UK Shale Gas ‘Could Heat All Homes For 100 Years’

  • Date: 06/04/13
  • Louise Gray, The Daily Telegraph

Britain is sitting on a “potentially massive” amount of shale gas that experts believe could heat every home for at least 100 years.

The British Geological Survey (BGS) is due to report on how much shale gas is under the country within weeks.

Sources close to the report say the current estimate of five trillion cubic feet is “almost certainly” due to be increased.

Dr Nick Riley, of the BGS, said: “We are sitting on potentially a massive resource, but whether we are able to extract it we do not know. We have to do the exploration and then we have to get the consent of the people.”

In the Budget last week George Osborne, the Chancellor, signalled the go-ahead for shale gas by promising tax breaks and bribes for communities that allow drilling in their back yard.

Industry insiders say the BGS could report between 1,200 trillion and 1,800 trillion cubic feet of gas under the UK, mostly in northern England. The other main reserve is around the Hampshire basin in the Home Counties, including Berkshire, Sussex and Kent. There are also pockets in central Scotland, Wales and the Midlands. The top estimate would represent sufficient gas to heat UK homes for 1,200 years.

Usually it is only possible to extract about a third of shale gas deposits.

Even at conservative estimates, that presume just 10 per cent of 1,500 trillion cubic feet of gas is accessible, there would be enough gas to heat our homes for 100 years.

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