Gas in United Kingdom

Recoverable reserves218Mtoe

Production40.8Mtoe per year

Production ratio5years

According to OGJ, the U.K. held an estimated 9 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proved natural gas reserves in 2011, a 12 % decline from the previous year. Most of these reserves occur in three distinct areas: 1) associated fields in the U.K. continental shelf (UKCS); 2) non-associated fields in the Southern Gas Basin, located adjacent to the Dutch sector of the North Sea; and 3) non-associated fields in the Irish Sea The U.K. produced 2.0 Tcf of natural gas in 2010, falling about 5 % compared with the previous year, which was a significantly smaller decrease than last year’s 15 %. At 2.0 Tcf, U.K.’s production reached its lowest level since 1992. The largest concentration of natural gas production in the U.K. is the Shearwater-Elgin area of the Southern Gas Basin.

Currently, the U.K. has four LNG import terminals and the country was the eighth-largest importer of LNG in 2010. The longest-operating LNG terminal in the U.K. is National Grid’s Grain LNG terminal on the Isle of Grain. U.K. received 55 % of its LNG imports from Qatar in 2009, with the remaining volumes arriving from Trinidad and Tobago, Algeria, Egypt, and Australia. In addition, a tanker carrying the first-ever shipment of LNG from the U.S. to the U.K. arrived on the U.K. shores in November 2010.

Private companies control the U.K. natural gas sector, including production, distribution, and transmission. The largest gas distributor in the UK is Centrica, a spin-off of the distribution assets of formally state-owned British Gas.

Most of the leading oil companies in the U.K. are also the leading natural gas producers, including BP, Shell, and ConocoPhillips. The major gas distribution companies in the U.K., such as BG Group and E.ON Ruhrgas, also have a presence in the production sector.


Gas data represents natural gas only, for unconventional gas please refer country notes within the WER 2013 report gas chapter.