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Business group endorses British shale

May 22, 2013 at 7:15 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, May 22 (UPI) -- A British business group said the shale natural gas sector could add more than 70,000 jobs to the economy and not just in industry-specific fields.

A report from employer group The Institute of Directors says developing shale natural gas in could create at least 74,000 jobs, from geologists to truck drivers, and deliver significant tax revenue to the British economy. Investments could reach $5.6 billion in the industry.

Member of Parliament Dan Byles, who wrote the report's forwarding statement, said shale natural gas development was more than an energy issue.

"If we get this right, in future I believe the world could look to the U.K. as the gold standard for a well regulated and safe shale gas industry that benefits local communities and the nation," he said.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of shale deposits was halted after Cuadrilla Resources in 2011 reported minor tremors associated with its natural gas operations in the country. London last year lifted the fracking ban as it enacted a risk-control measure based on a "traffic light" system.

Cuadrilla estimated there are 200 trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas in a play below Lancashire. It said it was waiting until 2014, however, to continue work in Lancashire, first finishing environmental effect assessments at existing and planned sites for hydraulic fracturing.

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