LONDON, March 31 UK shale gas explorer IGas
Energy said it had encountered parts of the promising
Sabden and Bowland Shale formations in its drilling programme at
Barton Moss, near Manchester in northern England.
Samples taken from the drilling programme will be analysed
over the coming six months before the exploration firm will
decide how to proceed, the company said.
IGas also said it was in the process of acquiring around 100
square kilometres of 3D seismic data in the north west of the
country to determine where else to drill for shale gas.
"These early exploration results are key to our
understanding of the potential resource in the area," said Chief
Executive Andrew Austin.
Britain is counting on the development of potentially
substantial shale gas resources to help it stem a rise in
dependence on gas imports as production from the mature North
Sea basin is declining.
(Reporting by Karolin Schaps; editing by Kate Holton)