Denmark Shale Search Delayed
Total SA has delayed by several months its plans to drill for shale gas in Denmark.
"Due to a delay in the manufacturing of the drilling rig, the drilling will be performed during the spring of 2015," the French energy major said on Monday.
In July 2014, Total said that it planned to drill Denmark's first test wells for shale gas in December 2014 or January 2015, following receipt of approval from the municipality of Frederikshavn in Jutland for test-drilling in nearby Dybvad,
Municipality spokeswoman Karin Rasmussen said that that Total will only be permitted to drill conventional wells for testing, without the use of hydraulic fracturing.
Total has said that hydraulic fracturing (fracking) would subsequently be carried out if initial results lying from the test well, four kilometres below the surface, were positive. However, Rasmussen said any plans for fracking would require a separate environmental impact studies and permits.
Locals protestors plan to greet the drill rig when it arrives. Anti-shale activists have set up camp near to the drilling site and are conducting an ongoing protest against potential environmental risks of unconventional gas exploitation.
Total E&P Denmark and the Danish state-owned Nordsøfonden have reportedly committed €27 million into search for shale gas in the northern part of the Jutland peninsula. The companies hold two exploration licenses and have committed themselves to a test drilling in this license area, which is the most mature of the two licenses.
According to project coordinator Henrik Nicolaisen from France Total E&P Denmark, there might be about five times as much shale gas onshore as the country has recovered from the North Sea so far.
The US Geological Survey estimated that the Alum Shale in Denmark contained 6.9 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas,
Nicolaisen has estimated the chances of finding commercially interesting quantities to about 20% and in case of success production might start in 2020.