Shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (fracking)

Shale gas is the same as the natural gas (methane) obtained from gas fields in the North Sea. Methane is the gas used for domestic heating, cooking and electricity generation. Shale gas is obtained direct from the source rock (shale, sandstone, limestone) which has to be micro-fractured to allow the gas to flow. The fractures are so small they are held open by grains of sand!

Shale gas activity in the UK is still in the exploration stage and companies are currently drilling test wells. As yet there are currently no production operations in UK.

Petroleum Act 1998 - Onshore licensing map
Download (1.37MB)

This Oil and Gas Authority interactive map identifies existing licensed areas with potential in our area. Energy companies may therefore approach the council at some point in the future.

Please note: the council has not been contacted by any companies wanting to discuss shale gas exploration or hydraulic fracturing (fracking) within the Doncaster Borough (as at March 2018).

The Fact Sheet below provides an update on shale gas exploration and what it currently means for Doncaster. It provides information on the role of the Minerals Planning Authority, legislation, national and local policy, licensing, hydrocarbon resources, and shale gas activity in authorities adjacent to Doncaster. The fact sheet will be updated when new information arises:

Shale Gas Factsheet - Update March 2018
Download (187KB - PDF)

Response to Government Consultations

Please find below copies of Doncaster Council's responses to the Government's 2018 consultations regarding making shale gas exploration permitted development and shale gas production a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project.

The first consultation seeks views on the principle of whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale gas exploration development should be granted planning permission through a permitted development right, and in what circumstances this would be appropriate, information about the consultation can be found on the GOV.UK website.

Making Shale Gas Exploration Permitted Development
Download (80KB - PDF)

The second consultation is intended to gather views from industry, regulators and other interested parties on the timings and criteria for including shale gas production projects in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime under the Planning Act 2008.

Inclusion of Shale Gas Production Projects in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project
Download (44KB - PDF)


Further Information

Further information on shale gas and hydraulic fracturing can be found at:

The Oil and Gas Authority

What is Shale Gas and Fracking? - (this is a pdf created by the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC))

The Infrastructure Act 2015


Last updated: 23 May 2019 07:20:28