More companies to be allowed to frack for shale gas across UK

Suzie Neuwirth
MORE companies are set to receive permits to frack for shale gas in the UK, with the government due to announce a decision on its latest environmental assessment for further licensing imminently.

A spokesperson from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (Decc) told City A.M. that subject to that decision, which will be announced “as soon as possible”, the government will launch the 14th bidding round, enabling more companies to obtain licences in prospective areas of the country.

The government has been supportive of shale gas, hoping for a US-style energy revolution to ensure security of supply and reduce reliance on costly gas imports.

A Decc-backed report by the British Geological Survey (BGS) into shale gas resources in the Weald and Wessex basins in southern England is set to be published later this year, although a Decc spokesperson declined to comment on a date.

Last Friday, Aim-listed IGas agreed to buy rival Dart Energy in a deal that will create a new leader in the UK shale gas space, with a value of around £400m. VSA Capital called the deal “a major step forward for the UK shale gas industry”.