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Bowland shale-gas bounty for IGas

IGas Energy has hit a thick seam of shale holding gas at its Ince Marches acreage in northwest England’s Bowland basin, the same region where Cuadrilla Resources made the UK’s first large shale gas discovery

The firm said it found “a very significant shale section” of at least 1,000 feet and that it had logged a number of “potentially prospective” gas zones across the shale. IGas has suspended drilling and is analysing its findings. Chief executive Andrew Austin said in the firm was “very encouraged by the shale encountered at Ince Marshes, as this exceeds what we expected”.

IGas also found coal deposits with a net thickness of 36 feet in multiple seams, which it is analysing for coal-bed methane (CBM) potential.

The area, which independent estimates suggest could hold up to 4.6 trillion cubic feet (cf) of gas in place, is in the Bowland shale – south of Cuadrilla’s acreage, but both firms are tapping the same formation. Last year, Cuadrilla claimed its acreage, near Blackpool, has an estimated shale-gas resource base of 200 trillion cf.

IGas has also completed drilling at its Doe Green site at Warrington, also in England’s northwest, where it is running a pilot CBM project. Higher levels of gas were found there than previously, because of the faulted nature of the seams. It expects to have indicative gas flow rates by the end of March.

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