IGas encounters shale sequence at Misson, Notts

190311 Misson Mad Hatters Tea Party Tina English 1

Mad Hatter’s tea party outside IGas shale gas site at Misson, north Nottinghamshire, 11 March 2019. Photo: Tina English

IGas announced today it had encountered a hydrocarbon-bearing shale sequence at its exploration well at Misson in north Nottinghamshire. The news coincided with a Mad Hatter’s tea party organised outside the site by drilling opponents.

The company said the sequence measured more than 250m and included the upper and lower Bowland Shales.

Significant indications of gas were also spotted within sands in the Millstone Grit sequence, IGas said.

The company has posted a video of a core from the well in a tank of water showing gas rising.

Last month, IGas announced that the Misson well had encountered shales at 2,200m. Today it said said drilling was continuing, at a rate that was quicker than expected.

It said it had recovered about 150m of shale core and had carried out an extensive wireline logging programme across the Millstone Grit and the two shale formations.

The company said petrophysical and core analysis was now being carried out. This would give further insight into the potential resource and character of the shale in future development across the east midlands, it said.

Analysis of core samples taken from the other Nottinghamshire IGas site at Tinker Lane was still underway. The well has been capped after failing to encounter the Bowland Shale.

Chief executive, Stephen Bowler, said:

“I am delighted to report that we have recovered high quality hydrocarbon bearing cores at our Springs Road site. The data gathered to date shows that there are significant prospective resources in our East Midlands acreage and is another important step for the UK onshore industry.”

There have been near-daily protests against onshore gas exploration outside the Misson site since deliveries began in December 2017.

Frack Free Misson has launched an online petition to the environment secretary, Michael Gove, urging him to block fracking at the Misson. The petition says this threatens owls and other wildlife on the Misson Carr site of special scientific interest, next to the IGas drilling site.

DrillOrDrop Misson timeline and details



67 replies »

  1. Interesting.

    However, a brief note of caution.
    I think IGAS was the company that managed to consistently confuse CHERT with SHALE. And not just any chert, but the PENTRE CHERT FORMATION of FLINTSHIRE. Last time I checked, Flintshire was in Wales, and not in England.

    Robin Grayson MSc Lib Dem Geologist

    • Interesting to see a geologist arguing that a rock type should follow what is essentially an historic boundary (England – Wales border). I wonder if next he”ll be arguing that we shouldn’t trust production figures from the USA when they are from reservoirs that are called shale when many are in fact marls and siltstones.

  2. Doesn’t look as if they have found huge quantities of selenium though, Robin! By the way, little comment about the expose of young persons being killed in the DRC to enable production of electric cars. These underground materials seem to have issues!

    A brief note of caution. Antis protesting against owls being disturbed by having to be present to err, disturb them, really establishes some credibility. LOL

    • Jono
      Interesting article from 2015. How did it end? Was the M62 the culprit or had Peel Holdings some land on their hands contaminated by some past industry?
      Did I Gas get a rent reduction due to their being rented contaminated land?
      Or did it all just fizzle out.

  3. It still amazes me .. the hypocrisy of these protestors who drive home in their diesel cars to gas centrally homes using electricity 60% generated by gas jeez … or is it just nimbyism for God’s sake there has to be a balance between using gas and renewables unti such time as they can magically account for 100% of our energy needs ?

    • It still amazes me the hypocrisy of those who promote the sole climate changing and poisonous use of proliferation of fossil fuels and then seek to decry anyone who uses it.

      Not only that its the utter hypocrisy of those who support the sole source of fossil fuels above renewables and then seek to dictate who uses it when and where as if they have any say whatsoever other than some frankly insane overbearing control freakery.

      They do not.

      The fact that protectors use fossil fuels to object to the proliferation of fossil fuels over renewables is hilarious and magnificent irony and especially against the corporate NIMBY injunctions who also seek to dictate who does what where and when.

      Utterly insane hypocrisy.

  4. What have cars to do with it? Well, Jono, there are these really nasty fossil fuel driven ones, or even nastier electric versions that rely upon people being killed in the DRC, and the Chinese robbing the survivors of a decent income.


    I believe that is worth some effort Jono. However, I recognise you are a little annoyed having missed the opportunity to return a decent profit today having misjudged the investment opportunity!

      • Not conjecture at all Passepartout. Already happening with cars and trains. Get the infrastructure to expand that, and other transport will follow quickly.

        You seem to think conjecture is what you don’t know. Not really the same thing.

        Other things already happening?

