Resources of the UK

Unlike many other countries in Europe, the UK has large amounts of non-renewable resources, particularly gas and oil.

Gas and oil

Oil and natural gas is found in the North Sea. Iron ore and coal is found mainly in South Wales, the Midlands and the North.UK energy resource locations

Although the UK has reached maximum production of gas and oil, and that the rate of production is now in decline, it still is a significant economic resource and is also one of the major causes of foreign direct investment in the UK. Oil reserves are concentrated in the North Sea to the East of Aberdeen and to the east of the Shetland Islands. The gas reserves are also in the North Sea but further south off the coast of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and East Anglia.


Although the numbers employed in the coal mining industry have dropped from over 1 million in 1950 to less than 10,000 in 2015, there are still reserves of coal in the UK. Much of this is, however, in deep mines that make it expensive to extract. In addition, the use of coal creates acid deposition as well as contributing to climate change, and so the amount of coal extracted in the UK has dropped from around 184 million tons (in the 1960s) to just 12,800 tons in 2013.

Iron ore

There were large deposits of iron ore in the country and it was a key resource during the industrial revolution. There are still some deposits left in the UK but due to the drop in steel production and the availability of cheap foreign iron ore, in 2014 there were no significant amounts of iron produced in the UK.