Jurassic shale of the Weald Basin: resource estimation report

The British Geological Survey (BGS) in association with the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) has completed an estimate for the amount of shale oil and shale gas in the Weald Basin in south-east England; published 23 May 2014.

The estimate is in the form of a range to reflect geological uncertainty. The range of shale oil in place is estimated to be between 2.20 and 8.57 billion barrels (bbl) or 293 and 1143 million tonnes, but the central estimate for the resource is 4.4 billion bbl or 591 million tonnes.

No significant gas resource is recognised using the current geological model. This is mainly because the shale is not thought to have reached the geological maturity required to generate gas.

The figure for oil represents the total amount of oil present in the rocks. It is not known what percentage of the oil present in the shale could be commercially extracted. In order to estimate the shale oil reserve, drilling and testing of new wells will be required to give a better idea of oil production rates.

In addition, non-geological factors such as oil price, operating costs and the scale of development agreed by the local planning system will affect the amount of oil produced.

Shale oil clearly has potential in Britain but it will require geological and engineering expertise, investment and protection of the environment. It will also need organisations like the BGS to play their part in providing up to date and accurate information on resources and the environment to the public, industry and government.

Download the BGS/OGA Weald report

Download the BGS/OGA BGS Weald Basin Jurassic Shale reports.

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