New interactive maps and information on oil and gas licences

DrillOrDrop published this new interactive map today showing which companies have got the new licences for fracking and conventional oil and gas exploration across England.


The map shows the dominance of INEOS (orange) in North Yorkshire, the east Midlands and Cheshire, Cuadrilla (light green) in North Yorkshire and South Western (mauve) around the Severn estuary, Wiltshire and Dorset.

How the map works

Click on the large map reference letters for the area you’re interested in. This takes you to a larger-scale map, also interactive, for that region.

Here you can click on a particular licence block. This takes you to a page about that block, with information about the operator, its partners, the type of licence and details about the work programme.

Some licences are made up of more than one block. The pages will tell you which other blocks are part of the licence.

Type of licences

The licences are divided into four types:

  • Shale
  • Coal bed methane
  • Conventional
  • Abandoned mine methane vent

This is the main hydrocarbon the operators said they wanted to explore for. However, the operator can explore for any hydrocarbon in the area, providing they have planning and environmental consents.

Click here for the Fracking by numbers post to find out more about the different types of licence and how many there are of each one.

Work programme

Each licence has a work programme, which gives information about the type of activity that could be expected.

Some successful operators have made “firm commitments”. These are defined by OGA:

“Firm commitment activity must be completed in the initial term (first 5 years) of the licence.”

Other operators have agreed to a Drill-or-Drop well. The OGA describes this as follows:

“A Drill-or-Drop leaves the decision whether or not to drill entirely with the licensee. If a well is to be drilled, it should be planned to complete drilling within the Initial Term.”

Some licences include commitments to carry out geological surveying, with 2D or 3D. The OGA describes 2D seismic survey as an image of a plane through the subsurface of the earth. A 3D survey is a three-dimensional geologic survey to image a volume in the subsurface.


Categories: Industry

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