Shale gas history and background information

2. Not the house at Pooh Corner, but Netherfield No. 1 Well, Sussex drawn by E Cooke, Esq, RA. Drilled in 1987 purely for academic enlightenment this was the first UK well to discover shale gas.

I note with interest that the story on shale gas is receiving many views. So thought we had best follow up.  So here is a potted shale gas background and history from Prof. Dick Selley who is Senior Research Fellow, Department of Earth Science & Engineering, Imperial College.  See link at end for the full and interesting article.

To like ?

Against a backdrop of accepted and generally rising energy prices - In the USA, the recent boom in shale-gas production has boosted US gas reserves to an all-time high and caused a drop in the gas price from a recent high of $8 to the 1970’s price of $4. Shale gas exploration is booming, from Argentina to India, from Canada to South Africa. The ‘land grab’ for shale gas acreage in Europe is over, with shale gas wells being drilled in Sweden, Poland, and Lancashire. By providing secure domestic gas supplies, shale gas yields a high ‘peace dividend’.

What’s not to like? Well, plenty if you listen to outraged environmentalists. A boom in shale gas production will continue to release carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere and delay the dawn of a non-carbon economy. The artificial fracturing of shale gas reservoirs apparently triggers earthquakes, pollutes aquifers with carcinogens, ignites methane-laden water flowing from taps, causes the sky to rain flocks of dead birds - and probably fire and brimstone too in the Bible Belt.

In the uk the article suggests a slow development and indeed in only 2003 at an energy conference - The last presentation was on the shale gas resources of the UK. There were four people in the vast auditorium: one delegate, the session chairman, the speaker and the projectionist !

Read on here -

http://www.geolsoc.org.uk/gsl/pid/9767;jsessionid=6E96F99FED3B9946471854EEE7C57C9E