In October 2017, the Government published a report summarising gas security, including consideration of the role of shale gas, over the next 20 years:
UK security of supply is provided by having access to a diverse range of sources, of which shale gas could be one. However, it is not yet known how much of the UK shale gas resource will ultimately be recoverable, or what rates of extraction, deliverability or reliability could be assumed if shale sources are found to be viable.
As such, while shale gas has the potential to support gas security of supply in the UK at a time when UK Continental Shelf supply sources are in decline, and to reduce reliance on imported gas, we do not have a figure on the number of wells needed to have an effect on security of supply.
Government security of supply assessments have conservatively assumed no shale contributions during the next 20 years.