Just as we were surmising that drilling would start in early September at Tinker Lane, IGas have announced in a Trading Statement issued today that as a consequence of delays in their preparations they are now pushing back to start in Q4, presumably an early October start. The statement also implies that Tinker lane will be drilled before Springs Road. The relevant section from the Trading Statement is shown below.
Tinker Lane – we have experienced some delays in our final preparations and now expect to spud our first shale appraisal well in North Nottinghamshire at Tinker Lane in Q4 2018
Springs Road – construction works are nearing completion. As we have satisfied Condition 21 through the ongoing monitoring of site noise this has enabled us to resume works through the bird breeding season
Reasonable for the CLG to ask for a little more detail on the delays. Watch this space!
Pictured above is another image from the set taken on 1st August showing the fabrication adjacent to the well cellar.
Image above shows the Marriotts team on site at Tinker lane today (1st August 2018). More evidence perhaps that the decision is already made on choice of rig. Its the Marriotts HH220 as we surmised and it looks as though preparations are in hand to afford a start of the drilling phase at the end of the month. We also hear that a HH220, owned by Marriotts is on the move from Preston New Road. A quick lick of paint, maybe a re-badge with an IGas logo or two at Danesmoor and we can then expect that they will be poised and ready to deliver to site in early September.
The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) have issued revisions to the licence conditions for a number of drilling companies. Seemingly this is a call to bring forward plans to seismically test, drill and frack wells in certain licence areas. The changes to the licence conditions in PEDL 200 (where Tinker Lane is situated and shown on the map of Bassetlaw licence areas above) appear to be quite tame as if discussions have been undertaken with the developer in advance to ensure that targets might be met. The requirement for PEDL 200 will be met if one well is drilled by 31st December 2018 and a horizontal well drilled by June 2021. Well it must be on the cards that Tinker Lane will be drilled this year, the drilling companies are poised, it’s either DrillTec or Marriott HH220 rigs (images in sidebar). Indeed, there have been reports and images on social media today of a Marriotts team busying themselves at Tinker Lane. Their people seen huddled around the conductors they completed drilling just last month. Must be highly likely that Marriotts are contracted to use their HH220 drilling rig, previously contracted by IGas to drill at Barton Moss.
So its either a survey to locate the elusive hobby (bird of prey) or IGas will hold off the drilling phase until the end of August. Now, who is going to undertake a survey when its just a matter of a few weeks to sit this one out. We can expect IGas to formally nominate Marriott’s rig to NCC within weeks and the drilling phase to start in early September.
PEDL 210 is an IGAS licence area to the east of Sturton, just the tip of which is in Bassetlaw, also earmarked for early investigation by OGA. The licence for PEDL 210 now calls for a well to be drilled by 30th June 2021. A comprehensive article on the OGA decisons is available on the Drill or Drop website.
Nottinghamshire County Council have announced that their draft Minerals Local Plan is open to consultation. The consultation period runs from 27th July 2018 until 28th September 2018. There are of course a number of issues that will be of interest to our local communities, in particular the Counties take on quarrying and the extraction of hydrocarbons. Of particular interest to the CLG., Policy MP12 Hydrocarbon Minerals, 4.104 Shale Gas and following. The question posed, Question 21, What do you think of the draft policy to meet demand for hydrocarbon minerals over the plan period.
So local people what exactly do you think of the proposals?
In the three weeks since the CLG site visit on 3rd July and indeed an earlier look see over the fence there is little change on site. The conductors are shown in the image taken today and are as observed in mid June. We have not heard if iGas intend to undertake the hobby survey or are prepared to sit this out until September. We’d guess the latter unless a drill rig becomes immediately available. No new activity on NCC’s planning portal either, where we would expect to see confirmation that IGas have selected a particular drilling rig and advised NCC of their selection. So July is a another quiet month at Tinker Lane for which the Hobby and its brood might be particularly grateful.
