April 24 The development of shale gas in Britain
could create more than 64,000 jobs and give local businesses a
33-billion-pound ($55.37 billion) capital injection, according
to an Ernst & Young report commissioned by an industry body.
Shale gas explorers would need to spend that amount on their
supply chains for drilling work over 18 years, said the study.
Britain is in the early stages of exploring for shale gas to
counter its growing dependence on imports, and geologists have
estimated it could have shale resources equivalent to several
hundred years of demand.
Several companies have announced plans to explore for shale
gas in Britain using hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, a
technique of injecting water, sand and chemicals deep into rock
formations to release hydrocarbons.
Protesters and many environmental groups have opposed the
process saying it would increase the use of fossil fuels and
raise the risks of groundwater contamination and earthquakes.
Oilfield service and manufacturing companies that provide
equipment and skills for fracking could get a 17-billion-pound
boost from shale gas exploration, said the study commissioned by
the UK Onshore Operators Group, which represents onshore
exploration and production companies.
It also said the country's waste, storage, steel and
transport sectors would benefit.
Britain's government needed to lay foundations for
infrastructure and supply chain standards, the report added.
"This is how we will ensure that the UK can turn billions of
pounds currently spent on gas imports into revenues for local
communities," Ernst & Young energy advisory partner Chris Lewis
($1 = 0.5960 British pounds)
(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Andrew