Natural gas in the UK - Statistics & Facts

Touted by some economists as a cost-effective bridge to zero emissions, natural gas has served a major role in the energy supply industry. Formed underground over millions of years by plant and animal matter decaying, natural gas has been successfully used as an energy source since the 19th century. However, due to it mainly consisting of methane gas, natural gas burning contributes to global warming. Continuing research in large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) deployment hopes to circumvent this issue.

In the UK, natural gas production has slowly been decreasing. With the government having halted hydraulic fracturing in the North of England following concerns from the public, natural gas production largely relies on offshore gas fields from the North Sea. In 2018, some 40.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas was extracted from wells. This compares to proved reserves of 200 billion cubic meters that same year. Also in 2018, the UK imported over 50 billion cubic meters of natural gas, the majority it received via pipelines.

Natural gas consumption has seen slight fluctuations in the last few years, amounting to roughly 79 billion cubic meters in 2018. Residents in England spent the most on gas out of all UK residents, at a weekly average of 10.4 British pounds. Major power producers paid a quarterly average between 1.21 pence and 1.7 pence per kilowatt hour.

In terms of enterprise figures, the number of enterprises in the crude petroleum and natural gas extraction industry with a turnover of more than 5 million British pounds decreased to 40 enterprises in 2017 and has stayed constant since.

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Natural gas in the UK

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