Recent reporting by the BBC highlighted exploration efforts by UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) that suggests significant resource potential for an oil well drilled last year near Gatwick airport. While onshore oil production has been a reality for many years throughout the South of England, current work by EGI Chair in Petroleum Geoscience, Professor Alastair Fraser (Imperial College of London) suggests that previously the projected resources were underestimated. Based on rock sample analysis done at EGI in Salt Lake City, home to some of the most sophisticated analytical equipment in the world, Professor Fraser has estimated around 13 billion barrels of oil may be present in roughly one-third of the Weald Basin. The BBC article quotes Prof. Fraser, stating that when scaled up to reflect the full basin, that potential estimate is close to 40 billion barrels– more than 90 times the 4.4 billion barrels estimated by the British Geological Survey in a 2014 report. The key, of course, it recovering the resources.
Professor Fraser’s current EGI project UK Shale Gas examines an equally intriguing resource potential– shale gas of the Carboniferous of Northern England and Jurassic of Southern England. The project draws on expertise at Imperial College & EGI to generate a review of the shale gas potential in the onshore UK, locations, volumes, technology, and accessibility. The organic rich shales of the Carboniferous of Northern England and Jurassic of Southern England appear to present technically & economically viable targets. For more information about the UK Shale Gas project, visit EGI’s website and download the research summary. For technical information about the recent research contact Prof. Fraser or Raymond Levey. To join the project as a sponsor, contact Nancy Taylor.