The shale gas revolution: how big could it get?

The potential of shale gas is huge. But there are challenges along the way finds Alex Marshall

Over the past year many column inches have been taken up with stories relating to shale energy, varying from concerns over water supplies to ministers claiming it could lower energy prices.

However, while investigations are under way and some exploratory drilling has taken place, commercial exploitation is some way off.

Cuadrilla Resources, the Centrica-backed developer, has rights to explore some 1,200 square kilometres of the Bowland Shale and has so far drilled four exploratory wells for shale gas, all in Lancashire

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