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Durham University

JARR (Jurassic Analogues: Resources to Reserves)

JARR (Jurassic Analogues: Resources to Reserves)

A new academic-industry research partnership examining the Jurassic shales of the UK.

The project aims to connect a multi-disciplinary team of NERC- and industry-funded researchers at Durham and Newcastle universities with industrial geoscientists. JARR will conduct a scoping study of existing datasets from black shales of the Lower and Upper Jurassic of the UK and Northwest Europe, to evaluate their potential for further in-depth research into shale sweet spot characterisation and resource to reserve estimation.

Click Here for an article addressing the recent BGS/DECC report on the shale prospectivity of the Weald Basin, summarizing some of the work JARR is doing.


JARR on Five Live

JARR researcher Dr Liam Herringshaw talked to BBC Radio Five Live on Thursday April 9th ( about the story that ‘100 billion barrels of oil’ had been found in Jurassic rocks beneath Sussex:

more about JARR on Five Live

New paper by JARR team

How shales fracture is a topic of great significance to any understanding of the viability of fracking. Research on the geomechanics of Jurassic shales, led by Dr Jonny Imber and the JARR team, has been published in the AAPG Bulletin, as part of a thematic issue on the fracturing and faulting of shale reservoirs ( Jonny’s paper examines the inter-relationship between shale composition and shale behaviour, and demonstrates that there are numerous variables to consider.

more about New paper by JARR team

Recent Presentations by the JARR Team

Dr Howard Armstrong talked about the science of shales and fracking, and chaired a round table discussion group, at the Shale World UK meeting in Birmingham:

Dr Jonny Imber gave a presentation on JARR research at the Geological Society of London’s Shale UK conference:

Dr Imber is also presenting at the 8th Petroleum Geology of Northwest Europe conference, which will be held in London from 28th-30th September:

Dr Liam Herringshaw talked about “The Science of UK Shale Gas: Fracked or Fiction?” at the Petex 2014 meeting at the ExCeL:

Upcoming JARR fieldtrip

As part of the 2015 ‘Year of Mud’ activities, members of the JARR team, together with colleagues from Geospatial Research Ltd (, are offering a fieldtrip to the Yorkshire Coast. This will run on September 15th and 16th. Further details can be found here.

Fractured and hybrid shale oil systems of the Wessex Basin (JARR Workshop 2)

In May, participants in the JARR (Jurassic Analogues: Resources to Reserves) project gathered in the Wessex Basin to discuss the latest research into fractured and hybrid shale oil systems. The focus was to address the nature and controls on depositional heterogeneities, diagenesis, geomechanical properties and natural fracturing in hybrid shale-oil resource systems. Hybrid shale-oil systems are highly heterogeneous on scales ranging from microns to kilometres. Quantifying and explaining these heterogeneities at appropriate scales are essential tasks generating the fundamental knowledge required to improve both the locating and recovery of the resource.




The workshop had two aims: 1) to apply our causal, dynamic, tropical-subtropical climate model to outcrop observations at Lyme Regis and Kimmeridge Bay; and 2) to study the variability and origins of natural fractures. Despite being of different ages and distinct depositional settings, these sections have a mix of organic-rich, and organic-lean, carbonate-rich mudstones. Both provide key information on the character, stratigraphic variations, and geographical extent of potential sweet spots in hybrid systems. A particularly important question was inter-relating lithology (at sub-metre scales) to the character of the natural fractures. A better understanding of these factors is essential to reducing exploration risk and cost.

The next JARR workshop will take place in late August/early September. Before then, members of the project, in association with Geospatial Research Limited, will be running a field workshop to the Cleveland Basin in July. This trip will study the deposition, diagenesis and geomechanics of an oil-mature Early Jurassic shale system. Please contact Dr Susie Daniels ( for more details.

For further information on the JARR oil and gas catalyst please contact Dr Liam Herringshaw:

JARR workshop (March 2014)

In February 2014, the JARR (Jurassic Analogues: Resources to Reserves) project was launched with a workshop at the British Geological Survey. The meeting brought together participants from academia and industry to examine organic-rich mudstones of Jurassic age and discuss the latest conceptual research ideas into basin-scale shale depositional systems and geomechanics, and their implications to better understand sweet spot distribution in shale successions across offshore and onshore UK.

more about JARR workshop (March 2014)

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