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Shale gas 'revolution' too early to call, say MPs

The UK could boosts its energy security and tax revenues through shale gas production, but it is not yet clear whether it will reduce energy prices, MPs said today.

The Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee report, The Impact of Shale Gas on Energy Markets, concluded that the amount of recoverable shale in the UK is not yet known and may not have an effect on gas prices internationally. It is therefore too early to base policy decisions on the assumption of falling gas prices.

“If substantial shale resources do turn out to be recoverable in the UK – and community concerns can be addressed – then it could limit future energy price rises, reduce our reliance on imported gas and generate considerable tax revenues,” said ECCC chairman Tim Yeo MP.

“Ministers should be careful… not to base energy policy on an assumption that gas prices will fall in future as a result of shale gas production. Rising global demand for gas, particularly from Asia, could limit any potential price reductions.”

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