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IGas Energy Plc, a U.K. developer of coal-bed methane gas fields, encountered a shale gas deposit while drilling at the Ince Marshes site in Cheshire in northwest England.

After drilling through coal seams, IGas found a shale section of at least 1,000 feet (304 meters) with gas indications observed across the interval, IGas said in a statement today.

The area is part of the Bowland shale, which covers large parts of northern England. In September, Cuadrilla Reources said it had found 200 trillion cubic feet of gas in place drilling the Bowland shale at a licence in Lanacashire, north of Igas’s well.

At Ince Marshes, previous independent analysis suggested gas in place of as much as 4.6 trillion cubic feet. The U.K.’s technically recoverable shale resources are 20 trillion cubic feet, the U.S. Department of Energy said in an April report.

Bloomberg, 26 January 2012