UK looks to entice fracking firms
British energy companies will be offered the chance to explore for shale gas across bigger blocks of land, under a revised system aimed at enticing them to commit to fracking. Ministers are expected to launch the '14th onshore licensing round', offering companies the chance to bid for exploration rights, within weeks. In previous licensing rounds companies would typically be awarded rights to drill over blocks spanning 100 sq km in return for committing to a plan of exploration work in the area. The energy department said that under the new guidance, the companies will be asked to commit to a single work programme to span two blocks - 77 sq miles - as this will be big enough to give a licensee scope to make plans for commercially-viable work.