Creating a supply hub for the shale gas industry could generate £30bn and create 13,150 jobs at its peak, according to a new report published today.
But Peel Gas & Oil, which commissioned the report, warned that if the UK took too long to establish the industry investors would go elsewhere and the potential gains would be lost.
The report, by the consultancy, AMION, was launched today at the Shale World UK conference in Birmingham. Its findings assumed 1,000 vertical and 4,000 horizontal wells on 100 well pad sites across the Bowland shale, covering north-west England and the East Midlands.
It said the development of a supply hub was critically important to the success of the region. The Bowland shale could become an international centre of excellence, with a greater proportion of inputs supplied from the area, rather than outside.
But Peel Gas & Oil director, Myles Kitcher, told the conference this wouldn’t happen without public and private co-ordination and the integration of skills and infrastructure.
Peel Gas & Oil was set up earlier this year to support the shale gas industry. It is part of the Peel Group, which owns the Port of Liverpool, Media City in Salford and the Manchester Ship Canal. IGas has drilled three exploratory wells on Peel land since 2011.
Mr Kitcher said northern England was sitting on a major reserve. “It is only right that we should be looking at the best way of delivering maximum benefits”, he said.
But he warned: “We always have to bear in mind it is a global investment market. If you take too long the money goes elsewhere. It is difficult to get investors to invest in an industry that doesn’t exist.”
The report also stressed that delivering potential benefits of shale gas was not a given.
“Allowing component labour and capital simply to be imported will, on the evidence of this report, reduce potential economic gains substantially”, it said.
“The total of some 13,150 peak year jobs created under the “with-hub” scenario is almost 2.5 times greater than would be generated under the without hub scenario.”