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Image courtesy of Kai Stachowiak.

A survey commissioned by UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG) found that 57 percent of respondents were in favor of shale exploration and production.

The poll, conducted by Populus, found that 16 percent of those polled opposed shale drilling and 27 percent were undecided.

Every region polled had a majority favorable opinion about shale production with support being highest in the North East at 62 percent and the lowest in London at 52 percent.

4,000 adults were surveyed for the poll.

Almost 70 percent of those surveyed agreed that developing shale resources could reduce the need for imports.

However, 60 percent of respondents were opposed to developing shale prospects if it came at the expense of building wind farms or other alternative energy projects.

Shale explorers have faced opposition in the UK but UKOOG’S CEO Ken Cronin said the results of the survey were encouraging.

“This survey shows that most people across the country think that shale gas should be developed. Britain’s shale resource gives us the opportunity to become less dependent on foreign energy supplies, create tens of thousands of jobs and support our manufacturing industries,” Cronin said.

According to the British Geological Survey, Britain’s shale gas reserves may range from 49.4 and 134.6 trillion cubic feet (tcf), with the central estimate for the resource being 80.3 tcf.

Shale oil reserves are estimated to be between 3.2 and 11.2 billion barrels (bbl), with the central estimate at 6 bbl.