Professor Alan Riley, of City Law School, told the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee no one was certain how much shale gas was technically and commercially recoverable in Britain, or what its quality would be. He urged the government to encourage the rapid exploration of Bowland shale in Lancashire.
“When we have several hundred exploratory wells we will have a much better sense of what [gas] is there and what we will be able to do with it”, he said. “Then we can have a national discussion about shale gas.”
Professor Riley recommended that any areas of the Bowland Basin that had not already been licensed for oil and gas exploration should be licensed before the next nationwide round, due in 2014.