IGas disappointment as it fails to find Bowland shale at Tinker Lane

181202 Tinker Lane TLCLG

IGas Tinker Lane shale gas site at dawn, 2 December 2018. Photo:

The shale gas company, IGas, confirmed this evening that its Tinker Lane well near Blyth in north Nottinghamshire had failed to discover the primary target, the Bowland shale formation.

A statement to investors, issued at 5.43pm, said drilling at Tinker Lane had reached the total depth (depth at the bottom of the well) “significantly ahead of schedule”.

But while the well encountered a shale interval, the statement said:

“The shales encountered did not include the primary target, the Bowland shale.”

Tinker Lane is IGas’s first shale gas well in the east Midlands. It is co-owned with Ineos and is the first shale gas well in which the petrochemical company has an interest.

IGas chief executive, Stephen Bowler, said:

“Whilst the results of this well will help calibrate our geological models of the region and has demonstrated further improvements in drilling performance, we are naturally disappointed not to have encountered the Bowland Shale.”

The statement said IGas would now “conduct a comprehensive logging programme of the well”. This would be crucial, the company said, to “understanding the geological setting and help to refine our basin modelling”. The results would also satisfy the work programme obligation on the licence, IGas said.

In its planning application, IGas said it would drill the vertical well at Tinker Lane to a maximum depth of 3,300m, to target the Bowland shale and Millstone Grit geological formations and take multiple core samples. The Bowland shale had been estimated at a depth of 1,690-1,760m.

The company is expected to move on next year to its other site in the area, at Misson Springs, where it has permission to drill two exploration shale gas wells.

Mr Bowler said:

“The outcome of this exploration well does not change our view on the prospectivity of our next target well at Springs Road, where we believe a thick section of shale is present due to its more central location in the basin and which we expect to spud in the first quarter of 2019.”

The IGas statement came after trading ended for the day. IGas shares closed up 2.1% at 89.41p.

Tinker Lane has seen ongoing protests by opponents of shale gas exploration. Last month, a man and a woman locked themselves together outside the gate for 81 hours. They were arrested on suspicion of obstructing the highway. DrillOrDrop

Last week, IGas succeeded in renewing injunctions against protests at Tinker Lane and Misson Springs and another site at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. DrillOrDrop report

The Ellesmere Port site is the subject of a planning inquiry, beginning next month. Today, the campaign group, Frack Free Ellesmere Port and Upton, which is participating in the inquiry, released its evidence on the effect of the development on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. DrillOrDrop report

DrillOrDrop Tinker Lane details and timeline


61 replies »

    • So Paul, are we going to steal Greta’s and her generations futures or are we going to hand it back to them?

      Happy Holiday, or Unhappy Holiday?

      It’s as simple as that isn’t it?

      I say change no matter what.

      What do you say?

      • Cut and paste, no change over the last couple of days. Greed and corporate politics continue to run the world. In fact the situation is getting worse:

        We (the global population) are going to continue to use fossil fuels on an increasing scale for many years to come (as forecast by just about every official body) and that this increasing demand is due to expanding middle classes, consumerism, and population growth. Human nature unfortunately taking it’s course; greed and corporate politics etc etc. All the things rightly highlighted by Greta as “bad”.

        What we need is a viable alternative. But still nothing realistic proposed (even by you). All we hear is stop this, stop that etc or this will happen. But this and that need to be replaced with something or we will continue as we are and “this” will happen.

        If this steals Greta’s and her generations futures then that that it is what appears to be happening.

        • So Saul of Tarsus took a wrong turn off the road to Damascus and ended up on the road to Domestos?

          You give in very easily Paul don’t you? Good job your namesake didn’t?

          I dont agree with you at all, its just as well, because as Greta will no doubt say, if we dont think change is possible, then change will never happen.

          Look at all the major changes in history, those who could change did, those who could not change didn’t and were left behind or were forced to change.

          That is evolution at work, change or die. I choose change.

