Cuadrilla's Banks rig

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Extra fracking licenses to be offered in Lancashire

More licenses for firms seeking to frack for shale oil and gas are on offer - including locations near Preston – following a decision by the Oil and Gas Authority.

The Authority has announced 27 more locations in England, with 12 firms, including Cuadrilla and Ineos, given the exclusive right to explore for oil and gas.

Sites will typically be in blocks of land of around 100 sq km. All applications will be subject to local planning consent.

Last week Energy Secretary Amber Rudd announced that delayed planning decisions on fracking would no longer be acceptable.

Other sites on offer include areas near Lincoln, Nottingham and Sheffield and Preston, while a second group of 132 further blocks could be granted following a consultation.

UK Energy Minister Lord Bourne said: “Keeping the lights on and powering the economy is not negotiable, and these industries will play a key part in providing secure and reliable energy to UK homes and businesses for decades to come.”

Environmental campaigners have greeted the announcement with dismay. Campaigners claim that fracking, which involves pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into shale rock to unlock the gas inside, can contaminate water supplies.

The industry strongly disputes the claims.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Simon Malia .

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