Oil and gas: onshore exploration and production
Information, publications, guidance and data relating to onshore exploration and production, including mapping, seismic activity, wells, and licensing and regulation.
Policy information on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and shale gas can be found on the Developing Shale Gas and Oil in the UK page
- mapping data – onshore maps and GIS shapefiles
- onshore licence data
- guidance on onshore co-ordinates
- BGS Bowland Shale Gas Study reports
- Shapefiles and geodatabase for the Mature Bowland Shale areas
- The hydrocarbon prospectivity of Britain’s onshore basins
- The unconventional hydrocarbon resources of Britain’s onshore basins – coalbed methane (CBM)
- The unconventional hydrocarbon resources of Britain’s onshore basins – shale gas
Seismic and wells
- DECC policy on data release
- UK Onshore Geophysical Library (UKOGL) – release agent for onshore seismic data
- Release agents for onshore well data - please see Contacts in PON 9b
- oil and gas discoveries: 1983 to present
- PON 9b: Record and sample requirements for onshore geophysical surveys and wells
- current status of the next landward round
- licensing information
- Relinquishment Reports received by DECC for previous licences can be downloaded from the historical section of the UKOGL website www.ukogl.org.uk
- mosaic is the data release agent for the 1st to 11th landward licensing round documents, field development and field reports submitted before 2006
- petroleum operations notices
- onshore operatorship requirements
- Regulatory Roadmap to help operators understand the regulation process for onshore oil and gas (shale gas) exploration in the UK
- planning regime for England
- planning regime for Scotland
- planning regime for Wales
Oil and gas well discoveries since 1982
Please direct any comments to:
Telephone: 0300 068 6037
Extended well tests and Hydraulic Fracture Plan
Resumption of shale gas exploration
Hydraulic fracturing operations for shale gas in the UK have been suspended since May 2011, pending the investigation of two seismic tremors experienced near Preese Hall, Lancashire during fracking operations.
In the light of the recommendations of a panel of independent experts, of comments received in response to a public consultation, and of the recommendations of an authoritative review of the scientific and engineering evidence on shale gas extraction made by the UK’s science and engineering academies, the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Secretary of State for Energy has announced the introduction of new regulatory requirements to ensure that seismic risks are effectively mitigated.
Read the Secretary of State’s statement to Parliament . Subject to these new requirements, DECC is prepared in principle to consider new applications for consent to such operations, and the suspension is therefore lifted. As before, final consent to any well or well operations is dependent on confirmation that all other necessary permits and consents have been obtained. A wide range of other issues were raised in the responses to the public consultation, and DECC together with other relevant bodies has prepared a full Q&A brief on these issues, which can be found below.
The full Government response to the recommendations made on the scientific and engineering evidence by the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering can be found below:
- The Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering - Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing
- Environment Agency’ guidance note on exploratory shale gas operations
- Scottish Environment Protection Agency Regulatory Guidance on Coal Bed Methane and Shale Gas
- HSE Website
On 1 April and 27 May 2011 two earthquakes with magnitudes 2.3 and 1.5 were felt in the Blackpool area. These earthquakes were suspected to be linked to hydraulic fracture treatments at the Preese Hall well operated by Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. The hydraulic fracture treatments were carried out during exploration of a shale gas reservoir in the Bowland basin. As a result of the earthquakes, operations were suspended at Preese Hall and Cuadrilla Resources Ltd were requested to undertake a full technical study into the relationship between the earthquakes and their operations.
Cuadrilla submitted to DECC a synthesis report with a number of technical appendices on 2 November 2011, and published this material on their website. These reports examine seismological and geomechanical aspects of the seismicity in relation to the hydraulic fracture treatments, along with detailed background material on the regional geology and rock physics. They also estimated future seismic hazard and proposed recommendations for future operations to mitigate seismic risk.
To assist DECC in evaluating these studies and recommendations, DECC asked three leading experts in the fields of seismology, induced seismicity and hydraulic fracturing to make an independent assessment of the Cuadrilla-funded studies; Dr Brian Baptie, BGS; Professor Peter Styles, Keele University and Dr Christopher A. Green, GFRAC.
Further information supplied by Cuadrilla in the course of this assessment is available as Annexes below. The independent experts have now made recommendations to DECC for mitigating the risk of induced seismicity resulting from continued hydraulic fracturing at Preese Hall, Lancashire and elsewhere in Great Britain.
See UK Onshore Operators Group’s
for description of the Hydraulic Fracturing Programme (HFP), the detailed risk assessment now required as part of DECC frac consent that also describes the control and mitigation measures for fracture containment and for any potential induced seismicity.
Background material for general public
Non-specialist readers may find the following material helpful:
- Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil
- About shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (fracking)
- information on Earthquakes
- Earthquake frequently asked questions
- Guide to the different ways in which rocks are fractured in Oil and Gas field operations (John Pucknell, University of Portsmouth)
Onshore environmental regulations
Legislation, further information and guidance on environmental regulation that affects onshore operators.
- visit the National Archives for guidance on the Pipelines Act 1962
Please direct all enquries to:
Telephone: 0300 068 6037