27Jun / 2013
Three things have come together that will place the UK at the forefront of shale gas production in Europe and establish UK operations as a gold standard in shale gas exploitation.
• Yesterday (26 June, 2013) George Osborne announced in the Spending Review that the Government would “make the tax and planning changes which will put Britain at the forefront of exploiting shale gas”.
• Today DECC announced the findings from the BGS’s independent study of the potential volume of shale gas in the Bowland-Hodder shale formation is likely to be some 40 trillion cubic metres (1,300 trillion cubic feet) of shale gas in the ground in this area. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/estimates-of-shale-gas-resource-in-north-of-england-published-alongside-a-package-of-community-benefits)
• Also today, The United Kingdom Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG), the representative body for UK onshore oil and gas companies, has published a binding industry charter for UKOOG members covering the minimum standards of engagement required with local communities alongside a community benefits scheme for the next phase of shale oil and gas exploration and production. (http://www.ukoog.org.uk/)
As a result confidence that shale gas will become a significant element in the UK’s mix has risen significantly. This is also reflected by a straw poll held at Tuesday’s Shale Gas World conference, held in Manchester, where 75% of the audience of operators, consultants and regulators, believed that shale gas production would happen in the UK in the next 5 years. Investors have taken note and shale gas operators share prices have jumped in response.
The wider implication is that the UK will be the first European country to commercially exploit its shale gas resources with the added benefit of developing a specialist shale gas supply chain hub in the north of England that will replace the success of Aberdeen in respect of North Sea oil and gas expertise.