Friday, June 28, 2013

News: Research shows shale gas underneath Rotherham


The British Geological Survey has identified that the whole borough of Rotherham could be sitting on reserves of shale gas, the controversial energy source.

The Government yesterday announced findings from the first independent study conducted by the British Geological Survey, of the potential volume of shale gas in the Bowland Basin and beyond, which covers 11 counties in the North of England including South Yorkshire.

Scientists have estimated on a central scenario that there is likely to be some 40 trillion cubic metres (1,300 trillion cubic feet) of shale gas in the ground in this area.

While this does not mean that this amount could be extracted for use, this will provide investors, operators and regulators with an indication of where to target future exploratory drilling, so that they can determine how much of the gas would be able to be commercially recovered. This is expected to be substantially lower than the total amount of gas in place because of technical and commercial limitations on the level of extraction.

A type of natural gas, shale gas has the potential to become an important energy source for the UK, as it is in the US, but extracting the gas using a method called "fracking" (hydraulic fracturing) has negative environmental impacts.

Companies have pledged to engage with communities early and to provide community benefits in areas where shale is commercially extracted.

These will include £100,000 for communities situated near each exploratory well, and 1% of revenues from every production site.

Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: "Shale gas represents an exciting new potential energy resource for the UK, and could play an important part in our energy mix.

"The next step for industry is to establish how much gas is technically and commercially recoverable."

Department of Energy & Climate Change website

Images: British Geological Survey


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