There have been a number of wells drilled in the UK over the years, very few for Shale Gas, but the cores are still useful when it comes to helping assess where we might find shale, and how much is there. And it seems like with every new hole, the estimates are getting higher.
The current estimates are that the UK shales are about 10 times deeper than the US Marcellus Shales. Now everyones first reaction to that is that there is 10 times more gas. True, but that is not the only exciting difference.
One of the problems with the US shales is that as they are so shallow, they drill, frack move, drill, frack move etc. And so the Gas is taken away by lorry. Yes, all by road. Well how inefficient is that.
In the UK, if the shale is deeper, then the drilling rig is able to drill directionally, drilling not just 10 times more volume of shale, but in reality perhaps 20 to 30 times the volume of shale can be fracked from the same rig.
And of course that is all without moving it. So then it becomes economical to put in a pipeline, to either the local town, or a gas power station. How exciting is that?