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Fracking could eliminate the UK's need for gas imports by 2030s

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According to research published today by the industry group United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas, fracking of Britain’s shale gas reserves could account for all of the country’s gas needs by the early 2030s, eliminating the need to import gas from other countries.

Cuadrilla have been fracking at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire since 2018. New data from their operations suggests there may be 72% more gas reserves than previously estimated
(Image via Reuters)

The reports featured updated forecasts for shale gas potential using recent data from Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site in Lancashire. 

These new forecasts increased the estimations for well productivity by 72% from estimates made in 2013. They put the potential total at 5.5 billion cubic feet of gas per lateral well.

The report claims that one hundred fracking well pad sites, each with 40 lateral wells could produce almost 1,400 bcf a year by the early 2030s, enough to fulfill the total gas usage of 35 million homes. 

Currently Britain has around 27 million households.

Fracking companies, however, say that the industry is unlikely to achieve this under current regulations. 

The strict rules imposed by the government mean that if seismic activity registering magnitude 0.5 or above - roughly the level caused by a heavy truck driving on an uneven road - is detected near a fracking site, operations must halt for 18 hours. 

Cuadrilla - the only company presently fracking in Britain - have had to stop operations several times in the last year for this reason. Chemical manufacturer Ineos, who own the largest shale gas license acreage in the country, have since called the rules “unworkable.”

The government says it has no plans to review the regulations.

Currently Britain imports more than half its gas. It’s channeled through pipelines from Norway and continental Europe, or delivered by shipments in the form of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from places like Russia, the USA and Qatar.

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Fracking could eliminate the UK's need for gas imports by 2030s - Time to read 2 min
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