Estimated shale gas reserves doubled by BGS

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A new report by the British Geological Survey says there could be 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas stored away under the North of England.

Michael Fallon MP

“Shale gas represents an exciting new potential energy resource for the UK, and could play an important part in our energy mix” – Michael Fallon MP

Previous estimates of around 600 trillion cubic feet were revised, although only 10% of the total gas can definitely be extracted.

Energy Minister Michael Fallon said shale gas was “an exciting new energy resource”.

A spokesman from the British Geological Survey said “Shale gas clearly has potential in Britain but it will require geological and engineering expertise, investment and protection of the environment”.

Shale gas is extracted by injecting a mixture of sand, water and chemicals into the rocks at high pressure, creating small fissures in the shale which allow the gas to flow out and to the surface.

The Chancellor George Osborne reiterated his tax breaks for shale gas exploration last week.

There have also been new reforms designed to move shale gas forward in the UK, such as new planning guidelines designed to streamline the site application process, and ‘community benefits’ for locals that have shale gas wells in their towns.

Currently, only Cuadrilla Resources and IGas have licences to drill in the UK.

Centrica, owner of British Gas, is planning to buy a stake in Cuadrilla after previously saying shale gas had no future in the UK and that we should rely on more expensive imported gas instead.

Despite this progress however, we shouldn’t get too excited about energy prices being slashed in half in the near future.

As we commented at the start of the year A shale gas revolution, like the one we have seen in the US, is unlikely to happen in the UK in 2013.

Read more: UK shale gas resources ‘greater than thought’ – BBC | Forget a quick shale gas revolution here – Telegraph | The message of shale gas is: scrap the Climate Act – Telegraph | Fracking the nation: the dash for gas beneath rural Britain – Guardian