Reuters: UK has vast shale gas reserves, geologists say

Britain may have enough offshore shale gas to catapult it into the top ranks of global producers, energy experts now believe, and while production costs are still very high, new U.S. technology should eventually make reserves commercially viable.

UK offshore reserves of shale gas could exceed one thousand trillion cubic feet (tcf), compared to current rates of UK gas consumption of 3.5 tcf a year, or five times the latest estimate of onshore shale gas of 200 trillion cubic feet.

Reserves of 200 tcf would put the UK in the top 20 countries with the highest shale reserves, alongside Brazil, and 1,000 tcf would put Britain in the same league as estimates for China, the United States and Argentina, top dogs in global shale potential.

There are still no reliable figures available for the UK, and some experts doubt preliminary onshore reserve figures by private companies. Also only around 10 to 20 percent of total reserves are currently deemed recoverable.

But experts say that whatever the final recoverable reserve figure is, it is likely to be big enough to make Britain energy self-sufficient.  MORE

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