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(Image courtesy of Cuadrilla Resources)

According to the CEO of Cuadrilla Resources, British shale gas production could begin within four years if the current crisis in Ukraine escalates to the point that a national state of emergency is declared.

Britain is still in the early stages of exploring shale gas options to balance the country’s growing dependence on imports.

Geologists have estimated Britain could have shale resources equivalent to several hundred years of demand.

Cuadrilla is the only company in Britain so far to use hydraulic fracturing in test wells in Lancashire.

The company’s CEO Francis Egan said in an emergency situation, Cuadrilla could start constructing a drilling site immediately and start drilling within two months.