Scotland will soon be added to the shale gas map after the British Geological Survey said that it would begin work to estimate the size of deposits between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The BGS said the Central Scottish Lowlands would become the third area under its microscope.
In June, scientists released their findings for a huge swath of the North of England, which they estimate contains 1,300 trillion cubic feet of deposits. Assuming that 10 per cent of these can be recovered, this would supply the UK’s gas needs for more than 40 years.
The BGS is also working on an estimate for the shale oil contained in the Weald in the South East. The work was due to be finished by the end of this year, but completion has been delayed until March.
Then the scientists will turn their attention to Scotland, which has barely figured in the debate on Britain’s potential shale gas boom.