        US set to eclipse Saudi Arabia as world’s biggest oil exporter, thanks to a shale boom. The US trade deficit will evaporate and its foreign debt will be paid quickly.

        Not bad for a Ponzi scheme not making any profit!

        • Hey hey; would be better if you could remember my name, but then we are getting used to you talking to imaginary friends…..

          US set to implode;

          Now then Marty, you have just demonstrated you do not actually know how a ponzi scheme works…..perhaps you should nip down to the remaining library? Could give you a lift in Foggy’s balloon if you need… may feel more comfortable in a vessel full of hot air 😉

          • Remembering names? I thought it only polite to join in the game, Passepartout. Can’t let the antis have all the fun.

            How a ponzi scheme works? I think I do understand that. It is a bit different from:

            “The US trade deficit will evaporate and its foreign debt will be paid quickly, thanks to the swift rise of American oil and gas exports”.

            Pelosi needs to remember, “its the economy, stupid.”

            • ‘How a ponzi scheme works? I think I do understand that.’….nope; go back three spaces, down the snake and directly to the mobile library van…..looks like the banker has run out of money…you lose 🙂

    • PhilipP

      Looks like an uncontrolled release of something from some rock in water.
      Better if we saw the lid and someone applying a match to whatever is bubbling out of the rock ( similar to filling the chemistry lab sink with gas, lighting it and waiting for the lid to blow off ).

      Maybe it is Hydrogen Sulphide and is in a fume cupboard.

      I guess we will find out in due course though ICrane may suspect someone popped the rock into a pressure chamber prior to putting it in the water.

      • Yes, how can they resist the match test? 🙂 But hasn’t the rock just merged from very high pressures (from a great depth)?

    • Actually Anon the 1000’s are from O&G projections dressed up as forecasts. But hey, who expects gas heads or armchair speculators to read past the headlines?

      • Anyway, the 1000’s was always refering to wells and not pads. Hove you just discovered the well pad idea?

        • No, it wasn’t what the antis were stating, PhilipP. You may not have been one of them but the always is just fake.

          However, the critical piece of the jigsaw is whether thick layers are common in certain UK areas. If so, and they are productive, it would logically (economics) cause pads to migrate to those areas. Then, there would be the question as to whether such areas were suitable in other respects.

          Maybe not just Norway looking at reprofiling their portfolio!

          • It was Martin, unless you can prove otherwise. You do spend a lot of time imagining what ‘antis’ are saying – hoping to score a ‘gotcha’ no doubt. Perhaps this says more about you that the subject.

            More critical than thickness I’d say (at this stage) is the mineralogy, brittleness and flatness of the shale strata – regardless of the TOC or Total Organic Content. With too much folding and faulting – quite characteristic of Britain’s geology it seems – and any natural fissures will have been too big to arrest store the gas as it builds up over millennia. It would have escaped ages ago, apart from in the odd flat(ish) pocket.

            • “It was Martin, unless you can prove otherwise”!!!

              Very interesting comment.

              No, I do not need to prove otherwise. Many who read DoD will know what I stated was correct. If you wish to claim black is white until someone needs to prove otherwise you will next be claiming all Barclays are the same, unless someone proves otherwise! Now, you have gone down that route before.

              But, you might check back through some of my posts and you will find on NUMEROUS occasions I raised the subject of what was a site, what was a well in respect of 1000s marching across the countryside and it was quite clear that some people were referring to 1000s of sites. There is another little point here, again which I have raised. If you have 20-30 wells on a pad that indicates locals may receive 20-30 chunks of financial reward, rather than many more locals only receiving it once. Another minor point which is best ignored-unless you are an interested local who is not an anti.

              Sorry PhilipP. You may wish interested people are not really interested in the facts, but the majority will be.

              • Not forgetting your ‘fact’ stating “Fracking in Lancashire is supposed to trigger seismic events-that is the purpose of it” Martin?
                Lol. You’re just lucky I didn’t ask you to prove that. But I expect, similarly, you would answer that you just didn’t need to. Sigh.

                • Not forgetting that you could not detail the physics where it would not, and could not, PhilipP.

                  I gave you the references where you could become enlightened regarding the laws of physics, but bringing a horse to water is one thing, making them drink seems to be another.

                  However, I recall a certain person waxing lyrical about the huge pressures being utilised within the fracking process demonstrating his research into the subject. Hmmm, wonder who that was. So, what happens to that energy regarding very sensitive seismic monitoring?

