Large parts of the greenbelt to the South and West of Nottingham could be fracked for shale gas. Licences have been awarded for three 10km square blocks covering a potential area of shale gas identified by the British Geological Survey in 2013 (p44). This is known as the Widmerpool Trough (potential shale gas area in orange):
The government has produced an interactive map showing the shale gas area in relation to licence blocks. Maps of licence blocks covering this area can also be seen on the Drill or Drop website:
SK43 (between Derby and Stapleford-Long Eaton)
SK52 (Ratcliffe on Soar-Bunny-Loughborough) (The Southern half of SK52 is outside of the shale gas area but may have conventional oil or gas.)
Successful companies for the two blocks South of Nottingham are (with % interest in both licences):
- 25% Hutton Energy – US shale oil co with existing licences to the East of the new licence area and permission to explore for conventional oil at Harlequin, nr Upper Saxondale
- 25% Coronation (Oil & Gas) – a new company
- 18.75% Egdon Resources – has a number of conventional oil wells, exploratory boreholes at Burton on the Wolds (Leics) and Laughton (Lincs), existing collaboration with IGas/Total to develop shale gas in NE Notts
- 18.75% Celtique Energie – mainly involved in conventional oil, with previous links with Egdon
- 12.5% Petrichor Energy – US company
Egdon's CEO Mark Abbott has said they will first explore for conventional oil. (This makes sense - it is likely to be closer to the surface than shale, cheaper and easier to extract. If they were to frack under an oil reserve it could compromise an oil well. And revenues from any oil extracted would help fund the costs of shale gas exploration.) So it could be some time before the area gets fracked.
Successful companies for the licence block between Derby and Stapleford are:
- Warwick Energy – mainly involved in conventional gas (including coal mine methane at Annesley-Bentinck), and also offshore wind
- Anglia Natural Gas - new company
Other licences awarded in August 2015 affecting Nottinghamshire:
- Notts-Leics border: SK72 - around IGas’ existing oil well at Long Clawson. Hutton + Coronation - likely to be searching for conventional oil.
- Notts-Lincs border: SK89 (N of Gainsborough), SK88 (S of Gainsborough), SK87c (Torksey) - IGas (35%) + Total (50%) + Egdon (15%) - the same partnership which wants to frack NE Bassetlaw around Misson. Could have conventional oil, shale gas and coal bed methane (CBM).
- SK87b - N of Collingham. Blackland Park (an associate of Egdon) - possible CBM.
- SK86 - Collingham. Aberdeen Hydrocarbon Development (linked to Aberdeen Drilling Management which Alkane had a CBM agreement with in 2012) + Milroy Capital (registered in Guernsey) - possible CBM.
- Notts-Yorks border: SK58 (Worksop-Dinnington). Ineos - in a potential shale gas area next to an existing licence held by IGas.
- Notts-Derbys border: SK45 - between Ripley and Mansfield. Ineos - not likely to have shale gas or CBM.
Details on all 27 licences announced for England in August 2015 are on the DECC website. These licences will not actually be awarded until consultation on a Habitats Assessment is complete on a further 132 blocks. For details on the blocks in Nottinghamshire subject to consultation see our separate page Will they frack Sherwood Forest?
Large parts of Nottinghamshire are already subject to Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences - with a previous campaign against exploratory drilling for coal bed methane at Daneshill (N of Retford), and an ongoing campaign against proposed drilling by IGas at Misson (nr Bawtry).
For evidence relating to the risks of fracking see Frack Free Notts.