The UK government is committed to putting in place the conditions necessary for the energy industry to explore the commercial viability of extracting shale gas to support the UK’s future energy needs. However, horizontal drilling, land rights, environmental concerns and other issues continue to attract strong opposition and controversy, which in turn can delay or threaten achievement of planning consents by oil & gas companies. In this video interview, BLP specialist planning lawyers Tim Smith and Tim Pugh provide an introduction to the planning laws that underpin unconventional oil & gas in the UK, including extraction of shale gas, and examine some of the key issues that oil & gas companies need to consider when seeking planning consents. They provide answers to the following questions:
• In short, what is a Petroleum Exploration Development License (PEDL)?
• If an oil & gas company is granted a PEDL, are other rights and permissions still required? What other laws or act might the planning regime have to follow?
• Who grants all of the necessary planning permissions relating to extraction of shale gas and what are some of the key issues arising from that?
• Who grants land rights and environmental permits, and what are some of the key issues that clients might face associated with them?
• Do planning permissions sought also automatically cover associated pipelines or connectivity to the grid?
• In summary, what are some of the key issues that companies seeking to exploit shale gas should expect and prepare for when they approach planning?