Moratorium on fracking lifted in government effort to ensure energy supplies
England’s moratorium on fracking has been lifted as the government looks to increase domestic energy supplies, an effort that will involve a new oil and gas licensing round.
The move has been prompted by the war in Ukraine, leading the government to look for ways to increase domestic sources of energy, reduce the UK’s reliance on overseas imports, and explore options to boost domestic energy security. The UK aims also to become a net exporter of energy by 2040 and sees further exploration as vital as the nation transitions to low-carbon forms of energy.
In a statement, business and energy secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “In light of Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and weaponisation of energy, strengthening our energy security is an absolute priority.
“To get there we will need to explore all avenues available to us through solar, wind, oil and gas production – so it’s right that we’ve lifted the pause to realise any potential sources of domestic gas.”
Under the new licensing round, the NSTA (North Sea Transition Authority) is expected to make a number of new blocks of the UK Continental Shelf available for applicants to bid for over 100 licences.