Re­port al­lays frack­ing fears

Shale gas ‘un­likely’ to be ex­tracted

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Lor­can Lovett lor­can.lovett@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

THERE is lit­tle chance of shale gas be­ing ex­tracted from Buck­ing­hamshire, ac­cord­ing to a county coun­cil re­port.

Bucks County Coun­cil’s en­vi­ron­ment, trans­port and lo­cal­i­ties se­lect com­mit­tee was told com­mer­cially vi­able quan­ti­ties of gas do not ap­pear on the western and south­ern sides of the county.

The gov­ern­ment in­vited firms to bid for frack­ing li­censes in th­ese two ar­eas, but com­pa­nies are now un­likely to carry out the con­tro­ver­sial process.

Leader Martin Tett sug­gested as much to the Ad­ver­tiser and Ex­am­iner in July.

The news comes a few weeks be­fore the start of the county’s Re­place­ment Waste and Min­er­als Lo­cal Plan.

Cab­i­net for plan­ning the en­vi­ron­ment, Les­ley Clarke, told the com­mit­tee the plan will re­view poli­cies to cover on­shore oil and gas ex­trac­tion.

She said: “It’s likely to be costly for com­pa­nies to prospect here in Buck­ing­hamshire and they’ll prob­a­bly want to go for low-hang­ing fruit first.

“But you can never say never and as a re­spon­si­ble coun­cil, serv­ing the best in­ter­ests of our res­i­dents, mem­ber

and

It’s likely to be costly for

com­pa­nies to prospect here in

Buck­ing­hamshire and they’ll prob­a­bly want to go for low-hang­ing

fruit first”

oil and gas will be an is­sue we will need to con­sider in the Re­place­ment Min­er­als and Waste Lo­cal Plan.”

Lead of­fi­cer for Min­er­als and Waste Pan­ning Pol­icy Lester Han­ning­ton told the com­mit­tee that in the past 50 years the limited drilling in the county has shown no com­mer­cially vi­able quan­ti­ties of gas, and more re­cently there has been no more in­ter­est in prospect­ing li­cences.

He said: “But the UK tax regime is more favourable to prospect­ing ex­plor­ers now, cou­pled with greater in­ter­est in un­con­ven­tional gas ex­plo­ration, which is rais­ing frack­ing in the pub­lic aware­ness.”

In a pre­vi­ous round of on­shore li­cens­ing, an area was ear­marked on the south­ern tip of the county, but no one took up the li­cence. Prospec­tors have un­til Oc­to­ber 28 to ap­ply for a li­cence.

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