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UK shale gas survey

Posted on 27 June 2013.

UK shale gas survey likely to reveal reserves higher than expected

Natural gas that could last decades may remain unexplored as extraction by fracking process remains controversial.

New estimates of the UK's reserves of shale gas will be published on Thursday, and are expected to be much larger than originally thought – potentially supplying the UK with decades' worth of natural gas, if a high proportion of the gas in the rocks can be extracted at a low cost. However that key question that cannot yet be answered due to the lack of experimental wells drilled so far and the challenges posed by the UK's high density of population.

The survey of shale reserves, carried out by the British Geological Survey at the request of the Department of Energy and Climate Change, estimated that 1,300 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas is in the Bowland shale in northern England alone. The UK uses 3tcf in gas annually. However, the BGS did not say what amount would be recoverable – it has previously said just 5tcf would be recoverable.”