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U.K. Shale Boom Could Cut Gas Import Bill in Half, IoD Says

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- Developing U.K. shale could cut the nation’s gas import bill in half and create thousands of jobs, according to a report by the Institute of Directors.

Shale gas output could reduce imports to 37 percent in 2030, costing 7.5 billion pounds ($11 billion), the IoD said today. Without shale, 76 percent of the nation’s gas would probably have to be imported by that date, at a cost of 15.6 billion pounds, it said. Investment in shale could peak at 3.7 billion pounds a year, supporting 74,000 jobs, the business group said in the report sponsored by Cuadrilla Resources Ltd.

The U.K. government, which lifted a moratorium on shale exploration at the end of last year, is preparing tax breaks for drillers as it seeks to diversify energy supplies as conventional oil and gas production from the North Sea declines. Cuadrilla Resources said earlier this month it plans to drill an exploratory well in Balcombe, southern England.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nidaa Bakhsh in London at nbakhsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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