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Blackpool Shale Deposit 50% Greater than Previously Thought

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The shale deposit under Blackpool in northern England is 50-percent greater than previously thought, according to weekend reports in the UK press.

The Times newspaper reported Friday night that the British Geological Survey has concluded that the approximately 380 square miles covered by the Bowland Basin to the east of Blackpool contains some 300 trillion cubic feet of gas. A previous estimate, made in September 2011 by Cuadrilla Resources, suggested there could be 200 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in the area.

A spokesman for the British Geological Survey confirmed to Rigzone Monday that a report on shale gas resources had been prepared by the organization for the UK's Department of Energy and Climate Change, but that the contents would not be revealed until DECC publishes them in the New Year.

The revelation comes just days after UK Chancellor George Osborne announced plans to better exploit the UK's gas resources as part of his Autumn Statement. On the same day, DECC revealed that it would established an Office for Unconventional Gas and Oil to help streamline regulation of such practices as shale gas fracking.

Meanwhile, Mayor of London Boris Johnson – an influential figure in the Conservative Party which is the senior partner of the coalition government that currently governs the UK – on Monday called for the UK to "get fracking" in his weekly column in the Telegraph newspaper.

Shale gas fracking has proved controversial in Blackpool, where local residents were concerned about earthquakes caused by unconvential drilling activities last year along with possible contamination by fracking fluids.



A former engineer, Jon is an award-winning editor who has covered the technology, engineering and energy sectors since the mid-1990s. Email Jon at


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