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    IGas To Spud Shale Wells in 4Q


IGas expects to spud its first shale gas exploration wells in 4Q2017 while Ineos is to start seismic surveys but will avoid sites of major nature sites.

by: Mark Smedley

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IGas To Spud Shale Wells in 4Q

UK onshore producer IGas has provided a trading update June 14 ahead of its annual general meeting later that morning. Following balance sheet restructuring and fundraising completed in April 2017, it now counts private equity fund Kerogen Capital as a 28% shareholder following its $35mn equity investment.

A further $22mn was also raised in a placing and open offer. This reduced net debt from $122mn at end-2016 to $8mn at end-May 2017. Net production, which averaged 2,320 barrels of oil equivalent/day in the first five months of this year, is expected to be around 2,400 boe/d in full year 2017.

Its UK shale appraisal and development plans are covered by an up to $230mn carried work programme, said IGas, with planning consents and legal agreements in place at two sites in the English east Midlands (Springs Road and Tinker Lane in north Nottinghamshire) and spudding of wells currently anticipated to start in 4Q2017.

IGas, which as operator is partnered by French Total, Egdon and ECorp on the PEDL139 and 140 onshore licences, did not apply to hydraulically fracture the wells so would have to apply for a further consent, should it later wish to frack there.

CEO Stephen Bowler said: “We continue to move our shale work programme forward, with three wells having received formal planning approval in north Nottinghamshire. We see further momentum building across the wider UK shale industry as Cuadrilla and Third Energy move closer to drilling their wells and Ineos has begun to submit planning applications and shoot seismic across its licensed acreage. This additional data will help us and the wider industry to further understand the shale prospectivity in these basins.”

Ineos Cleared To Undertake Seismic

On June 2, Nottinghamshire county council set restrictions on where and how energy firm Ineos can proceed with 3D seismic surveys without planning consent at its PEDL licences across the county, specifically 299, 300, 304, 307, 308 and 309 over the next six months. The company's 250 km² survey area also extends into Derbyshire and Rotherham.

The restrictions include maximum vibration levels at sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs) and stand-off distances close to famous natural landmarks. Ineos had already confirmed it would not conduct seismic surveys in Sherwood National Nature Reserve – which includes Sherwood Forest – special areas of conservation, and several SSSIs. 

Any future development would require full planning permission and no hydraulic fracturing would be undertaken as part of the survey, the council said.


Mark Smedley