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Tim Worstall: Blocking Cheap Gas May Finish Off Chris Huhne

Perhaps not larger but certainly deeper. Cuadrilla Resources, the company which claims to have found a huge new shale gas field in Lancashire, has revealed a little more about their find. They claim that the field is 5 – 10 times deeper than the Marcellus shale in the US.

Which means that it’s absolutely huge:

Executive director Dennis Carlton said initial results show a basin five to 10 times thicker than America’s Marcellus shale.

It doesn’t have the width of the Marcellus shale, this is true, but at that sort of depth it doesn’t really need to. Various people are playing with numbers on the backs of envelopes and all of the results coming back are that this is a game changer.

200 trillion cubic feet is one estimate of the holdings of the entire reserve and if 20% is recoverable (a reasonable sort of number) then that would replace all UK gas imports for the next 30 years.

The only real problem seems to be political: we have a Climate Change Minister, Chris Huhne, who seems to be insisting that we should not, ever, extract this gas for it will make windmills unaffordable or something.

To be honest, that’s really not a political position which I think is sustainable. Standing between 60 million Brits and a source of cheap heat and electricity is likely to get one trampled.

Forbes, 23 September 2011