Total analyzing Montelimar subsurface shale data

Total SA has submitted a report required by French authorities concerning the work program for the large Montelimar shale gas exploration license in the Languedoc Roussillon area of southeastern France.

Total said French authorities required that the company submit the report to maintain the right to explore the acreage, awarded in March 2010 for 5 years (OGJ Online, Jan. 31, 2011). The company said its work program “does not envisage the use of the hydraulic fracturing technique.”

Total said it is completing the preliminary study phase, begun in 2010 under the original program. The company is analyzing subsurface data and is conducting no field operations.

If results are encouraging, the next phase involves core drilling to collect samples. The company will analyze any oil or gas deposit encountered, conventional or unconventional, but will conduct no production tests.

If Total confirmed a deposit of significance, it would consider a third and final exploratory phase would to evaluate the reservoir’s production capacity. Production testing techniques would be in line with the properties of the reservoir(s) identified and the techniques available at that time and permitted under the prevailing laws, the company said.

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