Scotland may hold enough shale gas resources to cover UK gas needs for more than 30 years, according to a new report by the British Geological Survey.
LONDON, June 30 (Reuters) – Scotland, heading for a September independence referendum, could hold enough shale gas resources to cover UK gas needs for more than 30 years, a geological report published by the British government showed on Monday.
But Scotland's roughly 80 trillion cubic metres of gas is only around 6 percent of Britain's potential, with the rest mainly in the Bowland Shale region across northern England.
The British Geological Survey report, the third focusing on high potential areas which have covered northern and southern England, said the populous Midland Valley area of Scotland also holds around 6 billion barrels of shale oil.
Energy Minister Michael Fallon set the findings firmly in the context of Scotland potentially splitting from Britain.
"Only the broad shoulders of the United Kingdom can attract investment in new energy sources and maintain the UK's position as one of the world's great energy hubs - generating energy and generating jobs," he said in a statement
Britain is betting on the development of shale gas to help curb its growing dependence on imports and to stem a decline in oil and gas tax receipts as output from the mature North Sea basin falls rapidly.
Scotland already produces the bulk of Britain's oil and gas and estimates for future conventional fossil fuel production show this is set to continue.
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