Tighter controls aim to accelerate UK shale exploration and production, says Eversheds
Jason Lovell, partner at Eversheds, has commented on news that more fracking licences are being granted, but with protection for national parks.
He said: ‘The 14th onshore licensing round was announced by the energy minister, Matthew Hancock, on 28 July 2014 and applications for licences will be accepted up to 28 October 2014.
‘Among the excitement, it should not be overlooked that the form of licence applicable to the licensed areas has recently been changed. DECC, as the responsible licensing body, has recognised the different attributes of shale gas exploration, production programmes and the fact that shale gas is typically spread across wider areas compared with conventional oil and gas resources.
‘It is showing flexibility in relation to retention — with the previous requirement to surrender 50 per cent of the licensed area after the initial term no longer automatically applying.’
However, Lovell added, it is clear that licensees are also being put under tighter controls in terms of proposed activities, including drill-or-drop commitments, more stringent timescales and reporting — all with a clear directive to force an acceleration of the activities of licensees in both the exploration and production phase.
News from Eversheds
News from The Lawyer
Briefings from Eversheds
Businesses operating in the EU with the benefit of tax ruling consequently need to be aware that tax rulings are currently at the centre of a series of EC state aid investigations.
What can and what should organisations be doing to prepare for Ebola from a health and safety point of view?
Analysis from The Lawyer
Which firms are cutting it in this era of slimline rosters, and who are the GC new brooms making clean sweeps? The Lawyer can reveal all
A new breed of lawyer is smoothing the path for companies entering emerging or unstable jurisdictions