Rumbled: Man U manager David Moyes says fracking is hitting his formations. "Highly disruptive and unacceptable" hydraulic fracturing operations in the UK are “almost certainly” the reason for the alarming slide in fortunes at English Premier League football giants Manchester United, their manager has claimed.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has also said he will be "drilling personally" as he was never really serious about leaving the oil industry in the first place, and "missed the thrills and spills." This is thought to be the reason why the Church of England has registered ancient rights to the mineral wealth under your feet.
The highest prelate in the land would not be drawn on whether Lincoln, Exeter, Bath & Wells, Durham and York could also see their cloisters extensively fracked.
Anyway last of PIGGIN missed IV article IC VIEW: We recently advised taking profits on Alkane Energy following our successful 2013 buy tip. The shares have since fallen back and we'd be tempted to re-enter here with the shares around 42p, seeing as how the company also has a very profitable coal mine methane business that could limit potential downside. Director dealing at Europa is also highly encouraging, although the rest of the company's conventional oil and gas business does not interest us as much; at 9p, the shares could be a good short-term trade. Egdon and Australia's Dart Energy are other higher-risk offerings that we're interested in as they have large shale gas land packages; we would similarly look to trade the shares, rather than buy and hold at their present levels, given the inherent risks and long-term nature of UK shale gas exploration. We continue to rate shares in more diversified oil and gas group IGas a 'speculative buy'. For more information and background on fracking, including a full list of public and private companies exploring for shale gas in the UK, see our in-depth Fracking feature
Within the wider Bowland shale formation, there are several different sub-regions, or geological basins, some of which are comparable to basins that are producing shale gas in the US. But the quality of the shale varies widely from basin to basin, as well as within basins. So until exploration wells are drilled and fracked, we won't really know which geological basin, if any, will prove to be the first 'sweet spot' producers are hoping to find. Thus far, IGas Energy (IGAS) has built up a large land position in the Cheshire basin; Cuadrilla and Centrica are focused on the Bowland basin near Blackpool; Total, Egdon and IGas are focused on the Gainsborough Trough; and Dart and GDF Suez have bought wide swaths of land across all three basins.
Shale gas basins within the wider Bowland-Hodder shale formation
Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change
Cuadrilla's acreage near Blackpool is undoubtedly the most high profile, being the site of a minor earth tremor caused by the first attempt at fracking there (it was abandoned halfway through). Yet Total's recent, high-profile move into the Gainsborough Trough region could really ignite interest there, especially with GDF Suez also controlling a sizeable land position in the same basin.
UK shale gas licences farmed into by major energy companies
Mark Abbott, Egdon's chief executive officer, told Investors Chronicle that the BGS and independent consultant RPS have both highlighted the Gainsborough region as "a particular area that could be one of the core areas for development" of shale gas. "It's the same age rocks as you're looking at in the Cuadrilla acreage and the IGas acreage over in Cheshire, just a different basin. We basically have a thick development of these shales within what is quite a simple geological setting. We believe it has the correct parameters to develop a shale gas play, and we're encouraged to say the least by the fact that Total have verified our view by farming in," said Mr Abbot.
To view a more detailed map of onshore oil and gas licences in the Gainsborough Trough, including those held by IGas, Egdon, Alkane, Dart and Europa, click here.
Note: Total has farmed into licences (PEDL) 139, 140 and 209. GDF Suez has farmed into licences (PEDL) 185, 186, 187, 188, 189, 147 and EXL273 in the west, and 012, 146, 200, 207, 210 and EXL288 in the east. Egdon farmed into licences 161 and 162 in December.
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