According to the report, the central Scotland is estimated to have 80 trillion cubic feet of shale gas, which is significantly lower than the 1,300 trillion cubic feet estimated to be in the Bowland shale in northern England.

The central Scotland is also estimated to comprise 6 billion barrels of shale oil, which is slightly more than the central estimate of 4.4 billion barrels in the Weald Basin in southern England.

Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said that the shale gas alone will not be able to supply all of the energy needs but the environmentally responsible exploration of shale gas could contribute to energy mix.

"Making the most of Britain’s home grown energy is crucial to keep job and business opportunities, widen tax revenues and reduce our reliance on foreign imports," Fallon added.

A regulatory roadmap by the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) involves over 20 potential steps needed for an operator to receive an exploratory site approval.

British Geological Survey science and technology director Mike Stephenson said, "The central estimate of shale gas in place is 80 trillion cubic feet and the central estimate for shale oil in place is 6 billion barrels of oil but reserves cannot be calculated at this stage before drilling and testing take place."

"The Midland Valley of Scotland has complex geology and a relative lack of data compared to the previous DECC-BGS Bowland-Hodder and Weald Basin studies."