Fracking 'could eliminate British gas imports'

Imports and Exports | 12 March 2019

Britain would not need to import natural gas if it made more use of fracking, according to a new report.


Taking advantage of Britain's shale gas reserves could allow the country to completely eliminate its imports of natural gas by the early 2030s, according to a new report.

Industry group United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas has increased its forecasts for well productivity to 5.5 billion cubic feet (bcf) per lateral well, up by 72 percent compared to predictions from the Institute of Directors in 2013.

With 100 fracking well pad sites and 40 lateral wells each, this means almost 1,400 bcf a year could be produced in just over ten years' time.

This would be enough to power the equivalent of 35 million homes and would therefore more than cover Britain's gas energy needs.

The UK currently produces enough gas to meet 44 per cent of its requirements and imports the rest via gas pipelines in continental Europe and Norway, as well as through shipments of liquefied natural gas from Russia, the United States and Qatar.

However, fracking companies have said the industry is unlikely to flourish under current rules, which state that activity must be ceased if a seismic event of magnitude 0.5 or above is detected.

Environmental groups have also strongly protested fracking, resulting in clashes with police and the owners of shale gas exploitation companies.

Britain currently has a target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 compared with 1990 levels.