The jury is still if it will be economically feasible to recover oil from fractured basement plays like Hurricane’s Lancaster, according to one analyst.
Keith Myers from energy research and analysis consultancy, Westwood Global Energy Group, said more wells will need to be drilled to study the production value of assets in these formations.
Myers said; “Hurricane Energy are proving lots of oil in place in fractured basement rocks West of the Shetlands, which is exciting, but the jury is still out as to how much of this oil will be economic to produce.
“The issue is that only a small part of the field has been appraised with horizontal wells so far and the density of fracturing and long term production characteristics of such a large geological feature like this is hard to predict without many more wells.
“In any event, given its location, it won’t be low cost and it is very hard to put a value on what has been found so far, or its future significance.”
According to Hurricane’s website fractured basement reservoirs are found in metamorphic and igneous rock where faulting has led to the creation of a fracture network, underlying a sedimentary basin.
These naturally fractured reservoirs in rock were formed over two billion years ago.
The website adds: “Over time, in certain places these massive basement structures have been pushed up and violently fractured by earthquakes and other tectonic forces.
“Unlike sandstone reservoirs that hold oil in the rock and have provided much of the world’s oil over decades, fractured basement rock is very hard and brittle, composed of rocks such as granite.
“Billions of cracks have been created when the basement structures moved through tectonic action, resulting in seismic scale faults and highly connected fracture networks.
“For Hurricane it is these faults and fractures that are most interesting because that is where, under the right conditions, significant volumes of oil accumulate.
“The oil is not in the rock, it is in the cracks between the rock. Hurricane has already found a material volume of oil in fractured basement reservoirs in the UK that is potentially a strategic resource for the country.”