"Total joins UK pursuit of shale boom": FT.

FT: “Total of France is to become the first major oil company to explore for shale gas in the UK, in a big boost for government efforts to create a US-style fracking boom on British soil.”
“The deal, to be announced on Monday, will be seen as a big vote of confidence in the UK’s fledgling shale industry. The coalition has made the exploitation of Britain’s unconventional gas reserves a top priority, offering tax breaks to shale developers and promising big benefits to communities that host shale drillers.
Total will announce on Monday a deal to join a shale gas exploration licence in the Midlands currently operated by Ecorp of the US, according to people familiar with the matter. The other partners in the project are Dart Energy and UK-listed Igas and Egdon Resources.
….The coalition says Britain could potentially enjoy a similar bounty. It points to recent estimates that there could be as much as 1,300tn cubic feet of shale gas lying under just 11 English counties in the north and Midlands. Even if just one-10th of that is ultimately extracted, it would be the equivalent of 51 years’ gas supply for the UK.”