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First bid for shale gas drilling in Notts submitted

The first planning application for shale gas exploration in Nottinghamshire has been submitted to the county council.

Island Gas (Igas) is seeking planning permission to undertake exploration for shale gas on land to the north east of Misson in Bassetlaw, which is close to the Nottinghamshire, Doncaster and North Lincolnshire local government boundary.

The application does not include any proposals for hydraulic fracturing, known as “fracking”.

The application is for the development of a shale gas well site which would involve the drilling of two exploratory shale gas wells (one vertically and one horizontally) together with ancillary works.

Sally Gill, planning manager for Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “If permission is granted, the test drilling would allow Igas to evaluate the potential resource of shale gas trapped beneath the surface.

“Depending on the results of the test drilling, Igas may, or may not, seek permission to extract the shale gas using fracking, but that would require a separate planning application which would be subject to further consultation.”

Igas is seeking permission for a temporary period of up to three years, with drilling taking place for approximately 14 weeks for the vertical well and 19 weeks for the horizontal well. During drilling, operations would take place 24 hours a day.

The vertical well would be drilled to a depth of approximately 3,500m. Subject to the results of the vertical well, a second well may be drilled, initially vertically before being directed horizontally in a southerly direction within one of the potentially productive zones.

The county council will now begin detailed consultation work on the application, seeking the views of more than 40 organisations.

The deadline for responses to the consultation is 9 December 2015.

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