Exploration and production of shale gas from onshore UK requires the operator to obtain licences from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC).
The operator must also meet a number of strict regulatory requirements set by the Environment Agency (EA) or the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) monitors shale gas operations from a well integrity and site safety perspective.
The operator must also obtain planning permission from the relevant local authority to permit the surface operations required to explore for and extract shale gas.
Any activity, such as drilling boreholes for shale gas, that intersects, disturbs or enters any of the Authority's coal interests requires a Coal Authority licence.
The BGS Alternative fossil fuels Mineral Planning Factsheet 2 MB pdf provides a short and accessible overview to issues related to the permitting process for shale gas exploration and extraction.
The factsheet also covers related ‘new' energy technologies such as coalbed methane and underground coal gasification.
The factsheet presents concise, up-to-date information on a range of relevant topics including:
The factsheet is designed to assist all stakeholders (planners, regulators, industry and local communities) in understanding the key issues related to permitting shale gas operations.
The Alternative fossil fuels Mineral Planning Factsheet is one of a series of Mineral Planning Factsheets produced by the BGS that are primarily intended to inform the land use planning process.
Contact Ed Hough for further information or enquiries about BGS shale gas consultancy services