British gas explorer IGas said Monday results from an exploration well could provide a better road map for any future fracking of the Bowland shale play. IGas announced it completed drilling operations at the Irlam-1 exploration well. The company said the data would be used to help provide information for any future program invoking hydraulic fracturing of the Bowland shale. The British Geological Survey in June estimated the Bowland shale formation in the north of the country contains 1.3 quadrillion cubic feet of natural gas. A government report said shale could ensure energy security for a country where net natural gas imports are on pace to increase from 45 percent of demand in 2011 to 76 percent by 2030. Protesters last year staged several demonstrations to protest shale operations. The practice is seen as a threat to the environment. IGas Chief Executive Andrew Austin said his company was committed to conducting its shale operations responsibly. "Our priority remains to conduct our operations safely, in an environmentally responsible manner and with consideration for the local community," he said.