          There is a saying, we all stand in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

          Unlike you, I think Greta will see her future and I for one will do my best to get her and everyone else there too.

          Perhaps we will wave to you as we pass by?

  1. This is Ian R Crane….Hi Kishy!! Who has an entirely correct report on Igas failure to find the Bowland Shale (which is not shale by the way, is it) especially for his obsessive fans who seem to avoid the entire subject of fracking and its avoidances of the word? Funny That?



    • I watched part of this one Phil C – intrigued by your comment. A few points:

      Drilling to 3,300m in 21 days is very slow in many parts of the world. Not difficult onshore UK. Often these depths, including flat line ops such as casing and cementing and BOP nipple up, can be drilled in <10 days depending on geology, offshore Thailand 3,300m in 7 days is common.

      IGas were drilling to a pre-determined geological horizon not necessarily a depth, normal for a well commitment. Halting at the Dinantian limestone which appears to be the planned total depth of the well, as agreed with the OGA.

      "The well was drilled on prognosis and encountered a shale interval before penetrating the key Dinantian limestone geophysical marker. The shales encountered did not include the primary target, the Bowland Shale."

      It is not geologically possible for the Bowland Shale to be deeper than the Dianantian limestone as the shale is the younger rock. Perhaps a geologist can comment on this? There was one on this BB for a while who is also a Liberal Democrat – he can clarify this for us all?

      Page 16 of the link below shows the planned well on the seismic section:

      Click to access interim-results-2018.pdf

      They are now logging and will then plug and abandon the well as planned.

      The conspiracy theorist is hard at work yet again – perhaps you can send him the £3,000 he needs?

      • Thanks Paul, for most of it at least, see below for the last comment, 3,300m, then, that is at least intersting, lets see wasnt Ians costs part £1,200? Perhaps Igas will pay £1.00 per metre to ian just to make a good will gesture?

        Though i suspect another type of gesture would be more in mind from Igas?

        What i think i find quite astonishing Paul, is that all that money, all that preparation and equipment, all that time, expertise, staff and organisational effort, and the Bowland shale wasnt even there all along all that time?

        Please dont tell me with all the technology available to us today, that Igas could have made such a basic error in judgement? And then this almost panicky departure? What else happened there?

        Of course, if there was another purpose to the exercise, then perhaps it was job done, run away before everyone realises what really happened?

        I always thought the name, Tinker Lane, may have been only too appropriate?

        Remind me not to let Igas/Angus et al tarmac my driveway. That may be their only next best profession after all?

        • Nature of the oil industry exploration business. It used to be one in fifteen exploration wells were successful. Success rate has improved over the past three decades however it is still high risk – but still potentially high reward. The IGas well was always intended as a geological test – to identify the strata present and to calibrate the seismic with actual velocity data (which they will be obtaining towards the end of the logging program). I don’t think there was ever any intention (or approval sought) to test any formation in this well.

          The logging may show something interesting but unlikely.

          We need an oil and gas geologist to comment on what this means for Bowland shale prospectivity in the area – still waiting for that pesky Lib Dem Geologist from Manchester to let us know…..or even the Emeritus Prof from France?

      • Paul – the Dinantian limestone and the Bowland Shale are lateral equivalents of each other and are of the same age. The Dinantian limestones were deposited on the shallow water platform areas with the Bowland Shales being deposited at the same time in the deeper water, more rapidly subsiding, basinal areas. This is well shown on the geological cross section on page 16 of the link you posted. The Tinker Lane well was drilled on the platform/ basin margin, on or close to the basin bounding fault, which would have been active in Lower Carboniferous times allowing the basin to subside more rapidly than the platform area, with a consequent thicker succession of basinal shale than the laterally equivalent limestones. The Tinker Lane well was designed to explore the platform margin and not the deeper part of the basin, which will be tested by the Springs Road well. The cross section shows that only a thin section of the Upper Bowland shale was anticipated at the Tinker Lane well with the main targets (shown as ‘R’ on the cross secton) being the transitional shelf edge interbedded limestones/shales of the Dinantian limestones. The thicker Lower Bowland shales were never a target at this location. Hope this helps.

