Article from the Globe and Mail:
The British government may have warmed to fracking. But while shale-gas extraction has put America on the road to energy self-sufficiency, it may be premature to bank on a similar boom in the UK. The country’s shale formations could be enough to meet decades of demand if bullish interpretations of geological data are right. But economics may keep much of the shale bounty under ground.
Tapping onshore shale fields might seem straightforward. Today’s import prices mean UK drillers would only have to be about half as efficient as their U.S. counterparts for onshore shale to be competitive with liquefied natural gas from abroad. But UK shale exploration is still embryonic. Britain’s small land area and dense population could complicate matters. Lancashire, where UK driller Cuadrilla says it has found about 200 trillion cubic feet of gas, counts more than 1,220 people per square mile, compared with less than 10 per square mile in shale-rich North Dakota.