New Clause 3 - Well consents for hydraulic fracturing: cessation of issue and termination

Part of Environment Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:15 am on 24th November 2020.

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“(1) No well consent which permits associated hydraulic fracturing may be issued by the Oil and Gas Authority (‘OGA’).

(2) Sections 4A and 4B of the Petroleum Act 1998 (as inserted by section 50 of the Infrastructure Act 2015), are repealed.

(3) Any well consent which has been issued by the OGA which—

(a) permits associated hydraulic fracturing and

(b) is effective on the day on which this Act receives Royal Assent shall cease to be valid three months after this Act receives Royal Assent.

(4) In this section—

‘associated hydraulic fracturing’ means hydraulic fracturing of shale or strata encased in shale which—

(a) is carried out in connection with the use of the relevant well to search or bore for or get petroleum, and

(b) involves, or is expected to involve, the injection of—

‘well consent’ means a consent in writing of the OGA to the commencement of drilling of a well.”—

This new clause, as a response to recent hydraulic fracturing exploration activity including in Rother Valley, would prevent the Oil and Gas Authority from being able to provide licences for hydraulic fracturing, exploration or acidification, and would revoke current licences after a brief period to wind down activity.