"Brakes put on UK shale gas revolution": FT.

FT: “When the British Geological Survey doubled estimates for the shale gas reserves in the Bowland Basin, it raised expectations of a US-style shale gas revolution in the UK.”
“The region – which stretches from Cheshire to Yorkshire – is one of the UK’s most promising onshore shale gas prospects and could hold between 822 and 2,281 trillion cubic feet.
….But just because gas is recoverable, it doesn’t mean it makes economic sense to do so. Explorers must drill wells to discover natural gas flow rates. Cuadrilla is the only company to have fracked in the UK and no wells have been fracked since an 18-month moratorium was lifted more than a year ago. The UK’s shale gas potential remains largely unknown.
Exploration is expensive and it is easy to spend more on drilling a well than the value of gas that comes out of the ground. Drilling costs are significantly higher in the UK than the US. The nascent supply chain and long licensing process are largely to blame.
….“At the minute, the economic equation is negative,” says Alex Grant at investment bank Jefferies. “It’s costing [UK explorers] well over $10m to drill a well – compared to say $4m in the US – and the gas they can get out is worth a lot less than that. If this is the best they can do then the equation doesn’t work on a per well basis and it doesn’t matter that they have huge amounts of gas.”