Developer Cuadrilla today announced there could be up 5.6 trillion m³ of shale gas in the Bowland Basin in Lancaster.
The firm hopes to begin commercial drilling by 2013, which could create up to 5,600 full time jobs for the area.
In a best case scenario the firm will develop up to 800 wells over 16 years which could drastically reduce the UK’s reliance on imported gas.
Opponents to shale gas drilling say it can contaminate local groundwater and increase greenhouse emissions. However, in June the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change select committee gave the go-ahead to shale gas drilling.