Egdon Resources Plans to Drill England’s Bowland Shale for Gas

Egdon Resources Ltd. plans to drill in England’s Bowland Shale, a prospect estimated to hold almost 50 years of natural gas, as the U.K. prepares tax breaks to stimulate investment in the industry.

The company intends to sink a vertical well in the Bowland prospect in eastern England toward the end of next year, Managing Director Mark Abbott said today by telephone. It may subsequently employ hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, he said.

The government is seeking to spur domestic oil and gas production to counter dwindling North Sea supply and reduce reliance on imports. In December it lifted a ban on fracking, a technique that blasts rock with water, sand and chemicals to release fuel, and is discussing tax breaks for shale drillers.

The Bowland prospect, which also spreads into northwest England, may hold 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas, Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander said last month. A recovery rate of 10 percent -- similar to fields in the U.S -- would give the U.K. enough gas to meet demand for about 47 years.

Egdon, 30 percent-held by Premier Oil Plc, is based in Odiham, southern England. It has a 13.5 percent stake in Bowland licenses PEDL 139 and PEDL 140, making it the third-largest shareholder after eCORP International LLC with 60 percent and Dart Energy Ltd. with 16.5 percent.

Elsewhere in the U.K., Egdon has a non-shale prospect in Biscathorpe, eastern England, where’s it’s looking to reduce its 54 percent share, Abbott said. In France, the company is seeking partners for its Audignon site in the southwest, he said.

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