UK's offshore shale gas a North Sea lifeline

09 May 2013

The country's vast reserves could revive ailing production and sidestep the public's opposition to fracking, writes Helen Robertson

THE UK's vast offshore shale gas reserves could revive ailing North Sea gas production and sidestep public opposition to hydraulic fracturing. But high development costs and the possibility of cheap gas imports from the US mean offshore shale production won't be happening in the UK any time soon. "It has the potential to revive North Sea hydrocarbon developments and put the UK in a leadership position on the technological side," Claudia Belahmidi, an analyst at IHS, told Petroleum Economist. "It could have great potential economically for the UK, if it was to pioneer the technology, in the same way that the UK has a leadership position in offshore wind." There has been heated debate in the UK about whether the government should allow the country's onshore shale gas reserves to be developed. Some ecologists fret about the impact of fracking on the landscape, voicing concerns similar to those raised in...

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