Can the UK replicate US fracking success?

This article is part of
Commodities - May 2013

“This combination of factors is pretty much unique to the US and the absence of one or more may hamper or slow the development of shale elsewhere.”

Tim Yeo MP, chairman of the Energy and Climate Change Committee, commenting on the publication of the committee’s report into The Impact of Shale Gas on Energy Markets in April, said it was too soon to call whether shale gas would provide the silver bullet needed to solve the UK’s energy problems.

Article continues after advert

But he added: “The government has dithered on this issue and should now encourage companies to get on and drill, to establish whether significant recoverable resources exist.”

With the government looking to exploit the new technologies and with the US as a leading example from which to learn lessons, the use of fracking and the exploitation of shale gas and oil both on and offshore could become a long-term theme if investors are willing to take on the risk.

Nyree Stewart is deputy features editor at Investment Adviser

Fracking in numbers

$224.4bn – The estimated value added contribution to US GDP in 2020 from unconventional gas activity – the production of gas and liquids recovered from shale gas and tight gas plays

$3trn - Approximate amount of capital expenditure that will take place between 2012 and 2035 in uncon¬ventional natural gas activity in the US

2.5 million – number of jobs in 2015 supported by upstream unconventional oil and natural gas activity

$62bn – The amount unconventional oil and natural gas activity will contribute to federal, state and local tax receipts in 2012

$2.5trn – The approximate figure of tax revenues generated by unconventional oil and natural gas activity between 2012 and 2035.