Exploration licences boost fracking

Large parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands will be opened up to fracking after the government offered exploration licences covering 2,700 sq km in a major boost for the UK's shale gas industry. The Oil &Gas Authority said 27 blocks would be awarded to oil and gas companies as a result of the country's 14th onshore licensing round, with at least half of the area up for grabs containing shale gas. Another 132 blocks, covering parts of north-west England, North Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight, would be offered later after an environmental assessment. Energy minister Lord Bourne said the award was part of the government's 'long-term plan to build a more resilient economy, create jobs and deliver secure energy supplies'. He said investment in shale could reach £33bn and support 64,000 jobs 'while providing a cost-efficient bridge to lower-carbon energy use'.


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