Shale Gas News and Information
More from AJ Lucas on Cuadrilla
- Written by Nick Grealy
- Published: 27 December 2011
More interesting comment from AJ Lucas ahead of their restart of today's trading after a seven month suspension, during which their stake in Cuadrilla is turning into a very interesting play. On one hand, one can't expect them to talk the story any way but up, but their spin is interesting nevertheless:
Lucas's crown jewel is an effective 56 per cent interest in the Bowland prospect near Blackpool in Britain via a 25 per cent direct stake and a 42 per cent holding in Cuadrilla, which since its drilling results at the Preece Hall 1 well may hold the key to a new phase in the British gas supply industry.
The 3000m deep wildcat struck more than 1000m of gas-bearing shale.
"In the US, their shale zones are 250m thick, maximum," he says. "We're dealing here with 1500m, which is extraordinary."
Time will tell on the Cuadrilla discovery, but it's notable that it will tell much sooner than many of the shale plays in Poland. This time next year we may already now if the play will work or only be six months away from it:
He says the first three wells have been drilled and all found gas.
"With unconventional gas, the big risk is not exploration but extraction," he says.
"We have a number of questions to answer but the first one (is there a commercial quantity of gas in these rocks?) has already been answered in the affirmative."
"The next one is: 'Will the rocks take fracturing?', and the third is: 'Will the gas flow after fracturing?'
"We won't have answers to two and three until the department allows us to recommence fracking," he says with the air of a man who has done a lot of homework on that score.
He doesn't expect Cuadrilla to do the development if that happens, on sheer cost and scale grounds. "We'd leave that to one of the majors. But if this works, you're talking big numbers.
I've been saying all along that those numbers, can transform not only Cuadrilla's fortunes, but those of the entire UK. A 200 TCF find could easily translate into a 1 TCF production for forty years, which means thirty percent or so of UK gas demand or £6Billion per year. That's six billion with a b, yet it's bizarre how the UK press continues to ignore the possible enormity of this find while it concentrates on any number of penny ante quasi crackpot schemes in energy or oil elsewhere in the world, prime example being the Falklands oil story. We still need the rocks to talk, but it's more likely they will shout instead of whisper.