The owner of British Gas, Centrica has approached shale gas company Cuadrilla Resources to take a stake in its licences in Lancashire’sBowland Shale region.
Cuardilla will start the hydraulic fracture, or fracking of wells in the region next year after completing a series of environmental assessments. Centrica are the first major UK utilities company to make this move.
This follows a report earlier this month that fellow shale gas explorer IGas had underestimated had underestimated the amount of shale gas to be tapped into it’s licence area of Cheshire. There could be up to 170 trillion cubic feet of gas in the areas its licenced to explore in territories in Northern England.
Some previous estimates from IGas were set at only 9 trillion cubic feet of shale gas but due to the company setting the volume of shale gas at anything from 15.1 trillion cubic feet to 172.3 trillion feet -nearly 20 times greater than originally thought – estimates have now been boosted.
Shale Gas has proved controversial as part of the government’s energy plans, with environmentalists arguing the possibility of earth tremors due to the exploration of the energy source.
The annual has consumption in the UK is estimated to be three million cubic feet.
Cuadrilla Resources declined to comment about any approach from Centrica.