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UK predicted to emerge as Europe's shale gas leader

Promising reserves numbers and juicy terms have lured developers. But prospectors must overcome a number of hurdles before exploration begins in earnest

Continental Europe’s unconventional gas development may have stalled but across the Channel things are moving apace. The UK should emerge as Europe’s shale gas leader. Government backing has opened a new frontier for developers. Promising reserves estimates have also lured major energy companies. Many firms have bought into existing licences.  Recent studies by the British Geological Survey (BGS) suggest there could be up to 2,415 trillion cubic feet (cf) of shale gas across northern England’s Bowland basin and the Midland Valley, in Scotland. BGS data also show that southern England’s Weald basin could hold almost 9 billion barrels of shale oil. If proved, this would triple the country’s c

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