23rd May 2014
The British Geological Survey has published its report on the Weald shale report.
The report, commissioned by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC), says the range of shale oil in place is estimated to be between 2.20 and 8.57 billion barrels (bbl) or 293 and 1143 million tonnes, but the central estimate for the resource is 4.4 billion bbl or 591 million tonnes.
Production from the North Sea over the past 40 years was 45 billion barrels.
The report says no significant gas resource is recognised using the current geological model. This is mainly because the shale is not thought to have reached the geological maturity required to generate gas.
The figure for oil represents the total amount of oil present in the rocks. The BGS says it is not known what percentage of the oil present in the shale could be commercially extracted. “In order to estimate the shale oil reserve, drilling and testing of new wells will be required to give a better idea of oil production rates”, the organisation says.
It also adds: “non-geological factors such as oil price, operating costs and the scale of development agreed by the local planning system will affect the amount of oil produced.”
More detail coming soon.