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article imageTotal to announce investment in UK shale gas

By Joe Z Hudson     Jan 11, 2014 in Business
London - French energy firm Total are to announce a multi-million pound investment plan in UK shale gas which would see them become the first big investor in the industry.
Due Monday, the £30 million investment will see the oil company take a 40% stake in fracking licences currently granted in Lincolnshire.
Fracking is a controversial method of accessing supplies of natural gas as it involves drilling deep into the ground and pumping in a high pressure mix of sand, water and chemicals to release the gas trapped inside the rock. The method has already caused two earthquakes in Blackpool with anti-fracking campaigners stating these will become more frequent and widespread should the practice be allowed to continue.
Total will become the second French company, behind GDF Suez, to invest in British shale gas with the government promising tax breaks to those companies that put money into the industry. This is in contrast to the two companies native France, where the process has been banned by the government.
The oil giant will not embark on the venture alone, it has partnered with companies Dart Energy , Egdon Resources, IGas and eCORP on two exploration licences so far, with more exploratory licences granted in the North East of England.
So far, protesters have managed to disrupt much of the fracking works with Greenpeace already verbally protesting the Total announcement as Lawrence Carter explained to the BBC: "Total, a French company who can't frack in their own country because the French government has stopped the French countryside being ripped up, have now turned their sights on the UK countryside where the UK government seem happy to allow the industrialisation of our green and pleasant land."
Geologists believe that as much as 1,300tn cubic feet of shale gas could be trapped under much of the North of England, as well as the Midlands, with only one tenth of that number being able to fill the UK's gas requirements for more than 50 years.
More about Shale gas, Total, United Kingdom, Gas, Gas prices
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