UK shale gas reserves greater than imagined: govt

27 June 2013 12:52  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The UK’s shale gas reserves may be significantly higher than previously thought, according to a British Geological Survey (BGS) report released on Thursday looking into the reserves held in the north of England.

Commissioned by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), the report indicates that the shale gas reserves contained in the north of England are likely to be around 1,300 trillion cubic feet (tcf), or 40 trillion cubic metres.

However, the survey does not indicate how much of those reserves are likely to be recoverable in practice, and cautioned that the amount of technically recoverable shale gas is likely to be significantly less.

The BGS estimated in 2010 that the UK has recoverable shale gas reserves of 5.3 tcf, or 150bn cubic metres (bcm)

The survey covered 11 counties in the north of England, including the area covered by the Bowland shale gas play.

“The next step for industry is to establish how much gas is technically and commercially recoverable,” said UK energy minister Michael Fallon.

The DECC also noted that the UK’s nascent shale gas industry has pledged to offer a raft of incentives to communities where drilling is likely to take place, in anticipation of what is expected to be strong community opposition to the measures.

The offers include £100,000 (€117,647, $153,846)  for communities situated near each exploratory site, and 1% of the revenues from production. 176 licenses for onshore oil and gas exploration in the UK have already been issued.

The BGS added that it is currently in the process of doing further work to establish the amount of shale gas in the Weald Basin, in southeast England.

(€1 = £0.85, $1 = £0.65, $1 = €0.77)


By: Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214



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