The UK Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG), which represents oil and gas companies, announced this morning it was setting up a pilot phase of its community benefits scheme for shale gas exploration sites. This will provide £100,000 to a local community once planning consent for a site has been granted and exploratory drilling has begun.
The press release from UKOOG said the pilot would apply to “selected shale gas exploration sites”. But Georgia Lewis, a spokesperson for UKOOG, said the “selected sites” had not yet been selected.
She said it was up to the drilling companies to decide which sites would be selected and how many. She was unable to say when the selection decisions would be made. And she could not confirm whether the scheme applied to just gas exploration – or whether oil exploration sites would be included.
Miss Lewis was able to confirm that the sites must have received planning permission in order to take part in the pilot.