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Repeat history and rise to the challenge of unconventional gas

Author : J GALE

08 March 2011

The oil and gas industry is being urged to rise to the challenge of unconventional gas in the same way it conquered the development of the North Sea over 40 years ago.

The prospect of oil and gas development in the hostile waters of the North Sea was considered unthinkable in the 1960s but innovative thinking and technological expertise blew this theory out of the water.

Simon Seaton, Country Vice President UK for Halliburton believes the UK's energy industry needs to become inspired to take on what will potentially be another game-changer in the UK and the world's energy supplies - unconventional gas.

He said: "The exploration of the North Sea has been a tale of continually pushing the boundaries - making the impossible, possible. We need to apply this forward-thinking approach to the newly emerging unconventional gas market which will ultimately strengthen energy security by helping our country cope with seasonality of gas usage."

"Not that long ago, North Sea oil drilling was dismissed by many as the hazardous conditions and extraction costs deemed it commercially unviable. But look where we are now! We are at the forefront of subsea development and a worldwide leader in offshore engineering. The UK has the capacity to capitalise these attributes and maximise the potential and opportunities the unconventional gas market will bring at home and overseas."

Mr Seaton explained: "Shale gas exploration is a thriving industry in the US. However, every unconventional reservoir has different characteristics and operators are likely to face many challenges as they pursue sources of natural gas. Europe has its own dynamics and there is no one-size-fits-all method of extraction. What works in the US will not necessarily work here. This makes it more important than ever to share our expertise and partner with internationally renowned experts to help solve these brand new challenges."

He added: "I am confident the UK will overcome the hurdles and build its own solutions to make unconventional gas into a commercially viable and thriving industry."

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