LONDON, Oct. 9 (UPI) — British shale drilling pioneer IGas said Thursday it plans to drill its third well in the country’s northwest next month to survey the reserve potential.
The company said it’s completed some of the infrastructure necessary for exploration work at its Ellesmere Port site and expects to start drilling in November.
“This well, which is a vertical exploration well, will be the third drilled in a sequence designed to give IGas a suite of results distributed across its licensed areas in the northwest [of the country],” the company said in a statement.
The company in May completed drilling operations at the Irlam-1 exploration well, where data will be used to help provide information for any future program involving hydraulic fracturing of the Bowland shale.
The British Geological Survey in June estimated the Bowland shale formation in the north of the country contains 1.3 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas.
At Ellesmere Port, the company said exploration work carried out so far has given it the confidence necessary to plan a preliminary hydraulic fracturing campaign.
“This will prove invaluable for future planning applications for potential shale wells and the ability to demonstrate the commerciality of gas extraction from these deep formations,” it said.
Shale exploitation is in its infancy in the country. The government said shale gas could eventually offset imports, though operations so far have been met with widespread opposition.