Cuadrilla introduced outcomes from its flow-testing of the UK’s first ever horizontal shale fuel exploration properly, drilled by the shale rock greater than 7,500 ft beneath the Preston New Road exploration web site in Lancashire.
The firm, based mostly in close by Bamber Bridge, stated that the drilling, hydraulic fracturing and stream testing of the primary horizontal properly confirms that there’s a wealthy reservoir of recoverable prime quality pure fuel current.
Chief Executive Officer Francis Egan stated “We have additionally confirmed that the Bowland shale formation fractures in a method that, from US expertise, is typical of a superb shale fuel reservoir. A fancy fracture community was generated within the shale and sand injected into the fractures has stayed in place throughout stream again. Also the pure fuel flowing to floor from the shale has a really excessive methane content material, which suggests it could possibly be delivered into the native fuel grid for the good thing about native shoppers with minimal processing required.”
An deliberately conservative micro-seismic working restrict throughout hydraulic fracturing, set at simply zero.5 on the Richter Scale, had nevertheless severely constrained the amount of sand that could possibly be injected into the shale rock. Mr Egan added: “We have solely partially examined this properly, with simply two out of the forty one phases put in alongside the horizontal part fractured totally as designed, and fewer than 14 per cent of the sand we had deliberate to inject into the shale rock put in place. Nonetheless the pure fuel nonetheless flowed again from the shale at a peak charge of over 200,000 normal cubic ft per day and a secure charge of some 100,000 normal cubic ft per day.
Cuadrilla estimates that, when in comparison with a typical North American 2.5km lengthy producing horizontal shale fuel properly, with all of its phases fractured as deliberate, the information signifies a possible preliminary stream charge vary of between 3million and 8million normal cubic ft per day.
“This is a extremely encouraging consequence and nice information for the UK which continues to import fuel in ever rising portions by ship and lengthy distance pipeline and has seen report demand for fuel through the current chilly climate. The pure fuel beneath Preston New Road might assist safe our home fuel provide and stream instantly into the native grid, lowering CO2 emissions related to importing LNG in tankers from world wide, together with shale fuel from the US, or piping fuel to the UK over 1000’s of miles.”
In addition to micro-seismic knowledge Cuadrilla recorded floor vibration ranges all through fracturing operations. The overwhelming majority of these vibrations have been lower than zero.5 mm/second which the corporate has highlighted is as much as thirty occasions decrease than limits utilized to different UK industrial operations, together with quarrying and development.
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