IGas Refused Consent for Well (correction)
Correction: IGas has asked us to point out that the Chester West & Chester planning committee's refusal was in respect of an application to flow test the Pentre Chert formation, so not for shale gas. A corrected version follows
A leading UK shale gas explorer, IGas Energy, said it plans to spud its first shale well in mid-2018 in the English Midlands, but was last month refused planning consent for a similar well in northwest England.
On shale gas drilling, it said in a trading update February 2 that site construction is ongoing at its two North Nottinghamshire sites in the English Midlands, and that it expects to drill the first well mid-2018 on one site, Springs Road. It did not request permission to hydraulically fracture (frack) wells in this area, so would need to reapply, if it later wished to frack them.
In northwest England, it said it was refused permission by Chester West and Chester Council planning committee January 25 2018 to drill at its Ellesmore Port site, despite the planning officer having recommended approval. "We are currently considering our options, including our right to bring forward an appeal," the company said. At its nearby Ince Marshes site, IGas said it is continuing to progress its planning application to drill and frack a new shale gas well.
South of London, IGas said a gas monetisation project at Albury in Surrey is progressing well, with first gas expected 2H2018 subject to planning consent. The latter is understood not to be shale gas.
IGas CEO Stephen Bowler said that 2018 would be "an exciting year for the onshore industry. Cuadrilla recently announced that early results from its vertical wells in Lancashire were very encouraging and they are confident that there is a very sizeable quantity of natural gas in the Bowland Shale. A number of wells are being drilled or tested by operators across multiple basins, including at our two sites in Nottinghamshire, which will help us better understand the significant hydrocarbon opportunity below our feet." Last month Cuadrilla said it was encouraged by core samples from its first completed shale gas well in England and said it expects to frack its first completed two horizontal wells there in 2Q2018. IGas said its net production (conventional) averaged 2,335 barrels oil equivalent per day during 2017, with 2,300 - 2,400 boe/d expected in 2018.