World Bulletin / News Desk
A survey showing that shale gas reserves in Scotland are a fraction of those in northern England was published on Thursday is the third in a series of reports by the British Geological Survey (BGS) to map shale gas and oil reserves across the UK.
According to the BGS, the Midland Valley of Scotland which includes Glasgow and Edinburgh has an estimated 80 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of shale gas below ground, though it does not say how much of that will be recoverable.
That is much less than the estimated 1,300 tcf in the Bowland shale in northern England. The UK uses 3tcf in gas each year.
The BGS recently surveyed the 4.45bn best estimate of shale oil reserves in the Sussex Weald which is compared to the 6bn barrels of shale oil also found in the area.
Michael Fallon, the energy minister, told a press conference in Scotland and London: "Making the most of Britain's homegrown energy is crucial to keep job and business opportunities, widen tax revenues and reduce our reliance on foreign imports. We know that shale gas alone won't be able to supply all our energy needs but the environmentally responsible exploration of shale gas could contribute to our energy mix."
However, the new report cautioned: "the uncertainty in the Midland Valley of Scotland is compounded as there are fewer historic wells and seismic lines to provide data."
Prof Mike Stephenson, director of science and technology at the BGS, added: "The central estimate of shale gas in place is 80trn cubic feet and the central estimate for shale oil in place is 6bn barrels of oil but reserves cannot be calculated at this stage before drilling and testing take place. The Midland Valley of Scotland has a complex geology and a relative lack of data compared to the previous Bowland-Hodder and Weald Basin studies."
Ken Cronin, chief executive of UKOOG, which represents the onshore oil and gas industry, welcomed the study, saying: “This report will give reassurance to investors who wish to explore for oil and gas onshore in Scotland and adds to the estimates of significant onshore resources which can help replace the UK’s growing dependency on imports and balance the decline of the North Sea. The oil and gas industry has been operating in Scotland since the 19th century and looks forward to continuing to operate safely and with the minimum of environmental impact or many decades to come.”
Lang Banks, director of WWF Scotland, said:“It’s clear that there’s not going to be a shale gas or oil bonanza in Scotland any time soon. While this study should change nothing about Scotland’s aim to decarbonise its power sector and go fully renewable, in the wider interests of tackling climate change, it’s time for Scottish ministers to commit to start leaving some fossil fuels, including shale gas, in the ground."Last Mod: 30 Haziran 2014, 14:28