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North Sea shale oil test drilling scheduled for next year

02 April 2013

Trapoil, a small oil drilling company, has announced plans to develop offshore fracking in the central North Sea in 2014 if it can find a partner for the project. It said there could be more oil and gas from unconventional offshore drilling than all of the output so far produced from the North Sea.

Trapoil said: "The possible prize is therefore substantial, but this asset is still very much in its infancy and we will need to perform a considerable amount of work before drilling may occur."

Trapoil chief executive Mark Groves-Gidney told the Scotsman: “Only about 2.5% of the oil created is retrieved through conventional fields. But if you go back into the rock at 14,000 feet you can access about 20% of the oil.”

The company does not have the resources to fully fund a drilling programme itself, but will be approaching major oil companies to join the programme over the next two weeks.

The company has been granted rights by DECC near the long-established Brent and Ninian fields and, if the test well is a success, it could use existing infrastructure to make extraction commercially viable.

The UK government has already given energy firm Cuadrilla permission to drill for shale gas onshore in Lancashire and elsewhere in the UK.

That company has delayed its next round of drilling until next year while it prepares environmental impact assessments for its work, one of the conditions put in place by DECC before it gave permission for the extraction.

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