Given the economic barriers to shale gas production - either the oil price needs to rise, or the cost of the extraction technology needs to fall to make it commercially viable in the UK - one thing is becoming clear; there's lots of it. Trillions upon trillions of cubic metres.What's not so clear is quite where it's located. This rather blurry map is the best I can find quickly:-
You'll see large deposits in the southern North Sea, with the majority inside England's 200 mile commercial limit. And I say England deliberately; there's hardly any shale gas within Scotland's 200 mile limit. Although we've also got land deposits on the South coast, mini earthquakes from Brighton to the Solent may not be too popular, let alone the vast volume of drinking water the process will take from this parched region. The North Sea is a safer bet in every way.
Italy is well provided, but with natural earthquakes causing enough devastation there as it is, I can't imagine they'd encourage much fracking in Chiantishire. Catalunya and the Basque region are also rich in deposits, unlike much of Spain, and Poland is practically sitting on one giant reserve. Scandinavians will be the biggest losers in Europe.
But as Andrew Evans-Pritchard notes today, whilst the US exploitation of shale gas is driving a resurgence of manufacturing, the EU's energy policy is destroying the Euro economy. Even more reasons for the UK to cut the Gordian knot that binds us to the EU.