If we believe all the hype there are trillions of cubic metres of shale gas just waiting to be accessed beneath European soil. Of course, we don't. The grossly inflated figures are merely a device to convince gullible/greedy politicians and investors alike.
One industry clown with experience of the American scenario recently compared the UK potential to that of Texas. He failed to mention that two factors in particular will impede progress over here. The first is that for the most part European shale beds lie approximately 1.5x deeper that than those in the US and in the UK for instance, population density is circa 3.5x that of rural Pennsylvania. Both factors have huge implications for net profitability.
Finally, do be careful who you run with. Several of the front-end prospectors are 'shell-like'. We heard of one recently with public liability cover set at a mighty £37,000 pounds!