Why current energy prices will not impact UK shale potential

With reports coming out today on the BBC that there could be 100 billion bbls of oil in the Jurassic Kimmeridge formation according to UK Oil and Gas Investments (UKOG), the conversation about oil and gas drilling in England is more important than ever.

To put this potential find in perspective, the entire North Sea production over the last 4 decades is around 45 billion bbls, and the world's largest oil reserve, Saudi Arabia's Ghawar, produced an estimated 65 billion bbls of oil since 1951.

Chris Faulkner, CEO of Breitling Energy Corporation based in Dallas, Texas, and known by the media as the 'Frack Master', will be available for interview in Birmingham on April 15 and 16, when he attends the Shale World UK conference and exhibition.  He will also be in London for interviews following the conference.

"We knew about this potential long before it became news and now UKOG has proven what the geology showed.  This is actually an extension of the same formation that was being extracted in the North Sea. It just comes on land, and ironically is not far from Gatwick Airport," Faulkner said. "This is a game changer for England, and they will now have to shift their entire focus on how to approach oil and gas production.  There's too much at stake now for them not to," he added.

Even at current oil and gas prices, Chris Faulkner thinks shale exploration will still be viable in the UK. "Shale oil gas will take some time to bring online, but this is a long-term investment and prices will always fluctuate up and down. Now the UK can gain independence from foreign supplies by developing this massive resource under its own soil."

Faulkner feels that the two biggest obstacles to shale in the UK are the complex planning regulations and public opposition. Opponents base their argument on unfounded safety fears, which been proven untrue by US production and confirmed by the highly respected 2014 University of Manchester study claiming fracking can be done safely domestically.  Drilling restrictions in the UK are more stringent than the US, pointing to stronger safety precautions amidst increased regulatory hurdles.

Energy security and shale development have not become issues in the current General Election campaign, mostly because of milder temperatures this winter.  Last fall, with Russia jawboning to reduce gas flowing through the Ukraine, a cold winter could have led to shortages, and energy independence would certainly have propelled up the political agenda.  "The UK is at the end of a very long pipeline and only has two weeks of storage capacity if anything goes wrong," Faulkner says.

Chris Faulkner will be speaking at the Shale World UK conference and exhibition being held at the International Conference Centre (ICC) in Birmingham on Wednesday and Thursday, April 15 and 16. His topic will be: "Can unconventional exploration be economic at current oil and gas prices?"


Adapted from a press release by David Bizley

Published on 10/04/2015


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