Cuadrilla expects to return to shale

Dec. 3, 2012 at 8:49 AM

LONDON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- A British energy company said it expects to quickly move ahead with shale natural gas development once the British government lifts a ban on the practice.

The Daily Telegraph newspaper in London said it expects the British government as early as this week to lift a ban on shale natural gas development. Cuadrilla Resources Chief Executive Officer Francis Egan told the newspaper his company would "press on quickly" once London lifts the ban.

"We are starting a whole new onshore gas industry," said Egan. "In our license alone we can supply a quarter of the U.K.'s gas demand."

The newspaper said the British government this week is to announce the opening of an Office for Shale Gas. In addition, London aims to push ahead with plans to develop about 20 gigawatts worth of natural gas-fired power plants by 2030.

British Energy Secretary Ed Davey told the newspaper in October that that shale gas won't be a "silver bullet" that will usher in an era of cheap energy for the country.

Cuadrilla last year halted shale gas extraction at a site in northwestern England because of small tremors reported near its operations.

Egan, in a separate statement last week, said there is "no faster route" for an affordable, low-carbon future than through a competitive British natural gas sector.

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