UCL Earth Sciences


UCL Shale Gas Hub

Currently UCL makes use of its diverse academic staff to address the issue of shale gas from the fundamental processes within shale formations to engineering operations to developing policies for countries looking to use shale gas as an energy resource. Such projects include:

How is Shale Gas Extracted?

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is the extraction of natural gas, mainly methane, from shale formations. These rocks have high porosity (6 – 12 %) but low permeability, which means large volumes of gas can be trapped within a formation.

Shale Gas Geochemistry

BG group awarded full sponsorship for the four year project ‘A new strategy for predicting free gas in shale gas using carbon, nitrogen and noble gases’ based in UCL that commenced on 1st January 2013.

Shale Gas Extraction

The main aim of this research is to reduce the risk of hydraulic fracturing to communities by improving the understanding of factor controlling shale deposition, its mechanical properties and gas generation. 

Fracturing in Shale

Hydraulic fracturing is important in obtaining gas from shale formations, but accurate predictions of the directions and extent of fractures are required to perform operations safely and improve the efficiency of gas extraction

Fracking: What Can Physical Chemistry Offer?

Within the chemical engineering department at UCL ongoing research is exploring physical chemical properties of water, salt, and hydrocarbons confined within narrow pores such as those present in subsurface shale formations


Associated Research

Shale gas is commonly known as an unconventional energy source, from which many have the potential to replace fossil fuels as one of the major source of energy. research at University College London also focuses on other forms of unconventional energy.

 Shale Gas in the News

The potential for shale gas extraction in the UK:

Seismic activity associated with hydraulic fracturing:



Hydraulic fracturing is a widespread technique to extract shale gas, which is currently being implemented across the US. FRACTRACKER is a website designed to highlight where current operations occur.

Group members

Academic staff

Prof. Philip Meredith
Prof A. Striolo (Chemical Engineering)

Prof T. M. Mitchell
Dr. Sudeshna Basu
Dr. Anna Bogush
Dr. Pedram Mahzari
Dr. F. Lacoviello (Chemical Engineering)

General Enquiries:

Dr Sudeshna Basu-Gupta
+44 (0)20