Onshore hydrocarbon producer, IGas Energy plc, confirmed Tuesday that Nottinghamshire County Council’s Planning and Licensing Committee has granted the company planning consent to drill up to two exploratory wells in Misson Springs, North Nottinghamshire, UK.
Subject to a legal agreement, IGas will now be permitted to undertake exploration work at its Springs Road site, close to Sheffield, in order to test whether the shale rock present is suitable for fracking. The company will have to apply for a separate permit to carry out fracking work.
Nottinghamshire County Council councillors voted seven to four in favour of the application, according to a spokesperson.
“I am pleased that the Committee has made this positive determination following the recommendation by the Planning Officer. It has been a long process and everyone has been extremely thorough,” Stephen Bowler, CEO of IGas, said.
“We are at a critical juncture in the future of our energy mix and supply, as we move away from coal towards lower carbon energy sources. We rely significantly on gas in the UK….[and] see an important role for shale development in the creation of future jobs and prosperity,” he added.
Bowler stated that the two exploratory hydrocarbon wells will help the onshore drilling community better understand the shale gas potential in North Nottinghamshire and said that the industry was currently trying to establish if the significant quantities of gas that have been identified onshore exist in the right formations to be commercially prospective.
Britain is estimated to have enough shale gas trapped below its surface to meet its gas needs for decades but the use of fracking has been traditionally opposed by environmental campaigners who are concerned about its impact on groundwater and seismic movements.
Last month, The UK Department of Communities and Local Government ruled that Cuadrilla Resources could finally proceed with shale gas exploration, including hydraulic fracturing, at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire.
Lancashire County Council's Development Control Committee had previously rejected the company’s applications to drill on the grounds that there would be too much noise and traffic.
Reuters contributed to this article
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