Institution of Mechanical Engineers IMechE

UK Shale Gas exploration

04 December 2012

In 2010 Cuadrilla Resources commenced an exploration drilling programme in the county of Lancashire. The focus was to evaluate the shale gas potential of the Bowland Basin, North West England. With three exploration wells now drilled and the initial data showing promising results the next phase of exploration is underway. This includes a 100 square kilometre 3D seismic survey, hydraulic stimulation of the Bowland shales along with micro seismic monitoring and fracture mapping, and plans to drill and complete a lateral well bore within the most productive shale strata.
Public concern about shale gas exploitation has largely focused on possible ground water pollution and seismic activity. However, it has been widely recognised by the UK's engineering, scientific and regulatory community that through the application of industry best practices and transparent monitoring of ground water and fracture evolution environmental risks can be minimised. This lecture will consider these issues together with the potential of UK shale gas resources to lead to new skilled jobs, much needed economic activity in the North West, and tax revenues to the UK exchequer.

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UK shale gas exploration

: Presented by: Mr Huw Clarke, Senior Geoscientist and Dr Peter Turner, Exploration Consultant and Founder Member, Cuadrilla Resources Ltd

Huw Clarke is an exploration geologist working for Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. Huw read geology at the University of Bristol where he was awarded the Kearey memorial prize for outstanding excellence in the field of geological mapping. He went on to complete his Master degree and publish his thesis which focused on fracture evolution during hydraulic stimulation shown by variation in shear wave anisotropy measured from passive microseismic data. Huw started his working career in Western Australia as a mineral exploration consultant. After a year of tireless outback exploration he moved back to the UK to join Cuadrilla Resources in 2009. Since being with Cuadrilla, Huw has focussed on multiple European onshore shale gas basins, working them up into primary exploration targets. Amongst other tasks, Huw has been the senior well site geologist for Cuadrilla's Bowland shale operations and conducted the geological operations for the Preese Hall 1 shale gas discovery well.

Peter was Reader in Sedimentology and former Head of the Petroleum Geosciences Group at the University of Birmingham. He worked extensively as a consultant in the petroleum industry for a number of companies, specifically on conventional reservoirs offshore UK, North Africa and the Middle East. The author of over 150 publications and books, he holds a B.Sc and PhD in Geology, and was awarded a D.Sc by the University of Wales for his work on the magnetic properties of rocks.

Duration: 1:00