        • Thanks David S – makes sense and explains the IGas strategy. A lot of anti hot air about nothing. Look forward to the next well.

          • Apparently geology is not Ian Crane’s forte. I also watched the video and note he states that the Bowland Shale has an average thickness of 5000 feet over all of Northern England (he actually said over the entire country but will let that pass). It doesn’t……. in some areas (as highlighted in the BGS Bowland Shale report) it is not present at all.

            • According to the BGS:


              Bowland Shale Thickness

              Generally between 120 m and 620 m. The formation thickens northeastwards along the axis of the Central Lancashire High, from about 22 m in the Roddlesworth Borehole (SD62SE/6), 68 m thick in the Holme Chapel Borehole (SD82NE/68), and 102 m in the Boulsworth Borehole (SD93SW/14). The underlying Trawden Limestone Group shows a thinning in the same direction (Evans and Kirby, 1999), suggesting the thickening of the Bowland Shale Formation reflects available accommodation space. In the Craven Reef Belt the Bowland Shale Formation is perhaps 30 m to 200 m thick (see Arthurton et al., 1988, figure 22). In south Cumbria, the Roosecote Borehole proved the formation to be 130 m thick (see Johnson et al., 2001; Rose and Dunham, 1977). On the Isle of Man, the Bowland Shale Formation might be at least 186 m thick. In the north Isle of Man, the Shellag Point Borehole [NX 4565 9965] proved only a part of the formation, reaching 27.55 m in thickness.

              Bowland Shale Geographical Limits

              Widespread in the Craven Basin, including the Lancaster, Garstang, Settle, Clitheroe and Harrogate districts, south Cumbria and the Isle of Man; also in North Wales, Staffordshire and the East Midlands. As few offshore wells have been drilled to sufficient depths to penetrate early Namurian sediments, the distribution of the Bowland Shale Formation is poorly constrained. Basinal mudstones are only 47 m thick in well 41/24a-2. Wells 48/3-3 and 48/23-3 terminated after drilling 217 m and 277 m of basinal mudstones respectively, but the Bowland Shale Formation is likely to be appreciably thicker in areas adjacent to Dinantian growth faults.

              I was involved in drilling the Roddlesworth Well (SD62SE/6) in the mid 1980’s for Amoco. I recall a steady plod through gritstone from surface to the target at TD which ended up being a quarzite with zero porosity and very hard.

  2. Far be it from me to suggest that an old man in a raincoat should expose himself less often but I think his public/audience might appreciate Crane more for doing so – i.e. doing less. 20 minutes a day of (mostly) ad-libbed pieces-to-camera is too much, as is the axe grinding tone. I’d probably watch 20 minutes a week of him at most so long as it was well edited and I do know he is capable of that. I actually think he could build a good audience of non-extremists in that way.

    Happy Christmas everybody!

    • As i have said before Philip P, i post Ian R Crane’s reports when i feel they say something important, how i or you take that is entirely up to us,
      I have neither say nor control over anything Ian or anyone else says or any reports on fracking from elsewhere on other subjects, Nor do i subscribe to much of that. There are times when i have deliberately not posted his reports because i found the content overstepped the mark and i would not subject Drill or Drop to that.

      I have consulted Drill or Drop on a couple of occasions because i was worred about the wording used and followed Drill or Drop advice and not posted.

      However, there is something else here which needs expanding, since there is so much anti anti obsessive propaganda and attempts to character assassinate him and anyone else who stands up to be counted, we can all make a list i am sure, and that purpose is a deliberate attempt to damn his and their reports on fracking by association.

      there are those who we all know on Drill or Drop who do nothing else and use that against anyone who dares to say anything their bias does not allow to be said. Ian does tend to self immolate sometimes, but look at many of the far more viscous and frankly rabid comments from their side and you will see much much worse.

