Britain gave the go-ahead to renew drilling last month and plans to spur shale exploration with tax breaks as fuel prices rise and falling North Sea output squeezes supply. That may buoy an industry facing resistance in Europe, where nations such as France outlawed hydraulic fracturing, the extraction method that’s raised the U.S. to the top spot in natural-gas output.
We could be looking at shale resources that are at least a third the size of the North Sea and that would be of huge benefit to the U.K. economy. We could even see the U.K. becoming a net exporter of gas again and have the ability to unmarry itself from the cartel pricing of Russia’s Gasprom.
Following earth tremors blamed on shale tests in 2011, fracturing, or fracking, was suspended in the U.K. for about 18 months.