Unconventional gas, repeatedly called an energy industry game-changer by the International Energy Agency over the past five years, has the potential to create 30,000 jobs in the UK, an MP who supports the controversial technology says.
After the UK government lifted a ban on shale gas exploration in December, Britain is on the cusp of transforming its energy security, Tory MP Dan Byles has told IBTime UK.
Shale gas, as part of the unconventional gas sector, could loosen some of the UK's heavy reliance on Qatar and Russia for its gas needs. One of the UK's exploration and development groups - Cuadrilla - believes it could supply a quarter of the UK's gas needs from a resource in Lancashire.
But with hydraulic fracturing, the contentious method of extraction also known as fracking, falling under scrutiny by environmentalists there are many challenges that the UK faces in tapping into its wealth of reserves.
Byles, the member for North Warwickshire and Bedworth and chairman of the all-party parliamentary group for unconventional oil and gas, who is also on the energy and climate change select committee, tells IBTimes UK he believes unconventional gas can provide stronger energy security, as well as sustainable growth in industry and employment.