                  So, no I do not need to prove that. Some may have difficulty with basic laws of physics because they have not bothered to consider them, others because they think others are unaware of them and can mislead, but the majority will not be in those categories.

                • … but not your facts Martin. Don’t worry, post Brexit Britain’s can have its own laws of physics for shale. You’ve regularly chastised people for referring to the American (years of) experience. It will all be different here right? Hmmm.

          • Shouldn’t assume things PhilipP. You have had problems with where that leads before.

            And, physics in the UK are the same as in USA.

            You can try all the deflection you like but you will not change the facts.

            I expect there will be differences here PhilipP. Maybe in the UK fracking will not remove the national debt as it is reported to be scheduled to do in the USA. But, I would like to be proved wrong. Either way, it will take facts not fiction.

            • Good, then please try and catch up. You’re not so bad on the O bit of O&G if that’s any consolation.

              • You think that a compliment PhilipP?

                I am sure you think you are expert in making that assessment. Sorry, but with you as ref. I shall have to rely upon the crowd. They are not so myopic as some believe.

                • Ah, well. Good luck with that. The wisdom of the crowd has been brilliant on Brexit hasn’t it.

                • Not biting PhilipP!

                  I’m quite happy with a 2-0 win. A greater margin would be cruel.

  5. Robin, the Pentre Chert dips eastward under the Dee Estuary (see BGS Sheet 108). It is almost certainly present beneath (not so merry) England , beneath the Liverpool Bay – Wirral region. Futhermore, if you go and look at the Pentre Chert, you will see it is a basinal facies of silicified hemipelagic shales & carbonate turbidites, which in sequence strat terms lies in the local lower part of the Bowland Shales, in the Pendleian. Some shale gas plays in USA, such as the Barnett (in part time equivalent to our Bowland Shale) are siliceous. Conversely, the Haslingden Flags, which are described at various outcrops in Lancashire, dip westwards from England beneath Liverpool Bay, and outcrop at Point of Ayre (the site of UK’s gassiest coal mine) in Wales – but are attributed wrongly there by the BGS (Sheet 96) to the Gwespyr Sandstone. Since the Haslingen Flags are westerly sourced (indeed from chloritic basement now located in N America), it should be no surprise that they are found west of Lancashire, in Wales. By the way, true Gwespyr Sandstone, is actually the Welsh equivalent of the Rough Rock, which is an English lithostrat unit sourced from Fennoscandia (presently east Greenland & Scandinavia). So I hope that lay-people reading this thread will now realise that Carboniferous geology predates political boundaries, or even present day continental plate positions.

    • Hi Nick, thanks for your comments. I am already aware of what you write. Indeed I have looked at the Pentre Chert (in Flintshire) and the Haslingden Flags (in NW England). Unfortunately there is no factual evidence that the Pentre Chert is physically present in the Ellesmere Port-1 Well drilled by I-Gas and reported present by I-Gas. Let us simply agree that the Ellesmere Port-1 did not encounter the Pentre Chert and move on.

      So I hope lay people reading this thread will now realise that chert is chert and shale is shale. But to imagine chert is shale or shale is chert is as untenable as claiming that chalk is cheese or cheese is chalk.

      Robin Grayson MSc, Liberal Democrat Geologist

      • Robin, for the sake of clarity. Lithostratigraphical names, when taking on a lithological name, portray the lithology that appears most characteristic.. The Pentre Chert Formation contains shales. Are you saying that the Chatburn Lst is only limestone & has no shales? Or that the Millstone Grit is all gritstone and has no other lithologies within it, or that Hodder Mudstone is only mudstone & has no limestones or sandstones within it?. Regarding the alleged presence of Pentre Chert in Ellesmere Port 1. At the top of this thread you claimed it could not be there as it is Welsh lithstrat interval. Now you say there is no factual evidence that it present in the well. Please explain that there is no “factual” evidence, if you are so certain.

        • Hi Nick,
          I have examined the drillers’ detailed lithology.
          I cannot comment further. Robin

          • So you have only used single source of description, which are not your own observations. As a general rule drillers lithological descriptions are useful as a first pass, but should not be relied upon without cross referencing to the many others sources of downhole information. No need for you to comment further.

          • Robin, as a general rule, drillers litho logs are a useful first pass, but need to be cross referenced & compared with the many other sources of downhole information derived from a modern well. No need to comment further. Bye the way, I am co-author of Davies et al (2004) BGS Sheet 108 Memoir “Geology of the Country around Flint”, which you might also find is a useful source of info.

