Cuadrilla is pleased to announce that it has completed drilling a vertical pilot well to a depth of over 2.7 km through both the Upper and Lower Bowland shale rock intervals at its shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road, Lancashire.
The company has recovered some 375 feet of core samples taken across three separate intervals of the Upper and Lower Bowland shales. In addition a very comprehensive series of wireline logs have been completed, recording data across the entire Bowland shale section. This represents the most comprehensive data set recovered to date from any shale well drilled in the UK and the quality of the data is excellent. Using this latest data, along with data recovered and analysed from Cudarilla’s three previous Lancashire shale exploration wells, the company is now exceptionally well positioned to drill its first two horizontal wells into the gas rich zones.
Our early analysis of this latest data suggests excellent rock quality for hydraulic fracturing and a high natural gas content in several zones within the shale. This is in line with the British Geological Survey, in association with the Oil & Gas Authority, independent report in 2013, The Carboniferous
Bowland Shale Gas Study1, which estimated a mid-level estimate of the gas-in-place in the Bowland shales across the North of England to be 1329 trillion cubic feet.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: “We are very encouraged by our early analysis of the data and confident that there is a very sizeable
quantity of natural gas in the Bowland Shale. In addition we can confirm that the rock composition is very suitable to hydraulically fracture. This give us great confidence as we start drilling what will be the first horizontal well drilled into UK shale rock.”
Cuadrilla has planning permission to drill up to four exploratory horizontal wells in the shale rock underlying its site at Preston New Road. The initial vertical sections of the first two of these wells have both now been drilled and we have just commenced the drilling of what will be the first horizontal well in UK shale. Once both horizontal wells have been completed hydraulic fracturing of both is likely to be in the second quarter of 2018. Cuadrilla plans to test the flow rate of natural gas from the horizontal wells for approximately 6 months after this.