You may well have recently read about shale gas and wondered what all the fuss was about. Well, this natural gas can be found within the shale geological strata, soft sedimentary rock formed from clay or mud. But how would this interest the UK's cheapest business gas suppliers
Although shale gas can be found onshore, the big news has concerned the huge reserves of shale gas that have been located in the North Sea, off the North-West Coast. The controversy comes via the method of its extraction. In order to free the gas, a process of hydraulic fracturing - or fracking - is used, to create the cracks which displace the surrounding rock and allow the gas to escape. Not surprisingly, recent earth tremors in the Morecambe area caused some concern.
However, that must be set against the potential benefits in harnessing the UK’s shale gas reserves. Energy experts, with one eye on future business energy solutions
, have put the UK reserves at one thousand trillion cubic feet (tfc). Even if the rather conservative estimate of 10-20% of those reserves can be mined, when compared to the current UK rate of gas consumption of 3.5 tcf a year, the potential quickly becomes obvious. The commercial potential also increases when initial production costs of $200 per barrel fall to what experts estimate might be as little as $60-80, as compared to £120 for oil. Some argue there is ultimately enough natural resources to make the UK energy self-sufficient, which is great news for business gas suppliers.
The House of Commons Energy Select Committee is keeping tabs on these developments. Although they initially concluded that whilst ”UK shale gas resources could be considerable, they were unlikely to be a ‘game changer’”, they have now issued a fresh Call for Evidence, in order to properly consider the issues around what is referred to as the “shale gas revolution”. Evidence will be gathered up until October of this year, with findings to be issued in due course.
Of course the potential end game of this exploration is a glut of gas production and, in a climate of supply and demand, a reduction in the price of energy to the consumer. And that is something everyone is keen to see.
In the meantime, if you're looking to reduce your business gas costs, call us on 0800 043 0423 or fill in our enquiry form for a call back.