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    Wales Implements Fracking Ban

Summary

The UK region also said new onshore licences will be issued only exceptionally.

by: Mark Smedley

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Wales Implements Fracking Ban

Wales, which has devolved powers over energy, has said that hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas will not be permitted – firming up a moratorium that has been in place in the UK region since 2015.

Lesley Griffiths, the Welsh government cabinet secretary for energy, planning and rural affairs said in a December 10 statement: " I confirm today hydraulic fracturing (fracking) of petroleum will not be supported in Wales." She said her decision followed an extensive consultation, a summary and analysis of which (embedded in link above) was published the same day.

"To help deliver on my commitment in 2016 to reduce the use of fossil fuels, I also confirm we will not undertake any new petroleum licensing in Wales. Individual licences will only be considered to ensure the safe management of abandoned mines or to support scientific research," she added, confirming there are still 13 existing licences onshore Wales that are still live. Some of the existing licences are understood to be for coalbed methane (CBM) in south Wales; however to date there has been no commercial CBM development in Wales.

Local planning authorities in Wales were informed by letter last week they must notify the Welsh government if they intend to approve applications for any petroleum development.

Licensing offshore Wales is a matter for the UK government. However there has been relatively little interest shown in conventional exploration blocks either on- or offshore the region.