BP: Shale Gas is Not a Game-Changer for the UK

From The Telegraph

By Emily Gosden

By contrast the boom in shale gas in the US was likely to make it a net exporter of gas by 2017, the oil major forecast in its World Energy Outlook 2030.

Advocates of shale gas, which is extracted by the controversial process of ‘fracking’, hope it can transform the UK energy landscape, heralding a new era of cheap energy as it has in the US. Chancellor George Osborne has said Britain should not “be left behind as gas prices tumble on the other side of the Atlantic”.

But Christof Rühl, BP’s chief economist, said it foresaw “extremely limited growth” in shale gas in Europe. “Europe has various problems: environmental concerns, outright bans on fracking, a lack of infrastructure and a long tradition of not minding so much having to import things,” he said.

Shale gas would play a role only nearer to 2030 and “only to a very small extent”, he said. “I think that is also the story for the UK. There will be some projects starting here, maybe earlier than on the continent, but it’s not likely to be a big game-changer in the natural gas market, where we have these declines in the North Sea to compensate.

“It takes years to actually generate and unlock shale production in Europe, where infrastructure is so much less developed than it was in the US. It takes an enormous amount of drilling and rigs to unlock shale,” he said.

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