            • Hi Nick, Yes I am familiar with the multiple authored ‘Geology of the Country around Flint’ – good piece of work by all. Regarding drillers litho logs, they recorded only a trace of chert, so not Pentre Chert Formation as IGAS claimed many times in many public documents.

      • Robin, You might like to read this, of which I am a co-author. “Produced by members of the Society’s Stratigraphy Commission, the volume explains the different stratigraphical methods, shows how they can be applied by the practicing geologist and, where appropriate, indicates their current limitations. It is a new version of the Society’s long-established Guide to Stratigraphical Procedure, and has been expanded to embrace modern developments in the definition and correlation of rock sequences. It offers clear guidelines on stratigraphical practice but is not intended as a formal stratigraphical code. It is aimed primarily at geologists working in the United Kingdom and therefore mainly utilizes UK examples”.

    • Nick, I couldn’t agree more. Some people don’t seem to be following the shale gas industry in the USA very closely. A couple of years ago I attended an international conference on shale which was also attended by many of the worlds leading experts on the subject. The discussion turned to the definition of shale. It turned out that very few of the shale gas plays had the characteristics of shale that I was taught at University. Most have a very low clay content (less than 30%) and are more similar in character to marl or siltstone. Most don’t have a fissility. In the end, on of the experts said that the thought the best definition was a black material that sits on a core shead and generally goes unanalysed.

      The whole argument about the Pentre chert stems from a tactic that is used by antifrackers to try and discredit either a company or an individual. They’ll identify a single issue that they think they’ve got wrong and they try and use that to convince the gullible that everything else they say is wrong. I remember Smythe doing the same when he attracted James Verdon because he used adsorption instead of absorption to explain the interaction of methane with organic matter. It seems both sad and dishonest but that’s what we’ve come to expect.

      • Hi Simon,

        Thanks for your response. I gather you are knowledgeable but not a geologist.

        The BGS Lexicon of Named Rock Units clearly states for the Pentre Chert Formation:
        Geographical Limits: Northeast Wales between Prestatyn (SJ 09 83) and Halkyn Mountain (SJ 21 69).

        There is nothing in the Ellesmere Port-1 that can be called Pentre Chert Formation.

        Read again what Nick Riley writes. He mentions a lot of things but nowhere mentions the Pentre Chert Formation was actually encountered in the IGAS Ellesmere Port-1 borehole.

        Nothing supports I-Gas claims, and the issue now is that the record of this borehole submitted to the government records (see UKOGS) contains this erroneous information.

        Robin Grayson MSc
        Liberal Democrat Geologist

        • Robin- “The BGS Lexicon of Named Rock Units clearly states for the Pentre Chert Formation:
          Geographical Limits: Northeast Wales between Prestatyn (SJ 09 83) and Halkyn Mountain (SJ 21 69)” That is very general summary, based on outcrop, not subsurface, & was entered into the lexicon some time ago (not by me, nor checked by me). BGS Sheet 108 (Section 2) clearly & shows the Pentre Chert , indeed thickening, down dip under the Dee Estuary,

          • Indeed BGS Sheet 108 (Section 2) “shows the Pentre Chert, indeed thickening, down dip under the Dee Estuary”. Contrariwise the IGAS map of the distribution of the Pentre Chert shows it thinning and completely fizzling out at the Ellesmere Port-1 borehole.

  6. Hi Nick, thanks for the reference to the publication.

    Take a look at the IGAS Report dated 26 November 2018 entitled PEDL188 Relinquishment Report; Figure 3: Pendleian Sub-Stage facies map displaying the absence and poor development of the Pentre Chert reservoir facies across PEDL188.

    You will see that IGAS put a line demarcating the absolute extreme geographical limit of Pentre Chert more or less through the precise position of the Ellesmere Port-1 borehole.

    To me this indicates that IGAS believed little or no Pentre Chert to be actually present in the borehole. In addition, the sidewall sampling show good recovery which would be implausible if the sampled walls of the borehole had mechanical properties of chert (it would smash) but very reasonable for shale.


    Robin Grayson MSc
    Liberal Democrat Geologist

  7. Spring statement: “fossil fuel heating ban for new homes” about time – someone has seen the light.

    • Yes, good news. Now they should remove subsidies / FITs and pay the house builders the CAPEX to install PV / ground sourced heat pumps / best insulation etc. Otherwise it just goes on top of the house price….

      • The ones in Westminster pushing this will not be around long, so I suspect there may be some amendment!

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