New Shale Gas Drilling Areas To Be Revealed
Large swathes of UK to be opened up for shale drilling, with communities where fracking takes place will receive £100,000, even if no gas is produced.
Large swathes of Britain will be opened up for shale gas drilling under plans due to be announced next week, with local communities promised £100,000 in benefits for every well subjected to fracking – even if no gas is produced.
Ministers are preparing to identify thousands of square miles of land across the country that they believe are rich in shale and should be explored by gas companies.
Michael Fallon, the energy minister, will say the government is “widening the search for shale” and has warned that households “right across the south” should prepare for fracking near their homes.
The identification of provisional “licensing areas” is likely to reignite controversy over fracking, the process of pumping water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to extract gas trapped in rocks.
The Government will today attempt to smooth the way for the plans by confirming a package of benefits for local communities, including the £100,000 upfront payment for any fracking – even if the process is unsuccessful and no gas is produced.