U.K. boasts massive shale gas reserves

New estimates suggest that the U.K. could hold a wealth of unconventional natural gas resources, according to Reuters.

The British Geological Survey released new projections for the country's onshore and offshore shale natural gas that would rank the country's reserves among the largest in the world.

Though some have disputed how much of the natural gas could be harvested economically with current technology, onshore estimates have ranged around 200 trillion cubic feet - more than 57 times the country's annual consumption.

However, the latest projections of offshore shale gas eclipsed this number, reaching as high 1 quadrillion cubic feet, nearing the levels seen by the world's leaders in shale natural gas.

"The figures appear to suggest the shale resources are so large that the question is not how much is out there, but how much can be retrieved - how much can be economically accessed in an environmentally acceptable way," Melvyn Giles, global head of unconventional gas and light tight oil at Shell, told Reuters.

Bloomberg reports that the U.K. recently approved the resumption of hydraulic fracturing operations, or fracking, after a pause to review concerns it could cause earthquakes.

Production outlooks for British natural gas can be found at PennEnergy's Research area.

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