The Energy & Utilities Alliance (EUA) has welcomed a shale gas supply chain report showing huge potential economic benefits to the UK economy and measures to minimise the environmental impacts of shale gas has been announced by the government.

Shale gas could create a new onshore supply chain market for equipment, services and skills across a number of industry sectors worth up to £33 billion by 2032, creating over 64,000 jobs, according to the EY report published by trade body United Kingdom Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG).

The UK could also lead the way in technology and skills across Europe, a significant and untapped market, adds the report, commissioned by UKOOG and part funded by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills.

A key part of the government’s long-term economic plan to secure Britain’s future is to back businesses with better infrastructure. That’s why the government is committed to shale - it will mean more jobs and opportunities for people, and economic security for our country.

“This government is fully committed to ensuring the UK not only benefits from the energy security shale gas could provide but also maximising the economic benefit across the country. It’s time to get ready for shale.”

Mike Foster, chief executive EUA said he expects shale gas to strengthen the UK energy security as well as creating a new source of revenue.

“Exploiting shale gas reserves will add a new dimension to the UK’s energy mix, helping to secure our energy supply and reduce the impact that external influences like the current political unrest in the Ukraine can have,” he said.

“It is anticipated that over 64,000 new jobs will be created right across the supply chain and the tax revenues gained can be invested in upgrading domestic properties to make them as energy efficient as possible – helping to deliver a low carbon future. The additional gas supply will also have a major impact on prices helping to reduce the fluctuations that are currently experienced. I echo the Business & Energy Minister Michael Fallon’s sentiments – get ready for shale”.

This follows news of a joint research project by UK and Poland on impact of shale gas.

“Researching the environmental and economic effects of shale gas is very timely and is a step in the right direction in bringing shale into production,” added Mr Foster.

“We cannot ignore the impact that shale gas will have on helping to achieve security of supply for the UK, in addition to the jobs it will create and the tax revenues it will generate. Working in partnership with our European neighbours to investigate the potential effects is necessary in bringing shale into the UK’s energy mix.”