Britain’s oil and gas reserves could run out within a decade, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh said only 11% of the UK’s oil reserves remain, while gas is down to 9%.

They said that fracking will be “barely economically feasible” in the UK, especially in Scotland, because of a lack of sites with suitable geology.

They recommended a shift towards renewable energy, especially to offshore wind and solar.

Helm Review implications

The researchers called for the UK Government’s Helm Review into energy to take the short-fall in resources into account.

They said the UK will soon have to import all the oil and gas it needs.

The paper was published by the Edinburgh Geological Society in its journal, The Edinburgh Geologist.

In response, Deirdre Michie, Chief Executive of industry body Oil & Gas UK, said:

“There are up to 20 billion barrels of oil and gas resources still to be recovered on the UK Continental Shelf, based on production forecasts provided by the Oil and Gas Authority.

“Production has increased over the last two years and we expect that to continue to rise. Significant new capacity has been added to the UKCS. Nine new fields began production in 2016 and a further seven started producing in the first half of this year – most of which will still be producing in 2030. A further 12 are due on-stream by the end of next year. Some notably large developments will still be producing towards 2050. Advances in technologies are also presenting fresh opportunities and helping make discoveries commercially viable”.

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