AN underground gas pocket has been found in a plateau in Álava (Basque Country) which contains enough fuel to supply the whole of Spain for five years, or the region itself for 60 years.
The Lehendakari (regional president), Patxi López, and Basque minister of industry, Bernabé Unda, have been in Dallas (USA) this week to study natural gas extraction methods with the help of gas company Heyco.
They say out of 14 tests, 13 have shown that there is between 184,000 and 185,000 million cubic metres of non-conventional gas below the surface in the Gran Enara area of the province.
Non-conventional gas is fuel which is attached firmly to subterranean rocks, rather than sitting in 'pockets', and is more difficult and costly to extract.
The Basque government intends to invest 100 million euros in bringing it to the surface for use.
At present, natural gas accounts for 42 per cent of the Basque Country's energy demands.