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iGas Vastly Increases UK Shale Gas Estimates to 170 Trillion Cubic Feet

The energy company iGas, has increased its estimates of shale gas in the UK after a recent study suggests that there may be between 15 and 170 trillion cubic feet of shale gas buried in a 300 square mile are of Cheshire.

The most likely volume is around 102 trillion, still far more than the 9 trillion cubic feet initially predicted, and enough to supply the UK with years of energy, and reduce its imports. The UK currently uses around 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas a year.

After restrictions on hydraulic fracturing activities were lifted last December, some energy firms have been eagerly exploring the shale potential in the UK. Andrew Austin, the Chief Executive Officer of iGas, said that his companies “licenses have a very significant shale gas resource with the potential to transform the company and materially benefit the communities in which we operate.”

Related article: POLAND: Shale Tax Policy Delay, Little Appeasement for Investors

In 2011, Cuadrilla, a rival shale gas firm operating in the UK, estimated that it owned roughly 200 trillion cubic feet of shale gas, with the CEO Mark Miller claiming that around 10-30% of those resources would actually be extracted.

Green groups remain suspicious of the early estimates being released by shale companies around the UK, and warn that no one should get excited about the country’s shale potential just yet. Doug Parr, a chief scientist and policy director from Greenpeace, warned that “deciding how much gas there is based on the word of a shale gas firm is like buying a second-hand car without lifting up the bonnet and asking the price. iGas may be keen to impress its investors in China but these figures are just hype. The world's largest oil and gas firms were attracted to Poland by similar claims - now they are rushing to leave.”

iGas has announced that it will begin exploratory drilling later in the year in an attempt to gather more accurate data on the volume of shale gas available to them.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com



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