Permitting and regulation of shale gas operations

Alternative fossil fuels <em>Mineral Planning Factsheet</em>

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).

Environmental regulators

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.

Safety regulator

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) monitors shale gas operations from a well integrity and site safety perspective.

Planning approval

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.

Coal Authority licence

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.

Alternative fossil fuels Mineral Planning Factsheet

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:

  • economic importance
  • environmental impacts
  • exploration and extraction methods
  • key issues relevant to the planning process
  • licensing, regulatory and land use planning framework for shale gas
  • resources
  • reserves
  • structure of the industry

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.

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