The United Kingdom Government has published a “regulatory roadmap” setting out the series of permits and permissions developers need to obtain prior to drilling for onshore oil and gas, to provide certainty to investors and local communities about the role of the permitting process.
As is widely known, the Government favours drilling for shale gas by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) as it could create thousands of jobs and give back almost £1 billion to local communities through benefit schemes. However, environmental activist groups such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are heavily against fracking and believe it would have an adverse impact on traffic congestion and noise and air quality.
It will be interesting to see whether the environmental permitting regime can add the required environmental protection especially for nearby groundwater resources that are the main sources of drinking water in many areas in the United Kingdom
The Regulatory Roadmap: Onshore oil and gas exploration in the UK regulation and best practice presentation and a separate guidance document for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can be found at http://bit.ly/1bX5nXn