I've pointed out in the past that Ireland, in the Fermanagh area straddling NI and the Republic is prospective for shale, news today that some are looking elsewhere too.
Ireland has joined the growing list of European countries with prospective areas for shale gas exploration. Yesterday Enegi Oil (LON:ENEG) was given an option over 495-square kilometres in the Clare Basin, in west Ireland.
“The initiation of a programme to search for shale gas In Ireland by Enegi should come as no real surprise given the work being carried out in the US, Canada and latterly the grab for licences in Europe,” Davy analyst Job Langbroek said in a note today.
Langbroek adds: “The arrival of Enegi mirrors the events in the rest of Europe, where other groups are examining the local geology for potential shale gas plays.
“However, the same issues that present on the continent are also likely to be found in Ireland, and it is likely that there will be considerable scrutiny of any progress – especially with respect to environmental issues.”
I confuse my readers further by revealing that I actually am an Irish passport holder, and dread to think how much I will be paying to renew it next month, but since it's the only tax I've ever paid to them, I shouldn't complain. But I think Mr Langbroek is pushing out the old enviromental BS a little early yet. Two things for sure about Ireland, they need the money these days and lack of water resources will not be an issue.
Finavera used to have the only onshore Ireland license, but in case of bad timing, they recently got out of gas and into wind energy. One of the many small cap Oz exploration companies running all over Europe these days (EGL, Basgas, Elixir, AJ Lucas's share of Cuadrilla, etc. etc ) Tamboran has now set up shop on the border:
Significant gas flows at Thur Mountain-1, and Dowra-1 and -2 in the Republic of Ireland
- 260 mcf/day from Bundoran Formation from 1234 m to 1244 m in Dowra-1;
- up to 640 mcf/day from Dowra Sandstone (within the Bundoran Shale; 1248-1260 m)
in Dowra-2; and
- 440 mcf/day from Mullaghmore Sandstone (759-830 m) in Thur Mountain-1
= in no case were the shale formations fractured or tested using modern tecniques.
This is how shale plays started out in many places in North America, and Europe will be no different. Let's just remember that shale is so ubiquitous that markets are as important as actual gas. Ireland imports most of it's gas these days as the Kinsale gas field depletes, so for economic and secuirty of supply reasons, a new gas field in one of the few parts of rural Ireland not yet invaded by McMansions or German and Dutch vacation homes would be most welcome.
According to Platts today, another company Lough Allen Natural Gas has also got a license in the same area.