As luck would have it, while visiting the in-laws, BBC Lancashire had a big story with a live link to the Cuadrilla shale gas story:
Tests are being carried out in Lancashire by a firm exploring a new way of extracting natural gas from underground rocks.
No link I can find to the actual on-air version, which is a shame. It was the second lead and started out with a live link to a reporter on the site. Fair and balanced, it even mentioned Gasland, although in one of several mistakes repeated in this Lancashire Evening Post story, it said the UK was different in that the gas was drilled deeper than in the US. Spot the other mistake:
An energy firm is testing for natural gas below Kirkham which could help provide one tenth of Britain’s energy supplies.
Cuadrilla Resources has constructed a rig in a former wheat field to investigate the potential of extracting natural gas from shale rock, a prehistoric clay found deep underground.
The tests are believed to be the first of their kind in the UK.
Cuadrilla claims that shale gas from Lancashire and other parts of Britain could one day be used to supply up to 10% of the country’s power needs.
The energy source already provides almost half of the USA’s power but it has not been tapped into in Britain as it is considered expensive and difficult to recover.
Shale of course does not provide even more than about 10% of US current production, although it should supply 50% or more by 2030 or so.
Note the usual UK press lover of hyperbole here. The original Channel 4 and BBC Lancashire stories spoke of this field supplying five to ten percent of the UK's gas. Even a shale fan like me would love to see that happen has to be cautious about that figure. But the LEP, and we're sure others, will pump up estimates to the higher range.