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UK Shale Plays – Prospectivity, Resource Potential and acreage ranking

Novas Consulting’s study was completed in August 2014 and represents the only independent and authoritative assessment of UK shale potential based on full cycle analysis using a rigorous subsurface approach to resource estimation and risk analysis.  The study uses a comprehensive digital dataset from more than 60 onshore UK wells, and examines both known plays and conceptual plays.  Each play fairway is evaluated in detail and rigorous estimates made of resource richness, distribution and risk.


The study provides:

  • Descriptions of and sections through each prospective basin with an analysis of the shale potential in key wells
  • Geochemical and petrophysical analysis of study wells in order to evaluate source presence and richness, shale reservoir potential and the presence of hydrocarbons in the shales
  • Map-based volumetric assessment of petroleum generated, shale storage capacity and hydrocarbons-in-place
  • Ranked inventories of UK onshore licence blocks, summarising their play and resource potential and critical risk factors
  • An overview of engineering and economic considerations with some worked examples specific to the UK operating environment


Who should buy?

  • E&P and Energy companies interested in UK Onshore shale-gas potential
  • Private Equity companies and investment funds with existing UK Onshore investments or seeking investments
  • Service companies

Why you should buy

  • Gain a deeper understanding of the technical and commercial challenges and opportunities relating to UK Onshore shale gas potential
  • Gain an understanding of the range of plays, risks and potential
  • Gain insight into the engineering and economic issues
  • Access a comprehensive ranked acreage inventory (licensed & unlicensed)


UK energy supply is undergoing transformational changes. The country has moved from being a net exporter of energy in 2003 to importing 43% of its energy needs in 2012, a requirement forecast to increase to 70% by 2020. Following the huge impact of shale gas production on US energy supplies, the first steps are being taken to exploit shale gas in Europe and hopes have been raised that shale resources can have a similar effect on the balance of UK energy supply. The UK Government has been keen to facilitate exploitation of Britain’s possible shale gas resources following upbeat estimates from the British Geological Survey (BGS) in 2013 of 1,300 trillion cubic feet of shale gas present in the Bowland Shale in the north of England, double previous estimates. Of this, 10% or 130 trillion cubic feet could be recovered, according to the BGS. To put this into context, if true it would represent a gas resource greater than that so far produced from the United Kingdom Continental Shelf and would clearly be a significant boost to the UK’s energy security.

However, the UK is at a very early stage of shale gas exploration and no play has yet been proven. The Bowland Shale is just one of a number of high potential shale plays in the UK, and recent UK shale gas resource estimates show some major differences, and the true potential has been hotly debated. Only exploratory drilling and production testing of wells will determine the true scale and geographic distribution of potential resources, and large scale production operations, involving fracking, are still a long way down the line. In this context, the licence awards in the 14th Onshore Round are an important step towards assessing that potential.


Terms and conditions specific to partner products can be found here Partner Product Terms & Conditions