A loophole in the consent regime for fracking has been shut by the government.
Operators wanting to frack must apply for a ‘Hydraulic Fracturing Consent from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’ (DEBIS), under Section 4A of the Petroleum Act 1998.
As a supplementary stage to the regulatory and permitting regime, the consent was introduced in the Infrastructure Act 2015.
However, wells that were drilled before the 2015 Act came to force weren’t included in this.
This loophole has now been shut by Greg Clark, the business secretary.
Clark, laying a Direction before Parliament to safeguard that the Oil and Gas Authority refers to the DEBIS on onshore hydraulic fracturing operations.
This incorporates where the associated well was drilled before the 2015 Act coming into force.
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