UK unlikely to have enough shale gas to mitigate rising fuel prices
In order to replace the Russian energy supplies, the United Kingdom is seeking other sources of oil and gas, but it seems not to have many options to replace Moscow's supplies.
The United Kingdom is unlikely to have enough shale gas supplies to mitigate rising fuel prices, UK Minister of State at the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Greg Hands said Tuesday, stressing that even if the country returned to fracking, it was still unlikely to have enough supplies that could affect the market.
On March 8, UK Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said his country would halt the import of Russian oil by the end of 2022 in response to Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine.
"We are clear that shale gas is not the solution to near-term issues. It would take years of exploration and development before commercial quantities of shale gas could be produced," Hands said in a statement.
"Additionally, fracking relies on a continued series of new wells, each of which produces gas for a relatively short time, even if the pools were lifted. There is unlikely to be sufficient quantities of gas available to address the high prices affecting all of Western Europe, and would certainly have no effect on prices in the near term," the official added.
He also noted that Downing Street needed to keep all of its energy options open, even if a revival of fracking was not on the table.
Hands reaffirmed his country's commitment to back their vital North Sea oil and gas sectors in order to maximize Britain's domestic production while the country opts out for "cheaper, cleaner, home-grown power at the same time."
The ministry will soon draw an energy supply strategy to "supercharge our renewable energy and nuclear capacity, as well as supporting our North Sea oil and gas industry," according to Hands.
Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine late last month after the Donbass republics, namely the Lugansk People's Republic and the Donetsk People's Republic, appealed for help in defending themselves against the Ukrainian military. In response, the West imposed a wave of sanctions on Russia in a bid to impede its progress in Ukraine.