London Local Energy: How?


Sometimes only a picture will do.  This from our friends at Continental Resources is used with permission.  It’s a billboard in Oklahoma

London Local Energy does not use the F word.  No one uses F words to describe the natural gas that 3 million Londoners use for heat and hot water – except sometimes when the bill arrives.  We are obsessed with the product, not the process. The three revolutions of the past ten years ( the others being hydraulic fracturing and sub-surface imaging) are simply a case of yesterday’s breakthroughs rapidly becoming the mainstream. Over 70% of US gas and 65% of oil is produced using the above method. As long as people consume natural gas, we think we should offer the lowest carbon and highest public revenue alternative.

Some say that because the UK has no landowner rights to hydrocarbons its a barrier to development.  LLE’s view is the public ownership of oil and gas resources is both equitable and promotes efficient – and minimal – development above ground. It’s also our view that the disposition of the resources of the many should be a question for the many, not the few.

Long, horizontally drilled laterals are the ideal solution for London.  The UK, unlike the US, has very large blocks that have one owner.  The UK industry can  use the latest technology to access most of the below ground with minimal surface impact.  Among other concerns,  London property is famously expensive. We share the bounty of below ground with all 65 million UK residents – if they allow us.

Two recent examples from the US inform.  Another side issue of the UK debate is that the academic studies on UK shale potential are out of date by publication date as technology advances rapidly. This from June 2017 from our other friends at Range Resources in Pennsylvania underlines how things have changed in just the past three years.

When Range Resources first began drilling horizontally in the Marcellus Shale, the average length of laterals was around 2,500 feet.  Today, that length has increased to nearly 3 miles.

Horizontal drilling technology is one of the most important factors for the modern shale boom. Lateral wellbores allow companies like Range Resources to access large volumes of natural gas trapped within geologic formations from a single location. As drilling companies are able to drill laterals at increasingly longer lengths – they can access more natural gas with fewer wells and less disruption on the surface of the land.

This from 2016 on news from Eclipse Resources Ohio.

Eclipse Resources Corp. has sought to continuously improve well economics since entering the Utica Shale three years ago. A powerful lever in lowering the cost per foot of stimulated Utica interval has been a gradual extension of horizontal reach, with the company increasing lateral lengths in evolutionary increments of tens to perhaps hundreds of feet from one well to the next.

Looking to further enhance the cost structure of developing both the dry gas and condensate-rich portions of its Utica leasehold in eastern Ohio, Eclipse Resources is shifting to a new “superlateral” paradigm that measures lateral extension in the revolutionary increments of miles rather than feet.

While many in the UK have heard of the Marcellus Shale, few know of the Utica Shale. The Utica did not start producing until 2011.

It has never had more than 27 rigs at one time operating.

Many wells are in the Muskingum Water Conservancy District 

The Utica is producing at an annual rate of 1,345 Billion Cubic Feet or 38 billion cubic metres or 50% of the entire UK gas demand in 2016. Notably we found these figures at Farm and Dairy magazine. Shale gas is no longer controversial to farmers or cows apparently.

Inevitably technology will evolve further. For one example, it may be possible to replace water in hydraulic fracturing with liquid CO2 .  

Microwave technology is another possible advance.

These are exciting times, disruptive for the good. Let’s look!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *