Huge Fracking Potential in UK

Posted by - Monday, March 26th, 2012

The shale gas industry is booming in the United States. The practice of hydraulic fracturing has contributed to the drop in natural gas prices and jobs are springing up at shale drilling sites across the nation.

And the same could be happening for the United Kingdom soon enough.

Lord Browne, former chief executive of BP (NYSE: BP) and current director of shale gas company Cuadrilla, believes that hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, could have huge potential for the nation.

"We could potentially double the reserves of gas in the UK, we could add 50,000 jobs maybe, and probably even reduce the price of gas," he told 

The practice of fracking consists of injecting a combination of sand, water, and chemicals into rock to break apart the shale and release the natural gas within.

And Browne believes that Lancashire, where his company has its fracking site, could become Europe’s fracking capital:

“Lancashire has huge potential…If they had the will they could perhaps become the centre of shale gas for Europe, much as Aberdeen became the centre of oil and gas for Europe. It is not inconceivable.”

But before any of this can happen, government approval is required.

In June, the government halted Cuadrilla’s only fracking site, located at the Bowland basin near Blackpool, after several earthquakes occurred in the region.

And a subsequent report affirmed that it was “highly probable” the quakes were connected to Cuadrilla’s fracking activity. The report is under review by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), which will determine whether or not drilling can continue.

Lord Browne seems to think it will be allowed. But he is more concerned with the faith of the public, which will not be as easy to win back:

“We are confident we can do it safely and we don’t affect the environment, but it’s all very well us saying that: we have to convince everybody…Engaging the stakeholders is absolutely crucial.”

Cuadrilla believes Lancashire’s Bowland basin contains up to 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas...

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