Weald shale-gas prospects written off
Having completed an estimate for the amount of shale gas in the Weald Basin in south-east England, the British Geological Survey has reported that “No significant gas resource is recognised using the current geological model”.
The news comes alongside the launch of a government consultation on proposals to simplify the existing procedure for shale gas and oil and deep geothermal underground drilling access.
The proposals are:
- underground right of access for shale gas and deep geothermal operations only below 300m (nearly 1000ft)
- a voluntary community payment of £20,000 per lateral well
- a clear notification system to alert local people
Ministers point out that many other industries already access underground land beneath people’s homes in order to lay cables and build infrastructure such as water pipes and tunnels, which are much closer to the surface.
For example the deepest Tube station is around 32m below ground while drilling for gas, oil and deep geothermal energy is much deeper – the proposals would only apply from 300 metres down.