      No doubt if we were to look closely, perish the thought, at some of the “contributions” of those who are supposed to represent fracking reason and sanity on the anti anti side on less policed websites, i am sure some here could tell us what those are, i keep away from extremism, then again we will see much much worse from those who scream loudest to discredit others, no names, no pack drill……

      The purpose of that is quite deliberate to exclude any view on anything they hate to see posted, they have tried to label me too, which just indicates that it is the sort of Stalinist censorship that we should have grown beyond decades ago.

      When i see the phrase “conspiracy theory” used i know that has CIA psyops origins to close down any questions on the JFK assasination because people were questioning the events and that still rages today.

      So when i see that, i know the origins of it and i know its purpose, and that is to discredit by association anything that is said as it crosses some very carefully guarded oil and Gas Industry imperatives to close down certain avenues of discussion.

      i will not accept that, and i say especially if that is so sensitive, because it is sensitive for a very good reason, as we have seen recently with high level nuclear waste dumping, i will push it to see where it goes, often their desperation to close down the subject will cause them to reveal something else, and that is very interesting. Often its not what is said, but what is not said that is so revealing?

      So, when i see something relevant i will post it, i will not apologise for it, i will not retract it and most importantly, i am not responsible for the content.

      There is one phrase in the report above that made me think twice, but that would have negated any other value in it, so i posted it. I have posted many other people too, i may not agree with some of those on any other subject, but there it is, we take it or leave it for what it is.

      No one is forcing anyone to even look at what is said, and we all know those who have very strictly blinkered horizons and will not look at anything that stretches them out of their comfort blankets, good bad or ugly,

      We should not exclude anything, but take what we can from what is available and either reject the rest, or store it for later consideration. There is good a bad in the world, the purpose is to expand consciousness, beyond the limits and thse that wish to close everything down but their own narrow blinkered view are just the equivalent of mental slave masters, they say we must do and say and think only what they tell to do and say and think.

      I say, to hell with that, i will not make any deals which restrict my freedom to act, think and say, within reason, i will not be pushed, named, filed, labelled, indexed or briefed, debriefed or numbered by such narrow minded confines of slavery. (that is a quote, slightly updated)

      Good exists, bad exists, to concentrate exclusively on either one of those and ignoring the rest of reality, is simply insane, and that can only lead to ignorance.and self destruction. concentrating on only one positive aspect of fracking whilst excluding anything negative is equally insane, just as the reverse is true, i dont deny the ositive aspects of gas, but the operation of fracking and its asociated avoidances of the word and its by now evident complications of quakes and anti democratic legislation and activity that breaks what few regulations actually do apply, in UK has been proved without a shadow of a doubt to almost entirely negative and destructive of the future for my children and grandchildren and everyone, as Greta so eloquently said. we are steling their future from them.

      So i say so.

      So we take the rough with the smooth and wend a path through the melee until some sort of consensus emerges, but we must always be ready to change our mind if better information arrives, no matter how or by what source.

      There, clear now?

  3. And the fog descends.

    Off to re-education again Philip P. You just have to accept that quantity Trumps quality-even when the basic facts are incorrect. (Of course, they are deliberate to attract comment!)


  4. Conspiracy Theory

    Does this term have CIA psychopops Origins, or is it more a study of something within the human Psyche?

    Is the Term. ‘Conspiracy theory’, itself a conspiracy theory?

    Is the use of the term intended to shut down discussion of a subject, or is linking the origin of the term to the CIA and President Kennedy’s Assasination an attempt to shut down discussion as to what Conspiracy theory is all about. Indeed, is commenting on any issues raised by any theory evidence that the theory is correct ( the ‘hair trigger response’ theory)? After all, if it was incorrect no one would comment?

    Those who seek the truth will not be silenced by accusations of CIA conspiracy! So on and so forth, ad infinitude one suspects.

      • Sherwulfe

        Not a bad round up of Conspiracy theory stuff in my opinion, and like DOD, supported by the readers.

        Suspicious Minds, by Rob Brotherton is a good read, or the Psychology of Conspiracy theories, in the Psychology of everything series.

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