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.

This Oil and Gas Authority interactive map identifies existing licensed areas where the licence holders can apply for planning permission to extract oil or gas in our area. Energy companies may therefore approach the council at some point in the future to apply for permission to extract oil or gas.

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 June 2019).

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-June 2019
Download (264KB - 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.

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

The second consultation gathered 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. For further information on the progress of this on this consultation go to the government consultation page.

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

For further information on this consultation go to the government consultation page.

Further Information

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

The Oil and Gas Authority website

Further information:

Further information about Doncasters planning policies can be found at Our Plans.


Last updated: 30 November 2021 15:47:51