Unlocking the opportunity for Britain
As an island nation, Britain has long relied on supplementing its domestic energy reserves with imports from abroad. However, these imports also leave our economy vulnerable to forces like changing commodity prices, as well as political instability in other key energy-producing regions of the world. The decline in production from the North Sea has seen the UK become a net importer of gas since 2004. IGas believes that energy diversity is central to Britain’s stability and security in the 21st Century.
Recent technological innovations can unlock untapped resources that have the potential to contribute to Britain’s energy independence for generations to come. By combining our considerable experience in onshore exploration with a proven commitment to safety and the environment, IGas is positioned to help unlock this national resource, delivering direct benefits to local communities as well as making a significant contribution to our economy and energy diversity at a national scale.
According to the EY report, "Getting Ready for Shale Gas", commissioned by UKOOG, the potential opportunities include:
• UK-based oil field service and manufacturing companies providing specialised equipment and skills for hydraulic fracturing totally £17bn
• A £4.1bn waste, storage and transportation requirement
• A £2.3bn steel requirement in Britain
• The potential for a new £1.65bn rig manufacturing industry
• A new market for existing British businesses
• A 64,500 jobs opportunity and a requirement to grow skills
There is a large body of evidence suggesting that natural gas from shale is a significant asset for Britain that can be extracted cleanly and safely. According to figures from the Institute of Directors (IoD), Britain’s shale gas reserves could supply a third of our annual gas needs and IGas believes that within its own licence area, covering 300 square miles between Manchester and Liverpool, there is likely to be in the region of 102 Tcf of shale gas. With Britain's total gas use running at 3 Tcf a year, it is clear this is a significant national resource.
At this stage, IGas and other producers need to appraise this resource and understand the proportion of natural gas that is safely recoverable. But even if only ten percent of the gas can be extracted it would still have the potential to make a significant contribution to the UK economy, through tax revenues, more jobs and greater energy security.
Uses of Natural Gas
From the moment we wake up in the morning until the moment we turn off the lights at night we are constantly using natural gas in one way or another. Gas is used for cooking, powering the boiler in our central heating and hot water and to generate the electricity to light our homes.
Gas is not just a fuel that we burn for energy though. It is also a raw material used in the manufacture of chemicals that are used in a wide range of products we use every day, including medicines, clothing, buildings, vehicles, computers, and green technologies, such as wind turbines and energy efficient materials. So even when we have transitioned to renewable, low-carbon energy sources, we will still need gas to make these essential items.