Advice on shale gas

Advice on shale gas

Our vocabulary gained a new word during 2013. “Fracking” is shorthand for hydraulic fracturing to release gas that’s trapped in shales - at considerable depth in the UK.  We were commissioned by a major landowner with extensive areas of rural land to carry out a desk study to investigate whether shale gas was likely to exist beneath their property, and what issues would need to be taken into consideration if the gas were to be exploited.

We obtained digital data from the Department of Energy and Climate Change showing the location of potential deep shale gas resources. We then overlaid onto that data the locations of our client’s property to show any possible overlap. We also prepared a report describing the legal ownership position in relation to hydrocarbons and how it affects landowners, and advised our client on the likely value of potential drilling sites.

As a result of our report, they were able to take a holistic view of how their extensive estate might fit into a regional exploration strategy for shale gas. They also gained a realistic understanding of the potential costs and benefits of gas production.