The UK has abundant shales at depth, although their distribution is not well known. The BGS is investigating the location, depth and properties of the shale as well as the processes that lead to economic accumulations of gas.
The 2010 BGS/DECC Shale Gas report identified significant potential areas in northern England, including Widmerpool Gulf near Nottingham and a large area centred on the Elswick Gasfield, near Blackpool.
The recently published UK data and analysis for shale gas prospectivity covers work up to March 2009 and identifies high prospect areas.
Ongoing BGS research work is focused in three main areas:
The BGS has carried out a basic geological study of shale gas basins thorugh the use of conventional oil and gas well data to identify potential targets; for example:
BGS produced the recent UK shale gas prospectivity report for DECC.
The BGS is also working on a new resource estimate for the Bowland Shale in the Craven Basin around Blackpool.
More about BGS Shale gas prospectivity
Our studies of the organic content of shales allow a more strategic, predictive understanding of shale prospectivity.
The organic geochemical composition of shale controls gas generation and gas retention.
Various techniques allow determination of thermal maturity, kerogen typing, organic richness to determine organic matter quality and productivity.
More about source rock quality and properties
This technology allows remote study of possible shale gas reservoirs using information from seismic surveys.
Assessment of shale for gas productivity includes:
More about shale anisotropy
Contact Prof. Mike Stephenson for further information or enquiries about BGS shale gas consultancy services