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IGas Energy says Cheshire shale reserves more than double previous forecast

IGas’s (LON:IGAS) shale gas reserves at its Ince Marshes prospect in Cheshire could be double its previous estimates and it is now looking for a farm-in partner.

The energy group said that after looking at the data from its first well at the field, near Warrington, reserves could be twice the independent pre-drill estimate of 4.6Tcf.

Elsewhere, the group added that its coal bed methane (CBM) wells at Doe Green have started dewatering and are showing early gas, though the rates have yet to stabilise.

IGas said it had commissioned the export equipment and all three wells are now connected to the facilities. 

The company's production assets, bought in with the acquisition of Star Energy last year for £10 million, averaged production of 2700 barrels daily, 20 per cent ahead of CPR estimates, in the first three months of 2012.

A revised independent resource estimate on the conventional assets is expected by the summer.

It also intends to apply for planning permission to bring the Albury gas field in the Weald Basin on stream in 2013.

Part of Star Energy, Albury was suspended following the drilling of a well for potential gas storage use but IGas has now flow tested a well at the field, which produced at a rate of up to 1.5 MMscf/day (260 boe/d).

Andrew Austin, chief executive, said: "Ince Marshes-1 is a particular highlight, potentially at least doubling the independent pre-drill estimate of 4.6Tcf of shale resource. 

"Our shale potential offers a significant opportunity for the company and to potential partners, in addition to our CBM resource base of over 300 million boe. 

"The UK Government's announcement about a new gas generation strategy and the support given in the budget to the industry are all signs that UK sourced hydrocarbons are going to play an increasingly important role in the future energy mix of the country."

Philip Whiterow
Philip Whiterow


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“Our purpose remains to prove up the asset in the most efficient way possible and we believe significant progress is being made by the company on all fronts," chief executive Brian McDonnnell said.

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