Centrica puts a damper on UK shale aspirations

Shale gas well
Source: Geograph.co.uk, author K.A.

Energy firm Centrica Plc, which owns British Gas, and holds a 25 percent share of Cuadrilla’ licences in the Bowland basin in Lancashire, has revealed that it may not bid for more fracking rights in the UK once they are put up for sale in the next few weeks.

“My main focus is not on grabbing land, it’s on the Bowland shale,” Mark Hanafin, Centrica’s head of upstream told The Telegraph today.

Talking about the highly emotional debate about the possibilities and the costs of UK shale energy development, he said that the arguments might be premature, having lost the sight of the fact that UK shale resources are still as yet unproven.

“It is an exploration play, that’s what people don’t understand,” he told the newspaper. “Exploration plays either come up dry or wet.”

“The only thing you can do is drill into it, hydraulically fracture it, and see what happens to the flow rate,” he added. “If it doesn’t flow very well then we are all having a very interesting and very emotional discussion about nothing,” he said. “If it flows well, then the country is going to have to decide what it wants to do with those resources.”

Centrica’s cautious approach led to speculation that, despite the Government’s enthusiasm, extraction of shale gas in the UK may not be viable enough.

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