Some local ‘exploration licences’ for companies to explore shale gas resources, also known as fracking, have been relinquished in the latest Government update.
Around 50 Petroleum Exploration and Development Licences (PEDLs) across the UK expired at the start of July, with a handful close to Wrexham included in the batch.
The licence agreements meant that if work had not been completed on schedule then the expectation was that the licences would have been given up. In some areas, such as Borras (187), some work had taken place yet the licence is still being ‘ended’.
To the east of Wrexham there is still an active licence which states a well could be drilled by June 2021, with possible seismic testing by 2020. The licence area includes Holt and Farndon, and out to Tattenhall. The ‘Shale Prospective Area’ is to the north west of the block, so likely any drilling activity would be in the Holt to Aldford area, basically following the path of the River Dee.
In the Government issued spreadsheet of the formal updates and changes to fracking license, brief details are given but no reasons behind the changes and companies could come in and apply for a licences in the relinquished areas.
Referring to the above map the following updates were released, with REL = licence to terminate, RA – Licensee requested 2014 Model Clause conversion and Retention Area agreed.
- PEDL185 IGas REL Licence Ended
- PEDL186 IGas REL Licence Ended
- PEDL187 IGas REL Licence Ended
- PEDL188 IGas RA acquire new 2D seismic data by 30 June 2020 and drill a well by 30 June 2021
- PEDL189 IGas 2 yr Two year extension to Initial Term
One other area nearby with an update is PEDL184 by Ellesmere Port that has the note “Reprocess regional geomagnetic data by 30 June 2017, sample and reinterpret Namurian shale from Gronant borehole by 30 March 2018, acquire new seismic data by 30 June 2019 and drill a well by 30 June 2021″
Wrexham dodged further fracking allocations last year by 14 miles, and although ‘fracking’ via hydraulic fracturing can be blocked by local planning committees as Wrexham has experienced that is not always the case – with local planning decisions overruled despite strong local opposition on environmental grounds.
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