The National Grid has just released its annual review “Future Energy Scenarios” which makes for interesting if heavy reading. In its review it is clear that natural gas remains the mainstay of both electricity generation and heating. However changes to the distribution network brought about by decentralisation, whereby electricity is generated for example by solar, wind turbines and in some scenarios perhaps from gas engines running on shale gas rather than large multi GW powerstations will needs be factored in. Where natural gas is used to generate electricity then exhaust gas decarbonisation will be required (even on modern combined cycle gas turbines CCGT) and in the home a move to low carbon heating will be necessary (such as ground source heat pumps). Wind turbines and solar generation are intermittent sources of generation and will be coupled to the more inflexible (base load) nuclear power stations. Battery storage systems will be required to manage the troughs and interconnectors importing/exporting to the continent as appropriate. The continued roll out of smart meters and smart chargers will all help to manage electricity demand.
In order to meet our climate change obligations we have to decarbonise our economy and the National Grid who are responsible for the transmission of electricity and gas in the UK are looking at a number of scenarios in order to meet projected demands.
Of particular interest to our group, involved as we are with a company keen to develop possible shale gas reserves in the UK, are the assessments of gas supply and any role that the National Grid sees for shale gas. In 2,000 we were self sufficient in natural gas and now our needs are met by importing around 50% of our requirements from the continent (natural gas) and LNG (Liquified Natural Gas) from further afield.
In the review on gas supply there are 4 scenarios. In the uncertainty that surrounds the development of a shale gas extractive industry only 2 scenarios are considered whereby shale makes a contribution. The level of pick up for shale production is portrayed as a function of the manner in which development monies might be applied to enhancing the supply from our own North Sea holdings against that which is invested in shale. One scenario considers a slow increase in shale production from 2025 to a peak in 2050 of around 12 bcm, the other a huge expansion from 2020 to 2035 peaking at 25 bcm in 2050.
So its either no shale, some shale or lots of shale.
What is also interesting, reading between the lines is that the grid envisage that shale gas if developed would be connected to both the distribution and transmission networks. (sold as gas and electricity). Now INEOS have intimated that they would use the gas themselves to meet process requirements and maybe to sell for export (abroad). IGas also gave us the impression they would also prefer to sell gas rather than electricity. In the event it is the new Electricity System Operator, a spin off from the National Grid ,who any would be gas producer will have to deal with and who will no doubt wish to influence that decision.
As we have got closer to seeing the start of drilling at Tinker lane the Community Liaison Group (CLG) have been receiving more questions from local folk as to what is happening, why it is happening and how it might affect us. These questions, if we do not already have the answers are promptly referred back to the developer IGas, who to date have responded in a timely fashion. If as the project proceeds you find you have new questions then contact your Parish representative on the CLG or if you prefer use the contact form on this website. Should you wish to see the Exploratory Well Site (from outside of the compound) we will happily accompany you to the gate, if you are on your own it can be quite daunting! Meanwhile check out the posts on the website and keep an eye on the minutes of the CLG meetings, links to the minutes are in the sidebar.
The Community Liaison Group visited Tinker Lane this morning. The site construction phase is now complete, conductors have been drilled, the conductor nearest to A634 will be drilled the other is a spare. The site is barren of equipment and indeed personnel pending the arrival of the drilling rig. IGas advised that no decision has yet been made on the drilling rig, the choice would seem to be a matter of availability. There is no news either on the hobby survey which is also pending. Images from the visit are available from the gallery.
MP for North East Derbyshire, Lee Rowley, is to chair an All Party Parliamentary Group on Shale Gas and how the extraction process might impact on former underground mine workings.
Large areas of the coalfields in the East Midlands were deep mined. Some as recently as 5 years ago (Thoresby Colliery) and the workings from Harworth Colliery (1 km from Tinker Lane borehole) in 2002 and 2004. A recent report by Emeritus Professor Peter Styles highlights his concerns around the process and Professor Styles will make a contribution to the hearings.
The Coal Authority have an online interactive map that shows clearly the underground workings that are known, largely from British Coals era, from which the map above has been drawn. The map highlights the extent of the known deep mining undertaken in the area, other earlier works are not documented. It will be interesting to see if the All Party consensus view supports the concerns raised by Professor Styles.