AAPG ANNUAL CONFERENCE AND EXHIBITION
Making the Next Giant Leap in Geosciences
April 10-13, 2011, Houston, Texas, USA
Silurian Shale of the Baltic Syneclise: A Significant European Shale Gas Prospect
(1) Aberdeen University, London, United Kingdom.
The prospect of success in the exploration for significant natural gas resources in Silurian shale of the Baltic Syneclise is addressed with a view of ensuring energy security in Europe. Llandovery black/dark grey shale in the southwest region of the Baltic Syneclise is the most prospective shale gas formation; indicating that exploration efforts, with respect to the Silurian of this geological structure, should primarily be focused in the Baltic region of north Poland. The derived original gas in place (OGIP), estimated at 869tcf (trillion cubic feet) for a low limit based on computing a range of geophysical characteristics, highlights the potential for shale gas to significantly mitigate the increasing dependency on natural gas imports in Europe.
Demand and supply of gas in Europe is highlighted; providing an incentive, and emphasising the need, for investment in the development of European shale gas. Fundamentals for shale gas exploration and production (E&P) are presented using Barnett shale in the United States as an example of a successful shale gas play, and a comparative model for shale gas exploration in the Baltic Syneclise Silurian formation. Every shale formation is different; and as a result, the productivity of a shale gas prospect cannot be estimated based on the productivity of a successful one. However, using geological and geochemical data from successful plays as a comparison is a good measure for validating OGIP estimations for prospective plays. This is essential for estimating the potential of shale gas prospects prior to undertaking high level exploration activities.
Shale gas production from this Silurian prospect requires further analysis of the rock formation, through exploration and appraisal efforts, in order to better understand the formation and, subsequently, maximise the potential for natural gas production from Silurian shale of the Baltic Syneclise.