Publications, guidance and data including mapping, seismic activity, wells, and licensing and regulation for onshore oil and gas.
14th Onshore Licensing Round
On 17 December 2015, the OGA announced that licences for a total of 159 blocks were formally offered to successful applicants under the 14th Onshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round.
- BGS Midland Valley of Scotland Shale reports, and shapefiles / geodatabase for the areas
- BGS Weald Basin Jurassic Shale reports, and shapefiles / geodatabase for the areas
- BGS Bowland Shale Gas Study reports, and shapefiles / geodatabase for the Mature Bowland Shale areas
- BGS Wessex Area extension to Weald Basin Shale reports, and shapefiles / geodatabase for the areas
- The hydrocarbon prospectivity of Britain’s onshore basins (PDF)
- The unconventional hydrocarbon resources of Britain’s onshore basins – coalbed methane (CBM) (PDF)
- The unconventional hydrocarbon resources of Britain’s onshore basins – shale gas (PDF)
- Report: The Economic Impact on UK Energy Policy of Shale Gas and Oil
- The prospectivity of the English Channel’ report from the 2015 Promote CD (PDF)
Seismic and wells
- PON 14b Notification of intention to carry out onshore (landward) geophysical surveys
- The OGA’s policy on data release
- UK Onshore Geophysical Library (UKOGL) – release agent for onshore seismic data
- Basic onshore well data - (updated 01/02/2017) (MS Excel)
- Release agents for onshore well data (PDF)
- PON 9b: Record and sample requirements for onshore geophysical surveys and wells
Oil and gas well discoveries since 1982
Extended well tests and Hydraulic Fracture Plan
Resumption of shale gas exploration
Hydraulic fracturing operations for shale gas in the UK were suspended in May 2011, pending the investigation of two seismic tremors experienced near Preese Hall, Lancashire during fracking operations.
In the light of the recommendations of a panel of independent experts, of comments received in response to a public consultation, and of the recommendations of an authoritative review of the scientific and engineering evidence on shale gas extraction made by the UK’s science and engineering academies, the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Secretary of State for Energy has announced the introduction of new regulatory requirements to ensure that seismic risks are effectively mitigated.
Read the Secretary of State’s statement to Parliament. Subject to these new requirements, DECC (now BEIS) is prepared in principle to consider new applications for consent to such operations, and the suspension is therefore lifted. As before, final consent to any well or well operations is dependent on confirmation that all other necessary permits and consents have been obtained. A wide range of other issues were raised in the responses to the public consultation, andDECC together with other relevant bodies has prepared a full Q&A brief on these issues, which can be found below.
The full Government response to the recommendations made on the scientific and engineering evidence by the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering can be found below:
- The Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering - Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing
- Environment Agency’ guidance note on exploratory shale gas operations
- Scottish Environment Protection Agency Regulatory Guidance on Coal Bed Methane and Shale Gas
- HSE Website
On 1 April and 27 May 2011 two earthquakes with magnitudes 2.3 and 1.5 were felt in the Blackpool area. These earthquakes were suspected to be linked to hydraulic fracture treatments at the Preese Hall well operated by Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. The hydraulic fracture treatments were carried out during exploration of a shale gas reservoir in the Bowland basin. As a result of the earthquakes, operations were suspended at Preese Hall and Cuadrilla Resources Ltd were requested to undertake a full technical study into the relationship between the earthquakes and their operations.
Cuadrilla submitted to DECC a synthesis report with a number of technical appendices on 2 November 2011, and published this material on their website. These reports examine seismological and geomechanical aspects of the seismicity in relation to the hydraulic fracture treatments, along with detailed background material on the regional geology and rock physics. They also estimated future seismic hazard and proposed recommendations for future operations to mitigate seismic risk.
Further information supplied by Cuadrilla in the course of this assessment is available as Annexes below. The independent experts have now made recommendations to DECC for mitigating the risk of induced seismicity resulting from continued hydraulic fracturing at Preese Hall, Lancashire and elsewhere in Great Britain.
See UK Onshore Operators Group’sfor description of the Hydraulic Fracturing Programme (HFP), the detailed risk assessment now required as part of the OGA frac consent that also describes the control and mitigation measures for fracture containment and for any potential induced seismicity.
Background material for general public
Non-specialist readers may find the following material helpful: