Dart Energy Seeks Partner to Develop U.K.’s Bowland Shale Gas

Dart Energy Ltd., a coal-bed methane and shale gas explorer in Australia, Asia and Europe, is looking for a partner to develop its Bowland acreage in the U.K. as the government prepares tax breaks for drillers.

Dart is “actively seeking appropriate partner or partners to develop the Bowland shale gas position,” the Sydney-listed company said in a presentation. “U.K. government policy is now firmly in place to support unconventional gas development.”

The British government said last month it would offer a “generous new tax regime” to encourage drillers as it seeks to boost domestic energy resources to counter a decline in North Sea oil and gas production.

Dart has conducted an independent assessment of gas-in-place of as much as 110 trillion cubic feet, according to the presentation. Cuadrilla Resources Ltd., a U.K.-based shale explorer, has said its licenses in the Bowland Basin in northwest England may hold 200 trillion cubic feet of gas. That’s more than Iraq has in its reserves.

Cuadrilla was in “advanced” talks to sell a stake in its shale operations, partner AJ Lucas Group Ltd. said in February. Total SA and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are considering investing in U.K. shale drilling, both companies have said.