    I wrote to the government not only to challenge their doom mongering low estimates of how much shale gas we really could expect but also to warn them not to allow too many wells to be drilled or they would have more gas than they could handle.
    This warning will now come home to roost and we will have the same problem the US had in the early years. In the early days the US ended up with gas flowing freely from hundreds of wells and as their storage filled up. They could not export the gas because they needed to build an export LNG terminal (more over time) and they had not foreseen the gas quantities they would have in place.
    There are now so many licenses issued that I have no clue as to how much gas they will have but it will blow all estimates out of the water and show just what idiots we have had running the country!


    • Colin Brooks permalink
      January 13, 2018 1:51 pm

      Just as an after thought; when Cuadrilla stopped their initial drilling they stated that they had note reached the bottom of the deposit, it is already the richest deposit found so far in the world and it could be even thicker than we think ^.^

    • January 13, 2018 2:22 pm

      West Virginia is sitting on a pile of Marcellus Shale. Not only that, but we now find a pile of Utica Shale. There is a LNG terminal under construction at Cove Point, MD at this time. Others are in Louisiana and Texas. Both the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines in West Virginia have gained Federal approval. Near where I live I can see a huge flat created above the Monongahela River with stacks of green pipe awaiting use in the pipelines. I have seen other “pipe fields” in the State.

      Gas and the re-emergence of coal, thanks to President Trump and his EPA Director, Scott Pruitt, has put needed monies into the West Virginia coffers. We are beginning to climb out of the financial hole created by Barack Obama, decades of unsustainable union demands and 83 years of a tax-and-spend Democrat legislature. The State Legislature began their 60 day session on Wednesday. For the first time since the Republicans began running it in 2015, the budget is not the main focus.

      We are not out of the woods yet, but are beginning to see major progress. Completion of the pipelines and new business coming into the State due to the abundance of relatively cheap energy and a more friendly business climate in the State and nationally is certainly a welcome change for us.

  3. January 13, 2018 1:48 pm

    This is excellent news. When it’s something they don’t like, the MSM just can’t stop themselves from using the adjective “controversial”. The Russians will have to step up their assistance to the anti-brigade.

  4. January 13, 2018 3:23 pm

    While schoolyard tittle tattle is given top billing in the circus that is headline news, other news in buried away.
    – Re Lancs fracking site, Appeal court judges have thrown out the antifrackers case
    ..saying Sanjev Javid made no error in law.
    – Likewise the Forties pipeline partially reopened on Dec27 and fully on Dec 30
    \\ Ineos confirms the Forties Pipeline System is fully operational,”
    operator Ineos AG said Saturday in a statement.
    “All restrictions on the flow of oil and gas from platforms feeding into the pipeline system have been lifted and virtually all platforms are now on line. //

    • January 13, 2018 6:27 pm

      Not a word about those stories on the Biased Bleating Corporation, but plenty on lack of diversity, on worldwide anti-Trump protests, on how all bad economics news is caused by Brexit, and of course how the beloved NHS is at a crisis/tipping point. Sheesh, all that almost displaced various stories about extreme weather events and imminent mass extinction tipping points, all caused by Climate Change, and all “the new normal”.

      • daveR permalink
        January 13, 2018 10:42 pm

        Beeb covers it in their Lancashire regional report albeit from the failed protestors perspective whilst Cuadrilla merits a sentence and a half.

        Now about to toast a dram to Cuadrilla and wish Ineos success in Scotland. Slàinte mhath!

  5. Jackington permalink
    January 13, 2018 5:29 pm

    Almost there! – but what have the Luddites up their sleeves to scupper this bonus from nature?

  6. Joe Public permalink
    January 13, 2018 6:56 pm

    Those who propose we “Keep it in the ground” could do worse than keeping an eye on:

    Shows Electricity Fuel Type – Instantaneous real-time data, and Gas in-flow – Instantaneous real-time data.

    [Gas: 1m³/s = approx 39,600 kWh]

  7. mwhite permalink
    January 13, 2018 7:23 pm

    “Stoke-on-Trent businesses will soon be heated by geothermal energy 11km under the ground after the city was awarded a £19 million grant.”

    No mention of the fracking they’ll need to do,

  8. January 14, 2018 12:17 am

    In my state of Victoria in Australia Mr Daniel Andrews, the premier, said there was no gas at all! Now they are saying we have plenty and the highest gas prices in Australia. Fracking is, as expected, the end of the world if we allow it. I am hoping Buggerlugs (Andrews) is deposed this year and we get an administration that wants to reduce costs not increase them.

  9. Vernon E permalink
    January 14, 2018 11:03 am

    A step forward from Cuadrilla but of most interest will be the per well flow rate they can expect. As I have posted many time “good” shale well (eg Marcellus) in the US flows 400-600 mcfd which translated means that production of, say, ten percent of UK demand will need around six hundred wells. OK in Texas or West Virginia – not so sure about Lancashire.

    • Joe Public permalink
      January 14, 2018 12:11 pm

      Let’s put generating capabilities into spacial perspective:

      A shale gas pad 2 hectares vs a 174-MW wind farm 1,450 hectares vs a 380-MW solar park 924 hectares, all of which would deliver approx 9.5 TWh of energy over 25 years.

    • Colin Brooks permalink
      January 14, 2018 4:00 pm

      Sorry Vernon but you just do not understand how rich and large the Bowland shale deposit is. Marcellus is nothing close.

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