Shale gas looks increasingly likely to transform Europe’s energy outlook with Cuadrilla Resources’ announcement that preliminary drilling near Blackpool in the Northwest of the UK indicates about 200 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of shale gas reserves, says Frost & Sullivan.

The size of the find exceeded expectations. Based on a reasonable assumption that 20% of the gas is recoverable, the UK has gained 40 TCF of gas reserves, said Frost & Sullivan.

Only six months ago the EIA estimated that the UK had only 20 TCF of technical recoverable shale gas reserves, while Cuadrilla’s findings are for just one basin. Blackpool sits on one of three major shale gas basins in Europe, known as the Carboniferous marine basin, which stretches across England, the Netherlands, Northwest Germany and Southwest Poland.

To add further context, the UK’s gas reserves have been declining for some years now and the country is becoming increasing dependent on imports, said Frost & Sullivan.

The UK’s remaining reserves in the North Sea are estimated at 9 TCF, which would meet UK gas consumption for three years. This find means that UK reserves have technically now increased by 400 per cent.

This discovery is also likely to boost exploration in Europe, said Frost & Sullivan. More results like Cuadrilla’s could make shale gas the energy game-changer in Europe that it has been in the US.

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