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Shell avoids early involvement in UK shale gas

07 May 2013

In a blow to Government attempts to attract investment to the industry, Shell has said that nobody knows whether shale will succeed in the UK and it has no desire to be the company that tries to find out. Simon Henry, Shell’s chief financial officer, said it had already allocated more than $6bn (£3.8bn) to shale globally and was not going to exceed that sum.

“We have a successful and growing business in North America, we have great opportunities in China, Ukraine and Russia,” he said. “The UK has to compete directly with them and right now nobody even knows whether the gas will flow,” he said.
“If and when the UK reaches the same level of potential attractiveness, we’ll give it a thought.”
Ministers hope domestic shale gas could help lower energy prices, replicating a boom that has transformed the US energy landscape.
They are planning tax breaks to entice shale gas developers, as well as sweeteners such as discounted energy bills for communities affected by fracking, the controversial process used to extract shale gas.
The industry is awaiting the publication of a British Geological Survey report that is expected to significantly increase the estimate of the UK’s shale resources. Even if only a tenth can be extracted, experts say it could be enough to heat every home for 100 years.

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