A third of Britain’s gas needs could come from its own shale gas by the early 2030s if government policies and economic growth allow firms to invest in gas exploration, National Grid said on Thursday.
The potential production figure is a part of the British grid operator’s ‘Low Carbon Life’ scenario, one of four potential scenarios in its “UK Future Energy Scenarios” published on Thursday.
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 dwindles.
Some of the companies active in Britain’s shale market are IGas, Egdon Resources and Cuadrilla.
Under a ‘Gone Green’ scenario, with a strong economy and tougher environmental regulations British shale production could be 14.2 billion cubic metres (bcm) by 2030 and under a ‘Slow Progression’ Scenario, with a weak economy, shale gas production could be just under 5.7 bcm National Grid said.
National Grid does not give a probability for which scenarios is most likely to come to fruition but said “there has been investment from a number of large gas industry companies (in shale) and many expressions of government support.”