UK shale oil - infographic
- 23 May 2014, 14:15
- Simon Evans
The British Geological Survey (BGS) says there is 4.4 billion
barrels of oil trapped in shale rocks beneath southern England's
Weald basin. Is that a lot or a little?
The UK currently uses around half a billion barrels of oil per
year (top bar). Over the past 40 years 45 billion barrels have been
extracted from the North sea. That's 1.1 billion barrels per year
There is an estimated 3.1 billion barrels of oil in UK proven
reserves that can be extracted using today's technology and at
today's prices (third bar).
The Weald basin shale oil resource is even higher, at 4.4
billion barrels (fourth bar). But as the BGS is quick to emphasise,
not all of this will be
We take an optimistic 5 per cent estimate of the proportion of
shale oil under the Weald that might be recoverable (bottom
think the figure will be even lower, more like 1 per cent. Only
time will tell.