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U.K. Shale Gas May Meet 10% of Demand for 103 Years, IoD Says

Exploitation of the U.K.’s shale-gas reserves may meet 10 percent of U.K. demand for 103 years, according to the Institute of Directors.

There is enough onshore supply to offset 60 percent of the decline in conventional production in 2022, the lobby group said in an e-mailed report today. That estimate is based on the assumption that U.K. gas production will decline by 13 million metric tons of oil equivalent by that time and that shale-gas production and recovery rates over the next 10 years are about 50 percent of U.S. levels in the past decade.

“Shale isn’t the answer to all our problems, but it would be a really beneficial part of the energy mix, creating jobs, driving decarbonization and helping to prevent constant rises in energy prices,” said Dan Lewis, an energy-policy adviser at the IoD. “Fracking has been controversial, but the reality is that with proper regulation it is no more risky than any kind of hydrocarbon extraction.”

Cuadrilla Resources Inc., which says it’s found more natural gas trapped in British shale rock than Iraq has in its entire reserves, plans to pursue hydraulic fracturing in three wells by the end of this year, former Chief Executive Officer Mark Miller said in an interview in May. The program hinges on getting final approval from Britain’s energy department, which called for an assessment of fracking after two tremors in the area last year. Fracking involves the blasting of shale rock with water, sand and chemicals to release gas,

Of the IoD members, 58 percent said that development of shale reserves would benefit U.K. businesses, while 7 percent predicted a negative impact, the lobby group said.

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